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ConLangs

Discussion in 'World Building' started by claramcalister, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    Does anyone else mess around with ConLangs (Constructed Languages) for their fantasy worlds? Personally I really love it. Does anyone else find them really hard to construct, though? This is my newest project. If you've made any for your own worlds I'd love to see them and hear your thoughts about how hard they were to create!
     
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  2. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    Wow idk what I was thinking when I wrote that paragraph, so let me try again- because apparently it won't let me edit the post:

    Does anyone else bother with ConLangs in their fantasy stories? And if so, how hard (or enjoyable) do you usually find them to create? Personally, I really love them- and I'd love to see everyone else's if you're willing to share!
     
    elemtilas likes this.
  3. elemtilas

    elemtilas Inkling

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    I have indeed. I find language invention enjoyable enough to do it; though for me it is secondary to discovering the cultures, histories & lore of the languages' speakers! (Mind you, you really can't properly delve into culture, history & lore without some knowledge of the language --- and of course, the language informs the lore & culture too. It's a two way boulevard!)

    Here are a couple examples:

    Queranaran and Talarian.

    The former is spoken by Daine in the Eastlands of The World. Talarian is spoken by a nation of Men (sort of like humans, but not quite).

    [hr][/hr]

    I took a look at your project --- looks neat! If you don't mind, I do have some general comments / suggestions.

    1. If you're not already, do consider joining one of the language invention communities available online (Conlang List out of Brown Uni. is probably the best; CBB forum is also quite good. Conlang Workshop and ZBB forum are okay. There are communities at Reddit and Facebook as well. Links can be found at Language Creation Society). I think you & your project would fit very well in such communities!

    2. I think you'll find it very helpful to learn the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). This will come in very handy when phonetically transcribing your language. Most people (glossopoets / conlangers especially) will find your ad hoc transcription system very difficult and frustratingly vague.

    3. Find yourself in possession of a good primer on linguistics. This will help you use proper and accurate terminology when describing your languages. This will also help those of us out here who will be interested in reading about them! Many resources are listed at the LCS website.

    4. You might even consider joining the LCS itself! Apart from online contacts, they host a yearly symposium where interested folks get together and present projects, papers and articles about language invention.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't use them because I don't have the skill to create one and I hate when authors use bad conlangs. But for those of you who are able to do it, I think it is a nice talent to have.
     
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  5. elemtilas

    elemtilas Inkling

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    Agreed re bad invented languages. I guess like anything else: do it right or don't do it. You can always have someone do it for you, though! That way you can have a good invented language in your stories without actually making one!
     
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  6. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    I hadn't considered it yet. Mostly because this is my first /real/ project; I've messed around with minor ones when I was younger, here and there. But never anything big like this before. I'll look into those, thanks!

    For some reason, I just can't wrap my head around the IPA. I've given it a genuine shot over the years but honest to the Gods I just can't get it. if you have any resources that would help with that, they'd definitely be appreciated! I'll take a look at the website you mentioned as well ^_^

    Oh that sounds like so much fun :D Thank you!
     
  7. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

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    Don't worry about the IPA, in all honesty. It's helpful to some, not so helpful to others. Knowing several foreign languages, or at least being familiar with foreign phonologies has helped me a lot.
     
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  8. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    claramcalister likes this.
  9. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    Malik likes this.
  10. HiddenVale

    HiddenVale Dreamer

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    Your work on languages that you've shared looks very thorough and committed to! Creating an original language for you world is of course very worthwhile if you can do it successfully. Not only for the cultural reasons Elemtilas has explained, but because the system of naming places and times in your world's lore becomes much more convenient, and there is less to no need for randomly invented words. You're well along in the endeavor.
    I've created a language myself, Eutorian (linked is just the current lexicon), and credit for how large it is is due only to my long experience with learning classical Latin.
    If you want high-tier linguistic insights in literature, read The Road to Middle-earth by Tom Shippey. As far as scholarly works go, that book is highly relevant to any fantasy-world maker because it tells the narrative of how the making of the greatest fantasy world stemmed from a passion for philology.
     
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  11. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    Thanks! And any insight that y'all could give to improve it is always appreciated; I'm not sure if I have comments enabled on the DOCs, But if i do feel free to leave notes in relevant areas on them!

    That lexicon is hella impressive. Good lords!

    Thank you so much for the book suggestion!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  12. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    We're in the process of transferring Mythic Scribes to a new software platform. I can't provide you with a timeline on that, but when the new site is live the new and improved "Guilds" system has a Group dedicated to ConLangs. Whether that's any use to all of you depends entirely on what the members make of it, of course, but it's our hope that people will be interested and willing to make it work.
     
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  13. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    I will absolutely take a look at it when it launches!
     
  14. elemtilas

    elemtilas Inkling

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    Please do! Everyone in each of those communities started out "messing around". One of the best benefits of these communities is just simply absorbing the linguistic knowledge of other members.

    IPA does have its quirks. You can, of course, not worry about it at all. If you really weren't all that interested in making languages and presenting them to others, I wouldn't have suggested you learn it. Very many writers have gotten away with the tried and true ambiguities of ad hoc systems like "A as in cot".

    But for the most part, once you come to terms with what it is presenting (sounds) and how it presents them (there are neat charts that lay out all the sounds), it becomes easier and easier. I won't sit here and tell you I'm an expert at it, though I do recognise its utility (for language invention in particular) and its obvious superiority to any of the ad hoc systems. In other words, which "cot" am I referencing? Depending on one's accent and dialect, it could be pronounced in several different ways, which can lead to confusion within people who are studying your invented language. Using the IPA leaves no doubt. Each of the ways the "o" of "cot" can be pronounced has a distinct symbol.

    One of the best resources for it, if you're interested, is actually the Wikipedia article on the International Phonetic Alphabet. The vowel and consonant charts all contain clickable links that take you to articles where there are sound files that let you hear what each symbol's sound is.


    I've never been to one myself, but I have watched the live feeds the last couple years. I think participants have unanimously declared a grand and fun time was had by all!
     
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  15. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    So much good information I cant be bothered to quote it all. But thank you, from the bottom of my heart! I'll give it a shot and play around with IPA- though I do kind of like the idea of Ad Hoc being used to develop new dialects :D At the very least, though, it'd give a consistent starting sound. So we'll see how it goes! I appreciate the help ^_^
     
  16. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Amazing work there Elementalis, and Clara. Far beyond anything I tried to create. Though, I have never felt inventing languages would be my thing, I have tried to make some up in the past. Mostly by creating common root words and combining them into larger words. But, it would be very informal, and I dare say, I could not really call any of it a usable language. At present, I try to give a hint of language, without having to invent one. I feel it works where it is used. But having an actual language would be much cooler.
     
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  17. claramcalister

    claramcalister Scribe

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    That's actually what this project started out as, believe it or not! I needed a consistent way of naming places / beings for a cultural myth series I was playing with for writing prompts (just to keep myself writing; two of them are included in the folder I linked to!) and it sort of exploded on its own XD
     
  18. ApaCisare

    ApaCisare Scribe

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    It's awesome to see so many other conlangers on Mythic Scribes and to read your post claramcalister.
    I took an introductory course in linguistics in my first year at university and realised at that time that I could have a go at what Tolkien had done.
    Since then, I started with one of many languages to come (hopefully) and just recently, I picked it up again to refine some details and actually put it to use after a far too long hiatus from world building.
    I do worry that it's one of the 'bad' conlangs I hear about, however. I'll try to get around to posting all of the details on the internet at some point so others far smarter than I can tell me what they think of it.
    Nevertheless, I've really enjoyed the process and love to see how others have gotten along with their own projects.
     
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