becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Just popped over to Zompist and it looks like the site has had an overhaul! One of the new things is a vocabulry generator :-D.

Could be useful!

becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Island has five verb tenses:

Distant Past (before anyone human was alive) -> Past (living memory) -> present -> Future (expected within a lifetime) -> Distant Future (every human alive will be dead when it happens).

Aspects are not marked on the verb but by way of a particle before the verb. There are three of them - imperfect, perfect and habitual.

Moods - Indicative, Imperative, Subjunctive, Optative, Potential and Negative. Can you layer moods on a verb? Sort of like negative and imperitive would be don't verb, optative and negative would be I hope/wish this doesn't happen, optatative + potential would be I hope this likely thing happens.

Verbs do not inflect for person or number.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Island is an aggluinative language so Noun Classes and Cases and number have seperate affixes as do certain adjectives (there are suffixes for things like like large and small, light and dark, near and far and similar - I haven't decided on the entire list yet). Suffixes come in a particular order.

Noun-gender-(adjective)-(number)-case. (Brackets mean they are not always used).

So far I've only decided on the gender and case suffixes

Noun Class/Gender Suffixes

Animate (edible)-pik
Animate (inedible)-ap

Case Suffixes

Note that for now I've decided to drop the Dative for now. As I said previously the dative is usually the object of a transitive verb since it the noun to which something is given so it can merge with the absolutive quite nicely. There is also a Vocative case but this is shown as unmarked like Absolutive and also loses the gender marker unless you're being formal.


The absolutive is the basic form. So an edible crab is upapik and a crab from an inedible species is upaap. If for some reason you are talking to a crab it's just upa. If you were talking about the crab's shell. It would be (word for shell) upaim.

Word Order

Word order is Verb-Object-Subject like Tzotzil and Fijian in the real world.


becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Mountain/Sea has shedloads of personal pronouns -

For Gods and other persons (genders one and two)

First person singular

Second person singular - (used only when you know for certain that the person you're addressing is the right person)

Third person singular - inclusive - (used when you think the person you are addressing is the right person but aren't sure - bizarrely does have a vocative declension)

Third person singular - exclusive - (used only when you know for certain that the person you're addressing isn't the person you're talking about)

First person plural

Second person plural - (used only when you are certain what you are saying applies to all listeners/readers - the person version is rarely used in text except for quotes for this reason. The divine version gets used more but the gods are a diverse bunch so not as much as it could. There is no rhetorical you in this language - the closest you get is the vocative they in this person.)

Third person plural - inclusive - (used when you know it applies to some listeners/readers but even remotely suspect it doesn't apply to all.)

Third person plural - exclusive (weak) - (used when you know it doesn't apply to your listeners/readers but also indicates that it may not include all of the group you've earmarked as 'they').

Third person plural - exclusive (strong) - (indicates that you mean all of this 'they' and none of them are here. And if you are going to use this you'd better damn well be sure you're right - especially when badmouthing people).


Each of the other animate genders has a specific pronoun but they only inflect for second and third (there is a first person but it's only used in fables and fairytales since animals and plants don't talk in this world) and singular and plural. The inanimate genders only have third person singular and plural pronouns. They also don't worry about exclusive/inclusive for animals.


Pronouns in Island I have no idea yet. I'm pretty sure they'll be simpler than Mountain/Sea though.
lilfluff: Pithani the student-librarian mouse from Mars Academy as a mad scientist. Drawn by Tod Wills (aka Djinni on LJ) (Mad Science Pithani)
[personal profile] lilfluff
While working on a follow up to Frigid I decided the character Osita would be faced with the task of learning the language of the people he'd been traded to (one boy, capable of carrying some of the other trade items offered, so can we please have that last metal ax blade?). Which meant that he'd be hearing words in a language he didn't know, the perfect opportunity to actually put some dialog in another language.

Here's the brief sketch I have so far:

ta- 2nd person
taya- 2nd person imperative

-koni- verb: sit
-razha- verb: eat

-lina- locator: here

tayakonilina: you sit here!

-zhon- root: no, also negator when attached to another word

-toa- adverb: only,

"Zhon, takoni. Takonitoa." -- "No, you sit. That's all." (Hey, it lost the imperative, the one speaking to him must be feeling friendlier. That and he was being told he wouldn't be tied up, at least for the moment.)

Tayarazha: Eat! (Said when he's slow to start eating a second bowl of stew)

That's it so far. Still subject to change and improved description. I still need to work out the exact set of sounds available and acceptable syllable structure. Also what the ordering is for the types of prefixes and suffixes that plug onto the root.

I did say brief. :) I was creating it on the spot as I wrote and only created what I needed at the moment.
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Really hope I'm not hogging the place. (BTW Thanks to [personal profile] anke  I found the setting and made it so members can tag stuff now).

So Noun Cases.


Mountain/Sea is a nominative/accusative language

The Mountain and Sea People tend to have a very structured view of their world and this shows up in their language in the large numbers of genders and cases. I did consider going the full Finland with the cases (it would eliminate prepositions) but it seemed like it might be more trouble than it was worth.

Note: Not all genders decline in all cases. When there is dash in the chart that gender does not decline in that case.
Note 2: I haven't come up with all the suffixs yet. Blank with no dashes will have to be filled. Also I probably need to have more than one suffix in some genders (lest every character name end up ending in lha).
Note 3: what suffixes I have so far are the singular ones.

 DivinePersonsAnimalsPlantsNatural Features/ForcesNatural ObjectsArtificial Features/ForcesArtificial ObjectsAbstract












Island is an ergative–absolutive language, but apart from the the first two the cases are not set. I may drop the genitive and find some other way to show the possessive and merge the dative into the absolutive (Since really the dative will always be the object of a transitive verb since it the noun to which something is given).

 Animate (edible)Animate (inedible)Inanimate

What do people think?

lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
[personal profile] lilfluff
I'm Steven, who is likely better known to those here as LilFluff since that's the username I've been using for almost a decade now on the Internet. I am uncertain whether it was a one page article in Boys Life magazine (which I had a subscription to for a while in my few years in Scouting) or if like many I first became aware of language creation by way of discovering that Tolkien had created multiple languages while developing the setting of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings novels.

Then came the Internet. I came across a service on the very early Web that had a list of several hundred email lists sorted into various categories. This lead to my continuing almost-entirely-lurking presence on the CONLANG listserv (which I am rather extremely far behind on reading). This also lead to a subscription to the Constructed Cultures world building list (where I also almost-entirely-lurk) and a now defunct email list dedicated to building a language for the Vilani from the role playing game Traveller, who were descendants of humans kidnapped by aliens thousands of years ago.

As in the last few days discussion of kinship words has come up on Twitter, here's a link to an article from 1995 that looked at the subject from a conlanging perspective. Model Languages: Kinship Terms. Earlier the same year the Model Languages newsletter included an article on Naming Languages.

The most recent language exploration I've done was pushed in part by 1.5 pieces I've done for the second 30 Days of Flashfic, (Prompt 7: Frigid and an as yet incomplete Prompt 15: Ascension). I have a document with a few words and first inklings of a grammar for the language of the lizard people Osita has found himself traveling with. What better an excuse to indulge in some language creation that sticking a character among people who speak a language they don't know and will have to learn?
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Since I tend to call my peoples by geographical descriptors until I come up with a name in their language. These people are hereby designated the island people.

I actually own the book version of The Language Construction Kit and it has an initial chapter about creating a simple naming language, For Island lingo this may be the place to start.

Wikipedia has an article on Proto-Polynesian which is quite useful and while I don't know want to completely ape polynesian I think the idea of a very simple phonology is intriguing.

And so:

STOPp  t k 
f  s  h
TRILL   r   
NASALm  n   
And I think I'll go for just three vowels - a,i and u but these will exist in short and long versions (like the inuit vowels). Yes, that really is eleven consonants and either three or six vowels depending on how you count them.

And where mountain/sea people language is fusional I'll make this language agglutinating and possibly ergative-absolutive. It's a different language family from mountain/sea people's language so I want it to have a very different feel.

I haven't even thought about phonotactics yet except that I want it to be not over-burdened with syllables.

Edit: Forgot Grammatical Gender/Noun Classes.

1. Animate Things which can be eaten (humans, 'younger siblings', food animals, fish, edible plants etc)
2. Animate Things which cannot be eaten (gods, 'elder siblings' and unpalatable, taboo, toxic or inedible animals/fish/plants etc)
3. Inanimate Things


My Conlang

Nov. 24th, 2011 02:25 pm
becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
Hi I'm Becka (hi Becka) and it's my fault we're all here.

I'm currently building an initial language for my mountain and sea peoples. This language is as it existed in the immediate aftermath of the religious schism that led to the sea people. I will then need to use that as the basis for the languages as they exist later.

I also have a secondary language to build which I'm not sure where to start with because it's a proto-language spoken by a small near-human hominid similar to Homo floresiensis which is one of a number of prehuman hominid species (in many of the world' languages these are known as the younger siblings) which have survived  in this world.  (It's kind of ironic but the younger sibling races are older while the (magical) elder sibling races all post-date humanity).

I could also do with at least making the basics of the lingo (from a different language family) for a vaguely polynesian culture the sea people trade with.

Dang I'm going to be busy.

Anyway for the initial language here's a post about the sounds and here's one about the silly number of genders I have. I need to locate my list of cases as well so I can post it.

With regards to the sounds post - I'm considering adding another phonotactics rule that syllables that start with a consonant cannot end with an approximate. Does this seem like a viable rule?


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