?>


Creative Forum


Moderated By: KM8
Tips for making new vocabulary
Posted: Posted December 1st, 2011 by Aterius
View Source Report Thread Views

I have been searching for quite awhile about natural, easy ways to generate new vocabulary for my conlangs (for my conworld eedixelem) but I have been having trouble finding a reliable and sensible source. Most people just suggested using a random word generator or taking an already existing language (like Latin) and changing a few letters (sapientia-kabenteea) and making a new conjugation. I don't have enough money for "the language construction kit" but I did get a glimpse, but it was more of a tease. But the basic idea revolved around roots. So my question is "how do I make these roots and what are some good modles to go by?" and also "what are some other affective (effective?) techniques to making more words"?

There are 22 Replies
Load all posts On page: 1 2 3
  settingsSettings

Basing vocabulary on roots is definitely the hard way.

You could study Chinese a bit to get an insightful grasp on how roots can creatively construct new words (some are very clever).

I just use phoneme replacement and scrambling for Latin or other languages to generate vocabulary (since most people don't, or won't, notice).

But were I going by roots, I'd do it in reverse.

Get a good list of the most common words, and break them down into simpler words to describe them.

Then get that simple word list, and combine as many as you can, and further break them down.


Oven:

fire+heart+box

Fire might be elemental. Or it might break down into: Baby sun (or something)

Heart and box probably wouldn't be.

Heart:
life sound

Life might be elemental.

Sound might also be elemental.

box:
corner hold

Neither probably are elemental.

Corner:
hard change

hold:
Have stay


Stay might break down into: No change

Hard might break down into: Dead Stay

Where dead may break down into: no life

Have might break down into: life baby no life

Life might even break down into: fire change



Try to break it down until it's made up of the most primitive words

In this case: Fire, Change, No, baby, sound

Let's say: Sher, Dyeh, Gah, Mou, Ah, Keh (respectively)

(I didn't use the baby sun thing for fine, so sun would probably have fire in its root somewhere later)


Oven = fire + heart + box =
sher + (life + sound) + (corner + hold) =
sher + ((sher + dyeh) + keh) + ((hard + dyeh) + (have + stay)) =

sher + ((sher + dyeh) + keh) + ((((gah + (sher + dyeh)) + (gah + dyeh)) + dyeh) + (((sher + dyeh) + Mou + gah + (sher + dyeh)) + (gah + dyeh)))

Now just simplify:

sher + (sta + keh) + ((((gah + sta) + uhdi) + dyeh) + ((sta + Mou + gah + sta) + uhdi))

Stay is uhdi, life is sta

sher + tak + (((ast + uhdi) + dyeh) + ((sta + Mou + gah + sta) + uhdi))

Heart is tak, death is ast

sher + tak + ((stud + dyeh) + (stumgis + uhdi))

Hard is stud
Have is stumgis

sher + tak + (stuyeh + sumsee)

Corner is stuyeh
Hold is sumsee

sher + tak + stisum

Box is stisum

Oven is... shtakzim (or something like that)


Do that enough, without enough words, and you'll end up with common themes to fill out your elemental table (probably a couple dozen words that grow and merge and become more words, then merge again).

You can use find and replace as you break things down, and then to put them back together (as long as you use parentheses or some other logic to it to make sure they recombine in the right order).


If you half develop a couple languages, you can merge them based on the dominance of different cultures and the usefulness of the words, and then combine them more into more elaborate words.

Takes a lot of work, though, to do that to thousands of words.

Posted December 1st, 2011 by Blake
View Source Quote Report
Blake
 

Thanks :D I've been needing that!! So what/how many words do I need? (I realise that there isn't an exact number but any guestamate is perfect)

Posted December 1st, 2011 by Aterius
View Source Quote Report
Aterius
 

Please, please, please correct the spelling!

"Aggulation" just doesn't exist.

Think "Word-stick-together-ing".

An "agglutinating" language is a "wordsticktogetherish" language.

"Agglutinating" has "glu[color=#AAAAAA]e" in it.

"ag glu ti na ting".

If you can remember that "agglutinating" means "gluing bits together", you'll remember how to spell it.

I can only imagine "aggulation" means something like "throating things together".

I can't vote until that's been changed.

Posted December 1st, 2011 by chiarizio
View Source Quote Report

Blake, I am returning to conlanging because of that idea.
Thank you.

Posted December 2nd, 2011 by Quillwraith
View Source Quote Report

Sorry!! I never actually like "read" the word, just looked at it, if you know what I mean? Basically I understood it, I just never pronounced it so thanks for pointing that out I'll make sure not to mess that up again, however for some reason when I go in to edit the poll options don't show up anymore (I'm a total newb to this site and forums overall, I'm pretty far behind for a 16 year old)


Posted December 2nd, 2011 by Aterius
View Source Quote Report
Aterius
 

Eldin/Aterius:

I think I've fixed it.



Quillwraith:

Thank you. I'm glad I could help.


Aterius:

You're quite welcome.

You need to make a few thousand words for a good functional language.

You only need a few hundred for a superficial language.


Instead of trying to guess how many words you need, I suggest you consider your application.

Think or some other con-languages that are developed enough that such a level of development would suit your application.

Then, just see how many words they have- I'd be inclined to use the smallest number of words that will function.

You can find lists of the hundred (or thousand) most common English, Chinese, Spanish, etc. words and phrases.

I would start there.

Posted December 2nd, 2011 by Blake
View Source Quote Report
Blake
 

A question just popped in my head for the first time, which may answer itself, but I'm typing as it comes to my head just in case I forget. What makes some words or letters more common than others, I'm sure grammar has to do with letters and people's laziness has to do with words, bubwhat else?

Posted December 2nd, 2011 by Aterius
View Source Quote Report
Aterius
 

A question just popped in my head for the first time, which may answer itself, but I'm typing as it comes to my head just in case I forget. What makes some words or letters more common than others, I'm sure grammar has to do with letters and people's laziness has to do with words, bubwhat else?


Sometimes it's just pure luck (maybe not, but it's the best model we have). Sometimes words just stick by chance.

Sometimes its because it's "easier" to pronounce, but that's sort of subjective.

Posted December 3rd, 2011 by cybrxkhan
View Source Quote Report

Thanks everyone for your help ^-^ I've been needing that. I'll probably be posting details on my conworld and conlangs soon, Ill post the link here when I do, for those who care

Posted December 5th, 2011 by Aterius
View Source Quote Report
Aterius
 


Sometimes it's just pure luck (maybe not, but it's the best model we have). Sometimes words just stick by chance.

Sometimes its because it's "easier" to pronounce, but that's sort of subjective.



Yep. A culture usually develops common phonemes, and they're easier to pronounce just because they're used to pronouncing them.

There are some things I can barely pronounce at all, while those who can think English is impossible to pronounce correctly (and it may be nearly so, for them).

Posted December 5th, 2011 by Blake
View Source Quote Report
Blake
 
Next page Load rest of pages On page: /
Reply to: Tips for making new vocabulary
Enter your message here

Rules | Report Issue | Request Feature | Roadmap Facebook Page | Discord Group
GTX0 © 2009-2020 Xhin GameTalk © 1999-2008 lives on
You are not forgotten, Kevin, Liane, Norma, Jason, and Garrett