04 July 2011

A Guide to Constructed Languages: Questions You Might Ask Yourself

  • Why are you creating this language?
  • Is there a specific way you want to organise your language, or a particular aim you have?
  • How do you want your language to compare to other languages?
  • What order do you want your language in? (SVO, SOV, &c.)
  • Do you want to use particles?
  • How will you make words possessive?
  • Will you have masculine and feminine words?
  • Will there be regular levels of politeness?
  • Will things be pluralised? How?
  • Do you want to include irregular words/verbs?
  • Do you want to create archaic words?
  • Do you want to aim for a specific set of distinctions in vocabulary? (values)
  • How do you want to create tense, if at all?
The more you study other languages, the more you'll begin asking yourself new questions when creating a conlang. You don't need to know how to speak other languages, but you can study how they're constructed.
  • How do they compare to your own first language?
  • How do they compare to others?
  • What do you like about your language?
  • What do you dislike?
  • What do you like or dislike about other languages?
  • What changes might improve a language?
  • What slight change might completely destroy a language?
  • How do the languages compare to the people that speak them?
  • What values do the languages seem to display?
  • What's the history of the language?
  • How complex is the language?
  • How orderly?
  • How vague?
  • How much understanding or meaning depends on intonation?

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