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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Birth of Tsrai

The World Atlas of Language Structures is just a wonderful way to spend hours. One thing I realized while reading some articles is that in my years of conlanging I have systematically avoided using certain features of language that are very common across the world. I tallied up a list in my mind of things I've avoided, and sure enough, the outlines of a new language started to appear — Tsrai.

I have only rarely used reduplication, a process that is ubiquitous in natural languages. For Tsrai, I decided to use reduplication to indicate number, as a marginal process for nouns but the most common way for verbs.

I strongly favor very simple sound systems for my languages. Even if I have a large inventory of sounds, I keep the syllable structure quite simple and open, at most allowing resonant codas. So for Tsrai I've decided to use a moderately complex system, with a few more complex onset types allowed. This means my decision to use reduplication has resulted in some hefty tab…

Airenen! Sózil! Howdy!

I've been inventing languages for a long time. The first one happened after my first encounter with Latin. I was probably 14 or 15. I never really stopped, though there have been slow times when other things occupied my time. For example, work on Vaior, the only language of mine other people have tried to learn, pretty much stopped when I got focused on Ancient Greek. But even then, I might create a quick sketch of a language on a few scraps of paper while awaiting to be called for the tender ministrations of a dental hygienist.

Recently I've been involved in the community of people trying to learn Na'vi that exploded after the film Avatar came out. For the first time in my life I was seeing people eager to know about verb aspect and ejective consonants. I like to encourage that sort of thing, so I've been happy to help them. This has also resulted in me getting back to language invention of my own. Rather than fill my old blog, currently mostly devoted to anci…