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Over ten years ago, I started to create the Trai'Pahg'Nan'Nog language, a trade language for my Traipah culture that is supposed to be a conlang even in that universe. But I've encountered problems with it. The rules of the language are basically a mix of English and Spanish rules (mostly English), and I started coming up with words in some really random ways, so that English words that one would think would be some of the first to get translated into TPNN don't have translations yet (like the shapes, for goodness sake!). Also, I was using related words to come up with new words, and given that some of these words were kind of long to begin with (heck, the word for "long" is 6 syllables long), trying to actually say much of anything in TPNN gets harder the more you try to say.

So I started a new conlang, called Trai'Pahg'Shah'Gog. I'm designing TPSG with an eye towards short words (1, 2, and 3 syllable base words) and a greater modular-ness but a higher number of base words (eventually). I've already made some impressive strides toward shortening things. For example, "I will run" in the original TPNN is "Thiin yahsoh hiahn." In TPSG, the same sentence would be "Fyortekeg." From about 5 syllables to 3. (And in TPNN it might have been longer than that; I can't seem to find the proper word for "run." Hiahn I took from dropping the "ihn" in the name "Hiahnihn," which means "runner.) And a bunch of really long words already have shortened versions. (Shortening TPNN words a lot speeds things up.)

Anyway, what I really need is a list of concepts/words to include in this new conlang. I have shapes and numbers done, and I'm making headway on a list of adjectives from Wikipedia. Oh, and colors! But where my first attempt basically had me translating words as I needed them, I'd like to do TPSG somewhat systematically. So any suggestions, like lists of common concepts/words, would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
Check out Basic English for a starter list of words. It's English boiled down to an 800 word vocabulary, with *no* irregularities.

Also, keep in mind that trade languages (usually start out as pidgins or creoles) have (at least for the first few generations) an incredibly limited vocabulary and what grammar they have is *way* simplified compared with the parent tongues.


You might also check out Esperanto (I have a teach yourself Esperanto book and an Esperanto dictionary you can borrow) and Interlingua. Loglan (old name, I don't recall the newer name is another conlang to check out.
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:16 am (UTC)
Also, keep in mind that trade languages (usually start out as pidgins or creoles) have (at least for the first few generations) an incredibly limited vocabulary and what grammar they have is *way* simplified compared with the parent tongues.

Not always, it depends on how it originated. While that's certainly true of languages like Lingua Franca, it's not true of languages like English and Swahili that serve as trade langauges. Neither were simplified in the process of becoming trade languages. So, it depends on whether it originated by one language being adopted by others, or by multilingual communities interacting and developing a new language.

Loglan is an interesting one, but I wouldn't suggest it for Fay's purposes. It would be horrible as a trade language, but as a language for scientists and philosophers, it's certainly quite useful.
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
On Traipah, TPNN has been around for a while. Not sure how long; not a full 10K years. But at least a few thousand years.
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
A few thousand years would certainly be enough to re-evolve quite a lot of complexity, even if it had started out as a creole!
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
English was *adopted* as a trade language. Not sure about Swahili.

Fay seemed to be talking about a "created" language, in which case the pidgin/creole models seemed most applicable.
Jul. 21st, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
Is it? I couldn't tell from the post whether, in-story, it was a typical language, a creole, or an in-story conlang. Either way, if it's been around for a very long time, it would have plenty of time to acquire complexity.
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:24 am (UTC)
Cool. Thanks!
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
Personally, I develop my conlangs organically. I don't set out with a specific purpose and create grammar rules and vocabulary that's set in stone. I create tentative rules to start with and a small tentative vocabulary, and let it evolve over time, changing things around, and developing vocabulary as I need it. I personally find that easier than trying to create a bunch of words from the start.
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:25 am (UTC)
That's how TPNN ended up such a mess.
Jul. 21st, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Ah, well. Personally I found that when I tried starting off with a list of words I ended up losing interest, and creating a lot of similar-sounding words. Creating a bit at a time allows for more variety (you'll be in different moods at different times, and that'll show up in different types of sound), and, if you're willing to go through already-established words and edit them, can create unexpected patterns, giving it a nice naturalistic feel. Of course, it also makes for more work because sometimes you end up having to overhaul your existing vocabulary ...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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