Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fantasy Constructed Languages Part 2: Parts of speech - nouns

Other fantasy language posts
Creating a fantasy languageElfin and Orcish amount of words so far
Fantasy Constructed Languages Part 1: Sounds
Fantasy Constructed Languages Part 2: Parts of speech - nouns
Fantasy Constructed Languages Part 3: Parts of speech - adjectives
Fantasy Constructed Languages Part 4: Parts of speech - articles, quantifiers, prepositions, questions
Fantasy Constructed Languages Part 5: Parts of speech - why, pronouns, conjunctions,

In the last post, I focused on the sounds of languages. In this post, I'll focus on the first parts of speech of the language, the noun.

For an example, let me try making a sample language.

My Aioskoru world needs a fairy language, so I will try making one up. My other four - five including the scraps of dwarvish that I have, are all based on three ancient real world languages. I want the fairy language to sound different than the other five languages.

I'm going to make a language that sounds more melodic mixed with hissing. Because of this, my language will use the letter sounds that I picked in the last post.

sounds unordered
 l, r, s, sh, f, n, ts, y, and vowels i, and e (no t, k, c, b, g, p, q, x)

I will add m ng ny j d t th v h w z      a o (no u)


m, w
v, f
d, t, ts, th
s, z
sh, j
ng, ny
l, r


I'm using more international phonetic vowels rather than English vowels.

i ; said like i in casio
e ; said like a in lazy
a ; said like a in father
o ; said like o in open


Before going to far into nouns, ahead of time you want to figure out

  1. how your going to deal with plurality
  2. if you'll have gender
  3. how you will deal with a normal adjective (hot), a comparative form of that adjective (hotter), and the superlative of that adjective (hottest). 
  4. are you going to have different nouns forms for different noun functions in the sentence a) subject, b) direct object, c) indirect object ([action received by] to), cause or origin (from, because of), possessive, instrumental (by, with)

I'll chose to use marker words like particles or articles to differentiate function worlds which I will make later. That way I can keep words and their function separate. The markers will indicate plurality and singularity. I will not differentiate gender. I'll also use marker words to for functional meaning.

For these words for this fairy language, I will not base the worlds on any language that I know. I will just say the word first aloud and record the words using letters to the best of my ability. I use the Swadesh list of words as the basis for my first words. Luckily the Swadesh list has similar terms next to each other, so mentally I can differentiate one word from another and try to keep words from sounding to similar. I want these words to remain two syllable words if possible.

I try to picture the word before saying it, and then say the word out loud, as if I am a fluent native speaker of the language. I look at my sound list to try using the sounds that I picked.

After a few words, I try to look at my sound list to make sure I am using the different sounds.

I like to use the Swadesh list of words to figure out the first words. Starting with nouns

  1. woman                          ilya
  2. man (adult male human)  amad
  3. person (individual human)   fa-on
  4. fish (noun)             vidi
  5. bird              titsi
  6. dog              vava
  7. louse              ihan
  8. tree (not log)    lanyi
  9. seed (noun)      yengo
  10. leaf (botanics)   watse
  11. root (botanics)      jolem
  12. bark (of tree)       thinya
  13. skin (1952: person’s)  dahin
  14. flesh (1952 meat, flesh)  fijada
  15. blood                                shinya
  16. bone                                           lanthi
  17. grease (1952: fat, organic substance)  taja
  18. egg                                              aza
  19. horn (of bull etc., not 1952)†   forani
  20. tail                                        vela
  21. feather (large, not down)    zange
  22. hair (on head of humans)   votsaj
  23. head (anatomic)                 oyaz
  24. ear                             ditseng
  25. eye                   naji
  26. nose                        fitsa
  27. mouth                            wofa
  28. tooth (front, rather than molar)    didi
  29. tongue (anatomical)          laifz
  30. claw (not in 1952)             moda
  31. foot (not leg)                  tsano
  32. knee (not 1952)†           ivaf
  33. hand                               winad
  34. belly (lower part of body, abdomen)       je-ah
  35. neck (not nape!)                                ila-o
  36. breasts (female; 1955 still breast)†       lala
  37. heart                                      nitho
  38. liver                                  hanjo
  39. sun                                 yandi
  40. moon (not 1952)†           zinga
  41. star                             virena
  42. water (noun)               tova
  43. rain (noun, 1952 verb)      sarila
  44. stone                     dotsot
  45. sand                      odima
  46. earth (=soil)            ezanyi
  47. cloud (not fog)         waly-jima
  48. smoke (noun, of fire)   waly
  49. fire                            arisa
  50. ash(es)                      shoma
  51. path (1952 road, trail; not street)         dama
  52. mountain (not hill)                    langsin
  53. name                               owa
That gives me 53 words already in this fairy language - all of them important for any language with humans. 

Next Post

The next post of the series I will continue with adjectives.

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