Okay, the long awaited for (I hope) post on the language I created for my world, or more precisely, one of the countries in it.
I will warn you, as much as I’ll try to keep it interesting and un-technical, this may be a little dry.
It evolved from a single phrase which came to me at work while I was sweeping the floor at the end of the day, se emilse e asru, which translates to ‘like a phoenix from the ashes’ which sort of applied to a story element in one of my works. From there, I created a list of basic words; nouns, determiners and unconjugated verbs. These were based on what the people a) needed and used in everyday life and b) also reflected the history of the people. For example, nenn means horse and while most of the population is urbanised at the time my tales occur, the Fariliens were originally nomadic people who relied upon horses for their survival. From there, I devised a system to conjugate verbs in a few tenses; present, past and simple future. These are the simplest and most commonly used tenses in most languages. After this step, I expanded the types of tenses and noted the differences between regular and irregular verbs. I also realised that the pronouns weren’t used in spoken situations but were in written or formal circumstances. For example, fi orenai means ‘I love’ but because the endings of each conjugation and tense vary, one can say orenai and convey the same meaning. Overall, the grammar is based on French with a few Italian and English influences. After that I let it sit for a while but this semester, while studying world phonology for uni I wrote up a phonological chart and when I have more time on my hands, I’m planning to do a full phonological analysis to make sure that my randomly made up words make logical sense. Yep, that’s what I do for fun.
In hindsight, and after having studied linguistics further, I’m aware that the language I have created is lacking complexity and follows a very basic English syntax. I plan to authenticate it a bit further over the summer (or winter for those of you in the northern hemisphere).
To give you an example of how long the above process took me, I’ve been working on it for about a year, more off than on. It takes a lot of time and research and if you’re planning to create your own language seriously then I would recommend reading up on linguistics and the differences between the languages of the world, how they change and evolve and why they are what they are. Hopefully this has been interesting an enlightening on some level. 🙂
On another note, NaNoWriMo is only a few days ago and I’d love as many writing buddies as possible. My user name is Amelia Browne. 🙂
And as they say in Fariel, saama sare saafel, May all your days be summer days! 🙂