Linguifex:Getting started

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So you've decided to start on your own constructed language. Congratulations!

So, what do I do first?

Well now, conlangers will often disagree on which particular approach is the best. Thus we have opted here to present the two most common ones and one more exotic variant.

  • i. Choose/Design a phonology (+phonotactics)
By deciding which sounds are allowed in a language and in which combinations you save yourself a lot of future headache!
Here you're able to experiment with different sound combinations until you find the one you personally find the most phonaesthetically pleasing.
  • ii. Work out a grammar sketch/outline
By deciding the grammar from the start of the project you will find yourself more secure in your writing in the future and you avoid running into the risk of just being a relex.
  • iii. The Shannon Method
This method consists of writing sentences, translating a corpus and then doing a gloss of the conlang translation.
By analysing (see glossing) that which you have written you are able to "discover" a grammar and morphology while working from subtle influences in your subconscious.
This is slightly more tedious than the previous methods as this requires you to practically internalise the grammar while you invent it.
It's also wickedly cool.
For a more in-depth example, please see Gary J. Shannon's original 30-day language challenge

Awesome! Where do I start making it?

You have several options. You may start describing it on a language page right here on Linguifex but this sort of requires you to have named the language. If you're not sure enough what to call it yet, perhaps having it in your personal sandbox (your userspace) and letting it mature a tad is something to be recommended!

If not, just use this box below and enter the language's name. Do you want to create a language? It can take a lot of work to make it presentable but the results are often amazing! To make your own language you need to decide on:

  • The phonology - the sounds of the language.
  • The grammar - the framework of the language.
  • The vocabulary - the words and dictionary of the language.

Enter a title in the box below to start creating your language.

For more information on linguistics see our guide and the linguistics section.