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Re: Some conlang questions

From:Joseph Fatula <fatula3@...>
Date:Saturday, December 28, 2002, 10:41
From: "A. Ingram" <red_grass23@...>
Sent: Friday, December 27, 2002 11:57 PM

> >I'm starting with a classical language then working on dialects from
> >The classical language is based on a proto-language. Somewhere on the net > >there's (at least one) place where the vowels of Indo-European are > reflected > >in its branches. I need to find that, because I wanna know myself.... > > how would one go about making up dialects? i know that dialects are > phonetic variations (?). Would one just modify the sounds a little bit, or > is there more to a dialect than that?
I find that it's best to think of dialects as different languages that happen to be generally similar to a different dialect/language. At least enough that you could say, "yeah, I'd imagine the people who speak this one would be able to understand that one". Usually when I'm making up separate dialects I stop the sound changes at a form just before the modern "standard" dialect. Then I make up different changes to apply, forming other dialects. Occasionally they have different grammatical forms than the other dialects, though more often the greatest differences are through borrowings from other languages. And from there it only continues to diverge in most cases. Though in a few instances, where I've had two dialects of a language in a place, they've sort of merged into a new dialect, as they weren't that far apart to begin with. This sort of thing really obscures the relationship between different independant languages that were once dialects of each other.
> i think that constructing some sort > of world and history of the world would be good for giving a backbone to a > conlang. it doesn't even have to be fantasy. richard kennaway's page has > many useful links. what do you think about constructing worlds?
I'm not sure how making up a world could be done without it being fantasy. Unless you mean historical fiction, where you just use the world that already exists, but change it at some point.