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Making your language sound nice

From:Michael Martin <masonheart@...>
Date:Saturday, June 14, 2008, 18:36
        I am a very amateur conlanger. I have been fiddling with making a
language for a few years now. I've lurked on this list and have read some
conlang related websites. I've been working on it on and off (mostly off). I
was doing pretty well developing my language, but then something happened
that has me kind of stumped. I've been able to come up with root words that
I like but sometimes when I modify these words using the grammar I developed
I end up with words that are hard to pronounce or even words that sound
terrible to my ears. It may be easier to explain by example.

        The word chalo (pronounced /tSAlOU/) is the nominative form of the
word meaning "child." The accusative form is chala /tSAlA/. So far, so good.
Now, I had this idea that other cases would be formed by adding a consonant
to the end of the word, so that it is possible to have a nominative and
accusative form of each of the other cases. For example, with the locative
suffix -l you can have a nominative-locative, -ol, and an
accusative-locative, -al. So, you can have the word, chalal /tSAlAl/ which
doesn't sound too bad, but the word chalol /tSAlOUl/ sounds kind of ugly to

        So what is the solution when your own grammar rules yield words that
sound terrible to you? Do you change the grammar? Change the suffix? Create
an irregular word? Or do I just need to practice harder at pronouncing my
own language?

        Are there sound harmony rules in languages that I should learn
about? I've read people talking about vowel harmony.

        It seems like no matter what I try I always end up with some
root-suffix combinations that sound really awful to me. Some advice would be


... ..... .......
Michael D. Martin (AKA: Masonheart)
Master Mason, S. W. Hackett #574
Free & Accepted Masons of California
... ..... .......


David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Douglas Treadwell <epicureanideal@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Edgard Bikelis <bikelis@...>
Michael Poxon <mike@...>