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Re: Making your language sound nice

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Saturday, June 14, 2008, 19:34
Hi, Michael; welcome to the list.

We've had several discussions over the years about the aesthetics of our
languages. We've never come to a consensus as to what sounds good or not;
everybody is different. But I am also struggling with almost the exact
problem you have right now (i.e., making case forms sound "right" no matter
what word they're attached to). One thing you might consider is adding some
irregularity (I'm sure David Peterson will have some thoughts about this as
well). So for words that don't sound good, change them to something that
sounds better. After you collect enough examples of these, you might
discover a pattern to what sounds good or not and you'll be able to make
more principled, global changes. So if the '-ol' sequence is what bugs you
about 'chalol', your solution might be to change it to something like '-au';
if you find that '-ol' bugs you in other places as well, you might be able
to make a global change and change it everywhere.

I see that David did in fact chime in with another suggestion. So now you
have two options!


On Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 12:26 PM, Michael Martin <masonheart@...>

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