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Re: probably a bloody obvious question...

From:Marcus Smith <smithma@...>
Date:Sunday, August 20, 2000, 22:05
Yoon Ha Lee wrote:

>When y'all design languages, do you have a checklist or template you work >from? I'm using the Language Construction Kit and Pablo Flores' pages >for now--I find them an easy-to-use starting point due to my lack of >experience.
When I first started conlanging I used a checklist. I moved down the list, filling in details as I went. Nouns: Gender? If so, what types. Case: How many? which ones? (Zero was not an option back then) Dual or no dual? (Plural was a given). Post- or prepositions? Adjectives: Which features does it agree with the noun for? Noun-Adj or Adj-Noun Verbs: Which tenses? Agreement forms? Which moods? Aspect? I began to feel like I was just assembling things, rather than creating, so I abandoned checklists completely. Now I take a much more "organic" approach. I start with a basic idea of a couple features, and pursue it, devising new traits as they come along. I have gaps in basic areas following this procedure, but I'm filling them in as I write my grammar. Marcus