Re: Good reads for the novice conlanger?
|From:||Herman Miller <hmiller@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 7, 2002, 4:06|
> my other suggestion is just borrowing self-teaching
> books on various natlangs ( or reading them in
> bookshops ) as a good way of finding out
> possibilities. that was ( and still is to some extent
> ) my method anyway ). it's worth going for obscure
> from time to time tho !
If you can find self-teaching books on it, it's probably not very
obscure! But yes, learning about natlangs (especially non-Indo-European
ones) is a great way to get ideas. Try to actually learn enough of a
language (for instance, Japanese) to understand the way sentences are
put together and how the meaning of the words differs from English.
Japanese is a good one since it's so fundamentally different from
English in many ways and easy to find documentation on; Arabic, Chinese,
Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Korean, Swahili, and Turkish are
other possibilities. One of the nice things about Thomas Payne's
_Describing Morphosyntax_, which as others have mentioned is a favorite
among conlangers, is that it gives lots of examples in less familiar
languages like Panare and Yup'ik.
For writing systems, Peter T. Daniels & William Bright's book _The
World's Writing Systems_ is a nice reference.