Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Tree Language: Word Building

The zompist.com Language Construction Kit goes into great detail when it comes to word building. Now that you have a working knowledge of the sounds and written letters or symbols of your made up language, the temptation is to go ahead and make up a bunch of words.

Unfortunately, doing so will result in at best a messy artificial language that does not resemble any natural language (which is a worry if you, like me, are making up a language not just for your own amusement but for use in a fictional world) or at worst, an incomprehensible 'language'.

The problem, as Mark Rosenfelder points out, is that most of the words in a sentence are 'function' or grammatical words that have very little meaning, with content words making up only 20% of every utterance.

What this means for me is that before I can go about the perhaps fun activity of making up words and writing them down in my Tree Dictionary, I have to worry about grammar.

And so today's post will be short. Because grammar is a massive undertaking, and one that needs to be introduced on its own. Until tomorrow, then!

The Tree Language So Far

Writing System