Conlanging 2020-05-17

By Max Woerner Chase

Today I mostly focused on reading more about phonology. I did take some time to migrate some of my old notes into the new repository. My basic plan is to sketch out grammatical details and work my way from there, combined with a mixture of plausible loanwords and generated ancient roots.

From my reading-up, I'm getting the impression that I can use the models I'm reading about to create a more fully-featured model of syllable structure than "whatever's there after the sound change rules are done". My dream here is to have a system that can encode information about the world, as well as language-specific constraints. This encoding would be predicative rather than constructive, both because I think that would be easier to tinker with, and because much of linguistics is concerned with reasoning about the acceptableness of possible sequences, or sometimes their marginal acceptableness. I want to make tinkering easy because I hope it's possible to make something that works both on human speech, and, say, on bird-like vocal systems, which it seems to me would have to have a different feature tree because they're not shaped the same.

Anyway, to make progress conlanging, I'm going to need to study historical linguistics more broadly, especially the notation. I've got ideas about changes in syntax over time, but I don't know how to represent those changes. I tried to track down some sources there immediately after typing that, but no dice. I should wrap up for now.

Good night.