A natural progression from world building. That is, if you’re me. I have always been, and will probably always be, a linguistic enthusiast. From around the age of four, I would beg my mother to teach me French. When older, I would beg my friends to create secret languages with me. They weren’t as willing as my mother.
So I started creating languages in my writing. At first, they were just made-up naming words, with no reason or rhyme.
Then, for NaNo10, I used English and French for a basis of the language my three princess protagonists were found speaking. Still, although I had a vague idea of how the language worked, it probably wouldn’t be anything you could learn.
This year, I’m writing Elvish. I’m using Mark Rosenfelder’s Language Construction Kit, which is great. The start was a little technical, even though it was all information I had already learnt :S but the guide gives you a lot of advice and walks you through the steps of creating a language (short of actually making up words for you!) It also lists what not to do.
Rosenfelder has made up a fair few languages before and he’s not above pointing out mistakes he’s made that we might want to avoid.
Thanks to the guide and about five hours of research and other work, I have decided that Elvish as my elves speak it will be a language that uses both characters and an alphabet. The alphabet is pretty much created – okay, so I cheated a bit, I based it off ancient Latin, with the slightest hint of an Irish Gaelic twist – and I have some personal pronoun characters sorted as well. I’ve also managed to create some language protocol (never, EVER use a humans name) and gotten rid of some English pronouns.
I don’t know how much Elvish will even be used in my story, but I’m having fun 🙂