m. c. de marco: The Accidental Conlanger
The reference section is brought to you by the letter ŋ. Formerly an allophone of /n/ before /g/, /ŋ/ became phonetic in English when final /g/ became silent in words like “sing” /sɪŋ/. Cf. “sin”, /sɪn/.
Most of the following links were or will be included in the main text of The Accidental Conlanger.
- Essays on Language Design by Rick Morneau is one of my favorite resources. Although the essays are not structured as a guide per se, they cover most of the standard topics.
- The Language Construction Kit is the standard conlanging reference and just the sort of thing that The Accidental Conlanger is meant to replace.
- A Naming Language by Jeffrey Henning is a construction-heavy approach to creating a naming language, with an extensive discussion of the meanings of first names and place names in English.
- Create A Language Clinic by Holly Lisle is the resource most like The Accidental Conlanger. One of many resources for writers available at her website, the Clinic’s first three chapters are free online; the rest of the book is for sale in ebook or print format. Judging from the free chapters, I would say that it’s more of a step-by-step cookbook than The Accidental Conlanger. I cannot comment on the subsequent linguistic content, but Eskimo words for snow are mentioned early on.
- Geoff’s Artificial Languages Page had various handy links, both internal and external. Note especially the vowel survey and transcription pages.
- Ardalambion: Of the Tongues of Arda, the invented world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Some information is also available in The Encyclopedia of Arda.
- Futurese, a variety of future Englishes by Justin B. Rye
- NameVoyager from The Baby Name Wizard gives usage statistics for the last hundred and twenty years.
- See also the U.S. census surname data.
- Chris Pound’s Language Machines has perl scripts to generate names and words in a few different ways.
- J. K. Hoffman provides invaluable online tools based on Chris Pound’s scripts and others. The working tools include a Conlang Word Maker using a specified syllable structure and a Custom Conlang Word Generator using any text input.
- Zompist’s Sound Change Applier, a downloadable tool for applying specified sound shifts.
- Kwet is a perl script based on Chris Pound’s werd.
- Wikipedia has a list of conlanging references.
See my amazon store for these and other books mentioned in The Accidental Conlanger.
- The Unfolding of Language by Guy Deutscher is a great read, especially if you’re curious about the origin of language in general and of Semitic languages in particular.
- Historical Linguistics: An Introduction by Lyle Campbell is a reasonably-priced textbook with a focus on doing historical linguistics that makes it a useful resource for conlangers, especially those interested in language change.
- Create A Language Clinic by Holly Lisle was described in the section on online resources.