With this blog, I intend to do several things.
At the top of the blog, there are several tabs. ‘Book’ will hold each scene of each chapter of the books in this series, as they are written. Some scenes will be kept private, only to be read by friends, proofreaders, and editors, but a large number of them will be public. As well, the more completed a scene becomes, the more likely it is that it will be made public. The first book is tentatively titled ‘At the Edge of the Sky’.
‘World’, over time, will come to resemble a Wikipedia style Encyclopedia about the world featured in these books, including a history of the world, a summary of the nations and people, and an independent archive for the languages, as well as dialectal variations.
In the blog posts I will provide a basic primer in each area of linguistics, and explore the necessary qualities a language must possess in each of those areas, as well as some of the optional ones. I will cover, in approximately this order (with deviation according to my interests at a given time), the following topics with respect to language in general, but with a focus on how they are exhibited in my constructed language, which I shall call The Old Tongue, or Ercethï, depending on the context.
- What are the qualities used to categorize possible human sounds?
- What possible sounds exist in the language?
- What possible syllables exist in the language?
- What symbols represent which sounds?
- What conditions prompt changes in symbols?
- What does the basic noun unit look like?
- What does the basic verb unit look like?
- What other basic units exist?
- Can verbs be represented as adjectives? As nouns?
- What word order rules hold?
- What makes up a constituent?
- When and why is movement possible?
- How are arguments allocated within predicates?
- How are sentences parsed?
Semantics – TBD
Pragmatics – TBD
Once this primer is complete, I will investigate an interesting feature, should it arise, and explain how some languages deal with it, and as well, how my constructed language deals with it. I will try to sample a number of languages, but the only languages I know even decently well are English, Latin, Greek, Quenya and Klingon, so for other languages, I will rely on external sources, whether they be grammar books, fluent friends, or lessons.
My hope is both to exhibit my language and to test it. Should I find a feature uncovered by Ercethï, I shall alter it, or create a whole new mechanism to deal with this.
Finally, I shall occasionally discuss issues related to Science-Fiction and/or Fantasy.
For any of the language related posts, unless you have some knowledge of linguistics (a rudimentary amount should suffice in most cases), I recommend you read through them in the order they are written, especially those that appear to be part of a series.