Choosing a language

Unless you have studied multiple languages and are a linguistical genius like J. R. Tolkien I think it is fair to say that building a language from scratch is beyond most of us. This however should not put you off from developing your own unique language for the world and the people you created.
At this point you may ask why do you even need your own language, well the simplest answer is that you need to name places and people in your world and for that you need a language. However that being said there is more to language than simply naming things for language often shapes culture and culture in turn shapes language. Therefore when you are choosing a language to base your new one on you want to be intentional about it, this means choosing a language that reflects something of the culture you are hoping to create. For example if your world is similar to medieval Europe you will want to choose a language from one of the European peoples of that time, similarly if you are creating a tribal people you will want to choose a tribal language from a people who dwell in a climate and landscape similar to the one you are creating.
I suggest that when you are choosing a language base that you choose either an ancient form of a language or two subsets of a language, for example you may choose Norse or you may choose to combine Norwegian and Icelandic which are both subsets of Norse. 
If you have multiple people groups in your world you will want to choose a language(s) to reflect each of them.  However this might not always be the case, as you can see from the above example often people groups become divided and over time their language and culture begins to change. If this is the case for your people you will want to research a language and its subsets in order to see how and where changes have occurred, this will then inform the development and changes in your own language. 
Over the next few weeks we will look at language construction in more depth from designing alphabets to patterns of speech.

0 comments: