Phonetics and phonolgy

Last week we discussed choosing a language as a base from which to create your own, this week we will discuss the next step in the process which is choosing phonetics and developing phonology.
Now phonetics referrers to the sounds of speech while phonology is concerned with the grammatical characterization of sounds, in simpler terms we are looking at creating an alphabet.
To begin you will need to research the language which you have chosen as a base to discover how their alphabet already stands, this includes the grouping of consonants together to create specific phonetics similarly there may be particular vowel combinations and vowel and consonant combinations which hold their own phonetics.
If you are combining several languages in order to create your own here you will want to compare the phonologies and choose which phonetics and combinations you want to keep and which you want to change.  For example in Welsh ae, ai, and au are pronounced as eye while in Cornish ai is pronounced a as in made and au is pronounced a as in dance therefore you may choose only one combination ae to represent the eye sound then replace all instances of ai and au in your Welsh words with ae, you may then wish to do the same with your Cornish words thereby loosing the Cornish ai and au sound or you could substitute them with a regular a or keep them as they are, the choice is yours.
If you wanted you could even substitute existing phonetics and combinations with ones of your own imagination, just keep in mind that most likely people will be reading your work in English so unless you want people to be forever mispronouncing words choose combinations which are familiar enough for people to guess at their pronunciation.
Once you have gone through all the existing phonology and chosen what to keep and what to change I find it useful to write it out as such.
a = hat             d = door
ae = eye          dh = think
e = set              ff = find
ei = fate           g = good
When are finished you will have your own phonology and be one step closer to having your own language. Next week we will discuss how to create a writing system for your language for those who wish to write their language in more than just the Roman alphabet.


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