Name construction

Now that we have developed our language we can finally reach the point of doing so and that is to name places in your world.

There are several ways that you can do this the first is by researching the language base that you used in order to find out whether or not they already have an existing way of naming. For examples in Japanese there are several words which are used in combination to create names and these are descriptive thus you construct a name by describing the place.

Michi = road and kawa = river, thus you get Michikawa similarly shin = new and –juku = post or station, thus you get Shinjuku. Old English is similar for example Bradford is made up of brad which means broad and ford which of course means a crossing of a river and Portsmouth which means a port at the mouth of a river.

The second way is by creating a list of your own words that you can use for naming, if the language you have chosen either doesn’t have one or you do not wish to use it. To begin compile a list of directional words such as east, west, inner, outer, followed by descriptive words such as high, low, wide, narrow. After this I choose words that relate to nature for example forest, river, mountain and then ones relating to man made things such as bridge, city, wall etc.

With this list you can begin combining words in order to make names. I find that setting up rules for yourself helps. For example you may decide that all main cities begin with City of Description and all small towns contain the word for town in them either as a standalone like above or as a prefix or suffix, Description Town, Descriptiontown, or Towndescription.

During this process you may find that you need to make some calls on certain aspects of your language, you may need to set rules relating to morphology which involves making decisions on how you wish to represent words like lightness, lights, and lighter. You will also need to decide upon which articles to use, the, of, and, a, and possessive words such as with and from. Then as you can see from above you need to decide upon the syntax how you will arrange the names, which words are suffixes, with are prefixes, where does the article sit.
In a project of my own I decide that when naming things the articles would sit between the two descriptive words for example Dinas o Taran, city of thunder. For towns I chose to use the word trev which means town as either a standalone prefix or an attached suffix for example Trev Cudh and Ogovtrev.
You might also decide to combine descriptive words into one word such as silver and river which would be Avonarian or Arianavon. In some cases using this method you may find double ups of vowels or consonants in which case you may choose to drop one for example combining rhad and dyn instead of rhaddyn you drop one d to make rhadyn. For visual and pronunciation preferences in some special cases you may wish to drop letters off the beginning or the end of words which you are combining, Gollaerei becomes Ollaerei and Brenindyn becomes Brendyn.
In the end the choice is yours just remember when using an existing way of naming or gathering your own word list to alter the words according to the previous changes you have made to the language when you developed your own version of it.
Next week we will look at aspects of language which can help you develop a sense of culture we will do this by looking at patterns of speech and phrasing.


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