Developing language subsets

As mentioned previously a language subset is a group of languages which originated from one original language, for example Welsh and Cornish are both subsets of the original Celtic language. Now if when you chose a language base you chose to mix two language subsets together during your research into those two languages you would have noticed the various changes which occurred to distinguish the two as separate languages. Typically these changes are ones of sound so the way in which people pronounce vowels or consonants or combinations may alter or the way that sounds are recorded may have change, the spelling.
Using Welsh and Cornish again as an example you can see that in Welsh ch is pronounced as a hard k such as in loch while in Cornish ch is pronounced in the English way as in church. As for changes of spelling in Welsh th is written as dd while in Cornish it is written as dh.
Armed with this knowledge you can begin to tweak the language you have created in order to create different subsets of it.
Another way to produce subsets is hybridization, what I mean by this is your world may include two or more people groups who have their own language which at some point in history intermarried forming a unique language of their own, a combination of the two. Here you can play around with sound changes and spelling changes again, I find that keeping the ones which resemble the one other is best and illuminating those which are different is a good way of making a new language.
For example in a project of my own there are two people groups whose languages became mixed as a new people group arose. The first group represents a as a – hat, ay – fate, ah – car, aw – raw, while the other represents a as a – hat and aa – fate, there was also a third which was a subset of the first having a as a – hat, ay – fate, and aw – raw, all of these influenced a new people group who adopted a simply as a – hat and fate. As you can see the sounds and written forms which were common in all three were kept while the rest were dropped.
This is a great way to build depth into your world and the people that inhabit it. Next we will discuss rules and formulas you can use to construct names of places within your world.


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