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How To Learn Sign Language

Language Creation: The Basics

Youtube! Edgar here and welcome to Artifexian Here you will learn everything you ever wanted
to know about worldbuilding And then some There are arguably 6 steps one must go through
in order to create a constructed language Or conlang for short 1) Select the sounds your language uses 2) Create a lexicon 3) Create grammar 4) Design an alphabet 5) Modify it for handwriting And finally 6) Begin writing and translating text in your
language Notice step 1 does not state – chuck a whole
load of letters on a page Sprinkle in some apostrophes and diacritic
marks Set a pronunciation and boom Language complete Despite what you may have read in some fantasy
novels and comic books this right here is utter nonsense Forget about letters and alphabets In the beginning there are only sounds Broadly speaking, sounds or phones exist in
two forms Consonants and vowels The IPA or international phonetic alphabet
is a collection of all the possible sounds humans can produce With each unique sound represent by a unique
symbol People in cliques tend to circlejerk. The english letter [c] as in clique and [c]
as in circlejerk representing two totally different sounds In IPA we have a separate symbol for each
of these sounds Throughout these videos I’ll put english
words and the english representation of certain sounds in quotes and the IPA symbols in square
brackets Anyways back to the IPA chart Consonants are here, vowels are here Diacritics or sound modifiers are here Suprasegmentals like length, stress, intonation
and rhythm indicators go here Good con-langers will select a set of sounds
from this chart to use in their language A phonemic inventory if you will Having a fixed phonemic inventory that can
constantly be referred back to when creating words will ensure that your language has an
strong internal consistency Now the selection process of what sounds go
into your inventory should NOT be a random If you are writing a novel and you want your
readers to be actually able to speak your language aim for familiarity Choose sounds that a broad demographic of
people will be able to a) recognise and b) easily produce So stay away from sounds like Xhosa or Qongqotwane Same idea perhaps even more so applies when
creating auxiliary languages like, esperanto and Interlingua Maximum familiarity is key here For example I dont speak interlingua but I’m
pretty sure this text reads Esseva in le mundo scientific – specialmente
le branca medical – Que interlingua vermente se monstrava utile
post su apparition in 1951 And even if I’m pronouncing it entirely incorrectly I’m still getting a feel for what is being
conveyed Something about the use of interlingua after
1951 in the scientific world, especially in medicine Another way for making a conlang seem familiar
yet sufficiently different is to modify existing phonologies Imagine english without a [b] or [l] sound Or german with a [cya] and [gya] sound I’m a staunch advocate of less is more when
it comes to sounds so in terms of adding to or subtracting from existing phonologies The removal of features always trumps the
addition of features Why? Well sound is very much like color Using all possible colors in a single painting
will lead to characterless sludgy mess By limited his color palate a painter imposes
upon himself creative restraints which can lead to greater clarity and beauty Language is no different Less is more That said !Xóõ spoken in parts of Botswana
may depending on how you’re counting Feature up to 141 distinct phonemes Whereas Central Rotokas and Piraha feature
as few as wait for it 11 distinct phonemes Granted this is an oversimplified statement
but it does demonstrate the varying scope of phonemic inventories Another factor determining what sounds your
phonemic inventory can contain is biology If your speaker is human then this isn’t a
huge concern Things change when it comes to aliens though Perhaps your language will be spoken by an
alien race that have no lips so can’t produce sounds like ba, wa or pa Or no teeth so sounds like da and ta are out Or maybe they can’t produce nasal sounds because
they lack a nose On the other hand they may have two or more
vocal tracts and can produce sounds unfathomable to us earthlings Perhaps their mouths are shaped in such a
way as to allow for more places of articulation Or maybe their airstream is different High velocity airflow could produce high pitched
sounds and emphatic consonants Again I would advise less is more Your earthling readers aren’t going to dedicate
time to evolving a second vocal tract just to be able to speak your language None the less this all needs to be considered So regardless of why and for who The creation of a internally consistent language
starts with some solid sound selection With that in mind the next few videos will
take you through most if not all the sounds a human can produce So you can make an informed choice as to which
sounds are in and which are out Stay tuned! Good morning interweb I hope you enjoyed the first Artifexian video
ever to deal with linguistics This is some seriously uncharted territory
for me so any would be much appreciated Let me know what you think about all of this
in the comments Oh and incase anyone missed last weeks video I launched a podcast If you’re interested go click the yellow
box for more As always if you want more Artifexian content
in video click the links below me And finally if you think I deserved it Hit the like button And maybe give me a subscribe And I will see you next time Thank you all so much for watching Edgar out!

100 Replies to “Language Creation: The Basics”

  • G''ih emfimd 'im romji, g''ihej emfemdeyj , g'of emfimd, g'ofayj emfemdeyj, g''emfimdi, gij 'emfimdeyj, g'emfimd, gij'emfeymdej, g'emfimdlwi, gij'emfemdlweyj, g'al emfimd, g'aloyj emfemdeyj, gi semfimd, gij semfeymdej, gi semfimdi, gij semfimdeyj, g'emfimdejelel, g'emfimdeleyjeleyj….semfimdelejeleanomakwomaingohahoyjeik !

  • I am trying now to create my language, Navilese. Not named after Na'vi though. Named after my favorite color: Navy blue. Any tips on it?

  • you don't need to create a writing system to create a language. creating a language does not require creating an alphabet or creating a writing system. you can use an already existing writing system.

  • me at first, "dang, I started work on the alphabet before I chose sounds." then shows the IPA, "oh, wait, no I didn't. that was the WHOLE REASON I started this project" (literally 98% of the sounds that American speakers use are in my conlang.) I should also probably puase my work on it until I finish this guy's series.

  • Makes me think that front a practicality perspective, the ideal Conlang for your world would be an in-universe auxlang

  • When I made a language for a subspecies of human in a book, I skipped the making words stage. There were the consonants P,T,K,H,M,S,F, and L, glottal stops replaced spaces, and A,O, and I were the only vowels (written as diacritics above the consonants). The only rules were that you take an english word, strip it of vowels, change consonants, and add vowels in so that every word goes CVCVCVCV… , this made it so that I could distinguish accent by making it a dialect, as there weren't any rules on which vowels go there. (I couldn't be bothered to make the book, so that's why I posted it here)

  • Note that the ordering is only relevant if the creatures that speak it are somewhat human-like. It is not hard to imagine a creature that might develop a written language before a verbal one due to anatomical priorities, or uses senses like magnetoreception to communicate. Heck, even Chinese has a written language that has nothing to do with how it's spoken (and thus Chinese is a shared written language but there are multiple spoken languages within it), which some might consider pretty odd and outside the scope of this video.

    As for accessibility of these sorts of things, I highly recommend "Surfacing" by Walter Jon Williams, which features a scientist who talks to whales, for insight into how extremely foreign languages can be expressed in writing.

  • Stay away from rare sounds like: names two sounds I have in my conlang
    …Feck …
    Edit: Well I removed one of the sounds, but I refuse to remove the other. (I kept "!")

  • The advice about using easy-to-pronounce-sounds is applicable only if you are aiming for your audience to pick up your language. However, if that is not your aim, if your aim is pure fun, you might consider the rarer sounds or sounds that require 2 vocal tracts 😉

  • Ok I want to create a language which share it's vocabulary words between Cherokee and Japanese and I want it's alphabet to be a syllabery system similar to Cherokee and Japanese

  • Yo what about sounds not created with your mouth? I think I'm gonna put a clapping or tapping into my language, just to mean something simple.

  • This is an old video, and I'm sure it's been addressed before, but the graphic in the intro is a stylized form of Ogham, isn't it?

  • Does this sound authentic?

    Rinti rethko raks uryat o nuyat, fe satoi-fe nar bllayoi kri!
    Kri-fe she arno nak kri-she she oras, fe ryyu she kri rayat!

    Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see!

  • Do you know anyone who is deconstructing music (like you deconstruct language) and using the subunits to create alien music?

  • vh’lũtz̥
    vh’l (b) v is silent, h with ’ is pronounced b, l is silent
    ũ – ◌̃ means open and move back
    tz̥ – special case, pronounced b

  • I am writing a book and am curious as how to avoid the reader pronouncing ‘ph’ as ‘f’, and rather as separate letters. Any ideas?

  • I made a conlang for my story, which is spoken by a race named "Magmer", a humanoid race with skin that is very close to straight up rock.

  • The IPA is NOT a collection of ALL possible sounds humans can produce (with there mouth). Me as a beatboxer, I can do a lot of more sounds.

  • I have a question does a conlang have to be completely logical? Because right now mine is looking a little odd. (I asked here because i couldn't find anything on google)

  • Well what I do is this:
    Forst create an alphabet or something similar then I assign each "letter" a dound, similar letters similar sounds (sometimes i do not respect this but meh) sometimes I make signs that are the same looking as latin alphabet letters the same like M is the sound [M] because it makes it easier for me to speak it whivh helps me continuing the language (I once made a conlang inspired on cyrillic and the thing is the sounds were assigned kinda randomly so I would have signs similar to latin and cyrillic signs but that sound completely different and it messed me up so much, I ended up abandoning the conlang, though I had a pretty extent vocabulary and the basic grammar done, I just lost motivation, trying to learn russian helped reduce my motivation because I saw how little "slavic" it sounded, and it was SUPPOSED to sound slavic or at leats russian so yeah…)

  • I noticed that if you actually pronounce all Ss while you're speaking english, it can sound funny. "Those Owls" or "Where is it?" for example. Say them!

  • Lol I'm trying to make a conlang for demons (as part of a bigger world-building project), related to the angelic language for obvious reasons. Currently I have most of the English IPA symbols, demonic "letters" for them, and have been creating words by trying out different sounds together and seeing what doesn't sound silly or too much like an existing language. Some words are related to human languages: for instance, the noun "ta'ah" (book) is meant to be an evolutionary ancestor to the proper noun "Torah," which I believe originated in Hebrew (with the Jewish people, of course). Some are based on onomatopoeia: the derogatory slang term for a human, "hoohan," is a blend of the English "human" and the sounds a money or ape stereotypically makes, ooh-ohh, ee-ee, and such.

    Seeing as there's currently 50ish individual sounds and 3 cases (lowercase, uppercase for sentence beginnings, and uppercase for proper nouns), I guess I'm kinda overdoing it. I'm afraid I'll end up sacrificing the intimidating strangeness I'm going for if I throw out too many sounds, though.

  • My conlang consists primarily of the farty sounds one can make by placing ones hand under the armpit and pumping the elbow. Various forms of face-licking, toe-stamping and shin-kicking used alongside these sounds add essential interpersonal nuances you may need when talking to a stranger, a child, a loved one or an employee/employer. In writing, these violent accompaniments are represented as diacritics.

    Unfortunately, the authorities in my country have taken a dim view of me speaking to strangers in this new tongue.

    In court last week, I entered a plea of… Prrp Bllllrp, [slurp] Prprprpr [shinkick] [toestamp] Blpblpblpblp [eyeball lick] !

    … I am due to appear next week for sentencing : /

  • Thus far, this seems like a really good course. And exactly what I needed!

    I want to learn to speak Dark Speech from Warhammer…problem is…it doesn't really exist. So I have to create it. lol
    Any tips you can give that pertains to that language, if you are familiar with it at all? It has a few words, and i know it's a concept language, so I suspect it will structure somewhat similar to japanese. (Tho with vastly different sounds, based off the Chaos Runes alphabeth.)

  • So basically make the language easy and familiar so people can learn it huh…..

    Thanks a lot. I did the complete opposite.

  • !Xóõ is actually pronounced taa. And Ubykh is the language with the most phonemes without using clicks.84 Consonants and 2 vowels and it calls itself twaxubza


    It's funny listening to examples of sounds, because many of them really aren't what I would intuitively expect.
    Perhaps that's a quirk of context or the person reading these examples…

    But for instance the IPA 'k' symbol, to my ears doesn't sound like any english 'k', (nor dutch or German or japanese – other languages I have some familiarity with) but instead sounds like a type of 'g' sound.

    Even more confusing IPA 'k' and 'g' are listed as the unvoiced and voiced velar plosives respectively.

    And what does 'g' sound like? it sounds like what I would interpret as k.

    So, comparing an IPA pronunciation guide with my own intuitive understanding of sounds results in k being g, and g being k.
    There's other examples too, but in not quite as odd as this pairing. (and most other such pairings involve characters where one or both of the pair is not one of the regular letters of the latin alphabet.

    Basically, be careful that you actually know what sounds the IPA contains, and that you're not mistakenly using ones that don't mean what you think they do. (which appears to be the case for 'k' as used in your video here.)

  • 1. Did this after making words, but done.
    2. Still building, but I have over 300 roots, a rather comprehensive conjugation system, a 4-way comparative system, and a lot of compound words
    3. Basic word order (SOV) and some rules for building sentences. I'm not done. I have to work on translating some preexisting writing in order to work out the things I don't have yet in grammar.
    4. I have 2 alphabets. One has letters that mostly look like modified latin letters (It's the one that is currently my avatar, and you can find in my pronunciation videos for names from my book) and one that is much more logical and, better yet, doesn't look anything like Latin… Also it's not made in syllable blocks so it was easy to make a font for. Vinhua will likely never be typable unless I have a REALLY dedicated fan someday, but Skulemte can not only be typed right now, but can easily transcribe English and be phonologically consistent.
    5. Skip! I mean, I don't even do cursive in English. What's to say that a language couldn't just be written print style all the time.
    6. I've done a bit of this. (Saja ta fiz vipanoka) I translated some lines in Diamond Spearhead into Vinkan so I could properly establish the language, especially whenever they listened to a dialect they didn't speak.

    Saja da sonbir gabkikite bozko. Ŕischa. Babv'rket da sajabir hua rebzul sazhbu humket. (I like your videos. Thank you. Please listen to my language someday)

  • This is the first conlang video I had ever watched, and I’d like to say thank you so much for getting me to where I am today.

  • 3:20
    This is the worst example of "Less is more" you could have possibly shown, this painting uses almost every colour.

  • The IPA doesn't have ALL sounds humans can produce. For example, i can trill my G's. That's not on there

  • What about Step Zero anger the Lord by deliberately ignoring his commands and build a tower trying to rip him out of heaven resulting in not being able understand your friends anymore

  • That sound that you make in the back of your mouth (sound like rumbling) is a good exotic sound. It's used in clingon

  • im sorry, but this makes 0 since to me. im trying soooo hard to make a conlang but its not working ;-;

  • I'm trying to create an alien language and I'm torn between following rules and saying fuck it, it's an alien language, why would their language follow our rules

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