I'm coming at this with a limited grasp of some European languages and for my world I'm faced with the daunting task of creating anywhere between 9 and 2000 languages (we never pick easy projects do we!?). They're nearly all for humans or at least humanoids.

So far most of the characters speak "common" with the odd phrase thrown around in the local tongue. Typically I sort of feel what a language should sound like (sing song, rough, playful, eloquent) type some random words (roughly matching the number of words of what I want them to say) and move on.

This isn't sustainable.

For starters I know I have no sort of dictionary for these languages, secondly I know I'm missing all sorts of rather important things like tenses.

Is there an established technique or procedure for creating, maintaining and developing a new language from scratch? What bullet point steps do the experts follow?

  • $\begingroup$ At the moment this feels far too broad, I think there is a core of a good question here though. Maybe try and narrow down the requirements a bit or split it into multiple smaller questions? $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Sep 25, 2014 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, this is just too broad. It completely fails the "book test" and needs to be narrowed down a lot to fit within the Stack Exchange framework. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Sep 25, 2014 at 11:09
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough - newbie question not quite realising the scale. Unless someone can recommend a way to bring down the scope a lot then let's close it as "Too Broad" $\endgroup$
    – Liath
    Sep 25, 2014 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ Given the history and breadth of constructed languages, this is both too broad and too opinion-based (every answer presenting an existing framework would be equally valid) for Stack Exchange to encompass. $\endgroup$
    – BESW
    Sep 25, 2014 at 11:15
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    $\begingroup$ A type of question that would be more likely to fit within the Stack Exchange format is "I'm designing a grammar for a constructed language; what word classes are generally necessary to convey meaning and why is each required?". However, that wouldn't give the overall picture which I feel is what you seek. This is perhaps the type of question you would want to bring up in chat to try to break down into managable chunks. We also have some precedent here (might be a duplicate of this) and here. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Sep 25, 2014 at 11:28


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