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World Building and Story Development
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Culture Aspect: Language

Language is the tool of communication. When you build your world, you must remember how languages develop.

1. Languages develop slowly, over a period of 250 to 500 years, depending on the amount of cultural intervention and
the sophistication of your people.

2. Each country will have its own local language, or at least its own dialect.

3. Large areas (multiple nations?) will share a common "lingua franca" that is used for trade and for interregional friendships and diplomacy.

4. When selecting languages, make sure the places of an area reflect the sounds of the local language. The locals or the recent local conquerers tend to do the naming of all towns and landmarks of an area. It doesn't make sense to name a town "Park Grove" if the people speak a language that sounds like "Agamtha miyk rampent tovain talkeent.", if you see what I mean.

5. Languages do reflect some of the religious values of the speakers. In English, the word "God" has a masculine connotation because the church taught that "God" was pretty much a guy in the end and so "he","him", and "his" come before "she", "her", and "hers" in proper grammar. This is because for a long time, men were more valued and more important than women because women were thought to be the root of all evil.

6. Most languages have a written form if the culture it derives from is beyond the hunter-gatherer stage. You need to create an alphabet that reflects the nature of the culture from which the language was taken.

7. Languages from close by areas tend to be related. They will have similar sounds and grammatical rules.

8. A language tree should be developed to describe the breaking away of various languages over time. For example, my world (Kylandral) Started with one - The Landers. Then it moved into two "Tecolandral" and "Kylowem". This was because without technology, over time the people's speech patterns shifted. It also reflected the areas in which the two groups lived. As people move they take their language with them, but it changes. See the differences between "American English" and and "Cockney" for an example. Another example of this would be the difference between Mexican Spanish and Castilian Spanish.

9. Languages always have professional lexicons. The words a blacksmith might use when talking "shop" won't be the same as a sailor's word. Hobbies and interests operate the same way. There is also a "generational" slang found in most languages.

10. There are always expressive words for joy and displeasure. These words are considered not to be used by the superior people. (The words are uncouth.) Basically, every language has its own curse words.

11. Languages with few letters tend to have longer words. This is because of the need for repeating the limited number of available syllables of the language to create each word as an individual concept.

You must see the language lesson. It has a comprehensive language invention lesson with information on sounds, vocal production, ect.

I have a list of the 5,000 most common words in the english language if your froggy like me and want to invent your languages.





Language Lesson

5,000 Most Common English Words

Prefixes and Suffixes

Naming Places and People

Anything to say? Questions?
Email me at ciarinegadrine@yahoo.com
or my space me at ciarinegadrine. .