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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Fictional Magic Language - creation

    Hello there, fellow language NERDs,

    I have been thinking for a while about creating a fictional "Magic" language (you know, the abracadabras that spellcasters use to manifest their power), to use for another future experiment.

    I am not sure this is the right section for it, but I think so. I wondered if any of you:

    - would be willing to share some of their real-life knowledge of languages, so that we could take inspiration from real-life examples (ACTUAL grammar forms) to build up our own language
    - would know some tools / software, already existing, that would help in the process
    - would like to collaborate in this probably pointless but potentially fun little project

    If I get some interest, I'll share the "ideas" that I have about the language.

    Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight EVERYTHING with fire!
    Jaya Ballard - Task Mage

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    lacco36's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Re: Fictional Magic Language - creation

    Okay, I'm in.

    I can volunteer my knowledge of Slovak, some German and just random vocabulary I collected while travelling around!

    So... where do we start?

    I think somebody mentioned a webpage that has a forum for languages, but I'll have to look for the specific thread.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Avatar comes from the talented linklele.
    Formerly GMing: Riddle of Steel: Soldiers of Fortune

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: Fictional Magic Language - creation

    Ahoj !

    Well, a good starting point would be the knowledge of tools ans spaces that (supposedly) already exist. Maybe people who will join this conversation might bring some info.

    In the meantime, I think I can share the "flavor" that I'd like to give to this fictional language.

    Spoiler: inflection (cases)
    I Love highly inflected languages (modern-day Slavic languages, old Latin, Hungarian...). They have such an "antique" touch to it. By inflection I mean that names have cases (Nominative - Genitive - Dative -Accusative...) and a different ending according to the "role" they have in the speech.

    I'd like our language to be somehow inflected, but NOT with the standard cases that you'll find in Indo-european languages (e.g. Slovak). The reason is: to convey all possible "roles" for a words, you need a combination of cases AND preposition (like in Slovak)... this would make it needlessly complicated (for an artificial language), because you could achieve the same result with prepositions alone.
    Like: if I say "vareniky so smotanA" rather than "vareniky so smotanOU", you would detect the error, it would sound weird, but you would still understand what I mean.

    Therefore, in our language the role in the sentence will be done by prepositions alone (like in English, Italian), to keep it simpler. So I propose
    - We use a very simple case system, basically Nominative - Accusative
    - The words will have a "gender" and a "number", which I will clarify later, that will generate variations on the endings of the word

    Spoiler: Affixes

    I'd like the words of our language to basically be a pure "root", to which you can assign prefixes and post-fixes. Those affixes will express the the "nature" of the world. Specifically, prefixes will express how the object IS, and post-fixes how the object is BECOMING.

    Suppose that the world for "fire" is:
    and that you have a set of affixes
    -dur- : raging
    -ama- : calm, soothing
    -wher- : wild, chaotic, out of control
    -lum- : diminishing

    Ama-smaldh means "calm, warm fire", like from a fireplace
    Ama-smaldh-e-dur means "the calm fire becomes aggressive and dangerous"

    This is just a poor example that I came up with, but it's just to clarify the concept. Notice the -e- in the second word, that is meant to facilitate pronunciation when putting together similar sounds.

    Spoiler: Gender

    For the gender, I'd like to divert from the standard Masculine - Feminine - Neutral of many Indo-European languages. I'd like a different type of "Mood", or "Polarity".
    How about the words, instead of being male and female, are North and South, or Yin and Yang, or Sun and Moon, or Active and Reactive...
    I imagine that every word can be either Neutral (pure root) or gain one of the two "poles" that we define
    Smaldh: fire, neutral
    Smaldhon: fire, pole 1
    Smaldhuin: fire, pole 2

    Spoiler: Number (singular/plural)

    I imagine the language of magic needs to identify with precision what things it targets and how many of them. This, given with the fact that I don't wont to use any "articles" (same as Slovak), would lead to having more than two possible numbers.

    Uncountable concept: Mousin - Tree, as a concept
    Singular, a specific item in sight: Mousiniu - That tree, the one that I see there
    Plural, non specific: Mousino - Many trees, all trees around
    Plural, specific group: Mousinor - That group of trees, more than one tree but not all trees, those trees except those others.

    Spoiler: Personal pronouns

    We need to define the various "I, YOU, HE, WE, SHE...".
    I'd like to take inspiration from the Polynesian languages, here. I think they have more pronouns than we have. They identify with more precision the "persons" that are referred. I'd like to have something similar, but not as complicated. For example

    ioi - We, all of us
    ion - We all, except the one I am talking to
    ijin - Me and you, the two of us, except the others

    ojo - They, all of them
    ojor - They, that group specifically, they except the others.

    This is to begin with. Then I'll add some info about the verbs and the adjectives.

    As for the sound that we want to give to the language...well, I honestly don't know. Do we want to go for "lovecraftian" guttural sounds? Do we want a "sweet", "elvish" type of speech? A bit of both? I was also thinking to make it sound a bit like old Greek, to preserve that "antique" charm... I am open to suggestions.

    I guess, for now, we can evaluate these ideas, brainstorm over them, see what is feasible and what not, and propose new things
    Of course you should fight fire with fire. You should fight EVERYTHING with fire!
    Jaya Ballard - Task Mage

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