Language 101

Today we’re going to talk a bit about language. Unless you’re writing a book that takes place here on Earth in either modern or historical times, odds are your characters won’t be speaking English. You probably won’t want to create an entire language for your kingdom, but an idea of how their language works and a few words might be helpful.

As a start, briefly study some languages other than English. Look into grammar rules such as word order and punctuation. As one example take a look at some information on Irish Gaelic, one of the most interesting-and most ancient-human languages. I’ll throw out a link for some Japanese Grammar too while we’re at it.

Making Stuff Up

This isn’t a language making course, though one (or a dozen) could easily be created. I’ve got a couple of questions for you and another link I hope you’ll find useful, and then we’ll move on for the day.

1. Does this language use the same alphabet? Is it missing letters? Is your language made up of the same letters as ours? Is it the English alphabet with some changes? (Think of how German doesn’t have a W) How are those sounds made?

2. Is it a hard language or a soft language? Do your characters speak with harder accents? Is there a focus on hard consonant sounds or soft consonant sounds?

3. What are your vowels? What do they sound like? How are they made? What do they look like on paper?

You could spend days and days working on a language, and if you’d like to, check out The Language Construction Kit.

Today’s Prompt: Write 500 words about Language from your main character’s point of view. Post your first paragraph.

Check out yesterday’s post: <a href=http://www.fictionalworlds.net/prompt-and-questions/]Prompt&Questions.

Advertisements

About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on January 7, 2011, in Novels, Prompts, Workshops, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: