On Fri, 29 Jun 2001, Robert Hailman wrote:

> "[Adam K. Shuck]" wrote:
> > Hey - this is Adam.  I'm not a new conlanger, but I was wondering if
> > anyone
> > had any tips to help me start up a new language.  I have some good
> > ideas, but
> > I can't seem to begin the outline of the language.  Thanks.
> Well, it's all up to you, but...
> Have you checked out Mark Rosenfelder's Language Construction Kit? I
> don't have the exact link handy, but you can get to it from
> That's a good place to start.

I second that recommendation.  And the outline below is a pretty good
approximation to how I work it.  :-)  I tend to start with phonology
because I want to be able to work with *sounds* before I can do anything
else.  My mind just doesn't handle abstracted patterns very well.

A book I've found very helpful in terms of offering questions for
contemplating/filling in is Thomas Payne's _Describing Morphosyntax_,
which was recommended at various points by various other members on the
list.  It's worth at least looking at if you can track down a copy.

> Generally, what I do is answer the most basic questions about the
> language: Is it agglutinating, isolating, or inflecting? What's the word
> order? What case system, if any, does it use? What's the phonology like?
> The orthography? And so on, and so on... Once all that's in place, I go
> into more depth into those areas, and fill in the gaps as they become
> apparent.