Print

Print


I was playing around with letter grids this morning
and stumbled onto a new way to generate roots for your
conlang.

Write out the alphabet across the page and down the
left hand column.  Graph paper works best.

In the first row write the alphabet in scrambled
order.
In the second row, shift that scrambled alphabet one
to the right.
Do the same in the thrid row, fourth row, and so on to
the 26th row.

The first few rows should look like this:

  ABCD EFGH IJKL MNOP QRST UVWX YZ
----------------------------------
A gcma fslz itxr ydbe hwnq vkpu jo
B ogcm afsl zitx rydb ehwn qvkp uj
C jogc mafs lzit xryd behw nqvk pu
D ujog cmaf slzi txry dbeh wnqv kp

E pujo gcma fslz itxr ydbe hwnq vk
F kpuj ogcm afsl zitx rydb ehwn qv
G vkpu jogc mafs lzit xryd behw nq
H qvkp ujog cmaf slzi txry dbeh wn

... and so on ...

Now take the word you need a root for and look up a
single letter in the table for each letter pair in the
word.

For example: "bird".

The first letter pair "bi" is found by find "B" in the
leftmost column and reading across to the column under
"I".  Where row B meets column I we find "Z", so that
is the first letter of our root.

Next we take the second pair from bird, "IR".  Row I
under cloumn R contains "T" which is the second letter
of our root.

Finally we look up row R under column D and find "Y".

So:
bird -> (bi) + (ir) + (rd) -> zty
bell -> azg
army -> wky
body -> dek

Just add vowels to taste and shake well.

The process can be repeated with longer words because
they get one letter shorter each time you do the
process:

horse -> zacy -> cmp
guitar -> bbrzw -> ghiu -> ccy -> gp
elephant -> zqrnqdl -> wcpadi -> ldras -> nbtq -> bnu

Of course if you do your scrambled alphabet in a
different order than mine you will get completely
different roots.

--gary