John Vertical wrote: > There's a third choice too, sort of. I've found it useful to start at > least sketching history alreddy in the erly phases of a project; there's > the risk of getting sidetracked, but even a little preliminary work can > prevent having to do major retcons. I still primarily work backwards, > however, since 1) I like puzzles, and 2) I usually have a specific kind > of sound in mind for the present day language, and it's easier to > achieve it that way. So I'm not really starting from a proto-language, > but not really adding history to an existing language either. > > I'm afraid this'll be of little use in solving your current problems, > however. Right, the early stages of the Tirelat project were back in 1999, and I hadn't intended it to háve a history. :-) Admittedly, the puzzle aspects of this could be interesting to work out. I wonder if I can make sense of the fused time/evidential morphemes from some historical sequence of sound changes plus changes in meaning (with perhaps some borrowing from unrelated languages to fill any gaps in the system). On the other hand, any sound changes should have affected the rest of the morphology, which doesn't show any signs of it. But hopefully at least some of my recent projects -- I've already started looking into the history of Yasaro, for instance -- will be easier to work out. So I can just decide that /ki/ changed to /tSi/ at a particular point in history, and I don't already have a ton of /ki/ words in the existing vocabulary to account for. The few I have can be explained by other means, such as unstressed /e/ raising to /i/, which took place after the /k/ > /tS/ change. And even from the start of the Yasaro project, I'd already decided to use a historical explanation for tones similiar to what I've read about from the history of (the former) Serbo-Croatian.