On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 2:57 AM, Peter Bleackley <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Last night I was making up some words for Khangažyagon, trying to come up > with stuff to do with travel and geography. I often think of a word and then > work out what it means. I came up with the word "oplen", and couldn't work > out the meaning. I really wanted it to be a verb, and I convinced myself > that it would be a verb to do with travel, take the -ont form of the present > participle, and that the present participle would act as an agent noun, so > that it was probably a verb that could describe an occupation. But I still > couldn't work out what it actually meant. I went to bed thinking about it, > hoping that if I slept on it, inspiration would strike in the morning. > This morning I woke up, and I realised that "oplen" didn't want to be a > verb. It's a noun, and it means "glade". > > Anyone else had the experiences like this, where the conlang seems to be > telling you what to do? If my languages had minds of their own, they'd probably be able to think up some blasted vocabulary for themselves. :( Working on the "modern" languages still feels like tinkering and invention, weighing different ways of expressing certain grammatical categories (and which categories should be expressed) and so on. On the other hand, I've recently taken to finding diachronic rationales for various features, which feels more like discovery: figuring out what earlier forms of the language must have done and the changes that brought them to where they are "now".