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Justin Gagnon wrote:
> 	Once the phonology, culture and general grammar is decided for an a priori conlang, how do you get around to making up thousands of words? It seems like after a few hours of invention they would just all start sounding like each other and one might end up even using the same word twice, or forgetting which words they've already assigned and giving two translations for the same word. How do you, general conlang community, get around this problem?
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> -Justin
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>    
I know exactly what you mean about ending up with words from a 
particular work session all sounding the same. I get around that by not 
spending hours inventing words and not inventing words in list format. 
(That is to say, I don't start with a list of concepts and then go down 
the list and invent words for each.) I sometimes end up with lists of 
related words because I've been walking around thinking about just the 
right words for days (or weeks, in the recent case of words for 
tableware), but mostly I come up with new words very slowly as I need 
them.  I have done lists of words in the past for expedience, and I 
found that it works best if I have a set of pre-constructed words and 
then sort of match those up with the words on the list.

These days I keep track of vocabulary in a searchable form (text 
document, spreadsheet, whatever) so I can search for either the conlang 
word I have in mind (to see if I've used it) or I can search for 
something in the definition to see if I already have a word for what I 
am trying to say. This has made everything easier.

But what I used to do when I worked only on paper and I found that I'd 
used the same word used twice was to just reassign one of those words, 
and if I had two words that meant the same thing, I'd vary the meaning 
of one of them slightly in a way that wouldn't significantly change the 
meaning of my existing texts.  For instance, if I had two words for 
'dinner plate', one of  them might end up meaning 'flat dinner plate' 
and the other 'shallow, plate-like bowl'... And then later there might 
be other words related to those-- perhaps 'shallow, plate-like bowl' and 
'shallow impression in the ground' would be related, for instance.

On a tangent about method, once upon a  time, back when I worked pretty 
exclusively on paper, I didn't follow the common 'phonology, basic 
grammar, then words' sort of method for creating languages. In fact, 
other than deciding basic word order and what general sort of language 
it might be (agglutinative, isolating, whatever), I didn't actually 
write a grammar at all. I wrote a lot of notes in margins and many, many 
sample sentences illustrating different constructions (often with 
additional notes and explanations written in a way decipherable only by 
me). This turned out to work pretty well for me, and was really good for 
my fluency at that point, since I was writing in the language all the 
time. I also kept a simple journal in the language, and would go back 
later and look for mistakes to correct, or new things I'd tried that I 
might want to make note of in a margin somewhere.

  I find that deciding on a phonology and then working out the grammar 
and then applying the words ends up presenting me with all the same 
difficulties I face studying natural languages on my own, which I am 
very bad at. That's how I work now anyway, since it seems to be the 
'right' way. (And that's probably pretty stupid on my part, given how 
bad I am at learning languages outside of a classroom setting.)

Mia.