As a phonologist by training and profession, I am deeply offended by your
lack of enthusiasm for phonology. (Just kidding.)

If phonology gets you down, don't start with phonology. Work out ideas for
morphosyntax using "placeholders"--morphemes from your native language or
languages that you know. You'll have to come to grips with the phonology
eventually when you start making up words, but having a head start on some
interesting grammatical structures might make it easier to work out.

I also wouldn't worry about making the phonology interestingly different
from English--at least at first. As you get more familiar with your
project, you'll have a better feel for what sounds right. And if it sounds
a lot like English-Spanish-German, that's okay. You'll have something that
those languages *don't* have, and that's a grammar that is different from
all three.

There are plenty of word-form generators out there as well, if you really
don't want to have to think about it at all. I'm sure Gary will have
something to say; he's a notorious phonology curmudgeon round these parts.


On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 10:13 AM, Daniel Burgener <[log in to unmask]
> wrote:

> I find grammar, morphology, and pretty much everything about language that
> I've learned except for phonology to be absolutely fascinating.  However,
> as someone with no linguistics training, phonology just gives me a really
> hard time.  Whenever I try to start a new conlang, I usually start with
> phonology, and get bored and stopped before I get it looking like I want
> it.  My central problem is that I have trouble making a phonology
> interestingly different from English, partially because I have a lot of
> trouble pronouncing most non-English phonemes (In terms of consonants,
> essentially I can pronounce English, the German ch, and dental stops  For
> vowels, I generally can't tell them apart at all).
> Lately I've found myself wishing I could just skip the phonology section or
> take care of it in a few minutes and get on to the interesting parts right
> away.  Are there any shortcuts I could take that would allow a non-linguist
> to quickly create a phonology that's interesting, easy for someone with
> only experience in English, German and Spanish to pronounce, and not
> totally "cookie cutter"?
> Thanks.