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Two comments:

(1) I second what Alex said. Why do you have to be able to pronounce it? You can get something that's quite different from English if you open yourself up to the range of human speech sounds—and you can do just that by being rid of the constraint that you should be able to pronounce it.

(2) You can skip the phonology by creating a language without speech sounds. Here are two examples:

X (visual conlang)

http://dedalvs.com/x/main.html

Rikchik (alien conlang)

http://www.suberic.net/~dmm/rikchik/rikchik.html

David Peterson
LCS President
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www.conlang.org

On Feb 28, 2012, at 9:13 AM, Daniel Burgener 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.