That isn't a bad idea. I think I might just do that. Thanks. -------------------------------------------- On Thu, 2/5/15, Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]> wrote: Subject: Re: More Visual Alien Language (The version I sent on purpose this time) To: [log in to unmask] Received: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 9:48 PM On 5 February 2015 at 18:41, Kalem Tysick <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Yeah, but I also want a feel like they didn't plan the transphonation (because they didn't, in the story). I want to look like it has structure but at the same time look like it wasn't made to be pronounced by anybody. (Because in the story, it wasn't) That seems easily arranged: apply phonotactic rules, in order to produce recognizable structure, but use rules that make no sense for a human language. You can then just assert that they make perfect sense when transliterated back into the alien mode. Alternately, you could look at your set of alien color/texture patterns and try to actually come up with rules that really do make sense for those, and then apply them to the transliteration when generating vocabulary. But that might be more work than is strictly necessary, if you don't intend to focus much on the original alien language anyway. And since you're inventing their whole physiology and language apparatus anyway, there's nothing particularly wrong with simply asserting that whatever random phonotactic rules you decide to come up with do in fact make sense for these aliens. It's not like there isn't a ridiculous degree of variation in human phonotactics anyway. :) -l. > -------------------------------------------- > On Thu, 2/5/15, Logan Kearsley <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > Subject: Re: More Visual Alien Language (The version I sent on purpose this time) > To: [log in to unmask] > Received: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 5:46 PM > > On 5 February 2015 at > 15:27, Kalem Tysick <[log in to unmask]> > wrote: > > In this alien invasion story I > am writing the aliens come mainly to "culture" > Earth and bring them to worshipping their god. (They are > missionaries to Earth). Part of their religion teaches that > all languages (apart from their own) were created by their > devil character. Therefore it follows, that to be saved, one > must adopt their language. Their own language comprises of > combinations of skin colour and texture changes. But, seeing > as humans cannot change their skin's colour and texture > (at least not rapidly or to match those of the aliens), the > aliens devise an alternative system. Assuming the majority > of humans understand Latin letters, they assign each of the > letters in their colour-texture alphabet a corresponding > letter from various Latin-derived alphabets (as well as one > Cyrillic letter, which they put in by mistake). > > This is the alphabet I have decided that > they come up with: > > A H Þ Ç Z S Æ Ú > B I Ð Œ Y R Á Ñ À C J Č DZ Ï D Q Ł ∀ Ê W K Ø Ò > E P ß Å Ù V L È Я Ǎ Ö F O Ô U M G T N É Ì X > > > > > > > Later in the story I plan to have a rival group of the same > species with a similar, but different religion and a > different language arrive on Earth and start a Holy War on > our planet. (Maybe even involving human converts in the > battles). They too have this 'you must learn our > language to be saved' idea. So they copy the idea of the > first group and make their own alphabet. > > It looks like this: > > A > J K T U Á Č É DZ À Ǎ B I L S V Ð Ł Ç ∀ Ï Ì C H M > R W Æ ß Ú Ø Ê & D G N Q X Þ È Œ Å Ò E F O P Y > Z Ô Ñ Ж Ù > > > > Here > are the original alphabets and the corresponding patterns, > as well as their numerals and some words for numbers: > > https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B61Hd7qQG9rBSWQydmxKQ08yYVE > > I realize of course that the patterns are > over-simplified, but I won't have my character focus too > much on the original language as much as the humanized > version which he will be forced to speak. He will be forced > to learn to understand the aliens' colour-texture > version, but I would rather keep that bit as simple as an > entirely visual language built from the ground up can be. > > I'm still sure how I should develop a > complete-enough-for-the-purposes-of-the-story lexicon for a > language such as this. Thoughts? > > If you presume that the transliteration / > transphonation that they / > you derived to > allow humans to speak it is reasonably precise and > accurate (that is, close to a one-to-one > mapping to graphemes / > coloremes? in the > alien language), it seems to me like you have the > problem solved: develop the lexicon the same > way you would for any > other human-speakable > conlang, using your transliteration schemes. > Then back-port to the alien color-texture > modality later, if > necessary. > > -l.