As a minor terminology point, "homonym" is an ambiguous term (which may be
considered ironic since it describes an ambiguity): it can refer to either
homophones or homographs. Of course, in many languages with phonemic
writing systems, either of those will necessarily be the other; a pair of
words which are both homophonic and homographic is sometimes said to be
"true homonyms". Regardless, it can be tricky to decide when you have two
lexemes with the same form, and when you have a single lexeme with two

Whatever you call them, I generally try to avoid them in my conlangs, and
where they do show up, I make sure there's a historical reason for them to
sound the same rather than pure coincidence. Which makes my languages less
naturalistic, since coincidences do happen. My conlangs are more like
long-running fictional settings (soap operas, comic books,...) in which
there will often be minor characters, introduced and quickly forgotten,
created decades apart by different writers in different parts of the shared
setting, who happen to have the same last name. 99 times out of 100 some
future writer will dig up the older character and establish a family
relationship with the newer one, because there are no coincidences in

On Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 7:13 PM, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]>

> Hallo conlangers!
> On 24/11/2017 18:39 Jeffrey Brown wrote:
> > Do you have homonyms in your conlang?
> > I noticed that I was avoiding creating a new word that was homonymous to
> an
> > existing one in my conlang.
> > Then, I realized: Natlangs have homonyms. Why not conlangs? So, I stopped
> > avoiding them.
> > Except for auxlangs, I cannot see any reason to avoid homonyms,
> especially
> > as it may increase the naturalism of an artlang.
> > What do all y'all think?
> Most of my conlangs (indeed, all of those I am currently working on) are
> meant to be naturalistic, so I don't avoid homonyms. Only when they
> become too awkward, I fix them. For instance, it turned out that in an
> early version of the Old Albic lexicon, 'cake' and 'poop' were
> homonymous. That was of course unacceptable, so I changed them.
> --
> ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
> "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1

Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>