Helping the Conlanger: 1250 Lexical Meanings

Автор Awwal, 18 июня 2022, 13:43

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In the following file you'll find 1250 English words roughly sorted into several categories. Hopefully it will help conlangers to invent artificial languages, assisting the process of vocabulary creation. The list has been written using Mark Rosenfelder's Language Construction Kit (which should be recommended to any person who's new to creating languages) as well as frequency lists of English and Russian.
So what do we actually have in the table?
1. 67 words related to counting. May seem a bit excessive if you use regular rules and a lot of compound nouns (like English itself uses two separate words for "five hundreds"), but please bear in mind that in many actual languages the situation is less simple and regular, so that list may stimulate your imagination. You don't need to feel restricted by it either, of course, it just provides a reasonable amount of lexical meanings. If you, for instance, want separate lists of numerals for people, animals and inanimate things, be my guest. Or maybe the imaginary speakers of your language cannot count beyond three at all, in which case that column is going to get much shorter for you.
2. 170 general adjectives. As far as parts of speech go, you must be aware that your categorization doesn't need to exactly mimic English, Russian or whatever language you speak. Specifically, some languages of the world have only a handful of actual adjectives, while most attributives are formed with verbal forms - so those languages will have a verb with the meaning "to be red", make a participle "being red" out of it and modify a noun with it. Still, even if you supposedly want to follow that pattern, you just need to convert most of those adjectives into verbs. What we actually have in that second column is the list of meanings which are quite typically represented by adjectives.
3. 216 general nouns. Again, not all of those words actually need to be nouns, or at least elementary nouns (you may want to derive some of those from verbs or adjectives of your language according to some productive models). Anyway, most of these meanings are expected to be present in any human language.
4. 203 general verbs. Compared to nouns, verbs tend to have more complicated semantics, describing rather complex actions which often involve many separate entities (logical arguments). If you want to go deep, you may want to start removing some verbs from the list, so that the specific action cannot be expressed with a single word in your language at all, or add some verbs of your own, with different sets of logical arguments etc. Just make sure you know what you're doing. Of course, I don't mention more trivial things like using several verbs for a single English verbs which has several meanings (in fact, often the exact meaning of the word is specified in the table).
5. 98 "geographical" terms, including names for many plants and animals from different regions of our world. You may not need all of those.
6. 251 "cultural" words and phrases. Surely any human society will have some culture (in the broadest sense of the word) and will need some cultural terms, but the degree may vary drastically. Such terms, describing various customs, technological achievements and terms of social organization, constitute the majority in the vocabulary of any modern society. These 246 words are a decent compromise, but if you want you language to describe the modern world or some sci-fi future, you are going to need more words of this kind, and soon (because you won't find the words for "radio" or "newspaper" in the list). On the other hand, if you create a language for some imaginary cavemen, you won't need most of the words listed in that column.
7. 23 "cultural" verbs. The column is another one reserved for verbs, this time for those related to culture (in the broad sense). You'll almost certainly need more, like verbs for many technological processes, but that's a start.
8. 68 anatomical terms, related to anatomy and physiology.
9. 146 auxiliary words, most basic adverbs and some adverbial phrases. You need to take a look at the grammar of your language; you may find that you require more auxiliary words than we have in that column, or that you actually need less words. You may want to produce some adverbs in the list from other words according to some productive models, or add more adverbs in the same manner; that would be totally ok (after all, in many if not all languages most adverbs are more or less regularly derived from adjectives).
10. 8 special verbs, which are particularly closely tied to the grammar of your language. In some cases you may even find out that you need none of those, using various morphosyntactical means instead.
I just hope it's going to be helpful, and best of luck to you. :)


(В процессе локализации русскоязычного списка обнаружил, что он требует серьезных исправлений и доработки. Это на очереди.)


ἄπαγε σατανᾶς


Цитата: Зритель от 18 июня 2022, 16:39Подружите с этим
Какие-то там очень странные определения у многих английских слов.  :??? И что приключилось с номерами в первом столбце?  Хотя идея хороша, конечно.

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