The BG Language Creation Guide

#9: Neologisms

Part I

I've divided you into four groups. You will each create four new words under pressures from outside your language community. At least three of the four must be polymorphemic (consisting of more than one content morpheme).

Remember you should only make four words for part one: the ones on your own list.

In class, you will borrow the other 12 (3X4) words from other languages created by your fellow students. Please remember to bring your words with you and do *not* miss class that day.

Part II

Here are some things that will add complexity and verisimilitude to your lexicon.
  1. In addition to the four words you made above, add ten other polymorphemic words to your language that are morphologically related to other words in your language. (Note that they can be related to ten different words). Be clear about what the morphemes are in these added words and to what words they relate--that is, make sure you are glossing correctly.

    For example, you already have a word that means 'rain' and a word that means 'stone'. You can combine these into something you'd gloss as stone-rain. What would that translate as: hale? ice? stalactite? bomb? Then, you might invent a morpheme for anger. Combine that with stone and you get anger-stone (or stone-anger) which has many interesting possibilities. Try using your 'not' morpheme: what is not-stone? What is 'not-tree'? What is 'not-star'? What if you create an affix that means 'opposite of' and start attaching that to other morphemes? what would you get?

  2. Create (if you don't already have it or point out if you do already have it) two instances of polysemy in your lexicon. that is, two separate forms in your language which are each polysemous.
  3. Create (if you don't already have it or point out if you do already have it) two instances of homonymy in your lexicon.
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    Updated July 25, 2011