4pq1injbok wrote:If you're inventing a word out of whole cloth, it certainly makes sense to do so by projecting it back to the source lang, to get something with the general phonological feel of an evolved word, and to pick up whatever morphological alternations your sound changes bring about, and whatever. But positing this word to have been part of the source language all along? That feels, well, somewhat violating. Certainly I've already made a number of conscious decisions about the AhH lexis: semantic space will split this way, so that these semantic distinctions will be made but not those; these other concepts I don't want lexicalized at all -- it's not always just a matter of non-provision. And I wouldn't especially like having that ridden over roughshod.
What's to stop you, in turn, from positing that such extra words were lost from your language's line of descent? It harms you not in the slightest that someone may do this, unless you're worried about people making similar additions to your own langauge down the road (in which case, simply decline to allow it). Since all of our conlangs' lexicons are presumably only partial at best in the first place, with the assumption being necessary every step of the way that each langauge has far more vocabulary than is explicitly specified, surely no integrity is lost by using some of the previously non-specified words.
And (on a theme I've touched on before) don't forget that there are plenty of ways aside from complete invention to get a word for X that don't necessitate your source language having had a word for X. Semantic shifts especially; but also borrowings, and fossilization of compounds or derived forms, &c. These have the further benefit (beyond parsimony) of being much more interesting than plain invention, from the etymological perspective.
Certainly. And for the 170-ish words I'm adding to Pencek, perhaps 155 are coming from just such methods. The other fifteen are the ones I just couldn't stomach doing that with, for reasons of plausibility. There is absolutely no way a technologically and culturally superior language can plausibly borrow more than a tiny handful of super-basic daily verbs from a backwards tribal language. Verbs are notoriously less borrowable than other open-class words to start with, and then add in the linguistic and cultural dominance question... *shrug*. Compoundings are out for similar reasons: how many languages need compound for "move" or "kick" or "decide"? And I've already applied semantic shift to fill as many holes as I think I reasonably can. As for old derivations, Adata is woefully lacking in derivational morphology. Does it actually have any at all? I'm not seeing any in the grammar, save for the plural/singulative thing on nouns. Which doesn't help the basic verbs issue.