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I've worked on and finally finished version 1.0 of a spreadsheet which aims to catalyze and organise a conlang. I call it "Der Spracherfinder". I created Der Spracherfinder because starting a conlang felt like rebuilding the factory each time I wanted to build a tire. Additionally, I've tried several other software like CWS, PolyGlot, Lexique Pro, and some others. But none of those really helped me get started or organise in a user-friendly manner. Thus, I spent some time developing Der Spracherfinder which features:

  • a resources page + definitions
  • an interactive IPA chart,
  • an interactive transcription chart,
  • an interactive phonotactics sorter,
  • a syllable construction template,
  • a morphology organiser,
  • a proto-lexicon organiser with 500+ suggested thematically sorted words,
  • an interactive "Verb Conjugator",
  • an interactive "Noun Conjugator",
  • a phonological evolution organiser, and
  • a final / modern lexicon page.

Download a copy of the latest version here

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  • I'd like to see it in any case.
    – Vir
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 1:34
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    This seems like a meta question.
    – Draconis
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 4:55
  • @Vir I added a link whence you may download a copy.
    – Ylahris
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 15:05

2 Answers 2

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I like the tool and thank you for it. If you have some questions about developing it, I'd be interested to help if I could.

It looks like a good initial reference point. I can imagine it saving many hours compared to seeking and cross-referencing many different websites. Plus how several sheets carry work over could save a lot of time building words. I do wish I had had this sheet starting out for those reasons.

Here is some feedback from briefly playing with several of the sheets.

I especially like the phonotactics calculator idea so I spent more time playing with it than the other sheets! It could benefit from a set of options for nasals like it has for the other types. With that, I would more or less be able to produce my clustering rules, which is what the chart currently aims for. I wonder if one or more more such tables could handle phonotactics in different places in a word (e.g., initial syllable, middle, end), which would then make it more practically useful. Either way, again, a good starting point to give people arriving at that stage useful resources and a big headstart on scratch.

The conjugator would benefit from a reference link so that people see there are even more aspects they could consider. Perhaps also some nod toward grammatical moods. I myself have found a set of grammatical moods the trickiest to devise than a set of aspects, cases, etc. A set up similar to the custom options on the noun sheet could do the job here.

Your lexicon sheet prompted me to a question I had never considered before: do we have best practices for setting up a lexicon spreadsheet?

If I might suggest even one link for the references section, it would be wals.info.

Sticking to word generation, some additional possible sheets to consider might catalyze parts of speech; suggest useful tags to note along with parts of speech which one might wish to filter for some time (e.g., place names, exceptions to normal phonetic rules, onomatopoeia, idioms, numbers); and verbs which take objects in different/multiple cases.

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  • I appreciate your feedback. I'm happy to hear Der Spracherfinder is useful :) . I would enjoy learning from and collaborating with other conlangers to improve Der Spracherfinder! Admittedly, I am still a baby conlanger who knows a decent vocabulary of linguistic terminology (and 60% fluent Deutsch) but yet lacks skill. I have much to learn. Again, thanks! Happy New Year!
    – Ylahris
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 20:07
  • I've been revamping the phonotactics calculator, and I've added many, many more options like "forbid nasal + velar". I am wondering what options for nasals (or any other phonotactical constraints) you would suggest.
    – Ylahris
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 17:28
  • Hi, I replied (too late apparently) when you asked in the chat room. I don't know what options would be popular among conlangers, so I suggested putting in options for syllable structures: let folks fill in which phonemes can take those places. E.g., if the biggest syllable the sheet can handle (can be manually edited) is CCCVCCC (7 elements), you could put in 7 columns with dropdowns to select C/V/blank. Folks could set/copy for their possible syllables then list acceptable characters in the columns. This would be easier for you, but not easily represent rules like "nasals, but not n.+velar."
    – Vir
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 18:29
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The obvious problem here is that a question on Der Spracherfinder can easily become very long and broad. User Interface questions can become "Opinion Based" very soon, another reason to close a question on stackexchange sites.

However, questions on conlanging tools are on topic in principle. Try to make your question as narrow and focussed as possible, and think of possible answers that go beyond "I like this feature/I don't like this feature".

In addition, the conlang chat room has relaxed rules. You can post a link to your spreadsheet there and call for opinions there.

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