We talk about kinship terminology: what kinds of kinship schemes exist in reality, how they are related to family structure and marriage customs, and where you can find resources to give you ideas about these concepts. We also talk a little about Tepa (which I mispronounce a couple of times in the episode, it should be [teva]), a conlang from someone who studies American languages and decided to make one.
Featured Conlang: Tepa
Peter (Comment on Episode 4)
Suggestions for word generation: singing. I’ve found that different melodies lead to different results; classical music works best for me. You do need to have a good grasp of your language’s phonology, and it takes practice to not to end up relexing your native language’s phonology, but it’s a little more intimate and personal than running a random word generator.
+1 on linguistics classes and Wikipedia. Definitely agree that you should use IPA; in this day and age, with good support for IPA in fonts, I have to go with Bianca and say skip X-SAMPA.
Describing Morphosyntax by Thomas Payne has a scary title, but is a goldmine for the conlanger. It is full of good ideas for unusual features not commonly found in your standard Indo-European languages. Numerous examples from many different languages are included and many topics are explored in depth without the sometimes overwhelming attention to detail that can lose the amateur linguist. Additionally, it has a very comprehensive list of questions that make you really think about how a language works.