Okay, I'm having fun with a fantasy story of mine. So much fun I started getting ahead of myself and had to stop to think about this. XD This isn't a terribly urgent question or set of questions rather, but it's been bugging me for a while and I'm kind of overwhelmed by the possibilities now that it finally hit me what a massive undertaking I was really trying to do, and it occurred to me I should maybe ask around in places where there really knowledgeable language geeks (I use this term with huge affection, by the way!) about what THEY would think. It all relates to ancient languages, to a hypothetical "lost" ancient language of a hidden culture that has been evolving for thousands of years, and where the hell it might have originated from...
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Basically... I'm not 100% sure what I'm asking (argh, always frustrating for everyone involved!), but what I'm looking for is I guess the things I haven't considered or didn't know to consider because I'm new to linguistics (you can probably tell that the way I'm approaching it has thus far not been linguistic so much as anthropological!). How orthographies form in the first place, what the earliest languages might have sounded like and then later morphed into, etc.
By proxy, this means I'm looking for resources that are accessible to newbies, on everything from orthography origins to theoretical early languages, and I'm looking for thoughts on what languages would be good to mine for it, and opinions on what I'm doing wrong (other than "getting ahead of myself" in general, which I already know I have XD).
Apologies for being really wordy; part of it is excitement about the story, and most of it is that it's hard to talk through a problem when you're not entirely sure what your problem is! :P
And of course, thanks in advance to anyone who has the patience to read through all that and can think of anything to say or suggest!