Levusti's In-Depth Guide to Creating a Language!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Levusti, Oct 4, 2013.


Has this guide helped you any?

  1. YES! I now have new perspectives on language building.

  2. YES! I knew most of this already, but this helped me recall some of this information.

  3. NO! This did not contribute anything to what I know already.

    0 vote(s)
  4. NO! This guide is too difficult to understand!

  5. I'm not sure. I'll have to apply this to what I have already.

  6. I'm not sure. This guide is unclear on a lot of things.

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  1. Hey guise, it's Lev here with something a little intriguing for some of you.

    Often, I find people in role-play forums who are beautiful creators as they create a new culture, a new world, and a new mythos to each of their role-plays--but sometimes, I can't help but cringe when they create a new "language" for their world.

    For some creators, they create an arbitrary vocabulary that magically means something. While it makes sense in one sentence, if you use it in another sentence, it may seem like it has a completely different meaning that is GRAMMATICALLY ILLOGICAL. Others create a simple cipher for the English language. A=E, B=P, T=J, etc. To me, while it's a quick way to create a new language, it's dull and unoriginal.

    I'm kinda irritated with that since I'm a fluent speaker of two/three languages (English--my primary and most proficient--Tagalog and Kapampangan, two different Filipino dialects which are similar in grammar, but also have many differences). I also speak Korean and Spanish well enough to understand written children's literature and can speak in daily conversations fairly well. I can listen to Japanese music and translate quite a few songs--but I'm a terrible reader in Japanese. Currently, I've found great interest in Thai and in German since the area I live in has quite a few Germans and the restaurant I work at is owned by a Thai family.

    However, I'm also a "conlanger," one who constructs languages. And I'm no expert, by any means. I've no linguistics degree in any language and I'm certainly not the most well learned polyglot--there are far more people I know who know five, six languages very well. But I thought it'd be interesting to impart what knowledge I have to the RP community. Not all of these ideas are mine, many from a friend who also is an avid conlanger and many more from two books written by another conlanger. But perhaps in the sharing of knowledge, I may yet learn more.

    So here goes! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I'll reserve a few posts to make sure I have enough room at the beginning to try to keep these little tidbits of information together.

    Do let me know if you see any errors in information or writing. Thanks and enjoy!

    Ver. 1.0.0: 4 Oct 2013 - Posted the first post, Introduction and Sounds: Part 1.
    Ver. 1.1.0: 5 Oct 2013 - Posted the second post, Sounds: Part 2.
    Ver. 1.2.0: 19 Oct 2013 - Posted the third and fourth posts, Word Building: Part 1 and Grammar/Syntax.
    Ver. 1.3.0: 20 Oct 2013 - Posted the fifth post, Grammar: Part 1.
    Ver. 1.4.0: 22 Oct 2013 - Posted the sixth post, Grammar: Part 2.
    Ver. 1.4.1: 23 Oct 2013 - Edited the first and second posts to add minor content and correct typographical errors.
    Ver. 1.5.0: 28 Oct 2013 - Posted the seventh post: Grammar: Part 3.
    Ver. 1.6.0: 30 Oct 2013 - Posted the eighth post: Grammar: Part 4: Pronouns.
    Ver. 1.7.0: 2 Nov 2013 - Posted the ninth post: Numbers

    Here is the tentative outline, to be changed to correspond to the guide as it is written.

    1. Introduction (YOU ARE HERE)
    2. Sounds
    3. Word Building
    4. Writing
    5. Grammar
    6. Formality
    7. Various Nuances
    8. Levusti's Con-Lang!
    9. Resources and Links
    10. Miscellaneous

    Sounds: Phonology, if you want to sound like you've studied linguistics.

    First of all, when creating a language, I recommend to think first about the SOUNDS.

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    These are the letters of the English language, but there are far many more sounds expressed with these and there are MANY more nuances that these letters do not represent.

    For example, Th is considered two letters but represent one/two sounds. There's "th" as in "this" which is voiced or heavy, one might say, and "th" as in "thin" which is not voiced or light. Another sound is ng and perhaps even ch and sh and the zh sound in American English leisure or seizure.

    Sounds not even represented at all by English letters are ones you might find in Korean such as B or P, P', and PP.

    P as in spit or span or bow
    P' as in pit or pan but not spit or span
    PP as in BANG or BAM or BOOM!

    What's the difference in P in pit and P in spit? Most English speakers don't realize this but there is a difference. P in pit is airy and breathy, or in linguistic terms, aspirated. P in spit is unaspirated. That just means air DOES NOT puff out strongly. To try this, take a piece of paper, place it in front of your mouth a hand's width away and say the word pit. The paper should waver with the movement of the breath that comes out. Now say spit. The paper moves very little, if any at all at the letter P. They're both classified as the letter P, but some languages classify them as different letters.

    The third P, sometimes written in Latin letters as BB or PP is kinda like holding your breath to say B and then just letting it EXPLODE out. It's hardly noticeable to western ears, but some words differ only in the B/P sounds.

    In some languages, there are big differences in these two kinds of Ps. English pairs the two P sounds together, but Korean does not. Korean considers them two different sounds. However, Korean pairs the unaspirated P as in spit with the letter B.

    (Fun fact, Eighteen in Korean is 십팔, pronounced shib pal, like the p in pit. If you say 십발, shib pal with the p as in spit, it's a swear word. Be careful!)

    Another sound occasionally found in American English (with different letters) is the "rolling" R. If you speak Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, or Italian (and I'm sure many others), you already know this sound. In Korean and Japanese, this R is the same as the L sound. If you speak AMERICAN English, it's the middle sound in butter, latter, bitter, later, waiter, cater, etc. I can't speak for other English dialects because I'm not familiar with them. This R is called the alveolar trill R.

    This is a different R found in German and in some French dialects. Say "rrrr" like your gargling or growling like a dog. This is called the uvular trill R.

    The voiced uvular fricative is the French R. Say "rrrr" like you're swallowing. It's similar, but not the same as the German R.

    Say R in English. As far as LEVUSTI knows, English and Chinese and maybe 3 or 4 other languages has this R. Most languages use either the "rolling" R or the other two Rs found.

    In Filipino/Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese, the sound of NG may come at the end of a syllable as in the English words ringing or singing or hanging, or they may come at the beginning of a word as in Tagalog ngayon "today" or Thai nguu "snake." Most English speakers have no problem saying it at the END of a syllable, but they have trouble saying it at the BEGINNING of a syllable.

    In English, the sound of ny as in onion, canyon, bunion, or minion appears, but it's not considered a sound by itself. Russian and Spanish consider it as a stand alone letter sound and is represented by Spanish ñ or Russian H (at least, sometimes. It's a linguistic thing. If it piques your interest, then go ahead and do more research.)

    Vowels are even more diverse than you think. English limits ALL the sounds that vowels can possibly make into five, sometimes six or seven: A E I O U and sometimes Y and W.

    Lemme tell you there are MANY more sounds expressed.

    Korean has two sets of U's. Say "ooh" like hoot. That's one. For the other, form your mouth like you're about to say the letter E but say "ooh" again. In English, it's often rendered as eu. When you say "little" in American English, your mouth forms the proper shape at the second syllable.

    Try this one. Say "ah" with your mouth. Now say it again with your nose. Some languages place a difference in that. This is called nasalization.

    Say the o in lonely and then o in hot. Two different sounds but the same letter. Korean expresses this sound in two different letters, ㅗ for the o like lonely and ㅓ for the o as in hot.

    How about this? Say "ee" as in teeth. Now round your lips and say it again. This is the French u and the German ü.

    Think also now about WHERE YOUR TONGUE TOUCHES. For example, there's no difference in the Ls in American English "will" and "loose." But pay attention to where your tongue touches. In "will," it usually touches the roof of your mouth. In "loose," it usually touches the front of your teeth. Korean "d/t" is pronounced with the teeth biting the tongue and not pressing against the back of the teeth as in American English, making it sound like a th


    What you see above is a bit like an overview of phonology. This is NOT exhaustive (AKA everything there is). It's more like a single cookie chip on your one foot wide / thirty centimeter wide cookie. But the truly fun part is here.

    These sounds that are described above are for the HUMAN mouth, with two lips, one tongue, and two sets of teeth located on the front. However, what about NONHUMANS?

    Some animals don't have lips, like chickens or insects.
    Some animals don't have teeth, like birds.
    Some animals don't have one tongue with one tip, but have TWO TONGUES or maybe a forked tongue.

    What kind of sounds can they make? What about sounds they cannot make?

    For example, let us imagine an alien species without TEETH. The American English sound of the letter T requires teeth. The sound of "th" and "f" require teeth. The sounds "s" and "z" and "ts" like "cats" require teeth, but "sh," "ch," and "zh" do not. (If you don't believe me, say these sounds WITHOUT TOUCHING YOUR TONGUE TO YOUR TEETH IN ANY WAY.) So you have now an alien with a speech impediment concerning the English language.

    Now let's create another example, an alien species with TWO TONGUES, one on top of the other. What kind of sounds could it make? Maybe an L sound with the upper tongue and another sound with the bottom? Could they make now TWO DIFFERENT SOUNDS AT ONCE?

    What about an alien species with two different tracheae (windpipe in your throat)? Two different sets of nostrils, one set on the face and another set about the throat?

    I will give you a list of terms that might help you think of more dimensions of sounds.
    • Dental = made with TEETH and TONGUE. Like th as in this and thin.
    • Labial = made with LIPS. Like the letters B or P or Japanese F (almost like blowing out a candle)
    • Labio-dental = made with TEETH AND LIPS together. Like the letters F and V.
    • Alveolar = that ridge part right behind your teeth. Like N or D or T in American English.
    • Postalveolar = the part right behind the ridge part behind your teeth. Sh or Zh or Ch
    • Palatal = touches the palate of your mouth. The closest thing we have in English is Y as in Yes. Touch to your tongue and it's there. Also, Mexican Spanish pronunciation of the letter Y. (almost like saying Y so hard you say J)
    • Velar = back part of your tongue against the soft palate. Like the ng in Ring or sing.
    • Uvular = Tongue touches/approaches the uvula/dangly thing in your mouth. Like French R.
    • Approximant = a sound that ALMOST TOUCHES A SPOT BUT REALLY DOESN'T TOUCH. Like Y in Yes or R in Wrong.
    • Phoneme = the actual different sounds. Some languages define this differently. Some languages define B and P as different phonemes, but some don't. Some languages define F and V as different phonemes, but some don't.
    • Grapheme = the way a sound is represented in writing. In Korean, ㅂ, ㅍ, and ㅃ represent B, P, and PP respectively, though in English, they sound nearly the same.
    Sounds are virtually unlimited. Can you think of new ones for an alien species? What about for us humans? (Trust me, it's hard. There's even clicks, snorts, and hiccups in some languages.)


    Feel free to discuss below!

    This concludes this first post to multi-part guide, but SOUNDS ARE NOT COMPLETED! If you'd like me to site the books and sites I used for reference, let me know and I'll post them for you.
    #1 Levusti, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
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  2. Sounds: Part Two!

    Accents, Tones, Length, "Invisible" Sounds and Limitations.

    So we're gonna get a little bit more in depth into sounds.

    When you create words, which we'll cover in more detail in the section called Word Building, you have to remember that sounds aren't the only parameters for words. The human voice, in any language, speaks with inflections and cadences that are specific to each language.

    One of these parameters found in MANY languages is called accentuation. There are not one, but TWO kinds of accentuation: stress accentuation and pitch accentuation. We'll cover the more familiar stress accentuation.

    In English, every word with two or more syllables is accented. Some words are identical or very similar in pronunciation and/or writing, but the accent makes it clear what word is intended. Look at the following samples below where the accent is indicated with a bolded, underlined, and italicized font.

    re-fuse "to decline, to avoid"
    re-fuse "trash, garbage"
    in-sight "intuition, understanding"
    in-cite "encourage, urge"
    paper bag "a bag which holds [news]papers"
    paper bag "a bag made from paper materials"

    And these similar sounding words are often better distinguished in speech like so:

    thir-teen (13)
    thir-ty (30)
    des-ert "a hot, dry area"
    des-sert "the sweet course of a meal eaten at the end"
    per-son-al "private"
    per-son-nel "employees, staff"

    This gives a new dimension of word differentiation, besides the obvious sound change. However, in spoken everyday English, Gaelic, and German, what happens to the the VOWELS OF NONSTRESSED SYLLABLES is that they tend to RELAX.

    For example, take the word "illumination." There are two syllables which are clearly stressed, the "lu" and the "na" parts of the word. Those vowels sound as they are spelled, but the rest of the vowels relax into a lazy schwa.ə. If you pronounce "illumination" as is its naturally spoken, it sounds like "uh - loo - muh - nay - shuhn." This also occurs with long words like "unbelievable" or "quintessential," where only the stressed syllables have clear vowel sounds. This is the same reason why English speakers (sorry to say it, but ESPECIALLY Americans and Canadians) sound absolutely TERRIBLE speaking another language--most languages require clear pronunciation of vowels to be clearly understood. This also works the other way, though--most English-as-a-Second-Language students always sound distinctly foreign, because they place more emphasis and clarity on the pronunciation of the vowels.

    The other kind of accentuation is called pitch accentuation, where the words have a pattern of high or low pitches and identical pronunciation.

    In Japanese, where vowel sound is much more important, you won't find relaxed vowels, but most words have it's own "tone" accent.

    há-shi "chopsticks"​
    ha-shí "bridge"​
    ha-shi "edge"​
    ká-ki "oyster"​
    ka-kí "fence"​
    ka-ki "persimmon"​
    ka-e-ru "frog"​
    ká-e-ru "go home"​

    They're very similar, but not the same. To be honest, unless you're studying Japanese and use it on a daily basis, it may seem like there is no difference, but there is. Stress accentuation tends to prolong accented syllables. This is not the same case in Japanese, where prolonging a sound may change the meaning of a word.

    Another parameter is tones, which I EMPHATICALLY DISSUADE NON-SPEAKERS OF TONAL LANGUAGES TO STAY AWAY FROM, at least when creating a language.

    In Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and several other East Asian languages, the DIFFERENT PHONEMES IN ANY WORD ARE QUITE LIMITED. Therefore, differentiation is found in the tones of a word.

    To be honest, this is very difficult to HEAR for speakers of non-tonal languages. I have learned Thai and I have unintentionally sworn many times because a swear word and a normal word sound exactly the same except for the tones.

    Typically, there are four to six tones. Middle, High, Low, Falling, Rising, and Trembling.

    Let's try to do simulate this with singing.
    Sing the word "ahhh" in your natural voice without letting it change notes. This is called Middle.
    Sing the word "ahhh" in a comfortably high pitch (no need to strain.) This is called High.
    Sing the word "ahhh" in a comfortably low pitch. This is called Low.
    Sing the word "ahhh" in a middle pitch and let it drop to a low pitch. This is called Falling.
    Sing the word "ahhh" in a middle pitch and let it rise to a high pitch. This is called Rising.
    Sing the word "ahhh" in the lowest pitch possible that your voice almost creaks. This is called Trembling.

    Now imagine all those four to six tones in every word.

    In Thai, what I'm most familiar with, there are five: Middle, Low, High, Falling, and Rising.

    mai (middle) - mile​
    mái (high) - wood​
    mài (low) - new, again​
    mâi (falling) - no, not​
    măi (rising) - question, silk

    Again, unless you already speak a language with tones, I highly recommend you STAY AWAY FROM TONES FOR A LONG WHILE. Pick up a book or look at a website with tones and learn part of the language and PRACTICE AND ENGAGE IN A REAL CONVERSATION. It's really easy to hear online where they are spoken slowly, but speaking at a quick rate will make a HUGE difference. I am TOTALLY terrible at speaking because NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME. I have the sounds down, just not the tone

    Length, yet another parameter, can be used to differentiate between words. Japanese really use it a lot.
    Japanese kori (stiffness) is different from koori (ice) and kohei (feudal warrior, samurai) from koohei (fairness, justice, impartial) but sound otherwise the same other than the length of vowel sounds.

    I dunno the linguistic term for this, but there are quite a few sounds you don't really HEAR. I call them "invisible sounds."

    Say the word, uh-oh (if you speak with an American English accent: button and detonate.) The little "hitch" in your throat is called a glottal stop. A lot of languages differentiate words with glottal stops. This is found a LOT in Southeast Asian languages like Tagalog and is found also in Hawai'ian. Hawai'i is technically pronounced with four syllables. "Ha-wa-ee-'ee"

    Gemination is literally "doubling a consonant." This is found in Japanese, Arabic, and a whole lotta other languages. In English, it's used for clarification rather than a feature of speech. Say "night rain" and "night train." Naturally, you elongate the words "night train" to make it sound more clear, even though they are spelled and pronounced similarly.

    Okay, this pretty much gives you a BIG BUCKET OF IDEAS. But to if you're gonna make a language that's also realistic, it's NOT going to have all these different sounds. If you put ALL THESE THINGS you just learned into the sounds of your language, it's gonna seem like you just learned all these things and want to show them off.

    Realistically, languages have entire parameters missing. For example, vowel elongation isn't much of a deal in English and neither is tone. Some languages have only 5 possible vowels like Spanish and Italian and Japanese, whereas languages such as French, English and Korean have many more possibilities.

    Play around with what you like. If you like a very elegant language, play around with more vowels and vowel elongation. If you want a very strong language, play around with consonants and add a few different mouth positions to make more consonants. Listen to other languages and see what attracts you. Mimic the sounds in your own language.

    Although this sounds is NOT complete, we'll come back with SOUND CHANGE. However, this is best discussed after more details in creating a language are understood. We'll begin word building next.
    #2 Levusti, Oct 5, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
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  3. Word Building PART ONE

    Okay I'm going to teach you how to create your OWN VOCABULARY! YAY!

    Before you do have your hand at it, do read this well.

    There are things called lexemes. These are words which may differ in writing or pronunciation or declension or conjugation (we'll learn what these mean later), but express the same meaning. For example: run, runs, running, ran all describe the same thing. Dog and dogs describe the same thing as well.
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT

    Run and ran should look similar. If we make up a word for run, let's say "guga" means /run/. The word /ran/ shouldn't be something like efilori-ata. It should derive itself from the original word. Maybe "eguga" or "gugari" or "guag."

    There are things called morphemes. These are the building blocks for language and are the smallest recognizable units of any language. Often, this means a word, but it is not always the case.

    Cat, dog, air, light, foot, eye, love, and joy are all morphemes. But so are -vive, re-, ultra-, sub-, -ator, -pend, -cline.

    For example, the suffix -(a)tor in English often denotes a machine or device or person which habitually completes a specified action.

    A calculator performs calculations.
    A refrigerator makes things frigid again.
    An elevator elevates people or items to another floor.
    An escalator is a machine that allows a person to scale a floor.
    An educator is one who educates.
    An orator is one who orates (makes a speech).
    A procrastinator is one who procrastinates.
    What are called "moving walkways" in the airports in American English are called in British English as "travellator," or colloquially, "movelator, walkalator, or a movator."

    -ator is a morpheme. So is re- as in redo, un- as in untie, pre- as in premeditate, post- as in postpone, sur- as in survive, sus- as in suspend, etc. These morphemes have different meanings, though they may change or become convoluted through the passage of time or through movement across languages. Un-, re-, sur- and sus- are morphemes that complete an idea, but they do not necessarily make their own words.

    A man can survive (etymologically, "over live") his wife. But he cannot sur himself or another thing.
    A woman can redo (etymologically, "again do") the video game level, but she cannot re herself or another thing.

    You recognize these morphemes too, and often you will coin words knowing that they mean something.

    There is no such word as retexting, but you know it means "to text again."
    There is no such word as unshoeing, but you know it means "to take off shoes."
    There is no such word as destress, but you know it means "to turn back stress."
    There is no such word as roleplation, but you might think it means "the act of role-playing."

    Morphemes that can stand alone or be combined with others are called FREE MORPHEMES. Dog, doghouse, dog catcher.
    Morphemes that must be combined with another morpheme in order to make sense are called BOUND MORPHEMES like un-, re-, -(a)tor.
    Morphemes that change a word's part of speech are called DERIVATIONAL MORPHEMES like -tion, -ness, -ly, -ty.
    Morphemes that change a noun's declension or a verb's conjugation are called INFLECTIONAL MORPHEMES like -ing, -ed, -s, -t, -en.

    Also, take note of IDIOMS. No, not idiots, though you should mind them as well. Idioms are phrases that don't make literal sense. They are understood in a figurative way.

    For example: "I went to catch my plane today."
    People do not LITERALLY catch planes. But we know it means to ride an airplane.

    Other idioms in English are "break-neck speed," "give a hand," "blow my own horn," "hit the hay," "two-faced," etc.

    Often, they do not translate well into other languages because other languages have different idioms.
    Japanese: 猿も木から落ちる /Saru mo ki kara ochiru/ meaning "Even monkeys fall from trees" = Even experts make mistakes.
    Tagalog: daga sa dibdib meaning "mouse in the chest" = worry or fear
    French: mort de rire meaning "death by laughter" = equivalent of English text-speak LOL
    Thai: 555 which obviously means five five five, but 5 is pronounced "ha" in Thai. So 555 is hahaha, used like LOL.

    If you want to make your language truly your own language, make your own idioms. Like "lazy" could be translated as "moves like stone," or "heavy-body." What about thief? "Quick hands?" That's obvious. What about "searching fingers?" Or maybe a heavy-spender could be "Money is itchy?"


    Okay, knowing ALL OF THAT, you're REALLY REALLY ready to start. But where do you start?

    Keep in mind the kinds of sounds you've chosen previously. ONLY USE THE SOUNDS YOU'VE CHOSEN. Do not create words that use sounds not found in your language.

    First, make some shit up. First do people. Adult, child, man, woman, hermaphrodite, aunt, uncle.
    And now make up some more shit. Now do common verbs. To love, to hate, to like, to dislike, to eat, to drink, to talk, to see, to hear, to know, to walk, to run, to smile, to frown, to cry, to laugh.

    Make sure to create ROOTS and not words with inflections. Like don't create moomama meaning works and arbitrarily making moomamar meaning worked. Your words will all get their own derivations in due time. Once we hit grammar, you'll realize why. For the time being, don't translate work as the act of working, but the IDEAor CONCEPT of working.

    Keep in mind the following: not every language has different words for the same English words. Some of them are the same. Some languages have different words for a single English word.

    Korean puts to smile and to laugh together. What if you put to cry and to frown together? To blink and to wink? To know and to understand? I know for a fact that there are different words for English "to kill" in Anglo-Saxon. These words differ if you kill with a spear, a sword, an axe, or other tools.

    Even if you think hard, your brain can only create so much--sorry to say it. While your imagination is always unlimited, your brain gets fatigued. Eventually words may start to sound the same.

    Other ways to create new words are what we discussed above.

    Create morphemes. Create a derivational morpheme suffix that means something. Like electrocuTION, happiNESS, clariTY, borING. Or maybe ones like un-, re-, super-, ultra-, infra-, etc.

    There are also compound words. Water + melon = watermelon. Snow + fall = snowfall. Thunder + storm = thunderstorm. Dog + house = doghouse. Make less obvious ones, like Japanese denwa meaning telephone. (Den /electric/ + wa /speech/ = denwa /telephone or literally electric speech/)

    There are also sentences or phrases that make a complete thought such as skyscraper, killjoy, breastfeeding,
    forget-me-not, will-o-the-wisp, jack-o-lantern.

    When you have enough words, and that point is up to you, continue onward.
    #3 Levusti, Oct 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
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  4. Grammar, also called syntax if you feel like sounding like a pompous linguist.


    This is probably the most difficult and most complicated of the process l because there are SO MANY options, so many approaches, so many different grammars on Earth alone! Some people have created different grammars unlike any that earth has had--though these I find are few and far between and among them, only a few really are outstandingly good.

    There are three "archetypes" of grammar, if you will. Isolating, inflecting, and agglutinating. I'll explain from the easiest to the hardest.

    Isolating is what Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and much of Modern English use. (There are many more languages that use this, but I can't be bothered to list them all.) Isolating languages take words and those words are normally how they appear. They rarely change form. For example, the word burn in the sentence

    "You might burn your hand."


    "I have a very painful burn"

    Looks the same, even though they are different parts of speech. The first one is used as a verb/action word. The second is used as a noun/thing word. They look the same all the time, and it's really the POSITIONING of words that determines the part of speech used. Sometimes there are separate words for a verb and a noun (i.e. incinerate vs. ash) Generally, Chinese and Thai and Vietnamese do NOT have suffixes/endings that change the tense/time of the word. For example:

    "I am burning the paper," and "I burned the paper."

    The first sentence indicates action occurring presently and the second one indicates action already completed. In the above three languages, there are tense words (like, "Yesterday," "earlier," "later," "soon," "tomorrow," "already," etc.) which indicate when the action occurs.

    Agglutinating languages are like Japanese, Korean, and Tagalog, in which prefixes, infixes, and suffixes are added to change the meaning of a word. There usually is a root word and affixes are added to indicate various things.

    For example: Tagalog -(h)an sometimes means where action is directed to or where it occurs.
    basura "trash" - basurahan "trash can"
    simba "prayer" - simbahan "church"

    Korean verbs use this as well.
    먹어 /meok-eo/ eat…먹었어 /meok-eoss-eo/ ate
    쥐어 /jwi-eo/ hold… 쥐었어 /jwi-eoss-eo/ held

    Then you're left with inflectional languages, which comprises many Eurasian languages such as German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Latin, Italian, Dutch, Russian, and a whole lot more. These take a basic word, and then "inflect" it, meaning the ends of words change to change what they mean.
    You can conjugate words and decline nouns.

    Spanish "comer" means to eat.

    como (I) eat
    comes (you) eat
    come (he/she/it) eats
    comemos (we) eat
    coméis (you all) eat
    comen (they) eat

    German Mann "man"
    NOM: der Mann : the man (subject)
    die Männer : the men (subject)​
    AKK: den Mann : the man (direct object)
    die Männer : the men (direct object)​
    GEN: des Mannes : the man's (possession)
    der Männer : the men's (possession)​
    DAT: dem Mann : to the man, for the man (indirect object)
    den Männern : the the men, for the men (indirect object)​

    Conjugation expresses more things than you realize in that a single verb ending can indicate 1. who you're talking about 2. when you're talking about 3. if you're sure or unsure 4. if it's a rumor or not 5. if it's a command or request 6. respect to whom you're talking to.

    Let me make up a word, "juren" meaning work and say if I inflect it into a "near future second person singular subjunctive mood" and say that ending is called "han." (Don't worry if you don't know what that means--you'll see what it means soon.)

    So if I said, "Jurhan?" to you in my new language, all that can mean "Will you work soon?" All from that one word. It's VERY concise, but it tends to be VERY difficult to fully create a language such as this if you don't already speak a language like this. If you speak any Romance languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, Catalan or any other languages derived from Latin, this will be very familiar to you.

    English inflections are very simplified from its origins, Anglo-Saxon. Our declensions really only lie with personal pronouns (I, me, you, he, she, her, him, them, us, etc.) and in our pluralizations (cat vs. cats, instructor vs. instructors). Our conjugations are also simplified in that the endings of verbs only change with the third-person present singular (I eat vs. he eats and not he eat, we work vs. she works and not she work.)

    Our adjectives don't decline with the nouns they modify (i.e. there is no difference in spelling or pronunciation of fat in the phrases "a fat man" and "a fat woman," but in Spanish, it MUST be "un hombre gordo" and "una mujer gorda")

    Grammar to be continued.
    #4 Levusti, Oct 18, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
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  5. Grammar: Parts of Speech

    I know that probably half of you who reads the title of this will already be like, "I know this already, I can TOTALLY skip this part. There are eight parts of speech only."

    If you said that, you are very very wrong.

    There are not eight parts of speech only. There are many more. Some languages have like too many to count and some languages have fewer than eight parts of speech. There are a few languages without prepositions and some without conjunctions and some have no strict adjectives or adverbs.

    Because we are familiar with these eight parts of speech as English speakers, I will try to cover them first.

    Each section will be covered in this general format:

    1. Definition and Example
    2. In English and in other Languages
    3. How isolating, agglutinating, and inflectional languages use them.
    4. Why does ___ exist with this part of speech?
    5. Other comments


    The definition of a noun is a person, a place, a thing, or an idea. For example: teacher, President Barack Obama, house, the Eiffel Tower, book, Twilight, time, Wednesday.

    If you look above, you may think that I wrote proper nouns and common nouns only and that these are the only two major types of nouns. Nope. Some languages do not distinguish nouns the same way. In Tagalog, there are common nouns and PERSONAL nouns. Personal nouns are nouns which refer to people only. You put different words around names of particular people or families and all place names are classified as common nouns just like everything else.

    In English, we specify several things with nouns and the articles that often accompany them. We specify plurality, sometimes gender, and definiteness, sometimes collectivity. We also differentiate count nouns and mass nouns.
    • Plurality: (how many) dog vs. dogs, teacher vs teacher, man vs. men, person vs. people, mouse vs. mice
    • Gender: (male, female, neuter, etc.) actor vs. actress, cow vs. bull, king vs. queen
    • Definiteness: Look at a book. vs. Look at the book. I bought a car vs. I bought the car.
    • Collectivity: a crowd of people, a flock of birds, a colony of frogs, a cast of crabs, a murder of crows
    • Count Nouns: (things that can be counted) one hat, fourteen books, few pencils, many children
    • Mass Nouns: (things that cannot be counted) one bottle/glass of water and not one water, fourteen ears of corn and not fourteen corn, few grains of rice and not few rice, many sheets of paper and not many paper

    Some languages do not differentiate plurality or gender or definiteness, collectivity, count and mass nouns. Some languages group them together.

    Recall now the three "archetypes" of languages: isolating, agglutinating, and inflectional languages.

    In isolating languages, a single morpheme appears for noun. Most isolating languages do not specify plurality, gender, definiteness, and collectivity. Count and mass nouns are often treated as mass nouns.

    How do they pluralize? Often, there is a separate morpheme or an enclitic (simply put, a morpheme attached to end of a word that depends phonologically on the words before) which denote plurality. If we were to simulate it in English, "woman" = "many woman" or "woman many."
    Because the subject is often understood in context, sometimes pluralizing words, morphemes or enclitics are omitted. "Woman" = 1 woman or many women.

    How do they indicate gender? Often, gender is not indicated in isolating languages. If gender is needed for specificity, the appropriate gender is added to the word in the form of a compound noun or phrase. "Doctor" = "mandoctor" or "womandoctor."

    How do they indicate definiteness? Most do not indicated definiteness, meaning there is no difference between the sentences, "I see a bed" and "I see the bed."

    How do they indicate collectivity? Some just put this the same as pluralization and some add the word "group" onto a word.

    How do they define count nouns and mass nouns? Most of them define ALL nouns as mass nouns, meaning you can't say "one person." In Thai, I learned that if you want to specify how many customers, or students are present you must say, "customer, one person" or "student, five person." This is common in many Asian languages, especially those which have Chinese influence.

    First we need to learn the types of affixes. There are prefixes, suffixes/postfixes, infixes, circumfixes, interfixes, duplifixes, transfixes, simulfixes, suprafixes, and disfixes.
    • Prefixes come BEFORE a word like un- in undo.
    • Suffixes or postfixes come AFTER a word like -ness in happiness.
    • Infixes come INSIDE a word like -iz- as in the slang word shiznit or -freakin- as in absofreakinlutely.
    • Circumfixes come both BEFORE AND AFTER a word like en----en in enlighten or enliven
    • Interfixes come BETWEEN two words in a compound like -o- in speedometer
    • Duplifixes are DUPLICATIONS of a word before like teensy-weensy or super-duper or bye-bye or pee-pee
    • Transfix are INTERSPERSED throughout a word. In Arabic, k.t.b is the root related to writing and i and a fit where the periods are. K.T.B + I-A = Kitab which means book.
    • Simulfix CHANGE the root word's form = from oo to ee in goose to geese or ou to i in mouse to mice.
    • Suprafix are PHYSICAL or AUDIBLE differences = pro-duce (product) vs. pro-duce (to create) and re-fuse (trash) vs re-fuse (to decline, to avoid)
    In agglutinating languages, many nouns are formed by adding some sort of nominalizing (noun-making) affixes to a root word. In Tagalog, -in suffix creates a noun referring to a common occurrence or usage of a root word.

    Tagalog awit (concept of song) => awitin /song/
    Tagalog inom (concept of drinking) => inumin /beverage/

    How do they pluralize? Indicate gender? Indicate definiteness? Indicate collectivity?
    They agglutinate affixes. :)

    Concerning mass nouns or count nouns, they often take the same route as English in that some nouns are count and some are mass.


    Oh boy. Just...wow, so much stuff to cover.

    Inflectional Languages perform something called declension, which means they change the parts of a noun to specify something. English only declines nouns according to plurality and definiteness.

    English table => tables, a table => the table

    If you want, that can be the limit of your declensions too. But it's good to see what other declensions there are.

    Many languages decline nouns according to plurality, gender, and definiteness.

    Spanish: hijo (son) => hijos (sons/sons and daughters) => hija (daughter) => hijas (daughters)
    French: un homme (a man) => du hommes (some men), la femme (the woman) => les femmes (the women)

    But also take into account that some languages like German, Russian, and Latin decline words according to CASE. Case indicates how a noun is used in a sentence.

    Latin "stella" (star)
    • Nominative: indicates the SUBJECT of a sentence
      • stella (the star) / stellae (the stars) => THE STARS shine brightly.
    • Genitive: indicates possession
      • stellae (of the star; the star's) / stellarum (of the stars; the stars') => The light OF THE STARS shine brightly; the STAR'S light shines brightly.
    • Dative: indicates the indirect object
      • stellae (to the star; for the star) / stellis (to the stars; for the stars) => I gave my prayers TO THE STARS; I gave THE STARS my prayers.
    • Accusative: indicates the direct object
      • stellam (the star) / stellas (the stars) => I like THE STARS; Do you see THE STAR?
    • Ablative: indicates the object of a preposition
      • stella (from, by, with, in the star) / stellis (from, by, with, in the stars) => The light comes FROM THE STARS.
    • Vocative: indicates direct address
      • stella (O star) / stellae (O stars): O STARS above, shine bright!
    In English, the only declension similar to Latin declension lies within our pronouns and with possessive 'swe attach to words. There is a difference in He loves me, and I love him. (he => him, I => me) In some languages, saying "Jason loves Matt" like that alone draws ambiguity since NOUNS DO NOT DECLINE. (Who loves who?)

    If we were to create a mock-declension system for English, we would need to decline nouns.

    For the sentence "Jason loves Matt" you would say, "Jasonsy loves Mattus." It is now clear. Because of these inflections, you can also change the order of a sentence and still derive the same meaning.
    • You can say "Jasonsy Mattus loves" (This structure is often used in jokes since you don't know the verb until the very end.)
    • "Mattus Jasonsy loves"
    • "Mattus loves Jasonsy"
    • "Loves Jasonsy Mattus"
    • "Loves Mattus Jasonsy"
    These all mean Jason loves Matt, regardless of which order they appear.
    Are the six cases of Latin all the cases there are? Nope. Finnish has FIFTEEN cases (some say sixteen).
    1. Nominative (subject) The book is new.
    2. Accusative (object) I read the book.
    3. Genitive (possessive) The book's pages are old.
    4. Partitive (partial states of completion, of existence, etc.) I have read [part of] a book.
    5. Inessive (internal movement or existence "in" something) There are words in the book.
    6. Elative (coming out "from" something) The bookmark slipped [out] from the book.
    7. Illative (going "into" something) The spider went into the book.
    8. Adessive (being on) The bug is on the book
    9. Ablative (going away from) I kept the burning match away from the book.
    10. Allative (onto) I dropped my coffee onto my book.
    11. Essive (temporary location or state of being) A long time ago, when I was a book...
      1. Exessive (transition from a location or state of being) When I turned back into a human after being a book...
    12. Translative (becomes the role of) The fairy turned me into a book.
    13. Instructive (with the aid of) I hit him with [the aid of] a book.
    14. Abessive (without the aid of) I studied my lessons without [the aid of] a book
    15. Comitative (together with) I went to work [together] with a book.
    Essentially, Finnish cases have a case for several prepositions, thus eliminating the need for prepositions.


    [Inflectional] Cases:

    Now I know what you're saying now. "WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AGGLUTINATION AND INFLECTIONS?! They're both adding affixes to a root word!"

    The answer to that is "Yes, you're right" and "No, you're wrong" at the same time. Truthfully, there is a fine line between agglutination and inflections, but there are minute differences.

    Generally, agglutinating languages take nouns and add affixes that do not change or change minimally according to the sounds of the root word. For the most part, a single affix is assigned a single role. Also, root words exist in agglutinating language.

    GENERALLY, inflectional languages have sound changes. If you study Latin, you would know that there are THREE types of declensions, depending both on the gender of the word and the ending vowel of a word. This means several different affixes may be assigned the same role and vice versa. Also, most inflectional languages do not have ROOTS, but stems. Stems are morphemic CONCEPTS that are generally bound morphemes, meaning they make sense alone but cannot stand alone as its own word.

    So call it what you want, at least you know you have cases. Cases generally make words longer, yes--but it also cuts down the need for strict word order and give clarification. It also cuts down the number of words needed in a sentence.


    Languages derived from Latin often have GENDER as part of a word.
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT
    DO NOT assume that gender is limited to masculine, feminine, neuter and correspond correctly to the word's true gender.

    Gender is mostly assigned ACCORDING TO THE WORD'S PHONEMES (sounds) and not its true gender.
    Spanish lampara /lamp/ is feminine. But when have you seen a she-lamp? For that matter, are there he-lamps?

    Lampara is considered feminine SOLELY BECAUSE THE FINAL VOWEL IS AN A.
    There are exceptions to the Spanish rule that O is for masculine words and A is for feminine words (like el día /the day/ which is masculine and la mano /the hand/ which is feminine)

    Generally, true males are assigned masculine genders like Spanish el padre /the father/, el hijo /the son/, el hombre /the man/. The same is for feminine genders. La mujer /the woman/, la hermana /the sister/, la niña /the girl/.

    However, there are exceptions to this rule in many languages. This is be cause of the PHONEMES in the word. In German, for example, both das Mädchen /girl, little lady/ and das Männlein /little man/ are NEUTER (non-male and non-female). This is because most -chen and -lein nouns are neuter and decline according to NEUTER rules, even though they describe gendered concepts.

    Some words are assigned WEIRD genders. French le vagin /the vagina/ is a masculine word and French la verge /the cock/ is a feminine word. Again, this is because of PHONEMES.

    Swahili assigns genders according to different parameters. The different genders are personal, trees and natural forces, groups and augmentatives (words that make things sound bigger or stronger), artefacts and diminutives (words that make things sound smaller or cuter), animals and loanwords, extension, and abstraction.

    Is gender sexist? The answer is no. Gender is a FEATURE OF LANGUAGE and adds a new dimension into a language. "But what about transexuals or those who do not define themselves as male or female? How are they classified?" Maybe neuter? Or you could go make a gender for that and you have a solution.


    So we just concluded nouns. And just nouns. This is really a just a quick overview too. I do encourage you to conduct your own research if you wish to know more.
    #5 Levusti, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
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  6. Grammar: PART TWO!

    Okay guise, we're going to do Verbs! This is one of the most--if not THE most--varied and diverse parts of speech there is because there are so many nuances expressed!

    First, I'm going to do the basics again.

    1. Definition and Example
    2. In English and in other Languages
    3. How isolating, agglutinating, and inflectional languages use them.
    4. Why does ___ exist with this part of speech?
    5. Other comments

    The definition of a verb is very undefined since it means different things in different languages. However, a good thing to say is that a verb is either a word that expresses action, a state of being, or linking between the subject and predicate of a sentence.

    English verbs, in my opinion, when compared to the verbs of other languages tend to be sorely lacking. An verb generally expresses only tense and sometimes aspect--to express a very complicated idea, English creates verb phrases to fully express what another language can do in one word.

    Verbs can conjugate by person, number, tense, aspect, mood, dynamicity, theoretical/confirmed events, negativity, evidentiality, deference/politeness, arguments and I'm sure MANY MANY MORE.
    • Person (WHO is the subject): Spanish como /I eat/, comes /you eat/, come /he,she,it eats/, comemos /we eat/, coméis /you all eat/, comen /they eat/
    • Number (HOW MANY of the subject): He eats vs. they eat. The dog eats vs. the dogs eat.
    • Tense (WHEN the verb occured): I am eating VS. I will eat VS. I have eaten.
    • Aspect (ohmygodsomany ): DEFINED BELOW
    • Mood (ATTITUDE of what is said): Please, go away! Go away! If you don't go away...
    • Dynamicity (CHANGE in STATE): Explained below
    • Negativity: I have eaten VS I have not eaten.
    • Evidentiality (Personal experience or hearsay): Diana is an amazing administrator VS Diana probably is an amazing administrator VS Diana might be an amazing administrator VS Diana must be an amazing administrator VS Diana is definitely an administrator.
    • Deference (Politeness to the speaker): "Yes" VS "Yeah" VS "Yes, sir/ma'am."
    • Arguments (How many nouns are involved): DEFINED BELOW
    Most languages, especially the languages with Latin influence, conjugate verbs according the subject. Persons are divided into three persons: First (1st) person which expresses the speaker, the self or the selves: "I" or "we." Second (2nd) person expresses the person spoken to: "you" or "you all." Third (3rd) person expresses a different person separate from the speaker and the one spoken to: "he," "she", "it," "they."
    • English is rather simplified, only changing the present tense verb when the subject is 3rd person.
      • He eats.
      • She eats.
      • It eats.
      • All other take "eat."
    • German expresses according to person and number. Arbeiten, meaning /to work/ conjugates by removing -en and adding inflections.
      • Ich arbeite. /I work/ or /I am working./
      • Du arbeitest. /You work/ or /You are working./ *informal
      • Er arbeitet. Sie arbeitet. Es arbeitet. /He, she, it works/ or /He, she, it is working./
      • Wir arbeiten. /We work/ or /We are working./
      • Ihr arbeitet. /You all work/ or /You all are working./ *informal
      • Sie arbeiten. /They, you all work/ or /They, you all are working./ *formal for You all
    This is the differentiation between a singular and a plural subject. Some verbs (and nouns and pronouns) have special plural forms for just two items (called dual) or for a "few" items (called paucal). This is shown above with person.

    READ THIS DEFINITION CAREFULLY. Tense indicates a verb's location in time. It generally covers what happens before now (i.e. past), what happens right now (i.e. present), and what happens after now (i.e. the future). Some languages define these differently or have more separations (e.g. recent past, remote past, recent future, remote future). The sentences below also express various aspects, but represent the correct tense.
    • Past - I ate. I had eaten.
    • Present - I eat. I am eating.
    • Future - I will eat. I am going to eat. I will have eaten.
    • Recent past - I just ate. I have just eaten.
    • Remote past - I ate a long time ago. I had eaten a while ago.
    • Recent future - I am just about to eat. I am about to go eat.
    • Remote future - I will eat much later from now. I am going to eat a long time from now.
    This is similar, but NOT THE SAME AS TENSE. Aspect generally indicates how a verb relates to the flow of time, but NOT its location in time.
    Generally, this is understood as its state in a certain frame of time. These are generally defined as perfective and imperfective (which are NOT THE SAME as English's verb forms). I prefer to say completed and incomplete. I also add in contemplative for languages which conjugate according to aspect and not by tense. The sentences below express various tenses, but represent the correct aspect.
    • Completed (The action has finished.) - I ate. I have already eaten. Tomorrow, I will have eaten by noon.
    • Incomplete (The action is ongoing.) - I am eating. Tomorrow, I will be still eating at noon. I was eating still at noon.
    • Contemplative (The action is anticipated.) - I was about to eat then. I will eat soon. Tomorrow, I will begin eating by noon.
    These are not the the only aspects found. There are also aspects for habitual actions (habitual), beginning of actions (inceptive or inchoative), ending of actions (cessative), actions performed repeatedly (iterative), actions NOT performed (negative), whether it was done for a moment (delimitative or durative), an action performed frequently (frequentative), and if an action is sustained for a reallllly long time (long tense.) I can't find many aspects that indicate the opposite, but you could always make one.

    Mood: (ohdeargodthiswasaterribleidea)
    Moods indicate the speaker's opinion according to what is said. There are two broad classes of moods: Realis moods and Irrealis moods.
    • Realis - Making a statement that is known to be factual.
      • Indicative - Uhh...A statement.
        • "He works." (It is known that he works.) She had eaten apples. (It is known that she had eaten apples)
      • Energetic - Not defined in English. Adamance or certainty. Sometimes considered an aspect.
        • "I KNOW he works. (It is certain he works.) She certainly had eaten apples. (It is certain that she had eaten apples.)
      • Declarative - Not distinguished on the verb in English. Indicates a factual statement without any qualification.
        • The moon is in the sky. (I dunno how to explain this, really.)
      • Generic - Not distinguished on the verb in English. General statements about a particular class of things. Sometimes considered an aspect.
        • Cats have fur. (Generally true, but some cats are hairless.) Humans have two eyes, two ears, one mouth, one nose, two hands, and two feet. (Generally true, but not every human has these.)
    • Irrealis - Making a statement that is not necessarily factual.
      • Subjunctive - Many languages only have this, so it is used for all the below as well. The exact scope of the subjunctive mood is language-dependent.
      • Conditional - the "if" form. The second statement is dependent on the FIRST statement.
        • If I were a boy, I'd...go drink beer with the guys. (BEYONCÉÉÉ!)
        • 만약 내일 비가 오면, 집에 있을 거예요. /manyak naeil biga omyeon, jibe isseul geoyeyo./ If it rains tomorrow, then I will go home. (오면 /omyeon/ is the conditional form of 오다 /oda/ "to come," and it must be conjugated, even though 만약 /manyak/ "if" is already present.)
      • Optative - expresses HOPES, wishes and desires. Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • May you live a prosperous life!
        • If only I had a million dollars, I could buy this house!
        • God save the queen!
      • Jussive - imploration, plea, request (It's kinda the same, though not the same as cohortative. Gives a sense of "making someone feel obliged.") Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • Veniant. "They will come."
        • Adiuvet. "He shall help."
        • Oh, my friend here will do this for you.
      • Potential - the probability of a suggested action is likely, often used as "probably" or "likely." Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • He'll probably leave his room when he's hungry.
        • That dog is likely to bite you.
      • Imperative - issuing direct commands and direct requests. Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • Come here!
        • Eat your food!
        • Run!
      • Prohibitive - issuing direct prohibitions and "negative imperatives." Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • Don't run!
        • Don't go!
        • 그빵을 먹지 마! /geu ppangeul meokji ma!/ Don't eat the bread!
      • Desiderative - expresses WANTS and desires, not necessarily hopes. Often translated as "want to..." Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • I want to sleep at home.
        • たこやきを食べたい。/Takoyaki wo tabetai./ I want to eat takoyaki. (octopus meatballs)
      • Dubitative - expresses uncertainty or doubtfulness. Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • I guess he's sick...
        • I suppose she's already left...
        • Maybe the dog is in this room...
      • Presumptive - expresses indifference, inevitability, concern, curiosity. Often translated as "[Even] if..." or "Whatever X, then..." Not distinguished on the verb in English.
        • Even if you love me, I still feel it is dangerous to keep you close to me.
        • Whatever fate we are given, we will live it happily."
      • Permissive - expresses permission from the speaker. Not distinguished.
        • I'll let you leave.
        • You may go to the restroom now.
      • Hortative - There are seven different kinds of hortative moods.
        • Adhortative: Encourages or urges the listener's bringing about a proposition.
          • "You might want to go--it'll be fun."
          • "You could try to eat it; it's really delicious."
        • Exhortative: Avidly encourages or strongly urges the listener's bringing about a proposition.
          • "You have to go--it'll be fun!"
          • "You must eat this food--it's absolutely divine!"
        • Suprahortative: Intensely encourages or extremely urges the listener's bringing about a proposition.
          • "Please go! You must go!"
          • "You must eat it! You HAVE TO EAT IT."
        • Dehortative: Discourages or dissuades the listener's bringing about a proposition.
          • "You shouldn't go. It might not be fun."
          • "You don't need to eat it. It's not that good."
        • Inhortative: Avidly discourages or strongly dissuades the listener's bringing about a proposition.
          • "Don't go--you know it won't be fun."
          • "Don't eat it--it's not good at all."
        • Infrahortative: Intensely discourages or extremely dissuades the listener's bringing about a proposition.
          • "DO. NOT. GO."
          • "You will not eat that!"
        • Cohortative: Indicates mutual agreement or disagreement.
          • "Let's eat this! It looks delicious!"
          • "How about we don't eat this. It doesn't look any good."
          • "We should go! It'll be fun!"
          • "Please, let's not go! It's scary!"
      • Inferential or Renarrative - expresses reporting a non-witnessed event.
        • So Janine told me that your mother was caught naked with the dog in the bedroom.
        • So I heard that your father was caught putting mustard on his heynannernanner and feeding it to your mom's sister.
      • Interrogative - For questions. Most languages do not have a separate form for asking questions, though a few do.
    This explains if there is a change in state. For example: Arabic differentiates "ride" which is a static form and "mount" which is a dynamic form. Chinese differentiates if a picture is "being hung" currently which is dynamic or if it is currently "hanging" which is static.

    Often synonymous with a few aspects, this can include "reporting." Some languages have different verb endings indicating whether the topic of conversation is confirmed truth, reliable hearsay, unreliable hearsay, probable fiction, and confirmed fiction.

    This is how to say you did NOT do something. The process of negation differs from language to language.
    • Spanish negates directly in front of the verb. "Yo no tengo un vaso de agua." Literally, "I no have a glass of water."
    • Early Modern English negated directly after the verb. "I know not where I go."
    • French negates both before and after the verb. "Je ne tiens pas un voiture." Literally, "I no have no a car."
    • Japanese has a special verb form to negate. 食べません. /Tabemasen/
    • Modern English negates by adding an auxiliary verb and then negating the auxiliary. "I don't know where to find this."
    • Finnish has an inflected auxiliary, like I not, he nots, she nots, it nots. "Hän ei puhu." Literally, "He nots to speak." or "He nots speaking."
    Modern English has, for the most part, drifted to become a very gender-neutral and a very minimal honorific language. This isn't to say English speakers aren't polite, but the language doesn't express politeness the same way, at least not as much as it used to. In many languages, there is a way to seem polite. One of the common ways is called the T-V distinction, as it is in French, Tagalog, Spanish, and German.
    • There are two or more kinds of "you."
      • French "tu," Spanish "tú," German "du," Tagalog "ikaw" or "ka" or "mo" or "niyo." These forms are used in informal conversation to one person.
      • French "vous," Spanish "usted," German "Sie," and Tagalog "kayo" or "ninyo" or "sila." These forms are used formal conversation to one person, even though French and Tagalog express plurality.
      • Spanish "ustedes" or "vosotros" and German "Sie" and the above French and Tagalog pronouns. "These forms are used in formal conversation to more than one person.
    • The verbs conjugate appropriately according to the pronoun used.
    Another way to show deference is to have certain verb endings, as Korean and Japanese do.
    • 비가 옵니다. /biga obnida/ "It is raining." Honorific, most polite, most formal.
    • 비가 와요. /biga wayo./ "It is raining." Polite, natural, common.
    • 비가 와. /Biga wa./ "It is raining." Casual, intimate, informal.
    Some languages use different words for different registers. In Japanese, the word for "come in" differs on the context of the situation.
    • 来て下さい。/kite kudasai/ "Please come (in)." Normal context.
    • いらっしゃいませ。/irasshaimase/ "Please come (in)." Business context.
    No, not like disagreements. Verbs in most languages often encode arguments, the number of nouns influenced by the verb. Most English verbs can have a varying number arguments, but a select few are one argument only. For example, what is the difference between "to hear" and "to listen"? Technically, they are the same, but "to hear" can have more arguments than "to listen" can.
    It is proper to say, "I hear you," but you can't say, "I listen you." This is because hear is transitive and listen is intransitive.
    • NO ARGUMENTS: English does not have this. We cannot say, "raining" or "rains," in a normal context, barring imperatives. English requires a subject. "It is raining." Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, Thai, Chinese, and a buncha other languages do not require an argument on some of their verbs.
    • One Argument - Intransitive: This is a verb which do not deliver an action from one noun to another noun. The rain fell. I listened. I watched intently.
    • Two Arguments - Transitive: This is a verb which delivers action from noun to another. The rain soaked the clothes. I heard you speak. She guarded the necklace.
      • Reflexive: The "self" conjugation. I washed myself. She hurt herself. Some languages like Spanish prefer this if there is no "real" subject. The common phrase "Se habla español" literally means "Spanish speaks itself."
    • Three Arguments - Ditransitive: This is a verb which delivers action from noun to another by means of another noun. I gave the girl my book. She kicked the ball to me. We're giving this money for everyone.
    • Four Arguments: This is a verb which delivers action from a noun to another noun by the means of another noun for the intent of a separate noun. (CONFUSING I KNOW)
      • Tagalog has a few conjugations like this. These include Beneficiary and Instrumental type conjugations.
        • Ipanghampas ako ng langaw ang papel para sa kapatid mo. "I used the paper to kill the fly for your sibling."
    #6 Levusti, Oct 22, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
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  7. GRAMMAR: PART 3 Verbs (cont.)

    So isolating languages generally have a simple verb system. Verbs do not conjugate and they are merely used in the form they are already in. Generally, these verbs are not the same as the noun it is a counterpart. For example, there is a difference between the word "smoke" as in the gas product of fire and "to smoke" as in the action of inhaling burning plant fumes.

    Because most isolating languages use the verbs alone, if the subject and what is intended is understood, then all the shit you see up there that a verb may possibly encode can be omitted, because it is already understood.

    Person and number, tense, aspect, mood evidentiality, or irrealism will never be expressed with the verb because there is no way to express these on the verb. If tense, aspect, mood, evidentiality, or irrealism need to be expressed, then they are simply added on to the rest of the verb phrase as separate words and not as suffixes or prefixes or as conjugations, which phonologically changes verb stems--something isolating languages do not do.

    Deference is usually indicated with verbs, not because the verbs change forms, but often because different registers of speaking also use different verbs. For example, if you talk to a friend, you might use the verb phrase "to hang out," because it's casual. However, if you want to talk to say the President of the United States, you might use the verb phrase, "to socialize," because that seems more formal. They have no relationship, at least etymologically, but they do have the same meaning.

    Arguments may sometimes be indicated on verbs of isolating languages. There will be a difference between transitive and intransitive verbs. For example, "to burn" (1) as in "to be destroyed by fire" and "to burn (something)" (2) as in "to set something on fire" are different. "To burn" (1) expresses intransitivity. No action is being transferred from one noun to another. A single noun--which is one argument--performs the action or is in the state of being in the action. "To burn" (2) expresses transitivity. Action is being performed or transferred from one noun to another. The subject does SOMETHING to an object. There are languages which express these as different actions, and it is simply done in isolating languages.


    You see all that shit up there? There's probably a different affix for each one. Agglutinating languages do not generally express everything up there.

    Typically, agglutinating languages do not worry about person and number, though it is possible.

    It is simple to apply deference as they do in Korean, where the verbs get different endings according to the level of politeness.

    -ㅂ니다 /-bnida/ = most polite, honorific, formal
    -어요, -아요, -여요 /-eoyo, -ayo, -yeoyo/ = polite, natural
    -어, 아, 여 /-eo, -a, -yeo/ = casual, intimate

    A really neat feature in a lot of agglutinating languages is that verbs agglutinate with each other. For example, in Korean, the word 돌다 /dolda/ is the infinitive form for the word "to turn, to rotate." However, you can combine it with a variety of words to give it the sense of "to...back." 가다 /gada/ means "to go." 돌다 + 가다 = 돌아가다. /doragada/ meaning "to go back." With 오다 /oda/, it is 돌아오다 /doraoda/ meaing "to come back." With 보다 /boda/ meaning look or see, it becomes 돌아보다 /doraboda/. "To look back."


    Now inflectional languages are very concise with verbs, because each addition to a word can encode EVERYTHING you see up there, though that is not normal. Many languages with inflections may pair a few additions, as long as the intended meaning isn't ambiguous. Usually context, resolves this, but sometimes it doesn't.

    The big thing with inflections is that these additions to a word must undergo sound change, something we'll view in a later section.


    Many many languages, regardless of type, often have verb phrases. Verb phrases--to me--are fairly sloppy. I do have to admit, however, they give a better idea of what is being said. Now some languages lend well to this, like English, which has a variety of auxiliary or helping verbs to express what is said. However, some languages do not. But they do link two different verbs together to create another expression.

    Do be careful though, since modern English has a lot of phrasal verbs. They all use a common word, but they do not mean the same thing.

    For example: "to look"
    "to look" as in seem some way. "You don't look good."​
    "to look at" as in beholding. "I looked at the stars"​
    "to look up" as in research. "I look up 'stars' in the encyclopedia."​
    "to look up to" as in to revere, venerate, respect. "I look up to my mentor."​
    "to look down on" as in to condescend. "My mentor doesn't look down on me."​
    "to look for" as in to search, to hunt. "I looked for the stars on this cloudy night."​
    "to look like" as in to resemble (something) "You look like your mother."​
    "to look out" as in to be watchful, cautious. "Look out for venomous snakes in the desert."​
    "to look into (something)" as in to consider (something). "You should look into the medical field."​

    I feel that THESE phrasal verbs are terribly lazy, but it also cuts down on learners of English to really remember all these different verbs and remember one common word and attach various prepositions to change the exact meaning.


    Okay guise. This actually took me two posts to do since the editor above complained too much when I kept adding things on to the first already mile-long post. Hopefully this has been a little helpful. We'll be doing Pronouns next!
    #7 Levusti, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
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  8. GRAMMAR: Part 4 Pronouns

    Alrighty guise, I chose to do pronouns next since this is a little easier to do.

    1. Definition and Example
    2. In English and in other Languages
    3. How isolating, agglutinating, and inflectional languages use them.
    4. Why does ___ exist with this part of speech?
    5. Other comments

    1. First of all, what is a pronoun?
    A pronoun is any word that replaces a noun.
    An antecedent is the word a pronoun has replaced.

    Without pronouns, we'd always have to refer directly to the person/thing spoken to, the person/thing speaking, or the person/thing spoken about. In the example below, we'll replace the antecedent "Diana" with the respective pronouns.

    For example, instead of saying, "Diana is our administrator. Diana is very cool. This is because Diana has a passion for roleplaying. All of Iwaku loves Diana.

    We could say, "Diana is our administrator. SHE is very cool. This is because SHE has a passion for roleplaying. All of Iwaku loves HER."

    This makes it much easier to refer to someone or something without having to use the same words repeatedly.

    2. In English, personal pronouns are separated four different ways. They are separated according to person, plurality, gender (in a few pronouns only) and in case. (One of the few times cases changes a word's form in English.) I've also included the obsolete pronoun "thou" and its declensions as well as the obsolete declensions of "you".

    There are Nominative Case pronouns, which refer to the subject.

    SINGULAR .......... PLURAL​
    1st. ... I ..................... we​
    2nd. thou (obs.)/you .. you (all)​
    3rd. he, she, it ............. they​

    Objective Case pronouns refer to the direct objects of a sentence, the indirect objects of the sentence, and the objects of prepositions.

    SING. ...................... PL.​
    1st. me ............................ us​
    2nd. thee(obs.)/you ...... ye (obs.)/ you​
    3rd. him, her, it ............. them​

    Finally, Possessive Case pronouns indicate possession.
    SING. ......................................... PL.​
    1st. my, mine ................................... our, ours​
    2nd. thy, thine (obs.)/your, yours .... your, yours​
    3rd. his, her, hers, its ..................... their, theirs​

    That seems like that's all the possibilities, right? WRONG. There are many more possibilities.

    I'll show you Tagalog's absolutive or direct-case pronouns.

    SING. .......................... PL.​
    1st. ako ....................... tayo (inc.), kami (exc.)​
    2nd. ikaw, ka ............... kayo​
    3rd. siya ...................... sila​

    Tagalog doesn't differentiate gender, but it will differentiate case, person, and plurality. Also, it declines the plural pronoun for "we" into two separate pronouns according to INCLUSION.

    In English, we don't have this option. For example, we have Alice, Brenda, and Charlotte. Alice and Brenda are going to the movies but Charlotte isn't.
    A: "So we're going to the movies later."​
    C: "Oh, we are?! What are we gonna watch?"​
    A: "By we, I meant Brenda and I will watch a movie. Not you."​
    C: "Oh."​

    In Tagalog, this could never happen because we know if the listener-- "you" -- is included. "Tayo" is the Filipino pronoun "we." It is INCLUSIVE, meaning the person + the addressee as a "we" unit. "Kami" is also the Filipino pronoun "we," but it is EXCLUSIVE. This means the person + others, but not the addressee as a "we" unit. Essentially, these two kinds of "we" are condensed versions of the words, "we--but not with you" as the exclusive and "we--along with you" as the inclusive.

    In many European languages, there are varying pronouns to give politeness TO THE ADDRESSEE. This can be called the T-V Distinction, as in French tu and vous. Both mean "you," but tu is only used for those you are close with or those who are younger in age or lower in status. Spanish has this as , vosotros, and usted/ustedes. The vosotros form is used in some areas, where as the usted is used in others. Usted and ustedes conjugate like the words "él, ella" /he, she, it/ or "ellos, ellas" /they (masc.), they (fem.)/ respectively

    Many distinctions can be made or omitted within pronouns.
    • Gender (not necessarily in the third person only with he, she, it, but with ALL the pronouns.)
    • NO Gender (like in Tagalog and many other Asian languages do not need/have a "he, she" distinction, though some may have them.)
    • Number (singular or plural. Also, some languages may have dual (two) or paucal (few) forms.)
    • NO number (like English "you" is the correct form of address for one listener or many listeners.)
    • Animacy (whether the noun referred to is a living thing or not)
    • Inclusion (whether "we" includes you or excludes you)
    • Formality (like Tagalog ikaw-kayo, French tu-vous, Spanish tú-vosotros/usted(es), German du/ihr-Sie)
    • Obviative/Proximate forms (think two different "she" or "he" or "it" words so you can distinguish two different people in the same conversation.)
    • Indefinitiveness - (English "one" in "One does not simply walk into Mordor" or French "on" as in "L'on y danse" /People dance there/.)

    Isolating languages generally do not inflect pronouns, as the role of a noun is usually indicated by position, not by form. So there may only be one set of pronouns that perform the roles of subject or object (of something) depending on the position.

    In Mandarin Chinese, these are the personal pronouns.

    SING. .................. PL.
    1st. wǒ ................... wǒ men
    2nd. nǐ ................... nǐ men
    3rd. tā .................... tā men

    I know NOTHING about Mandarin Chinese, but it's easy to see that pluralization of the pronouns are rather simple and I wouldn't be surprised if "men" was just a pluralizing word.


    These languages generally do the same as isolating languages.

    A very nifty thing that some agglutinating languages do, however, is agglutinate the subject and/or the object onto the verb itself, like in Swahili or Quechua.

    Swahili ona is "see." ni = I. ku = you. Nikuona = I see you.
    Swahili ona is "see" tu = we. m = he, she, it. Tumona = we see him.
    Swahili ona is "see". ni = I. ji = reflexive. Nijiona = I see myself.


    Like English's pronouns in their cases, inflecting languages usually decline pronouns according to person, number, sometimes gender, and case.

    This allows the rearrangement of the sentence to apply emphasis without changing the meaning.

    "I like him. Do you?"
    "Me, I don't like him that much."
    "Lovestruck is she who likes him."

    Because inflectional languages often conjugate verbs according to person, the subject can be dropped. In Spanish, it is not necessary at all to have a pronoun with a verb, since the verb already conveys the subject pronoun. The only time a pronoun REALLY needs to be in there is when clarification is needed.

    Como pan. /Eat bread./ "(I) am eating bread."
    ¿Dónde vas?" /Where go?/ "Where are (you) going?"
    Quiere dormir. /Wants to sleep./ "(She) wants to sleep."

    Some languages, like Russian, Portuguese, French, and German still require that the subject pronoun and the conjugated verb to appear.

    4. Are these really ALL the pronouns?

    Nope. There are non-personal pronouns, which don't really describe a specific person or thing, but show relative position.

    Traditionally these are divided into several groups which, with English pronouns, look like the following.
    • Interrogative pronouns
      • who (person), what (thing), where (place), when (time), how (way), why (reason), which (adjective)
    • Demonstrative pronouns
      • this (person near), this (thing near), here (place near), now (time near), this (adjective)
      • that (person far), that (thing near), there (place far), then (time far), that (adjective)
      • yonder (person very far), yonder (thing very far), yon (adjective) [THIS IS OBSOLETE IN MODERN ENGLISH]
    • Indefinite Pronouns
      • someone, something, someplace, sometime, somehow, some
      • everyone, everything, everywhere, always, every
      • anyone, anything, anywhere, anytime, any
      • no one, nothing, nowhere, never, no
    • Quantitative Pronouns
      • both
      • few
      • several
      • many
      • all
      • every
      • some
      • none
    Essentially, the non-personal pronouns answer the following question. Which person/Who? What thing/which? Which place/where? What time/when? Which way/how? What reason/why? And all of that is placed into relation of the space or in relation to time.

    Which/what thing nearby? This.
    Where/what place faraway? That. (or Yonder.)
    Which person/who over there? That (one).

    Tempting as it is to answer each question, most languages do not answer each question. For example, if you were answer "How do I make it?" You have to fabricate a new phrase. "In this way." or "Like so."
    Most languages have three to four distinctions for the whole distance things when it comes to the demonstrative pronouns.

    Tagalog has four, though in modern Tagalog it has shifted slightly to reflect what most languages have (the last three in the list below). Some people in various areas of the Philippines or maybe the older or traditional Tagalog speakers may use all four, but most people I've met use only the last three below. (My mother speaks very traditionally when she speaks Tagalog and I learned a lot of my Tagalog from her.)
    • ire - this (nearer to speaker)
    • ito - this (near to speaker and listener)
    • iyan - that (nearer to listener)
    • iyon - that (far from speaker and listener)
    English's older form "yonder" isn't heard much. I only hear it in literature or--again--with the older citizens of the American Midwest (COWBOY LANGUAGE). I think I may have heard it a little in British English, but I can't say for sure. Modern English prefers "that over there" which I feel is very sloppy. C'mon, you gotta feel that "Yon woman by the store" sounds a lot more classier that "That woman over there by the store."

    Korean and Japanese have a nice, simple system which are similar to one another.

    Japanese has a こ-そ-あ-ど system /ko-so-a-do/ system which answers most of the above questions with ko, so, a, or do, meaning "this, that, yon, and which" respectively. For example, これ、それ、あれ、どれ /kore, sore, are, dore/ mean "this (thing), that (thing), yon (thing), which (thing)." They also have ここ、そこ、どこ /koko, soko, doko/ which mean "here, there, where." Notice there is no あこ /ako/ which would mean yonder.

    Korean's is 이, 그, 저, 어 /i, geu, jeo, and eo/ which can answer some of the questions proposed above for demonstrative pronouns that English can't. For example, the question "how" which proposes the "way" in English can only be "how" and "thusly." Otherwise it must be answered "like this" or "like so." Korean is 이렇게, 그렇게, 저렇게, and 어떻게 /ireoke, geureoke, jeoreoke, and eotteoke/ meaning "like this, like that, like yonder and like how."

    5. Politeness and Pronouns

    I mean, it's not NECESSARY to have pronouns at all, to be honest. Many Asian languages find personal pronouns to be VERY PERSONAL.

    In Korean and Japanese, it is more polite to refer to use someone's name than it is to use pronouns. If you have to use pronouns, there are also several levels of pronouns.
    • Korean: 저 /jeo/ and 나 /na/ both mean "I" or "me," but 저 is much more polite than 나 /na/.
    • Korean: You will rarely use 너 /neo/ and even more rarely use 당신 /dangshin/ which both mean "you." I mean, you can if you're asking for a fist fight. Otherwise, it's more polite to use a person's name.
    • Japanese: there are several "I" and "you" pronouns used to indicate intimacy and/or age. For example, 私 /watashi/ is considered standard. あたし /atashi/ is used by women. 僕 /boku/ is used mainly for young boys or in lyrics. オレ /ore/ is very prideful sounding. 私 /watakushi/ sounds very...old...like grandpa-ish. These all mean I.
    So what would you do without pronouns?​
    Good question. Korean and Japanese and older styles of English all preferred the use of titles rather than pronouns.
    Modern English limits the titles to educational settings, military settings, and royalty now.
    • What would Your Majesty like to drink?
    • The ambassador has arrived, Your Highness.
    • Corporal, what have reconnaissance retrieved?
    • I haven't seen them, Dr. Higgins.
    • Prof. Ratliff, where are the books?
    Though still in use in some English-speaking areas, such as the American South (I GOT SOUTHERN PRIDE YO), titles and honorifics in everyday usage have more or less gone obsolete.
    • Master Johnson (for a young boy)
    • Miss Johnson (for an unmarried girl or a young girl)
    • Mister Johnson (for a man, married or not)
    • Mrs. (Mistress) Johnson (for a married woman. Abbreviation for Mistress.)
    • Yes, sir. No, sir.
    • Yes, ma'am. No, ma'am. (short for madam)
    Today, if you said, "Yes, Mistress" or "Yes, Madam" to a woman, she might slap you. The connotations for both the words mistress and madam are negative now. I still use it, and it's considered rude to not use it in Texas. In some areas though, it may be mistaken for sarcasm and it comes off rude.

    If you don't resort to titles, well you could say, "This person" instead of "I." But that gets tiring and confusing if you were to say, "I reminded myself to take my friend to you." Would it be "This person reminded this person's self to take this person's friend to that person."

    6. Declining non-personal pronouns.

    In inflecting languages, it's normal to decline non personal pronouns as well. Now I'm not gonna go over all the cases there are. If you want to see many cases, go up a few posts.

    What I am going to go over is to show English's old case system for "here, there, where."

    • Essive: here. "John resideth here upon the riverside."
      • Ablative: hither /to here/ "John, comest thou hither!"
      • Ellative: hence /from here/ "John goeth not hence to the marketplace."
    • Essive: there. "The princess resideth there within the castle."
      • Ablative: thither /to there/ "I shall go thither to save the princess!"
      • Ellative: thence /from there/ "Princess, come ye from thence!"
    • Essive: where. "Where art thou, Eunice? I have called thee on my bewitched talking stone and thou answerest not for an hour!"
      • Ablative: whither /to where/ "Indeed, Lucretia, my bewitched talking stone had not been electrified! Whither shall I go? Shalt thou come hither, or I thither?"
      • Ellative: whence /from where/ "So your bewitched talking stone worketh? Then tellest me thou whence thou callest and we shalt plan thence."

    So just keep case in mind if you do an inflectional language. And do pardon the sentences above, I was having waaaaay too much fun.

    Anyways, mull over the possibilities and create your own pronouns!

    Next are numbers, followed by adjectives and adverbs. I promise we're getting close to making good lovely language stuffs soon!
    #8 Levusti, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
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  9. Grammar: Part 5


    Okay guise, we're gonna go with a relatively short(ER) post today. I thought all this grammar stuff was getting tiring, so to give you a different thing to think about, we'll do numbers!

    Think of alllllllll the number systems you may have encountered in other languages. Most of them go by tens correct? Do you know why? How many digits are on the average human's hands? 10. Ten. Yep. That's why most number systems count 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. And then cycle through the second set of 10.

    Some languages cycle at 5. Some languages cycle at 20. What if you have an alien race? How many digits are on the appendages used to count? That's where their number system will most likely cycle.So if you have an alien race with three appendages on each hand and have two hands total, their system would cycle at sixes because of their six digits.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    6+1, 6+2, 6+3, 6+4, 6+5, 6+6

    Now we'll continue with the cycles of 10, which we're most familiar with as humans.

    How do you name the numbers? Let's take a peek at a few languages.
    • English:
      • From 0 until 12, each number takes an individual name.
        • "Zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve."
      • 13-19 each begins with the root number + -teen.
        • "ThirTEEN, fourTEEN, fifTEEN, sixTEEN, sevenTEEN, eightTEEN, nineTEEN,"
      • 20 and other multiples of 10 are the root number + -ty and then the numbers 1-9 again.
        • "TwenTY, twenty-one, thirTY, thirty-seven, forTY, fifTY, etc."
    • German: Like English, 0 until 12 gets their own number. 13-19 each begins with the root number + zehn, meaning ten. 20 and other multiples of ten are in the form of "(1-9) und root number + -zig."
      • null 0, eins 1, zwei 2, drei 3, vier 4, fünf 5, sechs 6, sieben 7, acht 8, neun 9, zehn 10, elf 11, zwölf 12
      • dreizehn 13 (literally three-ten), vierzehn 14 (lit. four-ten), fünfzehn 15 (lit. five-ten), and so on until 19.
      • Zwanzig 20, einsundzwanzig 21 (lit. one-and-twenty), zweiundzwanzig 22 (lit. two-and-twenty), dreiundvierzig 43 (lit. three-and-forty)
      • 0 - 16 with their own name, but the number zero itself does not appear in any roots.
        • zéro, un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix, onze, douze, treize, quatorze, quinze, seize
      • 17-19 in the form of "dix" + root number. Dix literally means 10.
        • dix-sept (lit. ten-seven), dix-huit (lit. ten-eight), dix-neuf (lit. ten-nine)
      • 20 and multiples of ten until 60 derive their own roots. With the word "one," it is "ROOT et un" (lit. ROOT and one). The numbers 2-9 are hyphenated to the root.
        • vingt (twenty), vingt et un 21 (lit. twenty and one), vingt-deux 22 (lit. twenty-two), vingt-trois 23
        • vingt 20, trente 30, quarante 40, cinquante 50, soixante 60
      • 70's written as "soixante" and the appropriate teens word.
        • soixante-dix 70 (sixty-ten), soixante-onze 71 (lit. sixty-eleven), soixante-douze 72 (lit. sixty-twelve)
      • 80's and 90's written as "quatre-vingts" and the appropriate ones or teens word.
        • quatre-vingt 80 (four-twenties/four-score), quatre-vingt-un 81 (four-twenties-one/four-score-one)
        • quatre-vingt-dix 90 (four-twenties-ten/four-score-ten), quatre-vingt-onze 91 (four-twenties-eleven/four-score-eleven)
    • Chinese/Sino-Korean/Sino-Japanese
      • Zero is given it's own name, but will not appear in any roots
        • CHI: ling
        • KOR: gong/yong/jiro
        • JPN: rei/nuru/zero
      • 1-10 are given their own name.
        • CHI: 1-10 are named "yi, er, san, si, wu, liu, qi, ba, jiu, shi
        • KOR: 1-10 are named "il, yi, sam, sa, oh, yook/ryook, chil, pal, gu, ship"
        • JPN: 1-10 are named "ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyuu, jyuu"
      • 11-99 are concatenations (side-by-side) of one of the above ten
        • CHI: 11-14 are "shiyi 11 (lit ten-one), shier 12 (ten-two), shisan 13 (ten-three), shisi 14 (ten-four)
        • KOR: 24-27 are "yishipsa 24 (two-tens-four), yishipoh 25 (two-tens-five), yishimryook 26 (two-tens-six), yishipchil 27 (two-tens-seven)
        • JPN: 38-40 are "sanjyuuhachi 38 (three-tens-eight), sanjyuukyuu 39 (three-tens-nine), shijyuu 40 (four-tens)
    • Korean (Native)
      • 1 through ten are given their own names.
        • 하나 1, 둘 2, 셋 3, 넷 4, 다섯 5, 여섯 6, 일곱 7, 여덟 8, 아홉 9, 열 10
          • /hana, dul, set, net, daseot, yeoseot, ilgop, yeodeolb, ahop, yeol/
      • 20 and other multiples of ten are given their own names, not necessarily derived from their root number.
        • 스물 20, 서른 30, 마흔 40, 쉰 50, 예순 60, 일흔 70, 여든 80, 아흔 90, 온 100
          • /seumul, seoreun, maheun, swin, yesun, ilheun, yeodeun, aheun, on/
      • Numbers greater than ten are made by adding the proper root for the tens and then the ones places.
        • 22 = 스물둘 /seumul dul/
        • 157 = 오쉰일곱 /on swin ilgop/
        • 91 = 아흔하나 /aheun hana/
    Okay, hopefully that gives you a good idea of how numbers can be made.
    Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease don't be stupid like French numbers. Belgium and Switzerland, other French speaking countries, actually use septante (seventy) instead of soixante-dix (sixty-ten) and huitante (eighty) and nonante (ninety) instead of quatre-vingt (four-twenties/four-score) and quatre-vingt-dix (four-twenty-ten/four-score-ten). When I learned French numbers in highschool, I was ready to kill the French.

    I have to admit, German numbers are kinda like English numbers, but in backwards order, so it may be difficult to create a language like that without automatically switching them around in English order.

    And one more comment, the Chinese numbers. I DON'T WANT TO PERPETUATE THE STEREOTYPE THAT ALL ASIANS ARE GOOD AT MATH, but HONESTLY, the reason I believe many Asians are so good at math are that the LANGUAGE LENDS WELL to this. What do I mean?

    In English, German, Native Korean, Spanish, French, Tagalog, Italian and many other languages, at each multiple of ten (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, etc,) a new word is made. Sometimes, it's hard to see the relationship between 5 and 50 when written or heard. "Five" doesn't sound like it makes up the word "fifty," even though the relationship between them is the number of tens. There are five tens in the number fifty. 5 x 10 = 50.

    This is even CRAZIER in French when you're wondering how 8 is related to the number 80 when you're calling 8 as "eight" and 80 as "four-twenties." There are eight tens in the number four-twenties. 8 x 10 = 80.

    In Chinese, Sino-Korean, and Sino-Japanese (all derived from Chinese), the numbers themselves do the calculations for you, almost. 4 and 40 are called four and four-tens. 4 and 14 are called four and ten-four. The relationship between the numbers are clear. Now this is my opinion, you can choose to do whatever you like with your own languages, of course.


    The numbers hundred, thousand, and million are the words which indicate new comma usage because of the WESTERN MATHEMATICAL division of numbers, which asks to divide numbers at every three places.
    • NORTH AMERICA: One-million, seven hundred twenty-three thousand, six hundred twelve point four five is written 1,723,612.45
    • EUROPE: The same number above is written 1.723.612,45
    The numbers for million and billion and trillion used to not be the same in American English and British English.
    • American: The next set of hundred-thousands was given a new term. This is called the SHORT SCALE.
      • million = 1,000,000
      • billion = 1,000,000,000
      • trillion = 1,000,000,000,000
      • quadrillion = 1,000,000,000,000,000
      • quintillion = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
    • British: The next set of hundred-thousands was first appended onto the previous term and then the next set after that was given a new term. This is called the LONG SCALE.
      • million = 1,000,000
      • milliard / hundred-thousand-million = 1,000,000,000
      • billion = 1,000,000,000,000
      • billiard / hundred-thousand-billion = 1,000,000,000,000,000
      • trillion = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
    The British Counting (Long scale) has gone out of use in favor of the short scale.
    In languages INFLUENCED BY CHINESE MATHMATICS, the terms are created because numbers are divided by thousands, not by hundreds. This means the comma in the ORIENT are better placed after every FOUR numbers.
    • For the number ten-million, in the WEST it would be written as 10,000,000.
    • In the ORIENT, it would be theoretically be written as 1000,0000, assuming the commas divide the same place the language divides.
    In the West, we divide the digits into ones place, tens place, and hundreds place, then repeat.

    In the Orient, they divide the digits into the ones, the tens (ship), the hundreds (baek) and the thousands (cheon) and myriads (man or 10,000; obsolete in Modern English) then repeat. Because of the introduction of Arabic numerals in Asia, the numbers are still divided by three places although the language divides it at four.
    • "Forty-one million, seven hundred twenty-three thousand, six hundred eighty-five"
      • According to the Western style of mathematics, this number is 41,723,685
      • 4172,3685 would be the theoretical way of writing this number
      • /사천백칠십이만삼천육백팔십구/
      • KOREAN: /sa cheon baek chil ship yi man sam cheon yook baek pal ship gu/
      • "four thousand [one] hundred seventy-two myriads, three thousand six hundred sighty-five"
    After you developed your COUNTING NUMBERS, you need to make derivations.
    • Ordinal Numbers: FOR ORDERING things. "First, second, third...eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth..."
    • Fractions: For PARTS of things: "Whole, one-half, one-third..."
    • Frequency: For REPETITIONS: "Once, twice, thrice..."
    • Multiples: For GROUPING items: "Single, double, triple, quadruple, quintuple..."
    Now not every number is going to have its own derivation. For example, the next in the sequence of "once, twice, thrice" is "four times" and then "five times." The words "whole" and "half" don't seem to have an apparent relationship to the numbers "one" and "two".

    A few more things to remind you.
    • Make sure the numbers aren't ambiguous. Ten-four cannot mean both 14 and 40.
    • If your language will have inflections, make sure your numbers decline. You don't have to do all of them, if you don't want. Latin stops declining numbers after 4. Spanish and French only decline the number 1.
    • Your names of numbers don't have to come out of thin air. There are some languages which have number named by the process of counting on human hands and toes.
      • Choctaw 5 "tahlapi" /the first [hand] finished/
      • Klamath 8 "ndan-ksahpta /three I have bent over/
      • Unalit 11 "atkahakhtok" /going down to the feet/
      • Shasta 20 "tsec" /man (all the possible counting digits a man has)/
    • Some languages, especially those which are influenced by several languages, have several counting systems.
      • Korean and Japanese have two: Native and Sino. (Chinese derived)
        • Native Korean and Native Japanese are used mainly for counting or enumerating.
          • Korean uses native numbers for age and counting people, animals, and a few other things.
          • Native Japanese are used for the same as Korean (except age and a few other exceptions), but only go to 10 in modern Japanese.
        • Sino-Korean and Sino-Japanese are used for mathematics, large numbers, and a few other things.
          • Sino Japanese is for telling time.
          • Sino-Korean uses the Native Korean number for the hour and the Sino-Korean number for the minute.
      • Tagalog, in the modern day, uses three, though there really isn't a STRICT rule when to use what.
        • Typically, it is Spanish, Tagalog, and English numbers, but this may vary from person-to-person, family-to-family, and region-to-region.
          • Tagalog numbers are typically used for counting, referring to small amounts, or for naming the paper money values, and sometimes time (but this makes it seem very formal).
          • Spanish numbers are typically used for time, sometimes age, and sometimes small amounts.
          • English numbers are typically used for large amounts (like price values of a product) or for telling phone numbers.
    Well there we go! Go make yourself some mathematical fun! Next are adjectives and adverbs. Following that, we'll be ready to make some simple sentences!
    #9 Levusti, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
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  10. Grammar: Part 6

    Adjectives and Adverbs

    Okay, guise, I know that in ENGLISH, these are classified as TWO DIFFERENT parts of speech, but in some languages, they are classified DIFFERENTLY.

    Tagalog has few strict adverbs or adjectives, most of the adverbs pertaining to time and even then, they are sometimes used for adjectives. Korean has no "real" adjectives and have very few strict adverbs. Adjectives are really verbs in Korean and adverbs are mostly used for time. But anyways, we have to know what adjectives and adverbs are to truly understand what they are.

    1. Definition and Example
    2. In English and in other Languages
    3. How isolating, agglutinating, and inflectional languages use them.
    4. Other comments

    1. Definitions and Examples
    According to English grammar adjectives are modifying words for NOUNS or PRONOUNS. They answer the questions, "Which one? What kind? How many? How much? Whose?"
    • Which one? That woman performed a one-woman play.
    • What kind? The crazy, smelly hobo was actually a billionaire in disguise.
    • How many? Forty dogs were in heat.
    • How much? I have many pet fish.
    • Whose? Iwaku is Diana's domain.
    According to English grammar adverbs are modifying words for VERBS, ADJECTIVES, and other ADVERBS. They answer the questions, "When? Where? How? How often? To what extent?"
    • When? I ate my food earlier.
    • Where? My sister hid my cellphone nearby.
    • How? My brother sings beautifully
    • How often? Daily, I take time to read my Twitter feed.
    • To what extent? It was very hot.
    2. In English and in other Languages
    In English, adjectives and adverbs are two different parts of speech that are NOT interchangeable. For example, the word "happy" is classified as an adjective and its adverb counterpart "happily" are not interchangeable. If you use to replace one another, it sounds a little stilted, like you're a foreigner or you're a young child still learning the langauge.
    • ADVERB: happily
      • CORRECT: I ate my cake happily.
      • INCORRECT: I ate my cake happy. (If you are fluent English speaker, you know this sounds "unnatural" or "stilted")
    • ADJECTIVE: happy
      • CORRECT: The happy woman sang her song.
      • INCORRECT: The happily woman sang her song. (stilted)
    • ADVERB: quickly
      • CORRECT: I quickly ate my food.
      • INCORRECT: I quick ate my food.
    • ADJECTIVE: quick
      • CORRECT: The quick athlete passed four other runners.
      • INCORRECT: The quickly athlete passed four other runners.
    In Korean, most adjectives come from verbs and are conjugated as such.
    • 아름답다 /areumdapda/ "to be beautiful"
      • 그 여자는 너무 아름다워요. /geu yeojaneun neomu areumdaweoyo./
        • That woman is very beautiful. (Lit. That woman very beautifuls."
      • 아름다은여자는 제 여자친구이에요. /geu areumdaeun yeojaneun je yeojachingu-ieyo./
        • That beautiful woman is my girlfriend. (Lit. That beautifulling woman is my girlfriend.)
    This gives rise to a simple way to make adjective phrases with normal verbs! For example, if were to say, "The man who danced the Macarena will eat my hamburger." It would be said thusly.
    • 마카레나를 춤은 남자가내 헴버거를 먹을 거예요. /macarena-reul chumeun namja-ga nae haembeogeo-reul meokeul geoyeyo./
      • The man who danced the Macarena will eat my hamburger. (Lit. The Macarena danced man will eat my hamburger.)
    In Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, and many more Eurasian languages, adjectives are more similar to nouns and decline similarly to nouns.
    • El hombre gordo va a la escuela. "The fat man goes to the school."
    • Los hombres gordos va a la escuela. "The fat men go to the school."
    • Su hermana delgada está comiendo. "His thin sister is eating."
    • Sus hermanas delgadas están comiendo. "His thin sisters are eating."
    3. How Isolating Languages Use Adjectives and Adverbs
    Isolating languages typically double up adjectives and verbs, using the same word for both purposes.

    In Chinese, a verb is made into an adjective using the particle "de," though this can be omitted if the meaning is clear, if the usage of "de" is too repetitive, or if the phrase spoken is an established adj-noun phrase. Also, it is more common to use "de" for an adjective with more than one syllable (in Chinese, EVERY syllable takes its own meaning.)
    • huài rén (壞人)— "bad person"
    • 奇怪qíguài de rén — "strange person"
    • 可爱kěài de 熊猫xióngmāo (可愛的熊貓)— "cute panda"
    Following suit of the adjectives above, many isolating languages use a particle to express the adverb. In Chinese, "de" also performs the same action.
    Note that in Chinese and other isolating languages, there are adjectives and adverbs that are not annotated by a particle, and answer the adjective questions and adverb questions listed above.
    How Agglutinating Languages use Adjectives and Adverbs
    Some agglutinating languages, like Korean and Japanese, take the verb and add an affix to indicate the adjective or adverb.
    • Korean: -는, -은, -을 /-neun, -eun, -eul/ indicate adjectives and THE TIME FRAME.
      • -는 /-neun/ [present] 일본어가 공부하는 외국어이야. /ilboneo-ga gongbuhaneun oegugeo-iya/
        • Japanese is a language I am studying. (Lit. Japanese is an am-studying language.)
      • -은 /-eun/ [past] 일본어가 공부한 외국어이야. /ilbeoneo-ga gongbuhan oegugeo-iya/
        • Japanese is a language I studied. (Lit. Japanese is a studied language.)
      • -을 /-eul/ [future] 일본어가 공부할 외국어이야. /ilbeoneo-ga gogbuhal oegugeo-iya/
        • Japanese is a language I will study. (Lit. Japanese is a will-study language.)
    • Korean: -게 or -히 or -로/-ge or -hi or -ro/ indicate adverbs; the ending used depends on the orignal word, all three are similar to English -ly
      • -게 /-ge/: 예쁘다 => 예쁘게 /yeppeuda to yeppeuge/ meaning "to be pretty" to "prettily"
      • -히 /-hi/: 확실하다 => 확실히 /hwakshilhada to hwaksilhi/ meaning "to be certain, sure" to "certainly, surely"
      • -로 /-ro/: 심리 => 심리로 /shimri to shimriro/ meaning "psychology" to psychologically"
    Other agglutinating languages, like Tagalog, make no difference between adjectives and adverbs, and classify them all as modifiers.
    • Tagalog: modifiers are placed either before or after the word, following/preceded by the word na or the suffix -ng
      • Kumain na iyong mabalis na kabayo. (The fast horse has already eaten.)
      • Mabilis na tumakbo ang kabayo. OR Tumakbo ang kabayo nang mabilis. (The horse ran quickly.)
    How Inflectional Languages Use Adjectives and Adverbs
    Most inflectional languages decline adjectives, but do not conjugate adverbs, though it is possible (but also unnecessary for the most part.)

    In Latin, adjectives are inflected according to gender, plurality, and case and agree with/concord with their corresponding noun. Adjectival declensions usually mimic the noun declensions, though it is NOT necessary that they do.

    Some cases of adjectives are used to indicate comparisons, like first and second case declensions for superlatives and the third for comparatives (something we'll look at later)
    Adverbs can be, though it is highly unnecessary, conjugated with the same ways a verb or adjective or another adverb can be inflected, but again, this is unnecessary.

    4. Comparisons
    It is important (at least to many of us humans it is) to be able to compare things with one another.
    Depending on your language, you can just add a particle (isolating), add a suffix (agglutinating) or create a variety of cases (inflectional).
    Either direction you go, you need to be able to express things like this:
    • The fat man stands here. The fatter man stands there.
    • The tall girl eats a lot. The taller girl eats a little. The tallest girl doesn't eat much.
    • Happy. Happier. Happiest.
    • Positive. More positive. Most positive.
    5. Derivations
    A handy group of derivations, whatever they are, should be made for something like this:
    • opposite (un- as in unfriendly)
    • lack (-less as in careless)
    • plenty (-ful as in tactful)
    • possible (-able as in playable)
    • like (-phile as in bibliophile)
    • hate (-phobe as in arachnophobe)
    • citizen, inhabitant (-er, -ian, -an, -ish or -ese as in New Yorker, Canadian, amphibian, American, British, Japanese)
    • weakening (-ish as in strongish)
    • strengthening (uber- as in uberstrong)
    TADA! This finishes up FOUR parts of speech, along with numbers, so we're gonna do sentence order and then we'll see how far along you've come in your endeavors to create your OWN LANGUAGE. =D
    #10 Levusti, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  11. Grammar: Part 7


    1. Sentence Order Types
    2. Noun Phrases
    3. Verb Phrases
    4. Question Order
    5. YOUR TURN!

    Okay guise! We've gotten through nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, and numbers and that's PLENTY to get you started, because the next few parts of speech really aren't big deals. Like...at all. What I wanted to talk about right now is creating YOUR OWN SENTENCES!

    Have you ever wondered why translators on an international live news broadcast or beauty pageant or live translation on the news always delays? I mean, why don't they just translate each word one by one? This isn't always possible since some languages put their words in a different order.

    In essence, there are six basic "skeletons" of languages which linguists use that revolve around the subject (S), object (O), and the verb (V).
    • SVO (as in English, and much of Spanish, German and French)
    • SOV (as in Japanese, Korean, and Latin)
    • VSO (as in Arabic, Welsh, or Irish Gaelic)
    • VOS (as in Tagalog [sometimes], Malagasy, and Old Javanese)
    • OSV (as in American Sign Language and Yoda-speak)
    • OVS (as in the Native [South] American Indian Languages Hixkaryana, Guarijio, and Urarina and also Klingon from Star Trek)
    Now these aren't strict at all, and most languages weave back and forth within these paradigms.
    Now decide which one you'd like best. Really, anyone. If this is your first language, I'd recommend sticking with either of the the first two, as they're fairly easy to create and the languages that contain these structures tend to be easier to learn as well.

    Now decide [do it NOW, even if you already have, because you have more knowledge] if you want an inflectional, an agglutinating, or an isolating languages. (I'll also let you in on a secret I've been keeping. In reality, most languages aren't strictly one of these languages, but actually FUSIONAL, a combination of all these languages. But it's good to know the basic kind of language you want, so you don't end up mixing all these incompatible things together.) When you're choosing the kind of language, try to recall the following:
    • Isolating: Words do not change form; meaning of the nouns (subject, object, etc.) are dependent on position.
    • Agglutinating: Affixes are added to change a word's form; meaning of a noun may be indicated by affixes or particles.
    • Inflectional language: A root word is placed under inflections to change the meaning; meaning of a noun may be indicated by case
    Okay, now for the little bits. First, noun phrases and verb phrases!

    Noun phrases are entire phrases that indicate a single noun or a single group of nouns. As in, "the stars in the midnight sky..." or "the man who ate my pet fish..." Noun phrases can be classified as head-initial and head-final phrases. The HEAD is the MAIN NOUN and the MODIFIERS are anything the describes the main noun.
    • HEAD-INITIAL in English: the man who washed and dried all the dirty dishes
    • HEAD-FINAL in English: the anal-retentive, borderline obsessive-compulsive man
    Some languages are kinda flexible, but many languages perform everything rigidly. How do you know which one is better? Head-final? Head-initial? Often it follows the sentence structure, with the verb acting as the head.
    • Head-final noun phrases lend well to SOV, SVO, and OSV sentence structures.
    • Head-initial noun phrases lend well to VSO, VOS, and OVS sentence structures.
    Verb phrases are the entire phrases that indicate the verb and its objects, also called the predicate. Some languages like German (which is an inflectional language) wrap its verb around the object.
    • Meine Schwester ist vor einigen Tagen nach London gefahren.
    • Literally, "My sister has for several days to London travelled."
    In English, although it is considered "improper" it is now more natural in colloquial English to insert an adjective in the middle of a verb phrase.
    • PROPER: The last few episodes of this Sci-Fi series have disappointed me greatly.
    • COLLOQUIAL: The last few episodes of this Sci-Fi series have greatly disappointed me.
    This is assuming, of course, that your language has verb phrases. Some languages do not or cannot have verb phrases. It's whatever you want for your own language!
    Some languages have different ways to make words a question.
    • Subject-Verb Inversion: The subject and verb switch places. This is especially common in European languages such as German, French, Spanish, and formerly English (SVO type languages)
      • English
        • I have a dog.
        • Have I a dog? (archaic form)
      • Spanish
        • Tú comes pan. /You eat bread./
        • Comes tú pan? /Eat you bread?/
      • French:
        • Tu cherches pour mon pére. /You're searching for my father./
        • Cherches-tu pour mon pére? /Are you searching for my father?/
    • Question Particle/Affix: The sentence is kept the same, except with the insertion of a particle or affix. This is found in Japanese, Korean, (SOV agglutinating languages) Tagalog (VOS agglutinating language) and Chinese and Thai (SVO isolating languages).
      • Japanese: question particle か /ka/
        • 犬がいますか. /Inu ga imasu ka./
        • Is there a dog? or Do you have a dog? (lit. Dog [sub.] exists [question.])
      • Tagalog: question particle "ba"
        • Nasaan ba yung unan ko?
        • Where is my pillow? (lit. Where
          that pillow mine?)

        [*]Korean: either intonation only or by adding a inquisitive affix
        • INTONATION: 누가 왔어? /nuga wasseo?/ (Who came?)
        • AFFIXATION: 사랑하니? /saranghani?/ (Do you love me?)

    Also, a surprisingly difficult thing to learn in many languages is YES-NO questions. There are two kinds of logic for answering yes and no questions. To show what I mean, I'll pose the following question: "Did you not saw off your own fingers?"
    • In English, we answer a negatively formed yes-no question with "yes" as an positive and "no" as a negative, regardless of the form of the sentence.
      • Did you not saw off your own fingers?
        • Yes! I did saw off my own fingers. (fingers are off)
        • No! I didn't saw off my own fingers. (fingers are on)
    • In many other languages, we answer a negatively formed yes-no question with "yes" as a confirmation of the question and "no" as a rejection of the question.
      • Did you not saw off your own fingers?
        • Yes! I did not saw off my own fingers. (fingers are on)
        • No! I did saw off my own fingers. (fingers are off)
    Many languages circumvent this, by not replying "Yes" or "No" but by replying an echoing response.
    • Can you give a girl tips on how to take another girl to a fun first date?
      • I can.
      • I can't.
    • Do you where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
      • I do know.
      • I don't know.
    Some languages, like Korean and Latin have a way to pose a question when expecting a certain answer or indicating a certain reaction.
    • Korean:
      • -지요 or -죠 /-jiyo or -jyo/ : used as a confirmation.
        • 오늘 날씨가 춥지요? /oneul nalssi-ga chupjiyo?/ It's cold weather (, don't you think the same?)
      • -네요 : indicates surprised or being impressed
        • 맛있네요! /masittneyo!/ : This is good (, surprisingly!)
    • Latin:
      • Num: indicates expected "no" answer
        • Num ursi cervisiam imperant? /(I don't think so, but) Bears don't order bear, do they?/
      • Nonne: indicates expected "yes" answer
        • Nonne ursus animal implume bipes? /Bears are featherless animals that walk on two feet(, isn't this correct?)/
    5. YOUR TURN!
    Okay guise! It's YOUR. TURN. Taking alllllll the stuff you've created, translate the following words into your own language! If you don't have a word for something I've written, create it! If there is more than one way to say something in your language (like two kinds of we pronouns, or two kinds of I pronouns) indicate them.
    1. I am a boy.
    2. Am I a boy?
    3. You are a girl.
    4. Are you a girl?
    5. [He/she/it/that] is a dog.
    6. What is that?
    7. We are friends.
    8. We are not friends.
    9. The man is handsome.
    10. The woman is beautiful.
    11. The man loves the woman.
    12. The handsome man loves the beautiful woman.
    13. Does the beautiful woman love the handsome man?
    14. The beautiful woman does not love the handsome man.
    15. If the beautiful woman loves the handsome man, he will be happy.
    16. He loved her.
    17. He will love her.
    18. He will never love her.
    19. He has never loved her.
    20. When will she love him?
    21. Is she here?
    22. Is she there?
    23. Where is she going?
    24. She is going.
    25. She is coming.
    26. Does she know the town called Iwaku?
    27. No, she doesn't know the town called Iwaku.
    28. Yes, she knows the town called Iwaku.
    29. Would you like to help me?
    30. Help me!
    Tada! if you can translate all of those, you're making good progress!
    #11 Levusti, Nov 11, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  12. Grammar: PART 8

    Adpositions and Conjunctions!

    HEY GUISE! You've made it pretty far! This part kinda sorta finishes up the good stuff, the little bits and pieces to be able to say your language can become completed!

    Adpositions relate a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or another adposition to another noun.
    • Noun: In the Northern Hemisphere, the weather in December is usually cold.
    • Verb: Bears hibernate throughout the winter.
    • Adjective: I feel so sad for the victim's family.
    • Adverb: I had no job until recently.
    • Adposition: Come out from under the bed!
    If you've read the title of this section, it contains the word ADPOSITIONS and not prepositions. Why? Because not every language has preposition! Some languages also have more than just a preposition!
    • Preposition: come before the word it relates
      • "from the store"
    • Postposition: come after the word it relates
      • /neko ni/ meaning lit. "cat to" or 机の上に /tsukue no ue ni/ meaning lit. "desk's top on"
    • Circumposition: come both before and after the word it relates
      • "from now on"
    • Ambiposition: may come either before or after the word it relates
      • I ate many meals through the day. or I ate many meals the day through
    • Interposition: may come in between the words they relate
      • word-for-word, eye-to-eye, mouth-to-mouth.
    I have to let you know that the ones in green are contested by some linguists. Some linguists say they're true adpositions, some say they are just subclasses of the three others. Whatever it may be, it's good to know.
    In English, a common verb phrase may consist of a verb and a preposition. These tend to be idiomatic and are actually better defined as a phrasal verb. Be sure in your language that these words which are part of the verb, not an adposition.
    • to come as in to arrive (or other things...teeheehee). "I came home right away, like you asked me to."
    • to come in as in to enter. "Don't come in! I'm still changing!"
    • to come out as in to exit or to reveal "Don't come out! There's a robber!"
    • to come down as in to contract a disease "He came down with the flu."
    • to come up as in to appear or to be next "Coming up next on Flavor Channel!" or "Nothing came up when I did a background check."
    • to come about as in to happen by no external force "I'm no shaman, but this rain dance really made rain come about."
    • to come by as in to encounter "If I come by your cat, I'll be sure to return him to you."
    • to come around as in to forgive "I'm sure he'll come around if you've give him an apology."
    • to come across to encounter or to discover "She came across a strange looking book."
    • to come from as in to originate "I come from Lithuania."
    • to come off as in to seem "I hope I don't come off forward, but would you like me to take you home?"
    If you have an isolating language, not all "adpositions" are truly "adpositions." There are coverbs, which are verbs acting as an adposition.
    • bāng zhǎo
      • /I help you find him./
      • "I'll find him for you" where "help him" acts as the prepositional phrase "for you."
    • zuò飞机fēijīcóng上海Shànghǎidào北京Běijīngqù.
      • /I sit aircraft originate Shanghai arrive Beijing go./
      • "I'm going to Shanghai from Beijing by aircraft." where "originate Shanghai" acts as "from Shanghai" and "arrive Beijing" acts as "to Beijing"
    If you have an agglutinating language, you don't have to create a bunch of different affixes for all the different prepositions. Most languages double up the prepositions to/at/in and from/out.

    If you have an inflecting language, you could choose to make prepositions, but if you have cases which indicate movement or relationship compared to another noun, is it really necessary for prepositions? In short, cases which have prepositional meanings don't need more prepositions.

    Conjunctions are any words which link words, phrases, or clauses together.
    There are three kinds of conjunctions
    • Coordinating: merely link two or more items together
      • and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so
    • Correlating: group two or more items together
      • either-or, neither-nor, not only-but (also), both-and, whether-or, just as-also
    • Subordinating: join an dependent clause (a phrase which makes a complete grammatical sentence, but not a complete logical thought) to an independent clause (a phrase which makes both a complete thought, grammatically and logically)
      • after, although, as if, as far as, as long as, before, because, if, in order that, since, so, so that, than, therefore, though, unless, when, whenever, wherever, whereas, while
    If that confused you, you need pretty much three kinds of conjunctions, one kind to group, one kind to link, and one kind to contrast.
    A good place to start is like this:
    • A and B
    • A or B
    • A because of B
    • A instead of B
    • A in order to B
    • If A, then B.
    • A while B or A after B or A before B
    • A until B or A since B
    Some languages can place specific nuances on the conjunction.
    In Korean, there's like three different "but" conjunctions
    • 그런데 /geureonde/ which gives a feeling of "but (still)" or just "and" or just "but"
    • 그렇지만 /geureojiman/ which gives a feeling of "but (however)" or "but (in contrast)"
    • 그래도 /geuraedo/ which gives a feeling of "but even so"
    You can also indicate whether somethings is counterfactual or not.
    • If this is Texas, then we're near Louisiana too.
    • If this were Texas, then we would be near Lousiana too.
    If you have an isolating language, you might not need some of those up there. Some conjunctions can be omitted by offering the listener a choice or echoing a question.
    • Do you live in the city or on the farm?
      • Could be, "Do you live in city? Live in farm?"
    • Is bread and cheese alright?
      • Could be, "Bread with cheese alright?"
      • Alternatively, "Bread, cheese alright?"
    If you have an agglutinating language, a good idea is to create both a conjunction word and a conjunction affix. In Korean, each conjunction word has an affix that conveys the same meaning.
    • 그래서 /geuraeseo/ means "therefore"
      • 오늘은 비가 왔어요. 그래서 집에 있었어요. /oneul-eun bi-ga wasseoyo. geuraeseo jib-e isseosseoyo/
      • It rained today. Therefore I stayed at home.
    • This can be shortened to -서 /-seo/ on the verb.
      • 오늘은 비가 왔어서 짐에 있었어요. /oneul-eun bi-ga wasseoseo jib-e isseosseoyo./
      • Because it rained to day, I stayed at home.
    If you have an inflecting language, you can make cases to substitute for conjunctions or just create conjunctions alone. Make sure that identifying the subject and objects (direct or indirect) and possession isn't lost in the process, though.
    So tada! That's about it! See? Not so bad? You've filled up seven of the eight parts of English speech. I'm not including Interjections (but we'll still go over some later) because they're literally just random things people say to get attention or say something, and generally have no grammatical function.
    We'll start getting into more advanced topics later!
    #12 Levusti, Nov 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  13. Organization and Other Tips!

    Okay guise, this isn't really a "grammar" lesson, but it's tips on how to create your own languages without making the same blunders and mistakes that I did.

    It's important to keep yourself organized, so that your language itself doesn't end up disorganized. A good thing to do is to fill out a general outline, and adding or subtracting what is necessary.

    • Phonology (the sounds)
      • Consonants
      • Vowels
      • Stressing/Tones
      • Phonosyntactics (The allowed sounds and combination of sounds; we'll get deeper into this later)
    • Morphology (the recognizable units of the language, also known as morphemes)
      • Free Morphemes (morphemes that can be used alone and be understood as a word)
      • Bound Morphemes (morphemes that must be combined with another)
    • Syntax (grammar)
      • Parts of speech
      • Sentence order
    • Semantics
    • Writing
      • "Alphabetical Order"
    • Examples
    • Lexicon (fancy-wancy way to say dictionary, a list of the words available for usage)

    You DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW THIS ORDER. In fact, just create it as you go along. But KEEP IT ORGANIZED.

    For your lexicon, I strongly suggest the following: Write your language in the alphabetical order of the NEW language, with the English translation on the right. This way, you can see if a word you are creating is identical to a previous word. You wouldn't want to make the entry "garanga" as "death" and then later create another entry for "garanga" as "life."



    Glossing is the act of taking one language and showing EVERYTHING it encodes into another language. I'll gloss a Korean sentence for you.

    오늘밖에 비가 안 와서 내일 일산에 갈 거예요. <Written according to Language A>
    oneul-bakke biga an waseo naeil ilsan-e gal geoyeyo. <Transliteration, substituting Language A's writing into Language B's letters>
    Today-outside-("at" particle) rain-(sub. particle) not come-(reason part.) tomorrow ilsan-("at" part.) go(fut.) will. <Gloss, the literal translation>
    Because it only rains today, tomorrow will go to Ilsan. <Free/Natural translation>

    I don't care what sentence it is, DO THIS FOR ALL YOUR SENTENCES. This gives you a better understanding of your grammar and you see if any inconsistencies arise fairly early.

    That's it! Conlang away!
    The next few lessons are more advanced topics, sooooo...catch ya soon!
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