Diinlang Numbers

Version 1.1
Like most of Diinlang the numbering system is a work in progress and subject to change.

Numbers in Diinlang derive from ISV prefixes with some modifications for increased clarity.

1 uni               8 okt               36 triten heks

2 duo              9 niyn             42 tetten duo

3 tri                10 ten             54 pentteni tet

4 tet                11 ten uni       69 hekten niyn

5 pent             12 ten duo     78 septten okt

6 heks             13 ten tri        83 oktten tri

7 sept              20 duoten     99 niynten niyn

The use of deka for 10 would make 20 duodeka and cause confusion with terms such as duodecimal and hexadecimal. The English “ten” has the merit of being one syllable. Likewise “niyn” is clearer than the Latin and Greek derived “ennea” and “nona”.

Larger numbers are hekta (100), kila (1000), mega (1,000,000), tera (1,000,000,000,000 or 1012 ) and yotta (1024). Other numbers are formed from combinations of these: deka kilia is 10,000, kilia mega is 1,000,000,000.

Ordinal numbers (the equivalent of “first”, “third”, “eighty second” etc could be formed by adding “-nd” to the final number word. Therefore “unind”, “trind” “oktten duond”. It may be clearer to use the system where ordinals are formed by placing the number after the thing described. Hence “tri kanisiz” is “three dogs” while “kanisi tri” is “third dog”. This is consistent with the proposed system of placing adjectives after the noun. Cardinal numbers are treated as determiners, ordinal numbers as adjectives

A suffix/ word for “group” could be used to form words such as “dual”, “pair”, “trio” etc.

Duzn” is an alternate word for 12 and used when working in dozenals. “Elva” (from Swedish) is an alternate for 11. When working with dozenals 144 or 122 is “grohs” and 123 or 1728 is a tsagiir.
Using “ten” may cause confusion with the “ten-” radio code system. “Diis”, adapted from Haitian Creole may be a more suitable word for 10 and  has the advantage that it is closer to the words used in many European languages.


Version 1.
I have not devoted much time to interjections since most interjections are going to arise naturally so it is pointless to try to define them. There are going to be natural sounds like “huh” and “umm”. The Diinlang word “ke” can serve as a verbal marker for questions, the most likely use being to replace the sound “eh?” at the end of a statement.

I would suggest adopting “hey” as the standard greeting. It already fits the pronunciation standards of Diinlang, is already in wide use and is widely understood by the speakers of various languages. It serves to say “hello”, “I am here” and also “I acknowledge you”.

Tshou” may be used as either a greeting or parting phrase. This is a phonetic rendition of the Italian “ciao” which has come to be used by many other nationalities. Both tshou and hey are time-independent greetings, useful in the modern world where people routinely communicate from different time zones.

Sori” (sorry) seems like a good word to retain/ adopt for Diinlang. “No” is already in use in Diinlang and widely understood.

Ya” or “yah” is used for “yes”. This allows us to retain the convention of “Y or N” with computers.

Originally I had the term “pro favori” for “please” but this is too many syllables. The word “miask” (from “I ask”) is used for “please” when making a request. It has been selected for verbal compactness and to remind the speaker that they are making a request, not a demand.

The word “kanen” means “gratitude” and can be used for “please” and for “thank you?” I do not recall how I selected this word but it will do for now.

Sku is used for “apology” or an alternate for “sorry”.
Skuz” therefore means “many apologies”.

Updated Determiners.

Version 1.3
Having upgraded the articles and touched on the subject of quantifiers it seems prudent to post some ideas on other determiners. Some of my older suggestions were based on the comparative/ superlative endings and the definite and indefinite articles, all of which have now changed.
any                  enje
Derived from Mandarin “rènhé”, it sounds very close to English term too.
all/ every        pan or omni
This was originally a superlative of the indefinite article. The ISV term “pan” is simpler. Depending on phrase syntax this word can also mean “whole/ entire”. “Pan dez kanis” = “All the dogs” ; “Pan jez kanis” = “All dogs (indefinite)” ; “De pan kanis” = “The whole dog”. Instead of using a word for “both” the Diinlang speaker would say “pan duo”, “all two”. This more versatile construction can be used with other numbers, for example, “pan tet”, “all four”.
each                jede
Formed by combining indefinite article “je” with the general definite “de”.
very                 reta
A combination of the prefix meaning repetition “re-” with the augmentive ending-ta”.
much             mas
many             masiz
In English “much” is used with uncountable nouns and “many” with countable nouns. It remains to be seen if such a distinction is needed in Diinlang. Use with a plural noun may be distinction enough. As an adverb “mas is used as a prefix. As a determiner or pronoun it may be a stand alone word or part of a phrase. The same comments apply to “las” for “few/ little”. Words for quantity or number might be used instead or combined with “mas-” serving as a prefix. In the newer system these words are “ta” and “taz”.
other              olt
Olt” is a phonetic spelling of “alt” derived from “alternative”.
another/ one more      uni mes  (uni eta)
The words for “another” are a direct translation of “one more”.
a few/ a little            uni las. (uni ko)
This resembles in structure translations in a number of other languages. “A lot” would logically be uni mas. (uni ta)
everything          pande/ panje/ panit
Literally “all things” – once the preferred term for “things” is decided.
none, no one, nothing      noze, noje or nojhen.
Jhen” is person so “no one” is logically “nojhen”. The term for “nothing” will depend on the final form of “everything”.  


These determiners can also be used as indefinite pronouns to form the equivalents of “no one, nobody, somebody, anybody, everything, the other” etc.


Updated Definite Article

Version 1.1

In a previous post I proposed the idea that the Diinlang words for “this” and “that” could be met with the Diinlang words for “here” and “there”, which are “vang” and “ving”. The plural forms of these words, vangz and vingz serve as “these” and “those”.
A similar economy can be gained by using the third person pronouns as the definite article. This also frees up “di to mean from or of. “Ze” is the default form, with “zo” or “za” being used when gender needs to be stated or emphasized. The use of “ze” becomes “fuzzier”. Ze can be used for singular or plural. Ze can be used of animate or inanimate. Ze can be used where the gender is unknown or unstated.
Ze kanis bi vang. = The dog is here.
Ze bi vang. = It is here.
Zo bi vang. = He is here.
Zo kanis bi vang. = The (male) dog is here.
This idea meshes nicely with the idea of gendering words by using “zo-” or “za-” as prefixes, creating the equivalent of constructions such as “she-wolf” or “he-goat”. When a word is so prefixed a preceding definite article is unnecessary.
Some nouns in Diinlang already have a gender. This includes agent nouns that use “-zo” or “-za” or their plural forms as a suffix. In such cases the definite article and the noun gender should not contradict. You can use a neutral article (ze) with a gendered noun or a gendered article with a neutral noun. You cannot use a feminine article with a masculine noun or a masculine article with a feminine noun!
For certain sentences the second person pronoun may be used as a definite article. A likely context would be when addressing several people directly but attempting to signify one in particular. For example, in English a waiter might say “The gentleman will taste the wine?” In Diinlang the second person pronountu” would be used as the definite article instead of “ze”, “zo” or “za”, creating a sentence that translates as “You gentleman will taste the wine?”
The definite article has earned a reprieve! It occurred to me that the above use of “ze” may make it difficult to identify nouns from verbs. The system of using articles to identify plurality remains in place however. The definite article will be “de” with “dez” as the plural form. The indefinite article is “je” or “jez”. When “zo-/ za-” or “zoz-/ zaz-” are used to indicate gender the definite article can be ommited.
Sona uses the definite article to also serve as a word for “it”. “De” on its own could have the same use. By the same logic “je” on its own could have the meaning “something”.


More on Plurals.

In English one of the ways to determine if a word is a noun is to see if it has a plural form. This does not work with uncount nouns so another useful indicator is to see if the word  or phrase has a definite or indefinite article. This suggests that in Diinlang a phrase can be made plural by pluralizing the article rather than the noun or noun phrase.
One objection to such a system is that articles may be dropped. Consider an exclamation such as “Dogs!” A single, pluralized syllable conveys the presence of dogs and that there is more than one.
If a number or quantifier is used in place of an article it may be argued that pluralizing the noun may be redundant. A sentence such as “Five chicken ran” can be ambiguous without background context. It could mean five chickens were running but might also indicate a particular chicken with the name or number “five”. The option of pluralizing the noun can clarify the meaning.
In Diinlang it might be said that plurals are formed by article form and/or with a noun suffix. In some languages article and noun are required to agree. If an article is plural the noun should be a plural form too. In Diinlang this is unnecessary and redundant. It should not be considered to be incorrect, however. The variations in pluralizing will suit users of different native language backgrounds or may improve the euphonics of a phrase.
Often in Diinlang there is more than one correct way to say something. The objective is to promote communication and clarity rather than observance of unnecessary rules.
Plurals are formed in Diinlang by adding “-z”. For words that end in a sibilant such as “s” “-iz” is used instead.  Thus “Dogs!” could be translated as:
Zez kanis!
Ze kanisiz!
Zez kanisiz!
Jez kanis!
Je kanisiz!
Jez kanisiz!


It is unnecessary to pluralize a noun if the noun is accompanied by a plural form of pronoun, article, determiner, numeral or quantifier. If a noun has a plural form of gender prefix ( zoz-, zaz-) it is also obviously plural. If a noun does not have an article etc it can be pluralized by adding the neuter equivalent of the plural gender prefix.
Hence, “zez-kanis” = “dogs”.