Part of the original plan for Diinlang was for words to have a “CVn” format, where “C” is a consonant, “V” a vowel and “n” a nasal such as m, n or ng. One problem is that this would give us a very limited number of words if homophones were to be avoided. The second is one of definitions. Are C and V single letters, or should they be phonemes? If the latter, what sort of consonant clusters should be permitted? The problem that “w” poses to some speakers may mean that “kv” is to be treated as a homophone of “kw”. This has yet to be finalized, but I am working with the idea that no more than two consonant phonemes occur at the start of the word. Certain double letter combinations such as th, st, sh, kw, jh are counted as one phoneme, as may be the three-letter “eks”. Thus a word such as “strong” is permissible in Diinlang.
Diinlang will have some CVC words and syllables. Hard terminal sounds such as -t and -k are useful for some words. There are likely to be CVCV words too, given currently certain adverbs are made by adding “-i” or “-li” to the end of a word. Also, certain words are gendered by adding “-o” or “-a”.
There are also lots of potentially useful words that can be formed from CV or VC. Hogben makes this interesting observation about the potential of Dutton’s Speedwords:
“One advantage of a language designed to achieve maximum word-economy in Ogden’s sense recalls R. J. G. Dutton’s Speedwords, an ingenious system of international shorthand which makes use of monosyllables in Roman script, thus cutting out the effort of learning a new and esoteric system of symbols. With 5 vowel and 20 consonant symbols we can build 100 open syllables like to or be, and 100 open monosyllables like at or up, making 205 pronounceable elements, if we add simple vowels to the list. Closed monosyllables like pat or top containing no consonant clusters add another 2,000 possibilities. Since Basic English gets along with a word-list of 850 essential items, it is clearly possible to design a language of which all the root words would be monosyllabic, like the root words of a Chinese language. A language so designed need not be compromised by a superfoetation of homophones, as in Chinese; but it could not be a language based exclusively on current international roots, many of which are polysyllables.”
It is logical that two-letter words be used for the most common concepts and uses. This includes various pronouns, determiners and conjunctions. In actual fact I have already represented some common conjunctions by single letters. In Diinlang we have 17/18 potential consonants. The letter “c” is redundant, “q” is represented by “kw” and “x” by “eks”. The utility of an initial “w-” has yet to be finalized. In the previous post I looked at the idea of having sixteen vowel sounds. Only five of these can be written as a single letter. Also, the terminal rule states that “-a” or “-o” at the end of a word use the phonemes “ah” or “oh” and “-u” uses “uu”.
Our potential CV words are thus: “Ca, Ce, Ci, Co, Cu, Cay, Cee, Cor, Ciy, Coy, Cou, Cyu, Cuh” but only 85-90 are possible two-letter configurations. There may be less since some Ce and Ci forms may be near homophones. Some CV words using “eks-” are potentially five letters long.
85-90 gives us a useful pool of two-letter words we can use for pronouns and other suitable uses. Add to this a number of potential two letter VC words and single-letter V words.
Once these are fleshed out, more thought can be given to CVn, CVC and CVCV words. Ideally the former pair are each single syllables that represent a useful concept, permitting logical and easily understood compounds. Some of the “spare” and longer CV words will see similar use. For example, “kwa” would be a useful word for “water”. “kwamek”: “water-machine”, “kwajhen”: “water-person” and so on.