Conjunctions in Diinlang Part One

Version 1.2

I have noticed that I have not posted anything on the blog about conjunctions in Diinlang. The section below is taken from a draft I wrote when the project first started. As with most Diinlang, nothing is carved in stone and may be subject to change and modification.

Originally Diinlang was to observe a CVn format for words. I felt that Diinlang conjunctions should not have to follow CVn format but should be phonetically distinct. They should be short -two letters for the most often used, three for the less common.

I did consider that it might be possible to expand on this basic set to allow some more logical constructions such as Loglan does.

Fourteen short words serve most of the conjugate needs in Diinlang. These can be used in combination and for some uses may need to be combined with simple words like “only” or “even”.

The first conjunctions to learn are “en”, “or”, “enor” and “nor

en means “and” and presents non-contrasting item(s) or idea(s): “Zez gamble en zez smoke.” Following Chinese practice this conjunction may be optional in a sentence if the meaning remains clear. “Kom” (with) is an acceptable alternative. While an English speaker would be inclined to say “Dean en Jon” in Deanlang some nationalities are more inclined to use the construction “Dean kom Jon”.

In the original draft “et” was the word for “and”. Despite its use in French and some other languages a “-t” ending did not seem right for this particular conjunction. Many languages use just “e” but this is not so elegant when “and” is combined into other words, so I have selected “en”, which is used in a number of languages and is phonetically intuitive to English speakers. This may mean the word “enje” for “any” will need changing.  

    or means the same as in English and presents an alternative item or idea: “Every day they gamble or they smoke.”

enor means “and/or” and presents options that may be either inclusive or exclusive. This was originally “etor”. Potentially we could have the word “komor” for “with/or”.

“You may have cake enor ice cream!”

nor presents a non-contrasting negative idea (“They do not gamble, nor do they smoke.”)

  Del has a role as a non-specific conjunction. If you are unsure of which conjunction to use, use “del”. Scots uses “o”  for  “of/ from” and this may be adopted in Diinlang instead, forming a nice counterpoint for the possessive marker “vo”.

dhen, but, yet, ergo, kos.
dhen is “then” and is a conjunction that is also a preposition. It is used like and/en when the items being described occur in a sequence. In English we say “They got married and had children” but it is more accurate to say “They got married then had children”.  dhen” is likely to be changed.

but / yet are both used to presents a contrast or exception. While their use is similar it is not fully interchangeable in English and the distinctions will become apparent when using subordinating conjunctions.

    “They gamble, but they don’t smoke.”
    “They gamble, yet they don’t smoke.”
Whether it is worth keeping “yet” in Diinlang remains to be decided.

Ergo is “so” or “thus” in English and presents a consequence
“He gambled well last night ergo he smoked a cigar to celebrate.”

It may be more logical to keep the shorter and more versatile English word “so”.

Kos is used for the conjunctions “because” or “for” (freeing “for” for other applications) The use of kos compliments “ergo” since it presents a cause rather than a consequence.

    “We went inside because it rained.” = “Miz pre go intra kos it dunpotsu”.
    “It rained so we went inside” = “It dunpotsu ergo miz pre go intra

Update: “Kos” is unfortunately a homophone of “koz” (few). The word “per” may serve for many of the applications that we use “because” for in English. For some applications constructions such as “per ke”, “per li”, “per sa” may be needed instead. Possibly the most apt construction will be “per ifa”.

kwah” is used like “than” in English and separates things being compared. Unlike “than” in English it can be used in a statement that things are equal or similar if the rest of the sentence is suitably constructed. “Dean bi taha kwah Jon”, “Ray bi iso kwah Jon” (Dean is much bigger than Jon, Ray is equal/same as Jon).

It may be better to use “as” in this application. Scots uses  “nor” for “than”, which I find logical and is my current preference.

If, as.
  If is mainly used with correlative and subordinate conjunctions and indicates a conditional statement.

as presents an explanation (“He is gambling with his health, as he has been smoking far too long.”)  As can mean “the same way” or “at the same time”. It is may be used instead of “than”/”kwah” when the things discussed are even or equivalent or nearly so in some way. Possibly “as” can be used for “too/ also”.

per” is used much the same as in English and can be used as “with respect to/wrt”. It may also mean “for each”, “to each”, “in each”, “in accordance with” or “via the”. Per also serves as a preposition.

 The fourteen basic conjunctions are therefore en, or, enor, nor, dhen, but, yet, ergo, kos, kwah, if, as, per, del.
Correlative Conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions are formed using combinations of the above words.
either…or                           (or)…or  The first “or” is optional.
not only…but (also)           but….but (?)
neither…nor                       nor…nor
both…and                          probably redundant! Diinlang has singular and plural, no dual.
whether…or                           if…or
if…or                                       if…or   
if…and                                    if…et
if…then                                  if…dhen
just as…so                               ergo…ergo / / if…ergo