Recently I created a shorthand system for a friend of mine. This, in turn, gave me some ideas that could be applied to Diinlang. These changes are of sufficient magnitude that they constitute a new version, Diinlang 2.0.
Some of the changes that have been made include:
Articles (and other determiners) are how a common noun is identified. A verb or other non-noun is turned into a noun by giving it an article or determiner.
ve/ vez is the definite article (“the” in English). Note that it has a singular and a plural form. je/ jez is the indefinite article, equivalent to “some” in English. It also has singular and plural forms.
These can be shortened to “v” or “j” and “vz” or “jz” for the plurals.
un is an alternate singular indefinite article, equivalent to “1, one, a, or an” in English. It can be pronounced with a long “uu” sound like the French “une”, or short like “en” or “an”. Shortened form can be the numeral “1”, since “u” is already used for a pronoun. Un may also be used when an impersonal pronoun is required. It is the equivalent of the English use of “one” in context such as “One should always brush one’s teeth”.
ve and je can be optionally gendered to indicate the gender of the noun. The forms are “veo, vea, jeo, jea”. Potentailly un might be “uno” or “una”.
Nouns are made plural by changing their determiner, rather than infecting the noun. Many natural languages pluralize both the article and the noun, but this is redundant and can lead to ambiguity when there is an error. Using a number higher than “1” for a determiner makes the noun plural. Using a plural article (vez or jez) makes a noun plural.
Uncount/ mass nouns use the singular form of article.
Bi and Av.
The verb “bi” (to be) has the short form “b”, the verb “av” (to have) has the short form “h”. Verbs are named by combining their bare infinitive and past forms. Hence “to be” in Diinlang is called “bi/bite” and “to have” is “av/avte”.
The personal pronouns are now based upon “em”, “yu” and “ze”, with the short forms “m”, “u” and “z”. These are, respectively, the first, second and third person. The plural forms add “-z”. Optional objective marker is “-em” or “-m”. The gendered forms of “ze” remain “zo” and “za” and “it” remains third person impersonal. For the moment I intend to retain “mi” as an alternate to “em”, both using “m” as a shorthand. Mi and em are fully interchangeable. “Tu” will be retained as an alternative to “yu”, and this may be more comfortable to the speakers of certain languages. Note that there is no formal/informal distinction between tu and yu in Diinlang. They are fully interchangeable.
The plural pronouns are made by adding “-z” to the singular forms. All male or all female groupings can be emphasised with “zoz” or “zaz”. “Yu” only needs to be pluralized if it needs to be emphasised that more than one person is being addressed or referred to.
If needed, an “inclusive we” pronoun can be constructed as “ yu-em/ yu-emz”.
The objective nature of a pronoun can be emphasised by adding the ending “-m” or “-em” to give, for example “zem” or “zemz”.
Reflexive constructions (“myself”, “himself”) are made by repeating the related pronoun or by use of the pronoun “se/ sez”. Se is used in this manner in several languages. English speakers can remember this from their phrase “per se”.
Jon VERB himself = Jon VERB zo/ze or Jon VERB se.
“Su/ suz” is a relative pronoun used to join two clauses. This can be remembered from the English word “subject”. It is the equivalent of the English “who”, “what”, “which”, or “that” when used in a non-interrogative sense. For “whose” it combines with “vo” as “su vo”.
Comparative and Superlative.
Comparative and superlative change once again. “ar-” forms the comparative suffix, “us-” the superlative. These combine with “ta” and “ko” or other terms as “e-” and “o-” did. Hence, “arta, usta, arko, usko”. This will hopefully avoid confusion with terms like “email”, “econference” etc. As in English, “us-” has to be preceeded by the definite article to be a superlative. On its own “us-” it is a pronoun meaning “more/less than half”.
For the word “than” for comparison Diinlang can use “as, imi or di”. The construction “as…as” is used when two items are the same in some respect. Alternately the word “iyso” (same, equal) may be used.
Yes and No.
In addition to “ya” and “no” for yes and no the alternates “yay” and “nay” will be permissible. Short forms for both forms of each are “y” and “n”. This should help add variety and euphony. When “no” is prefixed to a vowel it becomes “non-”.
More changes and new ideas to follow.