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Language

Personal, Reflexive, Relative, Dummy and Determiner Pronouns.

Personal Pronouns
               Diinlang has fewer personal pronouns than English and is simpler, yet still meets all needs. Note that the same word is used for “I” or “me” or for “he” or “him”.. The pronouns are:
First person : mi.                                        Plural miz
Second person : ti/tu                                        Optional plural tiz/tuz
Third person : zio/zo, zia/za, zi/ze, it.                      Plural ziz/zez.
Reflexive : ip
Relative : si/ki
                Zi” is a singular third person epicene pronouns for when the gender of the subject is unknown or not relevant. zio is masculine, zia is feminine and ziz is third person plural, made like other plurals by adding -z . Zio would rhyme with Leo, zia would be pronounced “zi-ah”. “Zi” and “ze” are phonetically identical so the use of “ze” may be preferable to distinguish agent nouns from words ending naturally in “-zi”. derived pronouns thus become zo, za, zez, zoz, zaz.
               It” is also used as a proper noun to designate and inanimate or indeterminate object and can be thought of as being similar to the word “thing” or “object” in English. “It” is also used to form agent nouns for inanimate objects and as a referential pronoun.
               As in English, “ti” can be singular or plural. It can also be spelt and pronounced as “tu” and this may be preferable for euphonic contrast. The construction “tiz/ tuz” can be used if there is a necessity to emphasise that more than one person is being addressed or instructed. The structure of this system means that zioz/zoz, ziaz/zaz, and itz are theoretically possible constructions. Ziz could denote a collection of people or animals while itz a grouping of inanimate objects such as a traffic jam. Ziaz could designate an all-female group such as a hen party or superfluity of nuns.
               For an indefinite pronoun either the “generic tu/ti”, “jhen” or “ziz” can be used.
               In the rare occasions that the objective use of a pronoun needs emphasis for greater clarity the forms mim, tum, ziom/zom, ziam/zam and zim/zem might be adopted. The use of the objective form are likely to see more use in written communications than verbal. “vo” is an optional marker that is added to a pronoun or noun when possession needs to be emphasised.
               Mi, ti/tu and zi/ze can all be represented as the single letter words m, t and z. I prefer “tu” for “you” but it is inevitable that if it is represented as “t” is going to be pronounced as “ti”. Thus “ti” and “tu” are interchangeable. Use of “tu” in sentences may create some euphonic contrasts. Constructions such as mz, zo, za and zz are inevitable too.
Reflexive Pronoun(s).
               Reflexive terms such as “myself”, “itself”, “themselves” etc are replaced by the single reflexive pronoun “ip”, pronounced like the first syllable of “self”. In several languages the word “se” is used but this is phonetically similar to “si”. “Ip” may just be a placeholder and a better word used instead. “He loves himself” is thus “Zio/zo filu ip”. Ip is therefore the only dedicated objective pronoun in Diinlang. Alternately the first pronoun can be repeated “Mi ami mi” = “I like myself”. “Ip” is preferred where ambiguity might occur such as with third person use. “Zio pre du zio” could mean “He did himself” or “He did to him (someone else)” so “Zio pre du se” would be preferable for the first meaning.
Relative Pronouns.
               Relative pronouns in English include “who, whom, whose, what, which and that”. All of these are replaced by “si” in Diinlang. When it is necessary to indicate the ownership of an object the construction “di/ze si” or “si vo” is used instead of “whose” or “of whom” in English. It is possible that “ki” may also be used as a relative pronoun. Si and ki are in this usage interchangeable. Si and ki may be written as the single letter words “s” and “k”. As in English, the relative pronoun can sometimes be omitted.
Dummy Pronouns.
               Germanic languages often make use of dummy or expletive pronouns, for example the use of “it” in “it is raining”. Romance languages tend to form the same constructions by dropping the pronoun. There may be constructions in Diinlang where a dummy pronoun will be required. For statements about subjects such as the weather pronoun-dropping is the preferred construction. Hence:-
“It rained that day” = “Pre avpotsu si dia” not “It pre avpotsu si dia
Determiner Pronouns/ Determiners.
               Just as an adjective can be converted to a noun, so most determiners can be converted to pronouns. “Si” means “there” but can also be used for “that”. It can also be written as just “s”. It is part of the progression sa/ si/ so which means here/ there/ yonder.

              These can be used in both singular and plural phrases: “Si Kanis” = “That dog”, “Siz Kanisiz” = “Those Dogs”.  “These” and “Those” are plurals of the above and hence “Saz/Siz” is equivalent. This may be regarded as optional and only really required when plurality needs emphasis. “Not this, these!” = “No sa, saz!”. When used in this fashion sa/si/so can be gendered ie sio, saya.
               Si can be represented by the single letter “s”. Sa and so must be written as two letters.

 

 

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Language

Single Letter Words.

Single letter words are a recent addition to Diinlang and were inspired by the Dutton Speedwords system. The actual uses and the phonology of the letters differs from Dutton’s system.

Diinlang uses a number of words that are written with just one letter. These are very commonly used words so this feature makes writing Diinlang quicker and a little more compact.

Where a single letter is used as a word it should be pronounced as if followed by a schwa (?) or a short “e” or “i” sound. Hence m and bare pronounced as they are in English “me” and “be” although phonetically they are “mi” and “bi”. All of the schwa ending words are consonants.

m
mi
I, me
t
 
ti or tu
you
z
 
zi  derives into zio, zia, ziz, zo, za and zz
neuter third person. Gendered to mean “he”, “she” and plural means “they, them”
b
 
bi
be and other forms of verb “to be”
d
 
di
of, from
j
 
ji
a, an, some. (Indefinite Article)
k
 
ki
What? Question.
s
si
that
v
vi
the (Definite Article)

There are four groups of exceptions to the assumed schwa ending.

The vowels “o” and “a” are pronounced “oh” and “ah” when used as words. “a” means “to” or “at”. “e” is pronounced as just “?”, rhyming with the French “que”. “e” means “and”. “r” is pronounced “or” and means “or”. “u” is not currently used but would be pronounced “uh”. “u” may possibly be used for the “uh” sound!

i” and “x” are pronounced as “in” and “eks” meaning “in” and “out”.

y” and “n” are pronounced “yah” and “noh” and mean “yes” and “no” in Diinlang.

p” and “g” stand for the verbal tense markers “pri/pre” and “gon”.

Like all Diinlang this is a work in progress and assignments are likely to change. It was only last night I thought of switching ofor r and restoring “or” as a word. I had not come up with a good alternative for “nor” so this solves the problem and also lets nor be abbreviated “nr”. “o” is currently unassigned and may be left as an exclamation. It would be nice to have a single letter for “it” but none of the free letters are suitable. May have to use an unshifted symbol instead.

 
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Language

Diinlang Introduction.

This blog will be about Diinlang. The original idea of a constructed language (conlang) came from my friend Dean, hence the name.
Language is something that interests me. I have a number of friends who speak English as a second language and this has often provided insight into how byzantine my native tongue can be. Sometimes they use English in ingenious ways. While these improvisations may not be “proper” English they are often fully comprehensible and logical.
One of Dean’s concepts was that Diinlang would have a phonology that most nationalities could cope with. His idea was that most words or syllables would have the format “CVN” where C is a consonant, V is a vowel and N is “m”, “n” or “ng”.
My personal contribution has been in trying to create a structure within which these words are used. I have been designing a regular and easily learnt verb structure. I have also been designing pronouns, determiners, comparatives, superlatives and, less successfully, an adjective and adverb system. For brevity most of these “structure” words are CV or VC in format. Recent influence of the Dutton Speedwords systemhas caused many of these words to be redesigned so they can be written as single characters.
I have decided to put some of my experiments on a blog so that others interested in this field may benefit from them.