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Vuyamu

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The language of Vuyamu is an oligosynthetic language, which is a language in which all words are made up of only a few base syllables and or words.

Note from editor: I did not create the language, but I found it and became very interested. There is more information at the bottom of this page. Editing is still in progress, hopefully I can finish the bones of this page soon.

Current material is taken directly from here .

RootsEdit

Vuyamu has 99 roots. Every word in Vuyamu is made up of one or more of those roots, without exception. There are no parts of words that are not roots. Every root is a single syllable.

There are four classes of roots: pa (state), ta (thing), ca (doing), and ka (situation).

Pa roots describe or qualify a state of being, and they start with p, b, f, v, m, or w.

Ta roots are abstract or concrete nouns, and they start with t, d, s, z, n, r, or l.

Ca roots are actions, usually used as verbs, and they start with c, j, x, or y.

Ka roots have to do with location in space or time, and they start with k, g, or h.

The table below has all 99 roots in Vuyamu order.


Root Translation Root Translation Root Translation Root Translation
pa state ta thing ca doing ka situation
po possibility to nothing/zero co moving ko time
pu reality/truth tu substance cu approaching ku place
pe wellness te line ce living ke inside
pi living ti hand ci passing ki outside
ba male da earth ja making ga side
bo female do mountain jo using go up
bu feeling/sense du stone ju taking gu down
be size de sky je holding ge front
bi speed di air ji having gi back
fa light sa fire xa rendering ha left
fo color so water xo undergoing ho right
fu *grammar su plant xu changing hu middle
fe sameness se person/creature xe starting he around
fi otherness si body xi ending hi togetherness
va power/strength za one ya speaking
vo type zo two yo wanting
vu way zu three yu needing
ve of ze four ye thinking
vi instance zi five yi knowing
ma *grammar na six
mo each/every no seven
mu this nu eight
me that ne nine
mi some ni ten
wa what ra part
wo not ro head
wu amount ru fruit
we less re skin
wi more ri fur
la eye
lo ear
lu nose
le mouth

Word ConstructionEdit

Each word in Vuyamu is made up of one or more roots. The construction formula can be loosely modeled as follows:

(wo) subject <- adj <- adj contains subject <- adj <- adj (mu/me/mi/wa/mo)


  • For the "contains" part, roots such as ve (of), xo (undergoing), and xa (rendering) are often used
  • Only the first or second subject is necessary to create a word
  • Wo (not) negates the meaning, similiar to "mal-" in Esperanto
  • Mu, me, mi, wa, and mo all are particular adjectives that clarify what we are talking about


Some examples:

kodefa - Day (time, sky, light)

wokodefa - Night (not, time, sky, light)

jilake - To sleep (having, eye, close)

jipo - To be able to / Can (having, possibility)

fosu - Green (color, plant)



A complex part of Vuyamu is how to deal with pronouns. There are no words for "me" or "you". Instead, we must combine two roots. Since both are people, we will use se (person/creature) as the subject of the word. For "me", seya (person, speaking) will do. For "you", selo (person, ear) or sela (person, eye) are both what we have to work with. You can alternate between selo or sela depending if you're writing or speaking to someone.


Basic GrammarEdit

Vuyamu doesn't really have parts of speech. Any word can be used to name things, places, or actions, or to describe things, places, or actions. The four classes (Pa, Ta, Ca, and Ka) tend to have some typical usages, but there's lots of overlap. For the sake of explanation, the different functions will be discussed in terms of English parts of speech.

Nouns:Edit

A noun by itself is general in meaning; it can be definite or indefinite, singular or plural. If you wanted to mark plurality explicitly, you could use wube (amount-bigness: group) as a prefix. Vuyamu is a head initial language, so the root that identifies a noun always goes first in compounds. For example, vuya (way-speaking: language) refers to a way of speaking, not a speech about ways (that could be yavu, if such a word were ever needed).

Reduplication of roots is sometimes used to amplify meaning. Fa means "light," while fafa means "sun." Se means "person(s)" or "creature(s)," and sese means "population" (human or non-human).

For the sake of concision, the root se will generally be translated as either "person" or "creature" as the case requires, but the actual meaning is "any living being capable of conscious thought." Specific types of creatures are called vose (type-creature), e.g. vosedi (type-creature-air: bird), voseso (type-creature-water: fish), voseri (type-creature-fur: mammal), voseya (type-creature-speaking: human). The third root in these words is understood to be a generalisation, since there are birds that don't fly, aquatic creatures that aren't fish, mammals that are hairless, humans that don't speak, and non-humans that do speak (or approximate speech).

Ra means "part" or "piece," and it's used when discussing part(s) of a whole, e.g. zu ra du (three pieces of stone).

Pronouns:Edit

I/me (1P) seya (person-speaking: speaker) you (singular) (2P) selo (person-ear: listener) s/he (3P) seme (person-that) it (inanimate) tame (thing-that) 1P+3P seyaseme 1P+2P seyaselo 1P+2P+3P semo (person-every: everyone) 2P+2P seloselo 2P+3P seloseme 3P+3P semeseme reflexive (for people) sefe (person-sameness: self) reflexive (inanimate) tafe (thing-sameness: itself) Since seya (speaker) and selo (listener) are usually used as pronouns, when someone needs to talk about a speaker or listener in the third person, they say seyame (speaker-that) or selome (listener-that).

The pronoun seyaseme is the exclusive first-person plural, seyaselo is the inclusive first-person plural, and semo is an inclusive first-person plural where the speaker is also talking about a party whom s/he is not directly addressing. The second-person pronouns seloselo and seloseme are similarly distinguished by whether or not the speaker is also talking about a third party.

The reflexive pronoun sefe is used as the object of a transitive verb, e.g. seya bula sefe (I see myself), semeseme bula sefe (they see themselves), etc.

Non-human animals are referred to and addressed as people (using the same pronouns as for humans). When talking about a plant, you can use sume (plant-that). If you want to address a plant, you can use whatever pronoun you like - sulo (plant-ear) almost makes sense.

Numbers:Edit

The cardinal numbers from one to ten are za, zo, zu, ze, zi, na, no, nu, ne, ni. The numbers 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 are formed by adding ni to the end: zoni, zuni, zeni, zini, nani, noni, nuni, neni, nini. One thousand is nibe (ten-bigness). The number 5984 would be zinibe-nenini-nunize.

A cardinal number is placed before the noun it is used to count, e.g. za se (one person). Ordinal numbers are formed by adding a cardinal number to the end of a noun, e.g. seza (first person). A fraction is expressed using ra (part) between numerator and denominator, e.g. zuraze (three-quarters).

The words wube (amount-bigness: many) and wuwobe (amount-not-many: few) are often used in place of exact numbers. They are placed in front of the noun (like cardinal numbers) rather than after (like adjectives).

Verbs:Edit

Although almost any word can be used as a verb, most stative verbs (states of being) start with a Pa class root, and most dynamic verbs (actions) start with a Ca class root.

The root pa (state) is often used as a copula, like the English verb "to be."

For verbs that can take an indirect object - e.g. ya (speaking), xayi (rendering-knowing: teaching) - the indirect object is expressed using the verb cu (approaching) like the English preposition "to." If both a direct object and an indirect object are present for a given verb, direct precedes indirect, e.g. Seme xayi vuya cu seya (s/he is teaching me a language).

Past, present, and future tenses are usually expressed through context, but kogi (time-back: past) and koge (time-front: future) can be used if no specific time is given. These usually occur at the beginning of a sentence, not directly in front of the verb.

The imperative is formed by placing pape (state-goodness: correctness - "should") in front of the verb, e.g. seyaselo pape ce (let's go). The pronoun is often unnecessary, and isn't always used. The negative imperative is formed by placing pawope (state-not-goodness) in front of the verb.

The conditional is formed by placing capoye (doing-possibility-thinking: would) in front of the verb, e.g. seya capoye bula (I would see).

The passive voice is formed by placing xo (undergoing) in front of the verb, e.g. tame xo bula (it is seen). If a sentence contains both xo and another verb modifier, the other modifier precedes xo.

The root xi (ending) can be used as a suffix to indicate a completed action, e.g. cexi (leaving-ending: left/gone).

Relative Constructions:Edit

The root xo (undergoing) is also used to form relative constructions, e.g. ru xo seya xakele (the fruit that I eat).

Adjectives and Adverbs:

Adjectives and adverbs always follow what they describe. Any word can be turned into an adjective or adverb by adding the appropriate prefix. If the descriptive relationship is some kind of similarity, the prefix va (similarity) is used, e.g. du varo (stone similarity-head: a head-shaped stone). If the descriptive relationship is association or belonging, the prefix ve (of) is used, e.g. ri vero (fur of-head: hair/mane). If the descriptive relationship is possession of a characteristic, the prefix ji is used, e.g. se jiri (creature having-fur: furry creature). If the meaning is clear from the context, no prefix is necessary.

Prepositions:Edit

There are a number of roots that often act like something between verbs and prepositions: ka (situation: at), ci (passing: going past), cu (approaching: to), and ce (leaving: from). These can be combined with Ka class roots like ke (inside), ki (outside), go (up), gu (down), ge (front), gi (back), hu (middle, midst), he (around). Most of the prepositions and directional adverbs used in English can be formed using different combinations of these roots, e.g. kagu (situation-down: below/under), kago (situation-up: above/on), cuge (approaching-front: forward), cuki (approaching-outside: out).

Comparison:Edit

The comparative, for adjectives and adverbs alike, is formed by attaching we (less), wi (more), or wiwi (most) to the end of an adjective or adverb, just as the suffixes "-er" and "-est" are attached in English. The equivalent to the preposition "than" in a comparison is ci (passing), e.g. tamu bewi ci tame (this one is bigger than that one).

Determiners:Edit

The words ma (each), mo (every), mu (this), me (that), mi (some), mume (which), wa (what), to (nothing), and pomume (any), usually act like adjectives when used as individual words. They are often compounded behind the following nouns: se (person), ta (thing), vi (moment), ku (place), taxe (thing-starting: cause), taxi (thing-ending: result), and vu (way).

Questions:Edit

Questions that can be answered with yes or no are asked by adding puwopu (truth-not-truth: true or false) to the end of the sentence. For example, the statement "Seme ji ru pe" ("S/he has good fruit") would turn into "Seme ji ru pe, puwopu?" ("Does s/he have good fruit?").

"Yes" is "pu," and "no" is "wopu" or "wo."

Other questions can be asked using mume (which) and wa (what), and their compounds.

The word order of a question is the same as the word order of a statement.

Word Order:Edit

Since there are no strictly defined parts of speech, there are no rules about what constitutes a complete sentence. The basic word order of a sentence with multiple components is as follows:

(time) (subject) (adj.) (verb) (adv.) (object) (adj.).

All additional information, such as causes, results, and locations, can be added as separate clauses before and/or after the main clause.

Copyright © 2006-2011 T. F. Yik

Example textEdit

...

Additional InfoEdit

Original Vuyamu information:http://tfy.atspace.com/languages/vuyamu/index.htm Email: greenslime300@live.com

(wo) subject <- adj <- adj contains subject <- adj <- adj (mu/me/mi/wa/mo)

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