This is an a priori auxlang designed for minimum acquisition time for the broadest possible population without loss of ability to express anything needing expressing. You memorize the meanings of the letters. With this, you learn the meanings of 153 pairings of 18 consonants, which each represent a transitive verb. From that, you learn how those 153 verbs are "reversed" in meaning by having the letters placed in opposite order. Add to that the 36 verbs derived from doubles and use of H to represent the reverse of a double, and you have 342 verbs. Assemble words by stringing together CVC syllables in which the V inflects the verb form of the consonant pair in one of nine different ways. End each word with a vowel suffix that indicates its level in the modificational heirarchy. Original intent was a language you could learn in one day, but it may actually take longer. Only way an auxlang is ever going to work. Get it viral enough, spread it with graffitti...
When I was a child I saw a show on TV about some people who were shipwrecked in a sparsely inhabited partof Baja California. Some of them spoke Spanish and others English, but none were bilinguial. So they started teaching each other by pointing to things and naming them and so forth.
Later, in the 1980s, I had a couple of favorite kinds of reading material: the Webters Dictionary and Science Fiction, which brought me to Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer, which brought me to Esperanto.
It seemed to me Esperanto had the right idea, but the idea of streamlining language for easier learning could be done even better. While I was hanging out in the University Library with my girlfriend,who was a linguistics major, I browsed my way to a book about Ro. This struck me as the right idea, but I saw its weaknesses also. So, I decided to try and see if I could boil all concepts down to just one per sound, and then have words be built up like dictionary definitions. Because, you know, you can take a definition, then define it in simpler words,and define those agaiin. If you do this enough, you get a small stock of irreducible words that you use over and over. Initially I just jammed the base words together like in German (which I had taken in high school) but decided I needed to show how they related to each other. So, I decided to use the vowel.
I had taken a course in Arabic, which I quickly dropped, but not before I made my own Latin alphabet based phonetic alphabet so I could take notes. So I used that one. I piddled around and it never amounted to anything.
Cut to like 20 years later. I had spent a lot of time in the Army, constantly finding myself in far countries for a few months and needing to talk to locals but not willing to invest in learning the language of a country I would soon leave. I saw how local hires were often taught English and thought it was silly. They learned things like the word for "Parakeet" but not the word for "Bird." And I saw how we tried to communicate, using our small mutual vocabularies to build up ideas. If only you could just learn the most important words, not these huge dictionaries. But which ones?
While I was stationed in Japan, I had internet access and I found something called the GSA List. It was the 2000 most commonly used words in English. I did some spreadsheet processing with it, and basically made a list which I processed according to my definiition redicing technique,at which I had become practiced in my many attempts. But this time, I got the first GSA list words boiled down, and the definitions used a total of 230 words. So then I put them in categories,which left me about 30 categories. I only had 20 or so consonants, so I consolidated categories. Then I randomly assigned a consonant to each of my resulting 18 categories (writing the initial letters of the concept on each of a small deck of cards, which I just shuffled). Then I made a spreadsheet with 18 columns and 18 rows and plugged my words in where they intersected two concepts. Then I filled in the gaps, tried to learn it, saw problems,adjusted, repeat.
That should have been it, but it took another couple of years to refine it to what I now have.
I tried making triple consonant clusters, by adding an R to reverse. Then I made a dipthong for each of my vowels, and a meaning for which side of a cluster the R was on, and it got out of control. I wracked my brain to come up with definitions for these intersections. Then one day, I decided to go the other way, and pick the best of breed only, the best of each pairing of consonant-concepts. I would reverse by using reverse order, reclaim R, relegate H to a minor role,and use the dipthongs to denote imported words and proper nouns.
The smaller, more learnable vocabulary was a return to the basic idea in the first place. Then it was just a matter of getting it just right, wiping the polishing rag over it few thousand more times.
Only the upper case letters of the modern Latin alphabet are used.
Please utilize IPAEdit
In XOVLAERW, all words are made of Consonant-Vowel-Consonant syllables, with a single vowel suffix. This never results in consonant clusters of more than two, results in consonant clusterof 2 only with a vowel on each side,and never starts a word with a consonant cluster. CVC CVC CVC... V
The C and C in each of those syllables associate the syllable with a particular verb, and the V inflects it. The terminal V indicates the modificational echelon of the whole word.
To use an imported word from another language, or a proper noun that might be misinterpreted as a XOVLAERW word, all the vowels of the imported word or proper noun are made into diphthongs by addition of a Y or W. If the imported word, once diphthongized, still ends in a vowel other than Y or W, H is added so the vowel suffix can follow to designate the role of the word in the sentence. For example India is phonetically INDYA. The diphthong for I is WI and the diphthong for Y is YW. The diphthong for A is AY. So, if India were the primary subject or object of a sentence you would say WINDYWAYW.
For speakers with difficulties: alternatively C can be like CH in CHip, X can be like S in viSion, and any one speaker may replace any one consonant consistently with the sound of NG in loNG (and thus always use the sound of H in Hat to represent H). Inform listeners of your use of this allophone by reciting a three letter sequence around the chosen letter, in order. For instance, if your native language lacks "L" you would say, "Nice to meet you. Aka, aha, ama" using the velar nasal pronunciation of the h in "aha."
XOVLAERW uses a really stripped down grammar. What many languages do by hard wiring XOVLAERW does with adjectives, adverbs, and clauses. For example, in English you cannot say something happened without saying when--there is tense. In XOVLAERW this is optional. You can give the verb an adverb, such as Predictedly, Expectedly, Rememberedly, or Recountedly that indicates when something happened, but you can also leave it out. It's an adverb. Similarly, many languages assign gender to everything and force you to talk about it. In XOVLAERW there are adjectives for Male and Female, and if you wish to assert that your ship is capable of Gestating or harp on your friend's maleness, feel free to add these adjectives in front of every noun. All other grammar is similarly emulatable. There isn't even an indirect object. This must be emulated by an adverbial clause.
There is just Subject, Verb, Direct Object; and anything might be preceded by modifiers:
"Modifier Modifier, Modifier, Subject Modifier Modifier, Modifier, Verb, Modifier Modifier, Modifier, Object."
These can build up quite a bit of complexity, but it can always be schematicized as a bunch of three word clauses, each with a Subject, Verb, and Direct Object.
The entire vocabulary is transitive verbs. All other vocabulary is derived from them by inflection. Vowels within a word (as opposed to suffixes) inflect the basic verb form into other forms. I don't know if you call this declension or conjugation or just go with the generic "inflection."
The function of non suffix vowels is to inflect the verb implied by the consonant cluster into the various parts of speech--nouns, adjectivals, adjectives and adverbs as detailed below. Since there are nominative and accusative versions of each of these that makes 8 vowels, and additionally "I" is used to make a verb. To aid memory (for English speakers, anyway), nominatives use vowels that have something to do with U: either "double U" (W), O (which actually sounds like the classic U), U itself, or AU (which, in its digraph form contains U).
The vowel W is the same as the suffix "-er" in English, making a nominative noun. An example is CWFW=IlluminatER, that which illuminates or is for causing illumination: Lamp. "The CWFW allowed us to see"
The vowel Y is the same as the suffix "-ee" in English, making an accusative noun. An example is BYMW= haveEE, that which is haved ("had") or is for being haved: Possession. "I gave away my last BYMW"
The vowel O is the same as the suffix "-ing" in English, making a nominative adjective. An example is COFY= Illuminating, having the quality of causing illumination: Shining.
"The COFY moon allowed us to find our way."
The vowel A is the same as the suffix "-ed" in English, making an accusative adjective. An example is CAFY= Illuminated, having the quality of being caused to be Lit .
"I could easily read in the CAFY room."
The vowel U is the same as the suffix "-ingly" in English, making a nominative adverb. An example is DUKY=Calmingly, reflecting doing something in a manner which causes calmness: Soothingly.
"He DUKY spoke so the frightened dog would stop barking."
The vowel E is the same as the suffix "-edly" in English, making an accusative adverb. An example is KEVY=Calmedly, reflecting doing something in a manner which has been caused to calm: Calmly.
"The pilot KEVY landed the plane, despite the icy runway."
The vowel AU is the same as the suffix "-ingness", making a nominative adjectival. An example is CAUDW= Illuminatingness, the quality of causing to be illuminated. "Brightness" is an approximation.
"The CAUDW of the lamp blinded me at first."
The vowel AE is the same as the suffix "-edness", making an accusative adjectival. An example is KAEVW-Acceleratedness, the quality of having been caused to be accelerated. "Speed" is an approxmation. "The water resistance limited our boat's maximum KAEVW"
NOTE: the grammar examples given here use English words to stand in for XOVLAERW equivalents, but the suffix is given to each as in XOVLAERW.
Every sentence has a Subject Verb and Object, which always appear in that order.
All words end in a vowel . That vowel indicates the importance of the world in the sentence, what I call the modificational echelon it belongs to. The subject, object, and verb of any sentence, primary words, end in W, indicating that the word is of the highest echelon. Direct modifiers, which modify those primary words, end in Y. Secondary modifiers, which modify direct modifiers, end in O. Tertiary modifiers modify secondary modifiers and end in A. This sequence continues through U, E, AU, AE, and I in that order. Syntactically, these modifiers precede what they modify as closely as possible, with lower echelons having precedence. If you have a simple sentence WWW (representing just the suffixes), then add a modifier to each primary word, you will have YWYWYW. If the subject then acquires an additional modifier you have YYWYWYW. If each of the subject's modifiers acquires a modifier of its own, you have OYOYWYWYW. The first Y wants to be closer to it's W, but O, which modifies Y and wants to be close to it, has precedence since it is the lower echelon. All grammatical complexity present in any language is really reducible, in XOVLAERW, to clauses. Like sentences, clauses always have a Subject Verb and Object of their own, which may be implicit or implied. To decode a sentence, simply figure out what clauses are implied. In translating a clause, the verb of the modifier (that verb which the modifier was made from by inflection to become an adjective or adverb) becomes the verb of the clause. Depending on the case of the modifier, the modified becomes either the subject or object of the clause, and a sub-modifier (if any) completes the clause by becoming the remaining object or subject. If there is no sub-modifier to fill the required role, the noun "something" (implyee) is assumed. The case of the modifier dictates the syntax of the clause. If the modifier is accusative, the modified word becomes the object of the clause meaning the submodifier becomes the subject. If the modifier is nominative, the modified becomes the subject of the clause, meaning the submodifier becomes the object. If a word inflected into the subject or object role of a clause is not a noun or adjectival it must be interpreted as transformed into an appropriate noun in the form an adjectival inflected from its base verb into the appropriate case for its clausal role. Subjects must be nominative, so in the implied clause they are either ER or INGNESS. Objects must be accusative, so in the implied clause they are either EE or EDNESS. If a modifier is accusative, the modified is the object and the modifiers own modifier (the submodifier) is the subject. For example, we can extract an adjectival clause from the sentence
SunO warmedY pavementW makes driving easy.
"Sun warms pavement"
is the clause, but it is merely interpreted as such, not stated. In this example:
"Pavement warming sun also gives tans."
the adjective is nominative. The clause you derive from it remains "Sun warms pavement" but it is arrived at backwards. There are also adverbs. In
"quickenedlyO acceleratedY carW skidsW wheelsW."
the adjectival clause is
"something accelerates car"
because even though "acceleratedly" has a modifier, that modifier is not a noun. Since we have an adjective as a modifier, there must be an adverbial clause in which acceleratedness becomes the object. The adverbial clause is
"something quickens acceleration".
Adverbs modify the verb of the next higher word by making it the object (for "edly") or subject (for "ingly") of a clause in which they are now the verb. This requires that the modified be, or become, a noun of the appropriate case. If the sentence were :
"excitingly accelerated car skids wheels"
the clauses would be
"something accelerates car"
for the adjectival clause, and
"acceleratingness excites something."
Note that since the adverb is nominative ("ingly", not "edly") the adjectival made from the modified adjective must be made nominative so it can serve as the subject of an adverbial clause. Such transformations should only be used if no word of the appropriate echelon is available--they are preferable to "something" but if an appropriately inflected word of the appropriate echelon is available that should be interpreted as the intended remainder of the clause.
Sentences can become rather complex. This example
stinkingnessU workerE thoroughifyedlyU eradicatingA sprayerO soakedY towelsW fillW theY roomW
which implies the following four clauses:
"worker thoroughifyies eradicatingness" EUA
"sprayer eradicates stinkingness" OAU
"sprayer soaks towels"
"towels fill room"
is complex primarily in the subject part of the sentence--if the the verb and object each had more than one simple modifier it would be even hairier.
Why isn't it "sprayer eradicates thoroughifedness"OAU? Because modifiers are as close as possible to what they modify. Thoroughfiedly modifies eradicating and worker modifies thoroughfiedly so the clause must be worker thoroughfiedly eradicates. Next, eradicating modifies sprayer, but in a way that requires an object: sprayer is eradicating something. It could be thoroughfiedness, but that requires a transformation, while stinkingness is already in the right form.
ING: means the verb of this sentence is the verb of a clause using the next lower echelon noun (if any) as object and the next higher echelon noun (if any) as subject.
ED: means the verb of this sentence is the verb of a clause using the next higher echelon noun (if any) as object and the next lower echelon noun (if any) as subject. INGLY: the verb form of this word is the verb of the clause, and it uses the a modifier, if any, as its object and the adjectival form of adjectival form of the modifiedas the subject. EDLY: means the verb form of this word is the verb of the clause, and it uses the adjectival form of the modified as its object and the adjectival form of a modifier, if any, as the subject. A series of peer echelon words are branching modifer trees. If there is no lower echelon between them (to be as close as possible to each) there is simply no modifer to function in clauses. They do not use each other to finish clauses. Clauses always have use of three different echelons.
|37||man (adult male)||—|
|38||man (human being)||—|
The 18 Consonants and 36 verbs from them
|B||keep||BIB||keeps||HIB or BIH||discards|
|C||sense||CIC||senses||HIC or CIH||ignores|
|D||seek||DID||seeks||HID or DIH||avoids|
|F||make||FIF||makes||HIF or FIH||destroys|
|G||prevent||GIG||prevents||HIG or GIH||allows|
|J||differ||JIJ||differs||HIJ or JIH||equates|
|K||add||KIK||adds||HIK or KIH||subtracts|
|L||improve||LIL||improves||HIL or LIH||degrades|
|M||include||MIM||includes||HIM or MIH||disincludes|
|N||shape||NIN||shapes||HIN or NIH||distorts|
|P||oppose||PIP||opposes||HIP or PIH||joins|
|Q||work||QIQ||works||HIQ or QIH||plays|
|R||cycle||RIR||cycles||HIR or RIH||terminates|
|S||separate||SIS||separates||HIS or SIH||combines|
|T||follow||TIT||follows||HIT or TIH||precedes|
|V||move||VIV||moves||HIV or VIH||places|
|X||say||XIX||says||HIX or XIH||contradicts|
|Z||touch||ZIZ||touches||HIZ or ZIH||spaces|
153 Positive Verbs (letters combinations make sense)
|contains||BIM keeps including|
|solidifies||BIN keeps shaping|
|competes||BIP keeps opposing|
|maintains||BIQ keeps working|
|has||BIT keeps followingly|
|propels||BIV keeps moving|
|grasps||BIZ keeps touching|
|respects||CIB senses keeping|
|enjoys||CID senses seeking|
|doubts||CIJ senses differing|
|measures||CIK senses adding|
|samples||CIM senses including|
|understands||CIQ senses working|
|distinguishes||CIS senses separating|
|expects||CIT senses following|
|feels||CIZ senses touching|
|values||DIB seeks keeping|
|compares||DIJ seeks differing|
|collects||DIM seeks including|
|flows||DIN seeks shaping|
|likes||DIR seeks cyclingly|
|ascertains||DIS seeks separating|
|intends||DIT seeks following|
|reaches||DIZ seeks touching|
|establishes||FIB makes keeping|
|illuminates||FIC makes sensing|
|sends||FID makes seeking|
|modifies||FIJ makes differing|
|cultivates||FIK makes adding|
|animates||FIL makes improving|
|gestates||FIM makes includingly|
|structures||FIN makes shaping|
|faces||FIP makes opposing|
|devises||FIQ makes working|
|segments||FIS makes separating|
|causes||FIT makes following|
|flexes||FIV makes moving|
|questions||FIX makes saying|
|connects||FIZ makes touching|
GIB prevents keeping
|augments||LIM includes improving|
|surfaces||NIM includes shaping|
|neutralizes||MIP includes opposing|
|bases||MIT includes following|
|artifices||NIC shapes sensing|
|pinches||NIP shapes opposing|
|activates||NIQ shapes working|
|curves||NIR shapes cyclingly|
|directs||NIV shapes moving|
|crowds||NIZ shapes touching|
|decieves||PIC opposes sensing|
|discourages||PID opposes seeking|
|risks||PIG opposes preventing|
|enforces||PIJ opposes differing|
|formalizes||PIL opposes improving|
|binds||PIS opposes separating|
|pushes||PIZ opposes touchingly|
|strives||QID works seeking|
|sinistrates||QIJ works differingly|
|consumes||QIM works including|
|hinders||QIP works opposing|
|carries||QIV works moving|
|manipulates||QIZ works touching|
|loans||RIB cycles keeping|
|resembles||RIC cycles sensing|
|copies||RIF cycles making|
|phases||RIJ cycles differing|
|multiplies||RIK cycles adding|
|pumps||RIM cycles including|
|alternates||RIP cycles opposing|
|persists||RIQ cycles working|
|elementalizes||RIS cycles separating|
|extends||RIT cycles following|
|shakes||RIV cycles moving|
|bounces||RIZ cycles touching|
|privatizes||SIB separates keeping|
|organizes||SIJ separates differing|
|purifies||SIL separates improving|
|filters||SIM separates including|
SIN seprates shaping
|hides||GIC prevents sensing|
|sterilizes||GIF prevents making|
|satisfies||GID prevents seeking|
|standardizes||GIJ prevents differing|
|maximizes||GIK prevents adding|
|perfects||GIL prevents improving|
|fills||GIM prevents including|
|softens||GIN prevents shaping|
|disables||GIQ prevents working|
|restricts||GIR prevents cycling|
|fuses||GIS prevents separating|
|grips||GIV prevents moving|
|covers||GIZ prevents touching|
|trades||JIB differs keeping|
|develops||JIL differs improving|
|packages||MIJ differs including|
|bends||JIN differs shaping|
|influences||JIT differs following|
|turns||JIV differs moving|
|gains||KIB adds keeping|
|excites||KID adds seeking|
|complicates||KIJ adds differing|
|grows||KIL adds improving|
|spreads||KIM adds including|
|enlarges||KIN adds shaping|
|balances||KIP adds opposing|
|energizes||KIQ adds working|
|interposes||KIS adds separating|
|exceeds||KIT adds following|
|accelerates||KIV adds moving|
|layers||KIZ adds touching|
|preserves||LIB imroves keeping|
|beautifies||LIC improves sensing|
|exalts||LID improves seeking|
|sharpens||LIN improves shaping|
|repairs||LIQ improves working|
|methodizes||LIR improves cycling|
|plans||LIT improves following|
|praises||LIX improves saying|
|smooths||LIZ improves touching|
|disassembles||SIQ separates working|
|decides||SIT separates following|
|parts||SIZ separates touching|
|fails||TIG separates preventing|
|parallels||TIN follows shaping|
|backs||TIP follows opposing|
|completes||TIQ follows working|
|distracts||VIC moves sensing|
|searches||VID moves seeking|
|leaves||VIL moves improving|
|enters||VIM moves includingly|
|raises||VIP moves opposingly|
|recedes||VIS moves separatingly|
|pursues||VIT moves following|
|gestures||VIX moves saying|
|slides||VIZ moves touching|
|claims||XIB says keeping|
|reports||XIC says sensing|
|requests||XID says seeking|
|prohibits||XIG says preventing|
|disputes||XIJ says differing|
|glorifies||XIK says addingly|
|indicates||XIM says including|
|describes||XIN says shaping|
|challenges||XIP says opposing|
|commands||XIQ says working|
|labels||XIR says cyclingly|
|selects||XIS says separating|
|predicts||XIT says following|
|steps||ZIJ touches differing|
|pierces||ZIM touches includingly|
|traces||ZIT touches following|
|writes||ZIX touches saying|
153 Negative Verbs (meaningful mainly as "opposites" of Postiive Verbs)
|rebels (against), bucks||JIP||PIJ=enforces|
|speaks (to)||XIV||VIX=gestures (at)|
|succeeds (at)||GIT||TIG=fails (at)|
Counting inflection, you now have 3078 words. These are used to generate ALL other words by compounding. The Phonotactics don't allow any other syllables than the 3078 that already exist, and all of them have meanings assigned, so all other words must be synthesized by agglutinating those 3078 words. Here are some example
[I'll insert the table of the 200, once I make it again--somebody deleted it, and I had typed it straight into the browser]
Guess now I'll do the Tower of Babel.
|37||man (adult male)||—|
|38||man (human being)||—|