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Xoq

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General information Edit

Xoq (/ʃɒŋ/, clipped from xotlaq /ʃɒtlaŋ/ 'short language') is a personal conlang and my attempt at creating an as concise and unambiguous a posteriori language as possible without the need to memorise a large vocabulary. That means it strives to keep word length at 3-to-4-to-5-tops letters. It's still on the tweaking stage. Putting it on this site is intended to encourage me to put more work into it.

History, influences Edit

I've always been finding fault with natural languages, felt the need to improve them. Every time i saw a feature of one language that wasn't present in the ones i knew i realised all the good traits could be brought into one perfect language. Well, it didn't turn out that easy.

Chinese was a huge influence. Both its word length and traits such as static verbs were very inspiring. I liked its conciseness and its isolatingness. I also like its morphology but i don't find a closed vocabulary very practical and am not up to making up my lang's vocab. Chinese made me realise how word categories are just convention and thus how an adjective in one language can be a verb in another etc.

French was the source of the idea of Xoq's phonotactics in how it allows to pronounce 'Je ne sais pas' as /ʒnə sɛ pɑ/ or /jən sɛ pɑ/. Plus languages like Italian and Chinese that don't like consonant clusters often add epenthetic vowels in foreign words that have them.

My other conlang attempts focused on the syllable structre CV-only but the resulting words proved unbearingly long. Also, i tried to make an a priori language. i got discouraged by the amount of time and effort involved, as well as the fact observing natural languages lead me to realise how arbitrary their vocabulary is. Borrowing words from other languages earns English words a lot of conciseness. But I'm aware of how neat Chinese morphology looks (fire+arrow=rocket, walk+star=planet), if it weren't for its morphemes' ambiguity.

Phonology Edit

Xolq's sounds are not the main objective of its creation. The basic sounds allowing to read the language cover the 26 letters of the English alphabet. I'll try and add as many sounds expressed by digraphs as possible to further shorten the pronounciation, but first i need to figure out which letter combinations are going to appear the most in practice.

The basic sounds are as follows:

grapheme phoneme
a a
b b
c ʝ
d d
e ɛ
f f
g g
h x
i ɪ
j ʒ
k k
l l
m m
n n
o ɒ
p p
q ŋ
r ɹ
s s
t t
u ʊ
v v
w w
x ʃ
y j
z z

Orthography Edit

Xoq's orthography is 100% phonemic. There are no capital letters. The phonotactics design is intended to allow for reading acronyms as you would regular words.

Phonotactics Edit

There are no limits in Xoq's phonotactics. There are two epenthetic sounds used to make any combination of sounds pronounceable: /ə/ between consonants and /ʔ/ between vowels. Words are stressed on the first syllable. /ə/ is not stressed unless, if need be, in a consonant-only word like wt /'wət/ 'what. Digraphs, like 'aa', may be pronounced either separately using their basic sound quality (/a(ʔ)a/), or, if available for a specific digraph, as a special sound (in aa's case it's /ɑ/).

Possible pronunciations: Edit

Digraph Pronunciation
Vn ◌̃
ks ɧ
rn ɳ
sr ʂ
hy ç
zy ʑ
sy ɕ
ky c
tr ʈ

wn ('when') is pronounced /wən/ or /wə̃/.

Morphology Edit

Xolq's morphology is based on that of English. All grammatical particles listed here are isolating and precede what they modify. The spelling's changed. In practice it's simplified for conciseness's sake wherever no ambiguity arises, in other words, diphthongs are only used to disambiguate words whose simplified form would make them homographs. This means 'consise' is rendered as ksas /ksʌs/ (the morpheme 'con-' is simplified tok-) as there are no words like 'consuss', 'consarse', 'consass' or 'consouse' in English to mistake it for. Compound words can be written together since each of them must contain one vowel.

English phoneme Xoq rendition Xoq pronunciation Xoq simplified
/ʌ/ a /ʌ/ a
/ɑ:/ aa /ɑ/ a
/æ/ ae /æ/ a
/aɪ/ ai /a/ a
/aʊ/ au /ɯ/ a
/ɛ/ e /ɛ/ e
/ɛə/ ea /ɶ/ e
/eɪ/ ei /e/ e
/ɜ:/ eu /ø/ e
/ɪ/ i /ɪ/ i
/i:/ ii /i/ i
/ɪə/ ie /ɨ/ i
/ɒ/ o /ɒ/ o
/ɔ:/ oo /o/ o
/oʊ/ ou /u/ o
/ʊ/ u /ʊ/ u
/ʊə/ ue /y/ u
/ju:/ ui /ʏ/ u
/u:/ uu /ʉ/ u

Words are pruned of unnecessary sounds and letters preserving (most of) the stem morpheme (must contain a vowel) while limiting the affixes to ideally 1 consonant, eg. 'unify' becomes unf /ʊn(ə)f/, 'important' becomesmpotn /mpɒtn/ (frequently used words will surely be further shortened; i'd have no trouble rememberingmportn as just mpo). Glides, nasals and liquids may be elided if there's no ambiguity, eg. 'venerable' is venb(elided 'r').

Basic elision patterns:

Cluster Elided Example
/kt/ k cactus > kaks
/mp/ m temperature > temc
/mb/ m ambiguous > amg
/ng/ q finger > fiq
/nd/ n surround > sran
/kw/ k equal > ikl
/st/ s wrist > ris
/stɹ/ sr structure > srac
Morpheme Elided Example
-able -b credible > kedb
con- k- construe > ksru
-ent -n benevolent > bvoln
-ence -s excellence > sels
-ity -t community > kmunt
-ment -m argument > agm
para- p- paradagm > pdam
-tive -v attributive > tribv

Grammar Edit

Adjectives and adverbs form a modifier category and they respectively follow nouns and verbs.

Nouns Edit

General marker: m.

Optional plural marker: j.

Pronouns Edit

In isolation pronounced /kə/, /ŋə/ etc.

English Xoq
I k
you q
she z
he h
he or she hux
it l
we s
you g
they d

k like Dutch ik, q similar to Chinese ni, z like German sie, h like he, l like Latin ille, s like us, g like old englishge, d like Swedish de

  • possessives add v-, eg. doot v/'dɔtə vək/ = 'my daughter'.

Prepositions Edit

English preposition Xoq preposition
accusative aa
vocative ae
at at
about bt
above bv
according to kt
across kr
after af
against gs
along lq
amid md
among mq
apart pt
around rn
as (functioning as) az
as (being) be
as for zf
away ve
because of kv
before bf
behind bh
below bl
beneath bn
beside bs
between bi
beyond by
by ba
concerning kq
considering kd
despite dp
during jq
for fo
from fm
ever since ..., ... es ... dn ...
except xt
if not for inf
in in
inside is
instead of id
into (illative) it
into (translative) bm ('become')
in terms of tv
like lk
named nm
near ni
next to nx
of v
off of
on on
onto ot
opposite op
out au
out of av
over ov
since sn
than vn
through fu
to tu
towards tw
under un
unlike nl
until ti
whether wr
with (comitative) wf
with (instrumental) uz ('use')
within wv
without va

Prepositions and adjectives act like verbs. They may be preceded by w or a tense/mood particle.

He's similar to his brother.

h w sim bro vh.

/xəw sɪm bɹɒ vəx/

Adjectives and adverbs Edit

General marker: y.

Comparison Edit

Level Suffix
comparative f
superlative x

Verb Edit

General marker:

active passive
w b

Adjectives and participles act as verbs.

Tense/mood Particle
past a
present o
future e
conditional u
imperative i
  • perfective: t
  • progressive: r

She's been seeing my teacher for months.

z tr sii ticr vk fo j manf.

/zə ʈə si tɪʝɹ vək fɒʒ mʌ̃f/

Her cousin was doing her homework.

kanz vz ta du homk.

/'kʌ̃z vəzə tʌ 'dʊ 'hɒmk/

Participles Edit

tense adjectival
present c
past p

The man believed to have been killed in the fire was seen alive yesterday.

man p bliv (eu) p a kil in fae b sii laiv yde.

/'mʌn pə 'blɪv (ø) pʌ 'kɪl ɪn 'fæ bə si 'lav jə'dɛ/

gerund hy

We admired the choir's singing.

s a mai hy siq v kai.

/'sʌ maç 'sɪŋ əv 'ka/

GRID what sort of - ws this -ds that -dt some -sa no -no every - er any -an subordinate
person hu ds dt sy ny ey ay cp
thing wt ds dt sf nf ef af cf
place we hi de sw nw ew aw cw
time wn nuu dn st nv et at ct
manner ha ld (like this) lt (like that) sh nh eh ah ch
quantity hm dm tm am cm
interrogative 'which' subordinate 'which'
wc cy

Which of them will come?

wc v d e kam.

/'wəʝ əv dɛ kʌm/

I don't know which of them to choose.

k n no cuz cy v d.

/kə̃ 'nɒ 'ʝʊz 'ʝəjvəd/

Questions Edit

The question particle ui is used to form open questions.

Example.

Do you like cars?

q lak kaa ui.

/ŋə lʌk kɑ ʏ/

it can be expressed by a '?'. Wh-questions preserve the basic word order.

What did they want from you?

d a won wt fm q.

/'dʌ wɒn 'wət fəm əŋ/

Numerals Edit

Number Xoq
0 lu
1 ye
2 tu
3 di
4 vo
5 fa
6 su
7 ze
8 ho
9 na
10 qu
Number Xoq Suffix
-teen -r
10 qa -q
100 hu -h
1000 mi -m
10,000 nu -n
100,000 xe -x
1000,000 la -l
-th -f
-ion -y
-fold -w
point pn

billion: tuy, trillion: diy etc.

Vocabulary Edit

English Xoq
and en
not n
in order to pe
which c
that eu
this ds
that dt
be zy
good gu
much/many mu
may me
might ma
can ke
times ta
give gi
get ge
have he
have to ht
should xd
but bu
though do
such/so so
only oy
unless le
let's ls
let him lh
let her lz
let it ll
always ow
enough ng
ever ev
rather rd
rather than rv
such as sz
also os
almost om
already or
or oo
for example fz
still si (can be anywhere in the clause after the subject)
yes ya
no ne
even iv
each other ca
if ... then ... ... tn ...
... if ... ... if ...
both bd (German 'beide')
o'clock kl
really ri
be x years old ed ('age-old')
be supposed to sp
yet yt (can be anywhere in the clause after the subject)
so (conj.) zo
so that zeu
also known as onz
as long as zl
just js
just as jz
no (det.) no
then (thereafter) df
and then nn
forward fw
backward bw
down da
up ap
aside ts ('to side')
and or eo
because bz

If you like this house, buy it.

q lak ds has tn i bai l.

/ŋə 'lʌk dəs 'hʌst nɪ 'bal/

I'll see you at 3 pm tomorrow.

k sii q at far kl tmo. (24h time base)

/ksiŋ ʌt fʌɹ kəlt mɒ/

I'm 25 years old.

k ed tuqfa yi.

/kɛd tʊŋfʌ jɪ/

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