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.
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:
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.
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
wn ('when') is pronounced /wən/ or /wə̃/.
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|
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:
|/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|
|-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|
Adjectives and adverbs form a modifier category and they respectively follow nouns and verbs.
General marker: m.
Optional plural marker: j.
In isolation pronounced /kə/, /ŋə/ etc.
|he or she||hux|
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 vk /'dɔtə vək/ = 'my daughter'.
|English preposition||Xoq preposition|
|as (functioning as)||az|
|ever since ..., ...||es ... dn ...|
|if not for||inf|
|into (translative)||bm ('become')|
|in terms of||tv|
|with (instrumental)||uz ('use')|
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.
Adjectives and participles act as verbs.
- 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/
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/
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|
|manner||ha||ld (like this)||lt (like that)||sh||nh||eh||ah||ch|
|interrogative 'which'||subordinate 'which'|
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/
The question particle ui is used to form open questions.
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/
billion: tuy, trillion: diy etc.
|in order to||pe|
|still||si (can be anywhere in the clause after the subject)|
|if ... then ...||... tn ...|
|... if ...||... if ...|
|both||bd (German 'beide')|
|be x years old||ed ('age-old')|
|be supposed to||sp|
|yet||yt (can be anywhere in the clause after the subject)|
|also known as||onz|
|as long as||zl|
|aside||ts ('to side')|
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/