|Nouns decline according to...|
|Verbs conjugate according to...|
Bumlan (büm lán) is an IAL (International Auxiliary Language) based partly on chinese, in fact it's isolating and tonal just like chinese. It also has influence from European languages and Esperanto. Its words originate mainly in the world's five most spoken languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English, Spanish, Hindi and Arabic, but there are also many a priori words.
I only recently started this project, so the language may still change a lot. I'm still discovering what I want to do with it, though the main purpose is to create a functional tonal IAL that is mostly monosyllabic (I may add 2 or 3 syllable words made by word combinations, but roots will always be monosyllabic).
In short: it is an a posteriori isolating tonal SVO IAL.
Bumlan uses letters of the basic Latin alphabet. Additionally, it uses three markers on vowels to show tones (the lack of a marker is the fourth tone).
Bumlan has four tones: high, falling, low, rising, which largely correspond to Chinese first, fourth, third/lacking, second tones, respectively.
|Plosive||p b||t d||k g|
|Sound||a||b||t͡ʃ (d͡ʒ)||d||e||f||g||h (x)||i||k||l|
|Sound||m||n (ŋ)||o||p||ɾ (r)||s (z)||t||u||w||ʃ (ʒ)||j||t͡s|
The tones are shown with diacritics:
The ideal pronunciation for r is the tapped r, but any similar sound that's distinguishable from the rest of the alphabet is ok.
Notice that apart from tones, the phonology is very much not Chinese in nature, this is because my purpose is not to create a Chinese clone, but to use some interesting features of Chinese. It's likely that the end result will sound a lot like Chinese, but this is because the tonal system is very similar.
Because Bumlan is an isolating language and all words are single syllables, spaces do not convey a lot of meaning, something like "tà kól" (university) can be written as "tàkól" and it doesn't change the meaning or pronunciation. In fact, a whole phrase could be written like that (separating two syllables with ' when there is ambiguity as to whether a letter is part of one syllable or the other), and it could be understood the same way:
- wo te äw zù ròh = woteäwzù'ròh (my car is red)
I personally prefer separating all syllables with spaces (except for proper names), not using spaces at all can make it pretty difficult to read, and I like that spaces stress the isolating nature of the language. It may be useful to join words that are very related to each other or that represent one concept together (e.g. wo'rë = we; tàkól = university), so feel free to do so.
Words can end in vowels, semivowels, or the following consonants: m, n, f, s, x, h, r, l (i.e. nasals, fricatives and liquids).
Allowed consonant clusters for the "onset" (o as example vowel):
FL = [fl,pl,kl,fr,pr,kr,tr,br,dr,gr]
A = [a,e,o]
W = [w,y]
I = [u,i,uy]
N = [f,h,s,x,m,n,l,r]
FL-A-WN, FL-I-N, CW-A-WN, C-U-N. (onset-nucleus-coda)
Including tones, this phonology allows for 24000 different syllables.
In the third person there is no distinction of gender, but there is distinction of animate or inanimate things. This can be interpreted in many ways. Usually, one would use "tä" for humans and "só" for any other thing. But more generally "tä" can be used for anything that is capable of communicating, however it can be used for animals, plants or inanimate things for stylistic reasons, such as speaking to or about pets.
Plural pronouns are created adding the word "rë" which means "group".
|1st person singular||wo||I||yo|
|2nd person singular||ni||you (singular)||tú|
|3rd person singular (human)||tä||he/she||él/ella|
|3rd person singular (not human)||só||it||eso|
|1st person plural||wo rë||we||nosotros/as|
|2nd person plural||ni rë||you (plural)||ustedes|
|3rd person plural (human)||tä rë||they (beings)||ellos/as|
|3rd person plural (not human)||só rë||they (things)||esos/as|
|impersonal pronoun||som hu||one||uno/a|
|reflexive pronoun||dì||X-self, own||sí, propio|
"wo", "ni" and "tä" come from Chinese. "só" comes from "eso" in Spanish.
Nouns don’t change according to number, tough one can specify plurality adding "rë" after the noun (this should not be overused).
Verbs don’t change, when alone they can be interpreted in many ways according to context, so for example, one would say “wo zù hu” to mean “I am a person”, although in some context that might mean “I was a person” or “I will be a person”.
There are words that can specify different information about a verb’s meaning: adverbs, pronouns, other verbs, etc. For instance, some verbs like “lïm” (to clean) can be transitive or reflexive (just like in English), so a sentences like “wo lïm” can either mean “I clean” or “I clean myself”, but adding the reflexive pronoun “dì” makes it only mean “I clean myself”, “wo lïm dì”.
These are some words that can add context to a verb’s meaning:
- fìn: this is a verb that means “finish” or “end”, and it can be used before another verb to mean that that action or state has finished. This can be used to mean “no longer ...”, “finished ...”, “did ...”, “have ...ed”, etc.
- wo fìn zù hu = I am no longer human
- tä fìn lïm dì = She has cleaned herself
- dì: as mentioned before, the reflexive pronoun can be used after a verb to clarify that it has a reflexive meaning. It can be used no matter what the subject of the verb is.
- ni lïm dì = you clean yourself
- klás fìn dì = the class is over
- ya: this adverb means "already" and can be used to express the perfect aspect (have ...ed).
- wo ya dór = I slept
- wo ya söw wo xü = I've found my book
- kön: this verb means “to continue” and can be used to make a progressive tense.
- wo kön lïm = I am cleaning
- cù: this verb means “to go” and can also represent the future tense.
- wo cù lïm = I will clean
- dú: this verb means “to do” and can used for the structure “make s-one do x-action”
- wo dú ni cï = I make you eat (i.e. I feed you)
- hël: this verb means “to help” and can be used similarly to “dú” but with less “forceful” connotations
- wo hël ni cï = I help you eat (i.e. I feed you)
- käm: this verb means to become, and is used in a similar way
- These words can be combined.
- wo cù kön lïm dì = I will be cleaning myself
- Time word. Words like "dà tëm" (then), "cè tëm" (now), etc. Can be used to specify the time in which the action happens. This usually makes other markers unnecessary.
The conditional structure
This mood is expressed with the structure “së (condition) den (cause)” which corresponds to English “if (condition) then/, (cause)”. Additional information can be added to clarify it's talking about a past condition, a future one, etc.
- së wo nów den wo wèr = If I knew how, I would work.
- së wo (dà tëm) nów den wo wèr = If I had known how, I would have worked.
However, in other languages this "past conditional mood" is used outside conditions too, used to express something that could or should have been done, bat wasn't. In this cases, Bumlan usually uses the bare verb if context allows, or adds a word to indicate past if necessary (such as "dà tëm").
- wo dwä nö cï só, tàn wo cï = I shouldn't have eaten it, but I did
- wo (dà tëm) kàn kúr, tàn wo nö kúr = I could have run, but I didn't
There are no participles per se in Bumlan, but let's see some ways in which it covers the same functionalities:
|ày||wo nö dës ày ni||I don't want to love you|
|ày||ày hu zù mey||A loving person is nice|
|ày wey||ày tä wey wo ës||Loving him, I learn|
|ày hu||tä zù wo te ày hu||She was my lover|
|po ày||wo zù po Lü ày||I am loved by Luke / I am Luke's loved one|
|po ày wey||po ày wey wo zù mò bú||Being loved, I'm better|
|po ày hu||tä zù po wo ày hu||He is my loved one|
We will learn more about that "po" and that "wey" later. "hu" simply means person/human.
Adjectives and adverbs
Adjectives and adverb are basically the same, the only difference being that adjectives modify a noun while adverbs modify a verb or another adjective. Because of this, in Bumlan the same word can be used for both functions. They go strictly before what they modify:
- bú mä = good parent
- fàs kúr = run fast
Unless they are the argument of a verb.
- wo käm fàs = I become fast
When there is a chain of adjectives/adverbs, they are interpreted to modify the same noun/verb:
- bú fàs äw = a good fast car
- mey tà mäw = a beautiful big cat
If you want to say something like "beautifully big" instead, use the word "wey" (way) to make the first adjective modify the second one:
- mey wey tà mäw = a beautifully big cat
This "wey" can also be used to make adverbs out of verbs, nouns and phrases:
- wo hël wey dú = I act helpfully
- wo käm nán mä wey = I become fatherly
Possession is shown using the "te" particle, which comes from the Chinese particle "de" and works pretty much like it works for possession ("de" has other uses in Chinese that "te" in Bumlandoesn't, though), it's similar to 's in the English language, but also used with pronouns. For example:
- wo te äw = My car
- tä zù lü te mí = She/He is Lucas' friend
- döm zù ni rë te = The house is yours
- po döm zù tà hu zù wo te mí = The person, whose house is big, is my friend.
The particle "te" can be omitted if context allows:
- wo äw = my car
- tä zù lü mí = she is Lucas's friend
- ni nów tä fë mä = you know his mother
Yes/No questions (or questions that give you a definite amount of answers) are created adding the particle "má" at the end of the sentence.
- ni zù bú = You are good
- ni zù bú má? = Are you good?
Ma can also be used in negative sentences.
- ni nö zù nán mä má? = You're not a father?
Questions that give you the possible answer usually use the "o" (or) connector. Examples:
- ni dës kaf o cá má? = Do you want coffee or tea.
- (Hày,) kaf. = (Yes,) coffee.
- (Hày,) cá. = (Yes,) tea.
- Nu, xyè. = None, thanks.
- ni dës míl, kàr o èy má? = Do you want milk, sugar or something else in your coffee?
- Hày, míl. = Yes. milk.
- Nö, nu. = No, nothing.
- Hày, dù tin = Yes, both.
Other questions are made with "ké", in these questions "má" is not necessary. Unlike many languages but like Chinese, the order of the sentence does not change (although it is allowed) when asking questions, the xen- word is in the place where the answer will be. For example:
- ni cï ké? = What are you eating? (You eat what?)
- ni nóm ké? = What is your name?
- só zù ké lù? = Where is it? (It is where?)
- ni zù ké hu te fë mä? = Whose mother are you? (You are whose mother?)
Basic word order
Terwene follows the order SVO, but in some cases (if context allows) it is also possible to use OSV (Yoda's order) and VSO. These three orders are allowed because out of the six possible orders one can only choose three and still be able to differentiate subject from object. The one-phrase rule is "the nearer to the left of the verb, is the subject", in SVO and OSV the subject is already to the left of the verb, and in VSO the subject is closer to the left of the verb than the object.
SVO was chosen because it's the most widespread order in the world (in number of speakers), which includes English, Spanish and Chinese, the three most spoken languages. It's also helpful to have the verb separate the subject from the object, which makes understanding the sentence much easier.
Apart from order, there is nothing differentiating subject from object, so even pronouns stay the same when they are the object of the sentence:
- wo ày ni = I love you
- tä ày tä = She/He loves him/her
- wo rë sï tä rë = We saw them
Adjectives and other modifiers
As explained before, adjectives and adverbs go before what they modify unless they are the argument of a verb.
In general modifiers are written before what they modify. This means that, for instance, the word "nö" (no/not) can be placed before the word that it wants to negate. If it is placed before the main verb, the sentence is negated. If it is placed before the subject, only the subject is negated:
- nö wo cï só = I didn't eat that (someone else did)
- wo nö cï só = I didn't eat that (maybe someone else did, maybe I ate something else, doesn't matter)
- wo cï nö só = I didn't eat that (I ate something else)
- wo nö dwä cï só = I do not have to eat that (I could, but I am not obligated)
- wo dwä nö cï só = I must not eat that (it is my obligation not to eat that)
There is no definite (the) or indefinite article (a, an) but the number "ün" (one) can be used as a quantifier if necessary, for example there are words which can be either countable or uncountable, adding "ün" states that it is being used as countable:
- wo cï pòm = I eat apple (maybe one, maybe a slice, maybe mashed, maybe many)
- wo cï ün pòm = I eat an apple
- wo cï pòm rë = I eat (the) apples
Instead there are words that can't be either countable or uncountable, in those cases "wan" should be avoided:
- wo zù hu = I am a/the person
The definite article does not exist because its usage would vary depending on the speaker's mother tongue, it doesn't exist in very important languages such as Chinese and Russian, so for the sake of simplicity Bumlan doesn't have it either.
Numbers are combined just like in Chinese:
- 10: déu
- 20: dù tén
- 30: sän tén
- 400: yòn pay
- 800: cö pay
- 9 000: ná mïl
- 323 456: sän pay dù tén sän mïl yòn pay fí tén lò
After 999 999 there are words created in a similar way to "million", "billion", "trillion": *I haven't decided about them yet*. Terwene follows the same scale English does, each new word after thousand adds 3 zeros. Unlike English, the word "ün" can be omitted just like it is done for "deg", "pay" and "mil".
- pay = one hundred
- mïl = one thousand
- = one million
- = two million
- = seven billion
It's also allowed to simply read the numbers, like Chinese speakers do for years and phone numbers. This can also be combined with the words “pay”, “mïl”, etc. to be able to speak faster when there are many zeroes. This is only when context allows it. For instance:
- 1998 = ün ná ná cö
- 2001 = dù nu nu ün
- 1300 = ün sän pay
- 23 000 = dù sän mïl
- 233445 = dù sän sän yòn yòn fí
Ordinal numbers are created adding the word "pòs" which means "position".
- ün pòs = first
- pay dù tén cö pòs = one hundred twenty eighth
- ün pòs wey = firstly / in the first place
- dù wey = in pair/s
- tén wey = in groups of ten
- dù rë = a pair, a duet
The reflexive pronoun
*I am using the page of my most developed conlang (Terwene) as a guide, as a result, everything beyond this is about that language because I haven't reached this far yet*
Bumlan has the reflexive pronoun "dì" which is used for all other grammatical persons. These are its uses:
- To make the sentence reflexive for any subject (although it's also possible to use the same subject twice in the sentence to make it reflexive, for example "wo lïm wo"):
- wo lïm dì = I wash/bath myself
- ni hël dì cï = You feed yourself
- mäw sï dì = The cat sees itself
- To specify or emphasize who is the owner of something:
- tä sï dì te döm = He saw his own house
- wo ày dì te méy = I love my own sister
- Comparative: the comparative uses "mò" (more) or "lés" (less) plus "dan" (than).
- tä zù mò bú dan ni = He is better than you
- tä zù lés tól dan ni = He is less tall than you
- Superlative: the superlative uses "màx" (most/maximum) or "mïn" (least/minimum).
- tä zù màx bú = She is the best one
- tä zù mïn tól = She is the least tall
- Equals: equality is expressed using either "wey" after the second subject being compared, or by connecting the two phrases with "dà wey".
- tä zù mey ni wey / tä zù mey dà wey ni zù = She is beautiful like you (lit. she is beautiful in your way / she is beautiful in that way you are)
- tä fàs kúr ni wey / tä fàs kúr dà wey ni kúr / tä fàs kúr dà wey ni dú = He runs fast like you
Subordinate sentences that refer to a question are simply added as such (the "ké" word has to respect word order, when possible, it's usually at the beginning, but when it's the object of the subordinate sentence, it has to respect it's place; the má word goes at the end as always).
- wo nö nów ké lù tä zù = I don't know where he is
- wo tën ké káw tä dú dà = I understand why he did that
- ni nów wo cï ké pòm má = Do you know which apple I ate
- wo nö nów tä zày dì döm má = I don't know whether he is in his home
- wo kwés tä xwö büm lán má = I ask whether she speaks Bumlan
To connect sentences that do not refer to a question just place them after the verb, or add the word "dà" (that)
- wo nów (dà) tä zày dì döm = I know he's in his own house
- wo tën (dà) só nö bèl = I understand that's not possible
- wo pì (dà) tä kú èy = I ask that he cook something else
Subordinate sentences that through a phrase add information to (modify) a noun, use the word "po" (in this case the subject is omitted, "po" represents the noun/subject/pronoun that it's giving information about, the "te" particle can also be omitted)
- tä zù po (te) döm zù ròh hu = She is the person whose house is red (here "po" adds information to "hu")
- po döm zù tà fë zù wo te mí = The woman, whose house is big, is my friend. (here "po" relates to "fë")
Because Bumlan uses tones for lexical meaning, it can not use tones in the same way some other languages use it, namely, to express non-lexical meaning. That is, many languages use tones/pitch in a sentence or word to express things like doubt, anger, happiness, cuteness, fear, etc. Bumlan finds other ways to express these meanings, chiefly by adding words at the end of a sentence that expresses that information. These are the most important ones:
- fù: expresses surprise or anger
- ni cï wo te cï fù! = you ate my food!
- wo dú nu fù! = I did nothing!
- wo hèy tä fù! = I hate him!
- më: expresses happiness or euphoria
- wo twö ày ni më! I love you a lot!
- tä zù mey më = she is so beautiful
- ni bú dú më! = you did well!
- mo: expresses cuteness, softness
- wo twö ày ni mo = I love you a lot
- hël wo mo = could you please help me?
The many uses of words
In Bumlan, words are not strictly verbs, strictly prepositions, etc. Instead, they usually have a main meaning or function, but according to the position and context it finds itself in, it can take different functions (a preposition might be used as a verb, a noun might be used as an adjective, etc.). Let's see some common examples:
- As verb: wo zày döm = I am home (to be at a place)
- As preposition: wo cï zày döm = I eat at home (at)
- As verb: wo hë cá = I drink tea (drink)
- As noun: ni hà hë má? = do you have drinks? (drinks)
- As adjective: só zù hë kwá = it is drinkable water (drinkable, for drinking)
- As adjective: ni zù mey = you are beautiful
- As verb: ni mey = you are beautiful
- As noun: mey zù bú = beauty is good
Additionally, many words in Bumlan have wider meaning than their English counterparts. For instance, let's see the different meanings of "xwö":
- wo xwö büm lán = I speak büm lán
- wo xwö xyè = I say thank you
- wo e ni xwö = You and I talk
When context is not clear enough and a word can be interpreted in different ways, some words can help us clarify: "wey" for adverbs, "lèy" for adjectives, "hu, tin, taf" and others for nouns. For instance, the word "kàn" has a lot of functions:
- wo kàn = I can / I am capable
- wo kàn hu = I am a capable person
- wo kàn lèy = I am capable
- wo kàn = I can
- fàs äw cù = a fast car goes / a car goes fast
- fàs lèy äw cù = a fast car goes
- fàs wey äw cù = a car goes fast
Correlatives are special words which consist of certain beginnings and endings and are ordered in a table.
ké wey how
dà káw because of that
dà wey so/like that
cè káw because of this
cè wey so/like this
this much / this many
ever/in some moment
som lù somewhere
for some reason
som wey somehow
som kwän some quantity
som hu someone
som lèy some type
nu lù nowhere
for no reason
nu hu nobody
öl lù everywhere
for every reason
in every way
all of it
öl hu everyone
twö tëm many times
in many places
for many reasons
in many ways
a great amount
twö hu many people
twö lèy many types
little, few (things)
in few places
for few reasons
in few ways
in another moment
in another place
for another reason
in another way
èy kwän another amount
èy hu someone else
èy lèy other type
at any time
kü lù anywhere
for any reason
in any way
kü hu anyone
Notice that the correlatives for "things" are the same as the basic ones, just like the word "what" in English can represent a thing ("what is that?") or be an adjective that means "which" ("What dog is that?"). In Bumlan the same happens for all the basic correlatives (the ones in the column "CORR."), however, the word "tin" (thing) can be used for the specific "unknown thing" correlatives:
- ké tin? = what (thing)?
- dà tin mey = that (thing) is nice
The same structure used to create correlatives like "dà lù" can be used to create more correlatives, for instance, using the word "mò" (more) at the beginning, you can get correlatives like "mò tëm" (more times), "mò hu" (more people), etc. Adding a word at the end, such as "fru" (fruit), you can get words like "ké fru" (which fruit), "öl fru" (all of the fruit), etc.
All of that is possible because the correlatives are created using the same rules as the rest of the language uses, the first word is an adjective that modifies the second word.
Examples of correlatives in use
- Bare as adjective:
- ni lé ké xü? = Which book are you reading?
- dà döm zù wo te = That house is mine
- ni lé cè xü má? = Have you read this book?
- ni cù lé som xü má? = Will you read some book?
- nu an dú dà = No animal would do that
- së bèl wo lé öl xü = I would read every book
- twö an cï ròw = Many animals eat meat
- fyú xü bú = Few books are good
- wo dës èy xü = I want another book
- wo dës lé kü xü = I want to read any book
- Bare as noun:
- dà zù ké? = What is that?
- cè zù äw = This is a car
- som ay on tá má? = Is there something on the table?
- wo dú nu fù! = I did nothing!
- öl pù bú cè lù = Everything is bad here
- wo dës twö = I want many things
- wo dës fyú = I want few things
- ni dës èy má? = Do you want another thing?
- kü zù bú = Anything would be good now
- + tëm
- wo rë cï ké lù? = When will we eat?
- wo dà tëm nów = Then I knew
- láy cè tëm! = Come now!
- ni som tëm cù Argen má? = Have you ever come to Argentina?
- wo nu tëm dór = I never sleep
- wo öl tëm ày ni = I'll always love you
- wo cù dà lù twö tëm = I've gone there many times
- wo cù dà lù fyú tëm = I've gone there few times
- tä cù cù èy tëm = She will go in other moment
- láy cè lù kü tëm = Come here at any time
- + lù
- wo äw zày ké lù? = Where is my car?
- wo na dà lù = I was born there
- pän ay cè lù = There is bread here
- wo söw wo xü som lù = I'll find my book somewhere
- wo xü zày nu lù = My book is nowhere
- wo ya dór öl lù = I've slept everywhere
- wo cù twö lù = I've gone to many places
- wo kàn cù fyú lù = I could go to few places
- wo dës cù èy lù = I want to go to other place
- dór kü lù = Sleep anywhere
- + káw
- ké káw ni dú dà? = Why did you do that?
- dà káw wo bèl cù Më'hi = Because of that I would go to Mexico
- wo nö bú dór cè káw = I didn't sleep well because of this
- wo som káw nö söw wo äw = For some reason I haven't found my car
- nu káw wo bèl dú dà = For no reason I'd do that
- wo ày tä öl káw = I love her for every reason
- wo ày tä twö káw = I love him for many reasons
- wo bèl cù fyú káw = I'd go for few reasons
- wo bèl dú dà èy káw, nö dà = I'd do that for another reason, but not because of that
- wo kü káw cï = He eats for any reason
- + wey
- ni rë ké wey dú dà? = How did you do that?
- tä tól tä nán mä wey = He is as tall as his father
- cè wey som hu dú këy = This is how one makes cakes
- som wey tä nö tën = Somehow he didn't understand
- nu wey wo dú dà = No way I would do that
- wo dór öl wey = I've slept in every way
- wo twö wey kàn cù = I can go in many ways
- wo kàn cù fyú wey = I could go in few ways
- wo rë kàn cù èy wey má? = Can we go in another way?
- ni rë kàn láy kü wey, tàn láy = You can come in any way, but come
- + kwän (notice this word is sometimes superfluous, especially if the noun is uncountable like coffee)
- ni báy ké kwän pän? = How much bread did you buy?
- wo në dà kwän = I need that amount
- cè kwän kaf nö sù = This amount of coffee is not enough
- wo në som (kwän) kaf = I need some coffee
- wo hà nu (kwän) kaf = I have no amount of coffee
- wo hà öl (kwän) kaf = I have all the coffee
- wo hà twö (kwän) cá = I have a great amount of tea
- wo hà fyú (kwän) cá = I have a small amount of tea
- wo hà èy kwän = I have another amount
- wo xi kü kwän dà = I'd like any amount of that
- + hu
- ké hu rë zù dà? = Who are those?
- dà hu zù wo nán mèy = That one is my brother
- cè hu zù wo mí = These ones are my friends
- som hu dú dà = Someone did that
- nu hu dú dà = Nobody would do that
- wo ày öl hu = I love everyone
- twö hu cï pän = Many people eat bread
- fyú hu nów wo = Few people know me
- èy hu kän láy, nö tä = Someone else arrived (here), not her
- kü hu kàn dú dà = Anyone can do that
- + lèy
- ni hà ké lèy äw? = What type of car do you have?
- ni hà dà lèy äw má? = Do you have that type of car?
- ni nów öl cè lèy pän? = Do you know every one of these types of bread?
- som an cï ròw = Some types of animals eat meat
- wo hà nu lèy pän = I have no type of bread
- wo hà öl lèy pän = I have every kind of bread
- wo hà twö lèy cá = I have many types of tea
- wo hà fyú lèy kaf = I have few types of coffee
- wo nö hà dà lèy, tàn èy lèy = I don't have that type, but I have another type
- kü lèy bú = Any type will be good
The names of the days are created in a similar way to Chinese and Portuguese, with numbers. Months too. Monday is considered the first day of the week. The system is really simple: number + day/month. There are two words for "day" in Bumlan, one with the meaning of "rotation" for the 24 h day (de), and one which represents the hours of light of one day (sól), which also means "Sun".
|ün de||dù de||sän de||yòn de||fí de||lò de||sé de|
Months are created the same way but with the word "lún" which means both "moon" and "month".
|ün lún||dù lún||sän lún||yòn lún||fí lún||lò lún|
|sé lún||cö lún||ná lún||tén lún||tén ün lún||tén dù lún|
The word for year is "án". The order of dates is dd/mm/yyyy, let's see some examples:
- wo ná 1998 yòn lún te 20 dù de 3:30 (wo na ün ná ná cö án yòn lú dù tén de dù de sän hö sän tén mì) = I was born at 3:30 Tuesday the 20th of April 1998
- Mi dormel dur lunabe = I slept during one week
Now, it's important to notice something: the numbers in these expressions are working as ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc), not as cardinal numbers (one, two, three, etc.), this is intentional, as context usually lets us understand what the intended meaning is. If it's necessary to clarify, the word "pòs" can be used to express the ordinal number, and the word "kwän" can be used to express the cardinal number:
- ün pòs de = Monday
- ün kwän de = one day
- yòn pòs lú = April
- yòn kwän lú = four months
All phrases can be slightly modified, for example adding "mo" to make them softer, or "më" to express happiness.
- häy = Hi/Hello
- bú de = Good day (at any time)
- bú sól = Good day (during daytime)
- bú no = Good night
- bú zaw = Good morning
- bú xam = Good afternoon
- til sùn = See you soon
- til né de = See you tomorrow
- bäy = Bye
- xyè = Thank you
- zù nu = You're welcome
- pì mo = Please
- sa mo = Sorry
- bú láy = Welcome
- ni ké wey? = How are you? (sing.)
- ni rë ké wey? = How are you? (pl.)
- bú, ni má? = Good, and you?
- bú cï! = Bon appetit!
- bú bya! = Bon voyage! (Good trip!)
- bú sán! = Health!
- lè án! = Happy new year!
Important note: when prepositions are used alone (they are not working as prepositions), it is recommended to place them at the end of the sentence, or in the place where they create the least misunderstandings, or a comma is placed after them to represent a silence.
Prepositions can be left out when the context is clear, mainly when the verb already carries that meaning. For instance, the verb "cù" carries the meaning of going to a place, so the word "a" (to) can be omitted.
a “to” direction
- tä cù lái a cì = she will come to the city
- tä xwö a tä rë = he speakes to them
zày “at” relatively in the same position but not exactly
- wo mí zày mén = my friend is at the door
- wo mèy zày tá = mi brother is at the table
- tä zày gúl = she is at the corner
fro “from/since”, position or time
- wo cù fro gúl a wo döm = I went from the corner to my house
- tä rë zù róy fro 1998 = They are kings since 1998
- tä zù fro Argen = She is from Argentina
- só zù fro mù = It is made of wood
te “ 's ” possession
- Lü te xü = Luke's book
- cè äw zù tà kól te = This is the university's car
- dur wo cï, tä hë = While I was eating, he was drinking
- wo nö fü dur zaw = I don't walk in the morning
in “in” necessarily inside, can be metaphorical or figurative
- wo lì in dà döm = I live in that house
- wo ës in tà kól = I study in a university
- ni in o àw má? = Are you inside or outside?
- ni àw döm má? = Are you out of the house?
- wo rë cù àw = Let's go outside
til "until” both for time and place
- wo cï til ná hö = I ate until 9:00
- wo rë kúr til döm! = Let's run up to the house!
- wo cï pòm ko xus = I eat apples with juice
- ko ni wo mò bú sén dì = With you I feel better
- tä lì ko tä mèy rë = He lives with his siblings
- wo hë kaf sìn míl = I drink coffee without milk
- wo màr sìn màr = I hit without hammer
- wo dú dà par ni = I did this for you
- tä dú këy par mày = I make cakes for selling
- pëy par ü cyo = a cup/glass for wine
kos “because (of)”
- kos dà wo nö mày pòm = Because of that I don't buy apples
- tä nö lái kos tä ìl = She won't come because of her illness
- wo nö cï kos wo nö xi dà = I'm not eating because I don't like that
- kí zù ba tá = A child is under the table
- wo cù (a) ba äw = I went under the car
- tä zù ba = He is below
- pòm ay on tá = There are apples on the table
sü "over" over something but not touching it
- pá fëy sü wo rë äw = Birds fly over our car
- wo hë kám ni = I drink instead of you
- wo hë kám cï = I drink instead of eating
- kám, wo cï = Instead, you eat
ám "in front of" place
- wo zù ám ni döm = I am in front of your house
- wo zù dè ni = I'm behind you
pre "before" only for time
- pre zaw = early morning
- wo na pre twö tëm = I was born a long time ago
- pre wo dór, wo cï = Before I fell asleep, I ate
- pre dór, wo cï = Before falling asleep, I ate
- wo pre tëm nö sén dà = I'd never felt that before
pos "after" only for time
- pos fìn dór, wo cï = After waking up, I ate
- pos wo dìn dór, wo cï = After I woke up, I ate
- wo dú dà pos (tëm) = I'll do that after/later
pán "next to"
- wo zù pán äw = I am next to a car
- ké zù pán ni? = What is next to you?
far "far from/far/away"
- wo zù far = I am far
- dà zù far wo rë = That is far from us
- cù far! = Go away!
- wo nì ni = I'm near you
- wo rë cù nì lù = Let's go somwhere nearby
- dà nì kaf lù bú = That nearby cafe is good
- ni nów baw ké? = What do you know about?
- Tra winteporde encanan winte = Through the window enters wind
- cir sän tén = around thirty
- cir cù = to go around
- cir döm äw ay = Around the house there are cars
- ter nä = international
- wo zù ter mù = I'm between the trees
- àn ìl = against (for) an illnes
- àn mur = against the wall
- wo zù àn ni = I'm against you
- wo us äw cù = He'll come by car
- wp màr us màr = I hit with a hammer
tran "crossing/at the other side of"
- wo döm zù tran ru = My house is at the other side of the street
- tran dà hé èy kwó ay = Crossing that river it's another country
- wo rë cù bey cì = Let's go beyond the city
- hu rë nu tëm cù bey lún = Humankind has never gone beyond the moon
xe "except, appart from, other than"
- wo cï öl xe pòm = I eat everything except apples
- öl hu láy xe ni = Everyone came except you
Bumlan is an isolating language, so affixes as such do not exist, but there are words that can express similar meanings as affixes do in other languages, but they work like normal adverbs, adjectives, nouns or verbs, and follow the same rules.
*I am using the page of my most developed conlang (Terwene) as a guide, as a result, everything beyond this is about that language because I haven't reached this far yet*
- dis disseminating, separately
- dá = to give ➜ dis dá = distribute
- ex ex-, former
- kwó lï = president ➜ ex kwó lï = expresident
- pù "un-" the opposite meaning or the closest approximation of it, this can be used even if the inteded meaning already has a separate word
- báy = to buy ➜ pù báy = to sell
- tön = east ➜ pù tön = west
- sur = south ➜ pù sur = north
- sèn = to send ➜ pù sèn = to receive
- pre before, pre-, long ago in time
- his = history ➜ pre his = prehistory
- sï = to see ➜ pre sï = to anticipate (to have a vision)
- zaw = morning ➜ pre zaw = early morning
- mä = parent ➜ pre mä = ancestor
- gèn to repeat, to do again
- sèn = to send ➜ gèn sèn = to resend
- xwö = to say ➜ gèn xwö = to repeat
- gèn ➜ again
- mis to do incorrectly
- tën = to understand ➜ mis tën = misunderstand
- us = tu use ➜ mis us ➜ to misuse
- mis = mistakenly/wrongly
- far from afar
- sï = to see ➜ far sï tor = television (the object)
- far sï = television
- pè dù half-, semi-
- hore = hour ➜ pè dù hö = half an hour
- cir = circle ➜ pè dù cir = semicircle
- sèw- almost, quasi-, pseudo
- nóm = name ➜ sèw nóm = pseudnim
- dèw = god ➜ sèw dèw = demigod
- í = son/daughter ➜ sèw í = stepson/daughter
- tà a bigger or stronger counterpart of the root
- lè = to laugh ➜ tà lè = to laugh a lot or very hard
- wín = wind ➜ tà wín = a very strong wind
- rè = warm ➜ tà rè = hot
- frï = cool ➜ tà frï = cold
- tëm = time ➜ tà tëm = a long time / eternity
- bo = ship / boat ➜ tà bo = ship
- pe a smaller, softer or less intense counterpart of the root
- lè = to lough ➜ pe lè = to smile
- wín = wind ➜ pe wìn = a breeze
- hú = lake ➜ pe hú = lagoon
- hé = river ➜ pe hé = stream / creek
- rè = warm ➜ pe rè = warm but more temperate
- frï = cool ➜ pe frï = cool but more temperate
- bo = ship / boat ➜ pe bo = boat
- kàn capable
- bisar = ➜ sï kàn (or "po kàn sï") = blind
- swim = to swim ➜ swim kàn = that can swim
- kàn = to be able, can
- kàn (lèy) = capable
- bèl possible, the passive counterpart of abl
- sï bèl = visible
- cï = to eat ➜ cï bèl = edible
- bèl = possible
- hu individual characterized by the root
- Argen = Argentina ➜ Argen hu = an argentine
- àn = against ➜ àn hu = an oppositor
- rí = rich ➜ rí hu = a rich person
- wèr = work ➜ wèr hu = worker
- mày = sell ➜ mày hu = sales person
- lán language
- Inglan = England ➜ Inglan lán = English (lang)
- Frànse = France ➜ Frànse lán = French (lang)
- Cï'na = China ➜ Cï'na lán = Chinese (lang)
- Isrèl = Israel ➜ Isrèl lán = Hebrew
- Büm = world ➜ Büm lán = Bumlan
- Some languages that can not be derived from a place or people may not take -wen- and be proper names instead
- Esperanto = Esperanto
- Latin = Latin
- Klingon = Klingon
- tin thing or material related to the root
- cï = to eat; cï = meal ➜ cï tin = food
- kàr = sugar/sweet ➜ kàr tin = a sweet/candy
- mù = tree ➜ mù tin = wood
- in = in ➜ in (lèy) tin = content
- es state, essence or abstract quality related to the root
- mey = beautiful ➜ mey es = beauty
- rè = warmth ➜ rè es = temperature
- kwal = equal ➜ kwal es = equality
- fri = free ➜ fri es = freedom
- hu = human; hu es = humanity
- tul tool to do the verb of the root or related to it
- müs = music ➜ müs tul = a musical instrument
- cï = eat ➜ cï tul = utensils (for eating)
- tul = tool
- rë group of the root
- mù = tree ➜ mù rë = trees
- wo = I ➜ wo rë = we
- yán = sheep ➜ yán rë = a flock of sheep
- hu = human ➜ hu rë = humankind
- tì tendency or inclination to do somthing (not all -ive English words end with this!)
- krey = to create ➜ krey tì = creative
- xwö = to talk ➜ xwö tì = talkative
- gèn xwö = to repeat ➜ gèn xwö tì = repetitive
- gín = to imagine ➜ gín tì = imaginative
- zi worthy
- lé = to read ➜ lé zi = read-worthy
- ás = to accept ➜ ás zi = acceptable (worthy of acceptance)
- xyè = to thank ➜ xyè zi = worthy of being thanked
- ën recipient or container of the thing or characterized by the root
- món = money ➜ món ën = wallet
- frï = cool/cold ➜ frï ën = fridge
- ën = recipient
- is professional of follower of a doctrine (can be interchangeable with -ul- in some words)
- dén = tooth ➜ dén is = dentist
- sán = to treat/cure ➜ sán is = physician/doctor
- pyan = piano ➜ pyan is = pianist
- Buda = Buddha ➜ Buda is = buddhist
- im doctrine, idea, religion
- Kristo = Christ ➜ Kristo im = christianity
- Buda = Buddha ➜ Buda im = buddhism
- Marxu = Marx ➜ Marxu im = marxism
- sós = society ➜ sós im = socialism
- tor machine, part of machine, or system that does the verb of the root (it's NOT used for people who do a work, "is" or "hu" are used instead)
- fàs = fast ➜ fàs tor = accelerator
- mó = move ➜ mó tor = engine /motor
- fëy = to fly ➜ fëy tor = flying machine, aircraft
- ciswar = to calculate ➜ ciswatore = calculator
- -obl- multiplication
- dosobla = double
- sanoblar = to triple
- kwarobla = quadruple
- oblar = to multiply
- -ab- fraction
- dosabe = a half
- sanabar = to divide in three parts
- kwarabe = a quarter
- lune = moon/month ➜ lunabe = week
- abar = to divide
- abe = fraction
- -al- color
- blode = blood ➜ blodala = red
- banane = banana ➜ bananala = yellow
- akaxe = sky ➜ akaxala = blue
- orange = orange ➜ orangala = orange
- plante = plant ➜ plantala = green
- ube = grape ➜ ubala = purple/violet
- lume = light ➜ lumala = white
- kilume = darkness ➜ kilumala = black
- rake = ashes ➜ rakala = grey
- kafe = coffee ➜ kafala = brown
- ale = color
- By the way, to say "light blue" or "dark blue" and similar combinations, the word (ki)luma or the prefix (ki)lum- are used:
- lumakaxala = light blue
- kilumakaxala = dark blue
- lumrakala = light grey
- lum(a)blodala = pink
- lù place
- báy = to buy ➜ báy lù = store
- cï = to eat ➜ cï lù = restaurant
- xü = book ➜ xü lù = library
- món = money ➜ món lù = bank
- tëm time, moment, season
- rè = warm ➜ rè tëm = sommer
- frï = cool ➜ frï tëm = winter
- flore = flour ➜ florime = spring
- foyle = leaf ➜ foylime = autumn
- -ic- a part or particle of the whole or of the material
- sande = sand ➜ sandice = a grain of sand
- sale = salt ➜ salice = a grain of salt
- himpate = snow ➜ himpatice = a snowflake
- towfe = hair (the whole) ➜ towfice = a single hair
- lï leader, ruler, boss
- cì = city ➜ cì lï = mayor
- probince = province/state ➜ probincidre = gobernor
- kwó = country ➜ kwó lï = president or prime minister
- safine = ship ➜ safinidre = captain
- í offspring, son
- hu = person/human ➜ hu í = child
- mäw = cat ➜ mäw í ➜ kitten
- faraxe = butterfly ➜ faraxihe = caterpillar
- róy = king/queen ➜ róy í = prince/princess
- fë, nán, èn the first one is for women the second one for men and the third one is for non-binary people
- mä = parent ➜ fë mä = mother; nán mä = father; èn mä = non-binary parent
- = boy/girlfriend ➜ ampengise = girlfriend; ampengire = boyfriend
- í = son/daughter ➜ fë í = daughter; nán í = son
- fë (hu) = a woman (for humans, female for other living beings)
- nán (hu) = a man (for humans, male for other living beings)
- èn (hu) = non-binary person
- These suffixes should not be used in excess, only when it's really necessary to mention gender/sex of the person/living being in question.
- sày means science or pseudoscience that studies X field (most words that in English end in -ics and -logy)
- sày = science
- núm = number ➜ núm sày = mathematics
- lán = language ➜ lán sày= linguistics
- dèw = god ➜ dèw sày = theology
- sán = health ➜ sán sày = medicine
- bï = life ➜ bï sày = biology
"nö" and "pù"
The word "nö" can be used in a similar way to "pù" but they are not the same, the first one is the negation of the meaning, while the second one is the opposite meaning. Sometimes both arrive at the same meaning, in those cases "nö" should be used.
Notice that Bumlan does not use as many word combinations as other IALs do, not nearly as many as my other conlang Terwene does, and probably not as many as Esperanto does (at least on the basic level of words like "hot" and "cold"). This is mainly because I care about keeping the language isolating, and using too many words for one meaning can become counterproductive, since Bumlan heavily relies on context and word order to express meaning.
Another reason is that tonal languages are spoken more slowly than other languages in terms of syllables per second, so it might be useful to have separate short words for common concepts, though it makes sense to make to use word combination for uncommon concepts, since in those cases speed of learning is more important than practicality. This applies for instance to scientific words, one could theoretically use a word like "mäs*" for mathematics, but the two word "núm sày" is easier to learn.
There are four main family words:
- mä = parent
- í = offspring (son/daughter)
- mèy = sibling
- éx = spouse
There are some additional word that may be useful
- bü = grandparent
- tí = uncle
- prï = cousin
With those, the fë/nán/gù suffixes for gender, and the tà/pe suffixes for age, we can create most of the family words that a culture may need. For example:
- bü = grandparent
- nán mä fë mä = the mother of my father
- mèy í = nephew/niece
- pe fë mèy = younger sister
- tà fë mèy = older sister
- pe prï = younger cousin
- nán mä mèy = sibling of my father
- mä mèy éx = uncle's/aunt's spouse
- í í = grandson/granddaughter
- tà gù mèy = older enby sibling
- mèy nán éx = a sibling's husband
- and many many more...
Short words not worthy of being classified
Some words and phrases in many languages like "very", "too", "and", "but", "al least", "still" and so on, are difficult to classify and usually don't follow the same rules. In Terwene that means that these words don't take any ending in their usual form. Here is a list:
- e and
- Mi mancan pane he trinkan cate = I eat bread and drink tea
- o inclusive or
- tàn but
- twö very
- Tu swan hen bela = You are very beautiful
- Tay too (in the sense of too much)
- Data swan tay ega = That one is too big
- Amba both
- Ye also, too
- Mi aman wofes, mi aman ye myawes = I love dogs, I love cats too
- Tu mancan pane, ye mi mancan pane = You eat bread, I also eat bread
- mò plus, more, anymore
- Plus in maths: Wan mas dos swan san =One plus two is three
- More: Mi bolan mas pane = I want more bread
- More and -er in comparisons: Tu swan mas tala ke mi = You are taller than me
- Anymore when with no: Mi no mas dorman bono = I don't sleep well anymore
- Most and -est in comparison
- Mose maximum (noun): Xenun swan mose? = How much is the maximum?
- Mosa maximum (adj): Kimosa ose swan deg = The maximum amount is ten
- Moso at most: Mi bolan moso deg = I want at most ten
- Minus in math: san kimas dos swan wan = three minus two is one
- Less: mi xihwan ko kimas sukare = I like it with less sugar
- Less in comparison: hi swan kimas tala ke tu = she is less tall than you
- Least in comparison: Tu swan kimos teliga = You are the least intelligent
- Kimose Minimum (noun): Xenus swan kimose? = How much is the minimum?
- Kimosa minimum (adj): Kimosa ose swan deg = The minimum amount is ten
- Kimoso at least: Kimoso deg womes hocanel = At least ten people came
- Almost: Mi kwasi canendan = I'm almost arriving
- + no barely: Mi kwasi no dorman = I barely sleep
- Still: Hi ankor mancan = He's still eating
- + no yet: Tu ankor no mancel = You haven't eaten yet
- Already: Mi yam tafahan = I already understand
- Yet: Tu yam mancel hoer ma? = Have you eaten here yet?
- + no no longer: Mi yam no mancan rowe = I no longer eat meat
- sún soon
- né de yesterday
- cè de today
- là de tomorrow
- de wey daily
- Lunabo weekly
- lún wey monthly
- án wey annualy
- Iben even
- Iben tu tafahan date = Even you understand that
- Hus just (recently)
- Mi hus karel so = I just made it
- Tuy immediately
- Hocanay tuy! = Come immediately
Animal and human parts
- Kepe = extremity, limb (arms, legs, tails, trunks)
- Sorkepe = arm
- Xyakepe = leg
- Kiamamkepe = tail
- Olar = to smell ➜ olile = nose ➜ olilkepe = trunk
- Bisar = to see ➜ bisile = eye
- Olar = to smell ➜ olile = nose
- Tingar = to hear ➜ tingile = ear
- Onte = lip
- Ontoge = mouth
- Oste = bone
- Towfe = hair
- Bisiltowfe = eyelash
- Frente = forehead
- Bisilfrente = eyebrow
- Pyele = skin
- Xente = body
- Mane = hand
- Kepite = finger, toe
- Fute = foot
- Kepitedire = nail (dire = shield)
- Neke = neck
- Maneneke = wrist
- Pensar = to think ➜ pensile = brain
- Towe = head
- Towmyene = face
- Dile = heart
- Dente = tooth
- rüm = room
- Cefar = to cook ➜ cefrume = kitchen
- dór = to sleep ➜ dór rüm = bedroom
- cï = to eat ➜ cï rüm = dining room
- lïm = to wash ➜ lïm rüm = washing room
- Banar = to take a bath ➜ banerume = bathroom (with shower)
- Necesar = to need ➜ necesrume = bathroom (with or without a shower)
- Bite = life ➜ bitrume = living room
Person, human, man and woman
The word for human, man and woman is "wome" which may take a suffix to specify gender. However, even though some languages, like Chinese, have only one word for person/human, I decided to have a separate word for person, since humans are a species, while person is more like an intelligent being. Think about it, would you rather call an Artificial Intelligence which is as smart and concious as a us a human or a person? Would you rather call an intelligent alien a human or a person? Also the word "person" is used for other meanings, such as "juridical person". So, the word for person is "persone".
Alkanes (alkanes), alkenes (alkenes) and alcynes (alkines) use Terwene numbers as prefixes.
|Number of carbons||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||20|
|Prefix||ün||dù||sän||yòn||fí||lò||sé||cö||ná||tén||tén ün||tén dù||dù tén|
- Wanalkane = methane
- Dosalkene = ethene
- Degwanalkine = undecyne
Similar prefixes and suffixes are usually created from Terwene's own words to create a scientific vocabulary much more comprehensible to common people, not just scientists who studied for years.
Mars (planet) Wikipedia article
Marse swan kwara planete fro Sole he dosa mas ita planete en Sola Sisteme pos Merkure. So han nome de roma dyose de harbe, he so plurimo swan nomeda "Blodala Planete" kos blodaloyda fera oxigaxe sor os te myene denan to so blodaloyda oyde xena swan kibehifa inter astes bisibla to akela bisile. Marse swan petra planete ko kidensa ayreparate, so han myena myases oyda to Lune te krateres he to Tere te bales, sahares, he pola barfa parates.
Marse te rota imege he gara cikle ye swan oyda to Tere te, xeno swan kline xena kosan gara cikle. Sor Marse swan Olimpus Monte, mos ega hwomonte he dosa mos tala koneda monte en Sola Sisteme, he ye swan Bale Marineris xena swan wan de mos ega bales en Sola Sisteme. Kirofa Norapola Diprese en nora dosabesfire okupan kwardeg interpaye de planete he iblo swan egega kratere. Marse han dos lunes: Fobose he Deymose, xena swan ita he ko kiregula morfe. Sosu iblo swan kapteda astites, xeno 5261 Eureka, wan Marsa troyane."