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Piazza delle Erbe, Verona, Italia

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Jespersen said: "The construction of a verbal system which is fairly regular and at the same time based on existing languages is a most difficult task, because in no other domain of the grammar do languages retain a greater number of ancient irregularities and differ more fundamentally from one another. Still an attempt will be made here to conciliate the two points of view and to bring about something which resembles the simple Chinese grammar without, however, losing its European character…"

In none of the constructed language schemes "endings to indicate person or number are anywhere found: person and number are shown by the subject, and the verb as such has logically nothing to do with them".

Apart from its participles ending in -t- and- nt-, Esperanto has a systematic a priori construction: -i, -u, -as, -is, -os, -us. "The chief objection to the whole system is that it is totally artificial without any connexion with our natural linguistic habits. Further it requires a distinct pronunciation in weakly stressed closed syllables, which is against the speech-habits of many nations (e.g. Englishmen, Russians)." The six participles are also extremely complicated "especially in the passive, where one may often hesitate whether to say agitata or agitita, ornata or ornita (chambro orn. per flori), komplikata or -kita afero, restriktata or -tita, etc. Several teachers of Esp and Ido say expressly that these six participles constitute one of the greatest difficulties for their pupils…"  


It is "really better to have only one active and one passive participle"; in Novial, they are formed with -nt- and -t- to which you can add the endings i, e, o, a, for example: N amanti fema = U liaman ʒina (loving woman), amanto = liamor (lover), men amata = mi liama (my beloved). They are stressed on the last syllable: amànt(i), amàt(i).

In Uropi the endings i, e, o, a are not available since they have other grammatical functions, so that we cannot have participles ending in -nt and -t that wouldn't be euphonic. This is why we have chosen -an for the active participle and -en for the passive participle: liaman, liamen (loving, loved). Germanic and Slavic languages also have passive participles in -en, -n-, for example: taken, written, genommen, geschrieben, genomen, geschreven, skriven…sdelan(nyj), rađen, vyroben(ý), viden, napraven, izraboten

A passive participle in -et or -ed would not be euphonic when it is used as an adjective and placed before the noun: "un opretdor, un opreddor" instead of un opren dor (an open door).Of course, many people will say that these two participles are not sufficiently distinct from each other and can easily be mixed up. This is true, but the contexts in which such a confusion is possible are extremely rare: un opran dor, un opren dor (an opening door, an open door), but if we can say a written text, we cannot say "a writing text"… and the verb forms using these two participles always have different auxiliaries: for example: De skrivor se skrivan u tekst (the writer is writing a text),  he av skriven de tekst (he has written the text), de tekst vid skriven (the text "gets" written) (is (being…).

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Ganec, de Hindu elefanti doj

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Infinitive and imperative

Jespersen said that "there is no necessity to have a separate ending for the infinitive… and we therefore take the simple stem: ama, protekte, mari, konstitu, es. Wherever necessary, we may indicate that it is an infinitive we are using, by prefixing the particle tu." (as to in English.), for example: Tu lekte stranjeri lingue es plu fasil kam tu parla = Liso u straniori linga se maj lezi te voko ja. (Reading a foreign language is easier than speaking)

Of course, I cannot agree with that. Apart from the fact that tu means "you (thou)" in 48 Indo-European languages, when we take the example of English using "to" for the infinitive, we can observe that students learning English never know when they are supposed to use "to" or not, for ex. "He can come" but "he wants to come". Should they say "he need come" or "he needs to come" ? An infinitive with an ending is better because the ending is not optional.

This is the reason why we have chosen the marker -o for the infinitive, which can also be found in Welsh: uno, egluro, bwydo, stopio, taro = unizo, usklaro, nuro, stopo, plago (to unite, explain, feed, stop, hit). O is also the marker of the first person of the present in Greek, Latin and in other Romance languages, which is used to designate the verb in Latin and Greek. It makes Uropi infinitives fairly close to the vocalic infinitives of Romanian and Scandinavian languages: dura, veni, avea, trage, da… skrive, skriva, læse, läsa, æde, äta, sove, sova… = Uropi: duro, veno, avo, trajo, davo… skrivo, liso, jedo, sopo (to last, come, have, pull, give… write, read, eat, sleep)

The imperative

J. "The imperative needs no special ending; the simple stem is used in many languages (ang. go!, al. Geh!, lat. Duc!). Thus N. Veni! Come". This is also the case in Uropi: It!, Ven!, Dut! (go!, come! lead!). However Uropi also has the -em and -e endings for the first and second person plural: Item!, Pivem!, Dutem! (Let's go!, Let's drink! Let's lead!)Ite!, Pive!, Vene! (you all) go!, drink!, lead!)

Novial has taken up the English word let for the other persons and mey to express a wish, which both correspond to Uropi las (from German lass): Let pluva ! = Las je liuv !(Let it rain!), Let on pensa kom on voli ! = Las un men wa un vol ! (let people think as they like!), Mey lo viva longitem ! = Las lu ʒiv longim ! (May them live a long time!)

Present and past

Present: As in Uropi, "The simple stem is used further in the present tense" in Novial. For example: Me ama vu = i liam va (I love you)…Les protekte nus = lu protèg na (they protect us)

For the past, Jespersen borrows the -d marker of English, Dutch, and Scandinavian languages: amad, protekted, marid

Uropi, on the other hand, borrowed one of the past markers of Romance languages: in the Spanish preterito you can find canté, cantó, comí, protegí, in the Italian passato remoto: cantai, cantò, finii, finì, partì,in the French passé simple: je, tu finis, partis, surpris, in Portuguese: cantei, saí, protegifor the verbs to sing, eat, protect, finish, leave, surprise, go out… 

Therefore we have chosen the (stressed) ending, which also reminds us of the -il ending of certain Slavic verbs, for ex. Russian: я любил (ia liubil), я купил (ia koupil) = U. i liamì, i kopì(I loved, I bought) and for the verbs mentioned before: i, he santì, i jedì, i protegì, i fendì, i itì ap, i suprizì, i itì us (I/he sang, ate, protected, finished, went away, surprised, went out).

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Delfe, Grecia

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It is also a question of interlinguistic balance: if the future is Germanic (and Slavic to a certain extent), the past will be Romance  (and somewhat Slavic too).

Jespersen also adds an analytic form for the past with the English auxiliary did: me did ama = me amad = I loved. Personally I can't see the point of adding such a form which makes the language more complicated without bringing any other benefit than avoiding to repeat the verb in some rare cases: Lo ama la, kom lo did sen unesmi marita = he loves her as he did his first wife.

I think Jespersen is, once again, too much influenced by English: this is a perfectly useless complication which, in addition, is very little international.

Future and conditional

For the future, as is the case in Uropi, Jespersen thinks that "it will therefore be better here to use auxiliaries followed by the stem, but what auxiliaries to select?" He prefers sal (from English shall, Du zal, Sw skal). Occidental chose va (from French va) which Jespersen criticizes, because it seems to him a little strange to express a remote future with va, which is used as a near future in French. Besides, with va in Novial we could end up with sentences like: la va ja ha fa = she will already have done, which are not very pleasant.

Uropi, however, has chosen ve (+ infinitive), which is very close to va, but does not exclusively come from French "vais"; it also corresponds to English will + V, German werden + V, Danish vil + V, Romanian: voi, va(voi vorbi, va da = will speak, will give), expressing the future, and also to Spanish (voy, vas a) expressing the near future, as in French (vais, va…). But this is not the end of the explanation: in Uropi the future particle ve is a shortened form of the verb volo (to want: what we will do, is what we want to do). This is one of the caracteristics of the Balkan Sprachbund (linguistic area).


For example the future in modern Greek is formed with the particle θα (tha) that comes from θέλω (thelô) = to want: θα δω (tha dô) = I'll see, which can also be found in Serbian and Croatian:  ja ću videti (< hoću = I want), in Bulgarian: ще видя (shte vidia), in Romanian: voi vedea, in Romany ka dikhav = I'll see.

Thus, the Uropi future is not only Germanic; it is also French, Spanish and Balkan.

The conditional

Jespersen uses the auxiliary vud (from English would).

Uropi has a different way to form the conditional. We have observed that very often European languages form their conditional by combining the forms of the future and the past. This is the case in English where we can say that would is the past of will (it was true originally: they were the present and the past tenses of the OE verb willan (to wish, to want), as we can still see in contemporary German: will, wollte = wants, wanted). In German, we could say that würde (conditional) is also a kind of past of werden (auxiliary of the future whose past is wurde). In Romance languages, the future markers, which are those of the verb to have in the present: Fr. chanterai, chanteras, chantera (j'ai, tu as, il a), Sp: cantaré, cantarás, cantará (he, has, ha), It. canterò, canterai, canterà (ho, hai, ha), are replaced in the conditional by the markers of this very verb in the past (imperfect): Fr. chanterais, chanterais, chanterait (j'avais, tu avais, il avait), Sp. cantaría, cantarías, cantaría (había, habías, había)

We have therefore chosen, in order to form the Uropi conditional, to add the future particle ve after the verb, where the past marker normally is: V+ve, becoming -ev for euphony: i santev (instead of "santve"), i volev, i venev (I would sing, want, come). This ending corresponds to the third person singular of the conditional in Italian: canterebbe, vorrebbe, verrebbe = santev, volev, venev (would sing, would want, would come); ebbe is the third person of the verbe avere (have) in the past (passato remoto).

Jespersen adds that "a synthetic form with the same ending is very handy with the auxiliary verbs: povud, volud, esud, devud" = could, would like, would be, should. Why not with all verbs, then ? Thus the Novial conditional would be similar to that of Uropi.

Novial uses the conditional in the subordinate clause as well as in the main clause, as in Russian and Uropi. Si lo vud veni, me vud rida = Is he venev, i larev = if he came (would come), I would laugh, Me esud felisi si me povud = I sev felic, is i mozev = I would be happy if I could.

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Rizia ner Chiang Mai, Tailànd

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Perfect and pluperfect

All West-European languages: English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Scandinavian languages … (to which we can add modern Greek, Romanian and Albanian) use the auxiliary have with a participle to form the perfect. This is also the case in Novial and Uropi.

N. Me ha perda klefe = U.  i av perlasen u klij = I have lost a key, Me had perda klefe = i avì perlasen u klij= I had lost a key ≠ Me have perdat klefe = i av u perlasen klij = I have a lost key, Vu sal ha perda = vu v'avo perlasen = you will have lost, La vud ha veni = ce avev venen = she would have come, Me ha es = i av sen = I have been.

In Novial and in Uropi, you always use the auxiliary have as in English, Spanish and modern Greek, and never the auxiliary be as is sometimes the case in French, Italian, German and in Scandinavian languages: Lo ha veni = he av venen (he has come) ≠ er ist gekommen, il est venu, è venuto, han er kommen

The passive

In most constructed languages the passive is formed, as in English and Romance languages, with the auxiliary be and the passive participle. Jespersen said "The existence of more than one passive participle in Esp-Ido creates some difficulties: what is exactly the difference between esas skribita and esis skribata, between esas skribota and esos skribata…?"

In any case, "All these systems are deficient, because they do no recognize the important distinction between a passive of becoming (changing situation) and a passive of being (the resulting situation). You can find this difference in all Germanic languages except English (most of the time)*, for example: G. ich werde überzeugt= Da Jeg bliver (blir) overbevist = U. I vid kovikten (I "become" convinced: I pass from the state of credulity to that of conviction) ≠ ich bin überzeugt = Jeg er overbevist = I se kovikten (I am convinced)

* This "passive of becoming" also exists in English when the auxiliary get is used instead of be: He got killed = U. he vidì tuden, and also in Italian when the auxiliary venire is used instead of essere: Veniva lodato da tutti = He vidì loben pa tale = he was ("came" = got) praised by everybody.

Both Novial and Uropi express this difference. Novial borrowed bli, blid from Scandinavian languages, while Uropi uses vid, vido that come from German wird, werden. In the following examples, the difference is very clear:

Li porte non es klosat nun = De dor se ne kluzen num (the door isn't closed now); lum bli klosa chaki vespre = je vid kluzen jaki vespen (it is "gets" closed every evening), e sal anke bli klosa dis vespre = id ve os vido kluzen di vespen (and will also be "get" closed this evening).

Me bli nultem konvikte per lon argumentes = I vid nevos kovikten pa hi argumente (I am (get) never convinced by his arguments); me es konviktet ke lo es mentiere = i se kovikten te he s'u luʒor (I am convinced that he is a lier).

La es sepultet in Croydon = Ce s' ingruben in Kroidon (she is buried in Croydon); Ob lan marito sal bli sepulte anke dar ? = Ve ci maʒ os vido ingruben za ? (Will her husband be ("get") buried there too ?)

Lon libres blid venda in grandi nombre = Hi bibe vidì venden in gren numare(His books were ("got") sold in great numbers. Ti libre es vendat. = Di bib se venden (this book is sold)

Jespersen also said: "I had at first thought of using vird from German (wird like Uropi vid) as auxiliary of the passive, but changed my mind, … because I was afraid of misunderstandings arising from the active use of German wird: lo vird vida could easily be understood as 'er wird sehen' (he will see) instead of 'er wird gesehen.'" (he will be seen). Such a mix-up is impossible in Uropi where he vid vizen (he is seen) is very different from he ve vizo (he will see).

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U gal be karnavàl in Fort de France, Martinika

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Jespersen also criticizes Latino sine flexione: "Peano thus with his usual preoccupation with etymology uses the Aryan augment e for the preterit, without thinking that this element disappeared from most of our languages a couple of thousand years ago: he has not discovered that what we want in an international language is what is still living and in actual use."

In Novial, however, the verbal stem is used for the infinitive (and the future with sal), the present, the imperative and the passive participle (in the passive forms), for example: Me voli lekte, me sal lekte, me lekte, lekte! lum bli lekte… = I want to read, I'll read, I read, Read! it will be read…, which seems very simple, but may nevertheless create a certain number of ambiguities, for example:

Me ha lekte e studia = I have read and am studying… or I have read and studied, Lo bli ama e adora = he is loved and he adores… or he is loved and adored

Without sinking into the surfeit of participles specific to Esperanto and Ido, Uropi however has 3 different forms for the infinitive, the present and the passive participle: vizo, viz, vizen (to see, see, seen), which doesn't seem to represent an insuperable difficulty for learners.

Prefixes and suffixes

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As in Uropi, many prefixes in Novial are also prepositions, whereas others are not:

PRE- (prep: ante) = U. FOR- (prep. for) = before, pre-: N previda, prenome, presavo, prepaga, prelasti, preyer= U forvizo, fornòm, forzavad, forpajo, forposni, forjesta= foresee, first name, prescience, prepay, penultimate (one before last), the day before yesterday

NON- = U. AN- = un-, in- : N nonexistant, nonposibli, nonreal, nonvidabli, nonsavo = U anesistan, anmozli, anreal, anvizli, anzavad = non-existant, impossible, unreal, invisible, ignorance. It is clear that using the prefix in- would be ambiguous, as in French in- which means both "un-" and "in, into", and in Occidental where: ínscrit = non-written and inscrít = inscribed, but I find non- a little heavy. Uropi has taken an-, from Universalglot, and also from natural languages like Sanskrit, Armenian, and Greek. Besides, as far as pronunciation is concerned, an- is very close to the English prefix un-.

DES- = DI- (reversed action), but the difference between non- and des-in Novial is not clear: N nonutili= U anuzi = useless, desutili = nuzi = harmful, but desagreabli = anprijan = unpleasant, why not nonagreabli ?, desorganisa = disorganizo = disorganize, descharja = dikargo = unload, desobedia = dibeskuco = disobey, desfacil = anlezi = difficult (not easy), why not nonfacil ?

DIS- = DIS- (dispersion, scattering, division): N disdona = U. disdavo = distribute ("dis-give"), dissenda = dissendo ("dis-send" send in all directions), distrancha = diskoto = cut up, carve (up), disolu (dissolu ?) = disluzo = dissolve.

MIS- = MIS- (mis-, not properly): N mispronuntia = U misusvoko = mispronounce, miskomprenda = misincepo = misunderstand, misdukti = misduto = mislead, miskalkula = misreko = miscalculate ("mis-reckon").

MAL- = MAL- (ill-, evil, corresponds to the adj. mali = evil, wicked, nasty, adverb malim). But here again, the difference with Novial mis- is not clear: N malodoro = pej duf = bad smell, malformat = misformen = deformed, malfamosi = malfamos = ill-famed

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RI- = RE- (re-, again) N: ridona, riskripte = redavo, reskrivo = give again, rewrite. Ri can be used as an adverb = Uropi revos (cf Eng. again, G. wieder): Me have ri li plesire = i av revos de prijad = I have the pleasure again

RETRO- = U. RU- (back, backwards < G rück-, zurück, Du terug): retrotira, retroseda = rutrajo, rudavo = withdraw, give back, Li lege non have retroaktiv efekte = De leg av nun ruaktivi efèkt = the law has no retroactive effect. In Uropi, ru can also be used as an adverb: retrodukte = duto ru = take back, bring back

MI- = U. MI-, MIJ (half): mi- is a prefix whereas mij is an adjective: mihore, milume, miklosat = U mij hor, mij luc, mij-kluzen = half an hour, half-light, half-closedminòc, midià = minokte ?, mijorne ? = midnight, midday

BO- = MAƷI- (from maʒo = marry) = -in-law (the in-laws): Bopatro, bofilia = maʒipater, maʒidota = father-in-law, daughter-in-law

Jespersen has taken over this Esperanto prefix, which is ridiculous because it comes from the French beau, belle (= beautiful), and is used for the "in-laws". The Uropi prefix maʒi-, on the other hand, means "by marriage": your mother-in-law (who is not necessarily a "beautiful mother") becomes "your mother" through marriage. But apparently in the reformed Novial (98), they adopted the prefìx mari- instead of bo-, perhaps under the influence of Uropi.

ARKI- = ARKI- = arch-: arkiepiskopo, arkanjele, arkiduko = arkibiskòv, arkanʒèl, arikdùk = archbishop, archangel, archduke.

Noun suffixes

Novial has nouns ending in -o corresponding to verbs in -a, whereas Uropi has noun-verb roots corresponding to nouns in the singular and to verbs in the present: N. sonjo, sonja = U. soin, soino = a dream, to dream, basio, basia = kis, kiso = kiss, to kiss, marcho, marcha = vad, vado = walk, to walk, komenso, komensa = inìz, inìzo = beginning, begin, ploro, plora = ploj, plojo = tear, to cry, risko, riska = risk, risko = risk, to risk, espero, espera = sper, spero = hope, to hope, duto, duta = dub, dubo = doubt, to doubt, falo, fala = fal, falo = fall, to fall…

However, in Novial, nouns may also end in -e or -a and verbs in -e or -i. Jespersen says that "In numerous words the original substantive means an instrument, and the verb the natural use made of that instrument". For example:

N. Brose > brosa, skrue > skrua = U. bros > broso, skruv > skruvo = brush, to brush, screw, to screw, klefe > klefa, veste > vesta = klij > klijo, vest > vesto = key, to lock, garment, to dress, glue >glua, fume > fuma = klev > klevo, fum > fumo = glue, to stick, smoke, to smoke, drinke > drinka, kolore > kolora = piv > pivo, klor > kloro= drink, to drink, colour, to colour,  makule > makula = mac > maco = stain, to stain …

In this case, substantives in -o indicate the action: broso, klefo, gluo, fumo, drinko = brosad, klijad, klevad, fumad, pivad = brushing, locking, smoking, drinking. In Uropi, the root-nouns indicate the "simple thing" or a single act, and the nouns in -ad indicate an action, a repeated or lasting action. For example: piv (a drink), glod (blood), stir (a shot), kron (a crown), kis (a kiss), vot (a vote) ≠ pivad (drinking), glodad (bleeding), stirad (shooting), kronad (coronation), kisad (kissing), votad (election, voting), as in English.

-ESO (abstract nouns formed from adjectives) = U. -AD or -D (with adjectives in -i): richeso, saneso, boneso, febleso, vereso, utileso = ricad, sunad, bunad, flabid, verid, uzid from ric, sun, bun, flabi, veri, uzi = riches, health, kindness, weakness, truth, usefulness from rich, healthy, kind, weak, true, useful…

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Seni kerk in Kapsali, Kitera, Grecia

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-IONE (-atione, -itione, -utione) (nouns formed from verbs) = U. -AD : opine > opinione = meno > menad = think > opinion, satisfakte > satisfaktione = satizo > satizad = satisfy > satisfaction, komunika > komunikatione = komuniko, komunikad = communicate > communication, posesa > posesione = posedo, posedad = possess > possession…

The problem en Novial is to distinguish the nouns in -o from the nouns in -ione, which are both formed from the verb. What is the difference between poseso and posesione (possession), expliko and explikatione (explanation), adio and aditione (addition), expeditio and expeditione (expedition) ? According to Jespersen the difference rests on very subtle shades of meaning: the nouns in -ione do not only denote the action of the verb, but partly the result, the resulting state, partly the way in which something is done. This is a little complicated, not to say far-fetched.

Uropi also has nouns ending in -iòn, but the latter is not any specific suffìx: these terms were borrowed as such, as a whole, "ready-made" so to speak, without being derived from a Uropi verb. For example: nasiòn, revolusiòn, lesiòn, profesiòn, religiòn, konstitusiòn, funsiòn

What difference is there in Uropi between the nouns ending in -ad and -id ? The nouns in -ad are built on roots ending in a consonant (noun-verb or adjective roots); the nouns in -id are built on adjectives in -i. So that the nouns in -ad may denote an action, a state or a quality: viktad, posedad, sunad, bunad (victory, possession, health, kindness)… The nouns in -id can only denote a quality: verid, justid, eglid, fratid (truth, justice, equality, fraternity), uzo > uzad (to use > the use) > uzi > uzid (useful > usefulness). U nobel > noblad (a noble(man) > nobility (gentry) > adj. nobli > noblid (= noble(-minded) > nobleness: for ex. de noblid hi feladis = the nobleness of this feelings).

A few rare roots are both verbal and adjectival, for example suj and muj (dirty and wet): sujo > sujad (to soil > soiling, dirtying); suj (adj. dirty) > sujid (dirt, filth), mujo > mujad (to wet > wetting); muj (adj. wet) > mujid (wetness, damp).

-UM in Novial is added to the passive participle to indicate the product of an action, where Uropi uses -EN (the passive participle ending). For example: kreatum = kreaten = creature, printatum = inpriten = printed matter… but Novial also uses -URE for the result or product of an action. Why ? Merely to comply with natural languages ? pikture = picten = painting, skulpture = skulpen = sculpture, texure = tecen = material (from teco = to weave). Uropi also has nouns ending in -ùr, but it is no suffìx: natùr, aventùr, temperatùr, kultùr

-ERE (doer, agent) = Uropi -OR : bakere, akompanere, charmere = panor, kovador, carmor = baker, person who goes with you, charmer… redaktere, judikere, ambasadere = redaktor, ʒudor, ambasador = editor/redactor, judge ambassador…juvelere, bankere, misionere = juvlor, bankor, misionor = jeweler, banker, missionary…

-ISTE = -ÌST (-ist)

- follower of a doctrin, a system, a party. It corresponds to abstract nouns in -isme = U. -isma (-ism): Ateiste, sosialiste, idealiste, metodiste, monarkiste = ateìst, sosialìst, idealìst, metodìst, monarkìst = atheist, socialist, idealist, methodist, monarchist…

- Specialists in certain professions or sciences: Sientiste, artiste, dentiste, okuliste = siensìst, artìst, dantìst, ojìst = scientist, artist, dentist, eye specialist…

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Miki dansoras in de Thar vustia, India

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-IERE  (a person or thing characterized by a certain object or considered as its bearer.)

= Uropi -OR for persons: milioniere = milionor = millionnaire

= -AR for things = bearing or containing something: pomiere = aplar = apple-tree, sigariere = sigarar = cigar-holder, kandeliere = kirelar = candlestick.

-ARIE (the beneficiary of an action): sendarie = adresen = addressee, pagarie = payee

One may however wonder whether such precision is really necessary, whether too much precision does not kill precision or rather does not kill simplicity.

-ILO (from Esperanto -ilo, from Slavic) = U. -ÈL = tool or instrument (from German -el: Schlüssel, Gürtel, Orgel) Ludilo = jegèl = toy, ornilo = ornèl = ornament… Jespersen says: this suffix "is used only where it is absolutely necessary to start from the verb", otherwise simple terms like brose / bros, klefe / klij= brush, key… are used.

-IA denotes the domain, province, or country = Uropi -IA, which indicates the place in general: Anglia, Fransia, Rusia, Luksemburgia, Aljeria = Englia, Francia, Rusia, Luksemburgia, Alʒiria = England, France, Russia, Luxembourg, Algeria… These terms are formed from the names of peoples or towns: Franse, Ruse = Franc, Rus = Frenchman, Russian Luksemburg, Aljer = Luksembùrg, Alʒìr = Luxembourg City, Algiers. Certain names of countries are not derived: Austria, Australia = Osteria, Australia = Austria, Australia, the names of inhabitants are formed with -iane = -ian: Austriane, Australiane = Osterian, Australian = Austrian, Australian.

Empereria, regia, dukia, episkopia = imperia, rainia, dukia, biskovia = empire, kingdom, duchy, bishopric…

This suffix is also used in Novial for a "spiritual domain", but not in Uropi, where the suffix -IJ is used instead to form this type of words: filosofia, geologia, astronomia, anatomia = filosofij, geologij, astronomij, anatomij = philosophy, geology, astronomy, anatomy. On the other hand, the suffix -ia is used in Uropi for all sorts of places: kokia, snivia, bania, skalia, plania, platia = kitchen, swimming pool, bathroom, stairs, plain, plateau and also with adverbs of place: ekia, talia, nekia, altia, inia, usia = somewhere, everywhere, nowhere, elsewhere, inside, outside…

-TORIE (place where something is done), which more or less corresponds to the Uropi suffix -ORIA (-or + -ia), place where an agent practises his trade. For ex: pan > panor > panoria = bread, baker, bakery…mias > miasor, miasoria = meat, butcher, butcher shop…bib > bibor > biboria = book, bookseller, bookshop…But -oria is of a more limited use, and Novial -torie often corresponds to the single suffix -ia (for place); for example: N. koquatorie, laboratorie = kokia, laboria = kitchen, laboratory… Uropi also has a few words ending in -toria, but it is not a suffix; they were borrowed as such: teritoria, observatoria = territory, observatory…

-AJE, for something made of… or having the character of… there is no Uropi equivalent. For example: Lanaje = wollen cloth, material (U. vulni stof), lignajes = woodwork, infantaje = childish act (U. kidi akt), plumaje = pedad = plumage, kruelaje = act of cruelty (krual akt)…

-EDE, quantity filling something = -ful: kulierede = kocelad = spoonful, manede = mandad = handful, bokede = mukad = mouthful

-ARO, for a collection, group, set of persons or things: homaro = humanad = mankind, libraro = bibliotèk = library.  

-IDE, for descendants: Atreides = Atreide = Atreides, Napoleonide = posgèn Napoleoni = descendant of Napoleon

-YUNE, from the adjective yuni = young, for young animals = U. -IT: Bovyune = govit = calf, hanyune = galit = chick, katyune = katit = kitten.

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Flamenko klade, Andalusia, Espania

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My impression is that, in the wake of Esperanto and Ido, Novial tends to multiply suffixes at will, although some of them are not really necessary, because they only concern a very small number of words. Too many suffixes make the language more difficult, because:

- There are many more different forms to learn.

- These suffixes often bring (too) subtle shades of meaning, so that we never know which one we are supposed to use.

Verbal suffixes

-IRA, from nouns denoting living beings: rego > regira = raj > raino = king, to reign, profete > profetira = profèt > profeto = prophet, to prophesy

-ISA + -IFIKA (render, make into) = Uropi -IZO: N. realisa, idealisa, modernisa, kristalisa = U. realizo, idealizo, modernizo, kristalizo = achieve, idealize, modernize, crystallizer … and… N simplifika, klarifika, justifika, falsifika, personifika, identifika = U slimizo, klarizo, justizo, falsizo, personizo, identizo = simplify, clarify, justify, falsify, personify, identify.

This sometimes makes Novial words very "Esperanto-like", for example: plubelifika ("morebeautifulize") = abelo (embellish), dormifika("dormify") = asopo (put to sleep).

-ADA, taken over from Esperanto and Ido to express a repeated or continuous action; in Uropi we use the prefixes re- or tra-: frapada = rebito or trabito (beat up, thrash); frapado = trabitad (thrashing).

-ESKA, denotes the beginning of an action or state, where in Uropi the prefix IN- is used. For example: Ameska = inliamo (to fall in love, It. innamorarsi), rideska = inlaro (burst out lauging), dormieska = insopo (fall asleep).

Adjectival suffixes

-AL in Novial is the most general od adjectival suffixes, which, most of the time corresponds to the derived adjectives in -i in Uropi: N. Natural, universal, national, verbal, kordial, traditional = U. naturi, universi, nasioni, verbi, karʒi, tradisioni = natural, universal, national, verbal, heart-, traditional…

Uropi also has adjectives in -al, which are different from the simple basic adjectives formed from the noun: formal ≠ formi (formal / concerning the shape, the form), normal ≠ normi (normal / concerning the standards, the norm) Certain adjectives in -al are pure adjectives, not derived from a noun: banal (trivial) has nothing to do with ban (bath), general (adj.) is different from u generàl (a general in the army).

N: gasal, patral, populal, homal = U. gazi, patri, polki, mani = gaseous gas-, fatherly, people's, man's…

-AN, inhabiting or belonging to a class, a party = Uropi -AN (which corresponds to the active participle -an): Roman, Italian, Amerikan, urban, akademian, vilajan, partisan, samidean = Roman, Italian, Amerikan, polan, akademian, vikan, partizan, somidean = Roman, Italian, American, urban, academician, villager, supporter, who shares the same ideas. The main difference is that in Uropi these terms are often nouns rather than adjectives; the adjectives are sometimes different: Romu, Itali, poli, viki = Roman, Italian, town-, village-… For certain nouns, there are other suffixes: samlandane = kolandor (fellow countryman), altrilandane = uslandor (foreigner, cf German: Ausländer), senatan = senator (senator).

Here Novial has a problem: an adjective in -an can be mixed up with the genitive (placed before the noun). What does Roman belesomean ? Rome's beauty = U. de belad Romu or Roman beauty = Roman belad ? To avoid this mix-up, you have to stress the word "Roman" on different syllables: Roman = U. Romu (genitive) and Roman = Roman (adjective). The same stress shift exists in Uropi, but means something else: u Roman dom in Roma, id he lis u romàn (a Roman lives in Rome and reads a novel).

-ATRI means similar in appearance or character, as -ish in English and -ic in Uropi. For example: blankatri = bijic (whitish), bluatri = bluic (bluish), metalatri = metalic (metallic, ressembling metal), parodiatri = parodic (parodic) This suffix seems rather heavy, furthermore it corresponds to the suffixes -âtre in French and -astro in Italian, which are clearly derogatory.

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Bark su de bere Nilu, Egipta

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-ARI means agreeing with or fit for: N. reglari, populari, revolutionari = U. reguli, populari, revolusioni (regular, popular, revolutionary), elementari, ordinari, imaginari = elementi, ordeni, imaʒini (elementary, ordinary, imaginary). There is no equivalent in Uropi: the endings -uli and -ari have no particular meaning.

-OS (-OSI) (possessing or having, full of): kurajosi, danjerosi, misteriosi, gratiosi, pretiosi, joyosi, barbosi … = karʒan, peric, misteric, grasi, prizic, glaj, barben = courageous, dangerous, mysterious, gracious, precious, merry, bearded…

The ending -os can also be found in a few Uropi adjectives, but it has no specific meaning: it is used in adjectives that are already international. For example serios (= sérieux, serioso, serious, serieus, seriøs, seriös, ser'ioznyj, seriozen, serioz, seryo, serius…), which has nothing to do with serij > seric (series, serial). There is usually a difference between the "normal" adjective derived from the noun and the adjectives in -os built on the same root, for example zel (wish, desire) > zelij > zelic (zeal, zealous) which are different from zelos (jealous). Nerv gives nervi (nervous, in anatomy: de nervi sistèm = the nervous system), different from nervos (describing a behaviour: he se tio nervos = he's too nervous).  

-ISI (of a very high degree) (cf Italian -issimo). It sometimes corresponds to the augmentative suffix -on > -oni in Uropi: belisi = beloni, mol bel = extremely beautiful, varmisi = varmoni, mol varmi = very warm. Jespersen tells us that this suffix should be used sparingly, not as in Esperanto. I fully agree.

-IV, -IVI (doing naturally or capable of doing). For example: N. instruktiv, sugestiv, atraktiv = U. instruan, sugestic, atrajan (instructive, suggestive, attractive), nutriv, atentiv, aktiv = nuran, atensi, aktivi (nourishing, attentive, active). There are also adjectives in -ivi en Uropi, like sensivi (sensitive), but this ending has no precise meaning.

-AS, -ASI (having the tendency or inclination to) = Uropi -IC (with a broader meaning): N. disputasi = U. grelic (quarrelsome) kredasi = kredic (credulous), laborasi = laboric (hard-working or laborious). 

-BLI expresses passive possibility = Uropi -(I)LI, for ex: lektebli, vidabli, audibli = lisli, vizli, orli (legible, visible, audible), explikabli = usklarli (explainable), solubli = sluzli o disluzli ? (resoluble or soluble ?)

-ENDI (that must be) and -INDI (that deserves to be), inspired by Latin. For example: amindi = liamili (inspiring love), admirindi = admirli (admirable). Me have nulum skriptendi = i av nit a skrivo (I have nothing to write). Vidindi = vizivalti (worth seeing), vidindum = ekwa vizivalti(something worth seeing).

These suffixes do not exist in modern natural languages, and I find them perfectly useless: they only serve to make the language more complex. We can see that the influence of Esperanto and Latin on Jespersen still remained very strong.

General suffixes

-ET (diminutive) = Uropi -IT, for example: rivete = u rij (= brook, yet u rivit (small river) is not a brook). Urbete = polit = small town, librete = bibit = booklet, patreto = papit = little daddy, matreta = mamita = little mummy. Rideta = smijo (= smile, which is different from larito = laugh a little, have a quiet laugh), dormieta = sopito (drowse), kelketim = u pojit (a little bit). Sigaret in Novial is used in its international meaning (cigarette) = Uropi sigaret, and not a small cigar (= mikri sigare = sigarit).

-ON (augmentative) = Uropi -ON, for example: pluvono = liuvon (heavy rain), ridono = laron (big laugh). Jespersen says that the Esperanto suffix -eg- is purely artificial, and is too similar to -et- -its contrary- in sound. In Novial there may be an ambiguity with the words ending in -on(e) such as kantone, kolone (canton, column) … but it is not the case in Uropi where those words are stressed on the last syllable: kantòn, kolòn

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Piazza Navona, Roma, Italia

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-ACH (from Italian -accio: disparaging or contemptuous) = Uropi -UJ (from French "ouille" in gribouille, barbouille), for example: kavalacha, hundache, populache = kwaluja, kunuj, polkuj (jade / old mare, wretched dog / cur, rabble), jurnalache, paperache, kantache = novaruj, papiruj, santuj (rag (newspaper), waste paper, bad song)

Numeral suffixes

N. Un, du, tri, quar, sink, six, sep, ok, nin, dek = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 = U. Un, du, tri, kwer, pin, ses, sep, oc, nev, des

In Novial, nin is the only numeral from Germanic origin, for "nov" already means new. Sink is purely Romance (Fr cinq, Sp cinco), whereas Uropi pin comes from the common Indo-European root *pénkwe that can be found everywhere: Hindi pānc, Persian panj, Greek pente, Albanian pesë, Lithuanien penki, Latvian pieci, Russian piat', Polish pięć, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian pet, Czech pět, Slovak pät', Breton pemp, Welsh pumpand also in Germanic Languages with an initial F: German fünf, Danish, Swedish fem, Icelandic fimm

For 9 and 10: nev & des, Uropi was influenced by Slavic and Baltic languages: (devet, devět… deviņi, devyni) (deset, desat'… desmit, dešimt). For tens, Jespersen added the Greco-Roman suffix -anti, whereas Uropi uses the Balto-Slavic system (that can also be found in Swedish and Norwegian), adding -des (10) to the numbers from 2 to 9: N. duanti, trianti, quaranti, sinkanti, sixanti, sepanti, oktanti, ninanti = 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 = U. dudes, trides, kwerdes, pindes, sesdes, sepdes, ocdes, nevdes, cf Croatian: dvadeset, trideset, četrdeset, pedeset, šezdeset, sedamdeset, osamdeset, devedeset.

Jespersen tells us that this system, which is also used in Esperanto and Ido, is particularly bewildering for Germans, that is to have trides (3 + 10) for 30 when they have dreizehn (3 +10) for 13. This is true, but on the other hand, it is very bewildering for all the other nations to have achtzig and achtzehn (80 and18), sechzig and sechzehn (60 and 16), which are rather difficult to distinguish… I personally often used to make that mistake in conversations. Besides, the Greeks do say: deka-tria, deka-tessera, deka-pente, deka-exi (10-3, 10-4, 10-5, 10-6 for 13, 15, 16) and the French: dix-sept, dix-huit, dix-neuf (17, 18, 19) as in Uropi destrì, despìn, dessès, dessèp, desòc, desnèv.

For ordinal numbers, Jespersen adds the ending -esmi, which is particularly heavy, to cardinal numbers. Unesmi = U. pri (first) is not very natural, when in most European languages you say: primus, primo, primero, primer, premier, prôtos, pratham, first, prvi, pervý, piervyj, pierwszy, pirmais, pirmas, pirveli… In Uropi, you simply add the -i of the adjective to numbers (or -j after a vowel): N. duesmi, triesmi, quaresmi, sinkesmi, sixesmi… = U. duj, trij, kweri, pini, sesi(2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th…)

Fractions take the ending -ime in Novial, and -(e)t in Uropi (except for mijad (a half, from mij = half (adj.) = N duime). For example: sixime = sest (a 6th), sinkime = pint (a 5th), sentime = suntet (a 100th); sink siximes = pin seste (five sixths).

Novial -opli = Uropi -pli: duopli, triopli sentopli = dupli, tripli suntepli (double, triple, hundredfold)… molipli(multiple) corresponding to the verb moliplizo (multiply).

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Tecoras in u vik ner Chiang Mai, Tailànd

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Adverbial suffixes

-TEM for time = Uropi -VOS (= a time, as in French quelquefois, Spanish algunas veces, Italian qualche volta, English sometimes, German manchmal, niemals): N Nultem, altritem, omnitem, irgitem = U. nevos, altenvos (un alten vos), talvos, enivos o evos ?(never, another time, always, any time or ever ?)

-LOK for place. Uropi uses the suffix -IA (see above): N. omnilok, nulilok, altrilok, kelkilok= U. talia, nekia, altia, ekia (everywhere, nowhere, elsewhere, somewhere). Hir, dar, vor = zi, za, wo = here, there, where.

-KAS for case. Uropi has no suffix for case: N. omnikas, tikas, altrikas, irgikas = in tale kaze, in di kaz, in un alten kaz (altem), in eni kaz (eniwim) (in all cases, in this case, otherwise, in any case)

-GRAD for degree = U. -GRADIM: altigrad = holgradim, in u hol grad (in a high degree), kelkigrad = ekigradim (to a certain extent)

-MAN (from manere = manner) for manner = Uropi -WIM (= as, or normal adverbs in -im, -em): N. omniman, altriman, nul(i)man = talwim, altem (in un alten mod, altenmodim), newim (anyway, otherwise, (in another way), in no way).

Other adverbs

In both languages we have adjectives in -i giving adverbs in -im; in Uropi, the adjetives in -u, -en, -an give adverbs in -um, -em, -am. Privatim and partim are regular adverbs in Latin, Novial and Uropi: N. solim, altrim, totim, samim = U. solem (< solen), altem (< alten), talim, somim (only < alone, otherwise < other, quite / entirely, similarly). N. Spesialim, naturim = U. spesialim, naturim (specially, of course). N. Naturaliman = naturimodim, in u naturi mod (in a natural way). Talim, qualim ? = sim, kim ? (thus, how ?), noktim, memorim = nocim, memorim (od memòr) (by night, from memory).

Jespersen says that adverbs should not be used in "impersonal sentences" as is the case in Esperanto, but adjectives should. For example: Eo. Estas necese diri = je se nudi dezo (it is necessary to say). Zamenhof's rule does away with the distinction between: je se klarim nudi  (it is clearly necessary) and je se nudim klar (it is necessarily clear).

To conclude, I will say that Novial, just like Esperanto and Ido, has too many suffixes, introducing very subtle nuances that do not exist in natural languages, and as a result are perfectly useless. Why give adjectives ending in -ari, -ivi, -asi, osi, a specific meaning they do not have in natural languages ? By wishing to make the language more precise, you end up making it more complex. As Jespersen himself says: (see above) "When details in proposed interlanguages are criticized, it is nearly always because they are unnatural, i.e. deviate more than necessary from what is found in existing languages …, or else because they are unnecessarily complicated…"

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Sirena, Muzea Olimpiu, Grecia

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 Je ve proìto … à suivre … to be continued … continuará … Fortsetzung folgt … continua … συνεχίζεται … продолжение следует …