User:Gabriel Svoboda/GS-Slovianski

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GS-Slovianski is a constructed language by Gabriel Svoboda.

Contents

General description

The project of Slovianski, an inter-Slavic language to be better than Slovio, started in March 2006. Since that time, its creators agreed on the fact that it would be useless to repeat the never-ending discussions whether the result language should be naturalistic, schematic or a middle way. Therefore Slovianski has been divided into three languages to be developed:

  • Slovianski-N, a naturalistic language
  • Slovianski-P, a pidgin version, a middle way between naturalism and schematism
  • Slovianski-S, a schematic language

Gabriel Svoboda is a fan of Slovianski-S. He wants to come to a compromise about this language with other fans of it. Until this dream comes true, his ideas about what Slovianski-S should look like are called GS-Slovianski. Gabriel Svoboda claims that a pan-Slavic language should be so easy to learn that both Slavs and non-Slavs could be able to learn it very quickly. This way it differs from e.g. Slovianski-N which might be very easy for Slavs but very difficult to learn for non-Slavs.

The same as Slovio, GS-Slovianski should prefer logic and schematicity over natural Slavicity. However, Slovio sometimes uses completely un-Slavic elements (e.g. plural ending -(i)s) to retain schematicity. GS-Slovianski wants to limit those un-Slavic elements, still preserving the schematicity. From all schematic solutions of certain problem, the most natural Slavic one should be selected.

Vocabulary

Bad grammar of Slovio, not bad vocabulary of Slovio, has been the main reason for creating Slovianski. Slovio developers themselves proposed that creators of other pan-Slavic langauges should use their grammar and Slovio vocabulary. Although Slovio vocabulary is certainly worth appreciation, it isn't very well usable in other languages than Slovio. The Slovio dictionary contains many words constructed according to the Slovio artificial grammar. Natural Slavic endings are often truncated. Therefore the Slovio dictionary may be used only as a helping tool, not as a main source of vocabulary. So Slovianski has to newly create its own words. The first set of the most basic words is being created by Gabriel Svoboda on a separate vocabulary page but proposals about better natural Slavic word forms are openly accepted.

Alphabet and pronunciation

Alphabet

As Slavic languages use both Latin and Cyrilic alphabets, GS-Slovianski may be written using both:

' a b c č d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s š t u v z ž
ь а б ц ч д е ф г х и й к л м н о п р с ш т у в з ж

To spell proper names, one can use other letters, too.

The soft sign ('/ь) at the end of the word may be omitted.

Alternative spellings

Latin
  • GS-Slovianski should be typeable on Polish keyboards, too. Therefore one can use cz, sz, ż instead of č, š, ž.
  • The primary ASCIIfication is cz, sz, zz. Two separate z's (in compound words) should be written with a hyphen, then.
  • If someone writes cx, sx, zx, nobody will complain.
Cyrilic
  • In order for GS-Slovianski to be typeable on all Slavic Cyrilic keyboards, one can use ј instead of й, and/or і instead of и and/or ' instead of ь.
  • For aesthetics reasons, я, ю may be written instead of йа/иа/ьа, йу/иу/ьу.

Pronunciation

Most letters have ther IPA lowercase values. In other words, they are pronounced as in Esperanto.

  • c is pronounced as ts in English (tsar), c in Esperanto
  • č is pronounced as ch in English (cheap), ĉ in Esperanto
  • h is pronounced basically [x] (approximately as ch in loch, Chankuah or kh in Khrushchev - but this sound doesn't exist in English; it definitely shouldn't be pronounced [k] in GS-Slovianski; ĥ in Esperanto) but it can also be pronounced as [h]
  • š is pronounced as sh in English (she), ŝ in Esperanto
  • ž is pronounced as the s sound in the English word vision or as zh in Zhukov, ĵ in Esperanto

(English speakers should note that j is pronounced as y in yes. Vowels have their continental values.)

The ' is generally pronounced [j]. If the speaker is able to palatalise the consonant preceding ', he or she should do it.

The i/j rules

The letters i and j are often pronounced almost identically. It is especially difficult to distinguish them in hearing. Therefore following rules for writing i and j have been established:

  • at the beginning of the word before a vowel, write j (jazik)
  • at the beginning of the word before a consonant, write i (idea)
  • after a vowel, write j (moj)
  • after a consonant, write i, if the following letter is a consonant (iris)
  • after a consonant, write ', if the following letter is a vowel (p'at) (one may write also j here but only if there are technical problems with the apostrophe)
  • the pseudosuffix -ija and the suffix -n'e are always written this way

The i before a vowel or before j has to be especially clearly and longly pronounced.

These rules concern general words only, not proper names.

Accent

The accent is undefined, i.e. everybody can stress as he or she likes.

Nouns

Singular nouns have no special ending: muž, žena, slovo, mor'e.

  • If the singular noun ends in a consonant, add -i to form plural, e.g. muž > muži. (For the purpose of this rule, i and u are considered to be consonants, i.e. the plural -i doesn't replace them: cunamii, iglui. This concerns especially foreign words with unusual endings, as it has been shown. In order to avoid confusion with other word classes, one should use an apostrophe at the end of such words in singular: cunami', iglu'.)
  • If the singular noun ends in -a, change it to -e to get the plural: žena > žene.
  • If the singular noun ends in -o, change it to -esa to get the plural: slovo > slovesa.
  • If the singular noun ends in -'e, change it to -'esa to get the plural: mor'e > mor'esa.

Sex etc.

The sex of animate nouns is determined by suffixes -ič (male) and -ka (female). They are added directly to the noun with no truncation of vowels.

  • členič, doktorič, gospodič, pr'atel'ič, pticaič, ribaič, suprugič, zvereič
  • členka, doktorka, gospodka, pr'atel'ka, pticaka, ribaka, suprugka, zvereka

Certain words have their own male and female forms:

  • potomok - offspring, potomokič or sin - son, potomokka or docerka - daughter
  • roditel' - parent, roditel'ič or otec - father, roditel'ka or mama - mother
  • surozenec - sibling, surozenecič or brat - son, surozenecka or sestra - sister

Offsprings (especially those of animals) are derived by the suffix -inča: pticainča, ribainča.

Diminutives are formed by adding -ik. Male and female forms of this suffix are -ičik and -ica, respectively: doktorik, zvereičik, pr'atelica.

Cases

All cases are replaced by prepositions or word order.

Genitive

In English, this case is expressed by preposition of or by 's ending: hat of father, father's hat. In Slovianski, this can be simply expressed by putting the subordinate noun before the main noun:

otec klobuk

However, it's better to replace the genitive noun with an adjective, if it doesn't hurt the meaning.

If more clarity is required, one can use expressions like prinadležaču k (belonging to), asociirovanu s (associated with) or vmeščaču (containing), zakl'učaču (comprising), sostavl'anu iz (made of) or polnu ot (full of).


Dative

In English, the preposition to expresses both dative and the meaning "in the direction of, and arriving at (indicating destination)". In the same way, Slovianski uses one preposition k for both meanings:

k otec - to father

Accusative

The accusative is expressed simply by SO word order:

L'ubit ja otec. = Ja l'ubit otec. = Ja otec l'ubit. = I love father.

In cases when the SO word order isn't usable, one should use a passive sentence which is always unambigous. Example:

Čo Bog iztvorili v šestu den? As čo precedes Bog, čo is the subject and Bog is the object, therefore the translation would be: By what was God created in the sixth day? Pay attention in order not to get this kind of undesired meaning! A normal correction would be putting the correct subject first: Bog čo iztvorili v šestu den? However, one usually tends to put the relative pronoun at the first place in the sentence. Therefore we have to use a passive sentence: Čo bili iztvorinu ot Bog v šestu den? = What was created by God in the sixth day?

Many languages (including Esperanto and natural Slavic languages) use accusative after certain prepositions to indicate direction. In Slovianski, this is done by repeating the preposition as a prefix of the verb:

  • Ptica leteli v komnata. = The bird flew in the chamber. The bird was in the chamber and it flew in it. (Esperanto: La birdo flugis en la ĉambro.)
  • Ptica vleteli v komnata. = The bird flew into the chamber. The bird has been outside the chamber and now it has flown into it. (Esperanto: La birdo flugis en la ĉambron.)

If all the previous ways to avoid the accusative don't work well, one can use an accusative preposition tu. Use it sparingly, please.

  • Tu otec ja l'ubit.
  • Tu čo Bog iztvorili v šestu den?
  • Ptica leteli v tu komnata.

Vocative

Vocative is a case that serves for addressing people, things etc. It has got the same form as nominative.

Prijatel'i, Rimani, zeml'aki! - Friends, Romans, countrymen!

Instrumental

There are two instrumental prepositions: ot (by, it is used especially in passive sentences to mark the agent of the action, it is usually a person) and posresvom (by means of or using, it is used to mark a tool).

  • Ona jest l'ubinu ot vsekto. - She is being loved by everybody.
  • Ja jedat posresvom usta. - I eat by means of mouth.

Proper names

Proper names are generally written in their original alphabet. If the original alphabet is neither Latin nor Cyrilic, one should use a transliteration/transcription into Latin or Cyrilic; however, the original-alphabet version may be added besides the transliterated/transcripted one. It is also useful to add the name's pronunciation in brackets.

Certain names, however, have their own GS-Slovianski version. This concerns especially important astronomical objects, continents, high mountain ranges, long rivers, oceans, large seas (because they belong to no nation so it would be very doubtful to determine which form is the "original" one).

For practical reasons, the names of countries, their capitals and some other major cities have their own GS-Slovianski version, too.

Names of inhabitants are formed by means of following rules:

  • if the country ends in -ija (Rosija), truncate it to get the inhabitant (ros)
  • if the country ends in -a (Kanada), add -n to get the inhabitant (kanadan)
  • if the country ends in a consonant or in any vowel except a (Irak, Peru), add -ec to get the inhabitant (irakec, peruec)

Adjectives are formed by adding -sku to the inhabitant: rossku, kandansku, irakecsku, peruecsku. However, they relate both to the country and its inhabitants, not only to the inhabitants.

Names of languages are formed by adding -ština to the name of inhabitant: rosština.

These rules may also be used for other Slovianski-ised names, e.g. cities (pragan, pragansku, marsec, marsecsku).

Adjectives

Adjectives end in -u and they don't change their form. They can either precede or follow the noun they modify.

  • malu domi
  • dolgu pismo
  • knige veliku
  • dobru pesi
  • novu pisan'esa

Adjectives are derived from nouns this way:

  • If the singular noun ends in a consonant, add -ovu to get the adjective, e.g. muž > mužovu. (For the purpose of this rule, i and u are considered to be consonants, again.)
  • If the singular noun ends in -a, change it to -inu to get the adjective: žena > ženinu.
    • If the singular noun ends in -ija, change it to -ičku to get the adjective: demokratija > demokratičku.
  • If the singular noun ends in -o, change it to -esnu to get the adjective: slovo > slovesnu.
  • If the singular noun ends in -'e, change it to -'esnu to get the adjective: mor'e > mor'esnu.

The suffix -sku exists for geographical names only, as it has been shown in the description of proper names.

Comparison

  • više - more
  • najviše - most
  • mene - less
  • najmene - least
  • više dobru čem ..., mene dobru čem ..., najmene dobru iz ..., najviše dobru iz ...

Personal and possessive pronouns

nominative accusative possessive English translation description
ja me moj I the speaker
mi nas naš we the speaker and other person(s)
vi vas vaš you the addressed person(s)
ti te tvoj you (thou) the addressed person
on jego jago he the other male person
ona ju jej she the other female person
ono ho ogo it the other person of unspecified sex, the other animal or the other thing
oni ih ihni they the other persons, animals or things
si sebe svoj self the same person(s) as the subject
sa su se one unspecified person(s)

The pronoun ti may be used in singualr only, if there is some intimate relation between the speaker and the adressed person, i.e. if the adressed person is a friend, a sibling or another relative, a child or an animal. But one doesn't have to use this pronoun; vi is always correct.

The accusative form is intented to be used in the role of natural accusative and to follow prepositions. However, nothing bad will happen if someone uses the nominative form in these situations.

However, when the nominative/accusative distinction is important to express direction, one shouldn't confuse these two cases. (See the example about the bird in the chamber.)

For euphony, it might be better for the possessive pronoun to follow the noun it modifies. But this rule isn't mandatory at all.

The pronoun si is usually used in the third person:

  • On l'ubit jego. He loves him (other person).
  • On l'ubit sebe. He loves himself.
  • On l'ubit suprugka jago. He loves his (other person's) wife.
  • On l'ubit suprugka svoj. He loves his own wife.

It isn't needed in other persons but it isn't forbidden to use it there because if one says ja l'ubit sebe, everybody will understand that one intends to say ja l'ubit me.

The pronoun sa corresponds to English one, French on, German man, Esperanto oni.

  • Oni bili tolko ne-pr'atu, čo sa ne-moguli žit' s ih. They were so unpleasant that one couldn't live with them.
  • Skvernu vozduh mogut vredit' su. Bad air can harm one.
  • Prestupniki mogut kradit' odev se. Criminals can steal one's clothes.
  • Ne kritikovajte su, proto čo sa bi moguli tož vas kritikovat'. Don't criticise one because one could criticise you, too.

Correlatives

Basic words

  • ktor - which (plural ktori)
  • kto - who
  • čo - what
  • kolko - how much
  • čiju - whose
  • kaku - what kind of
  • kak - how
  • gde - where
  • kogdi - when
  • dokud - whither
  • otkud - whence
  • pročo - why
  • Čo jest eto? What is it? (question)
  • Kogdi ja pridili k jego, on spali. When I came to him, he slept. (relative clause)

Prefixes

  • ne- - some (e.g. nekaku - some kind of)
  • libo- - any (e.g. libočo - whatever)
  • ni- - no (e.g. ničo - nothing)
  • vse- - every (e.g. vsekto - everybody)

Please note that in terms of the basic words dokud, otkud and pročo, the prefix is not added directly to the beginning: dovsekud - to everywhere, otvsekud - from everywhere, pronečo - for some reason.

Irregular words

  • niktor = žadni
  • vsektor = vse

Pointers

  • eto - this, this one
  • eti - these, these ones
  • tamto - that, that one
  • tamti - those, those ones
  • tolko - so much, so many
  • taku - that kind of
  • tak - so
  • tut - here
  • tam - there
  • teper - now
  • togdi - at that time
  • dotud - to (t)here
  • ottud - from (t)here
  • preto - that's why


Verbs

Standard conjugation

Verbal roots end always in a vowel: pisa, muse, govori, mogu. To this root, following endings and helping words are added:

  • root + -t' for infinitive: pisat', muset', govorit', mogut'
  • root + -t for present tense form: pisat, muset, govorit, mogut
  • root + -li for past tense: pisali, museli, govorili, moguli
  • budut + root + -t' for future tense: budut pisat' (will write), budut muset' (will have to), budut govorit' (will say), budut mogut' (will be able to)
  • bi + root + -li for conditinal: bi pisali (would write), bi museli (would have to), bi govorili (would say), bi moguli (would be able to)
  • bili bi + root + -li for past conditional: bili bi pisali (would have written), bili bi museli (would have had to), bili bi govorili (would have said), bili bi moguli (would have been able to)
  • root + -jmo for first person imperative (let me, let's): pisajmo, musejmo, govorijmo, mogujmo
  • root + -jte for second person imperative: pisajte (write!), musejte (must!), govorijte (say!), mogujte (can!)
  • root + -j with the pronoun ti: pisaj (write!), musej (must!), govorij (say!), moguj (can!)
  • root + -n'e to form verbal noun: pisan'e, musen'e, govorin'e, mogun'e

The verb to be

The only irregular verb "to be" has got following forms:

  • bit' (infinitive)
  • jest (present tense)
  • bili (past tense)
  • budut (future tense) - therefore "will" and "will be" are translated the same
  • bi bili (conditional)
  • bili bi bili (past conditional)
  • budimo (first person imperative)
  • budite (second person imperative)
  • budi (with pronoun ti)
  • bit'e (verbal noun)

The word jest may be omitted if the meaning is clear.

Participles

There are three participles:

  • present active participle, formed by adding -ču to the root: pisaču, museču, govoriču, moguču
  • present active participle, formed by adding -všu to the root: pisavšu, musevšu, govorivšu, moguvšu
  • passive participle, formed by adding -nu to the root: pisanu, musenu, govorinu, mogunu

Examples:

  • On jest čitaču kniga. He is reading a book.
  • On bili čitaču kniga. He was reading a book.
  • On budut čitaču kniga. He will be reading a book.
  • Muž, ktor čitat, jest muž čitaču. A man, who reads, is a reading man. (If the active participle modifies a noun, the participle should follow the noun.)
  • On jest čitavšu kniga. He has read a book.
  • On bili čitavšu kniga. He had read a book.
  • On budut čitavšu kniga. Hw will have read a book.
  • Muž, ktor čitali, jest muž čitavšu. A mean, who read, is a man having read. (If the active participle modifies a noun, the participle should follow the noun.)
  • Kniga jest čitanu. The book is being read.
  • Kniga bili čitanu. The book was read or has been read.
  • Kniga budut čitanu. The book will be read.
  • Kniga, ktoru sa čitat ili čitali, jest čitanu kniga. (Here it is a passive participle, so the word order is free, because it is clear what the subject is.)

The participles end in -u because they are adjectives by default. If one uses them with the adverbial ending -uo, special meanings are created:

  • Učičuo, ja jedali šokolad. Learning, I ate chocolate.
  • Jedačuo šokolad, ja učili. Eating chocolate, I learned.
  • Končivšuo robota, oni ideli v tu dom. Having finished the work, they went home.
  • On pridel, ne nadejanuo. He came, not being expected.

Present active participle of the verb "to be" is buduču. Past active participle of the verb "to be" is bivšu.

Adverbs

Adverbs are formed by replacing the adjectival -u with -uo: dobru - good, dobruo - well.

Certain adverbs don't have any special ending:

  • daleje - further
  • dnes - today
  • jedva - hardly
  • ješče - yet
  • juže - already
  • kvazi - quasi
  • neposresveno - immediately
  • odnako - though
  • osobeno - particularly
  • po krajnu mera - at least
  • počti - almost
  • proč - away
  • skoro - soon
  • sledovatelno - consequently
  • sušči - very
  • takže - too
  • teper - now
  • tilko (teper) - just (now)
  • tolko - only
  • tož - also
  • včera - yesterday
  • z'utra - tomorrow

One can derive adjective from these adverbs simply by adding -u. One can also add -uo: then the adverbial meaning is not changed, just emphasized.

One can compare adverbs in the same way as adjectives (više dobruo, najviše dobruo etc.).

If the speaker doesn't know the difference between adjectives and adverbs well enough, he or she may always use -esk instead of both -u and -uo.

Prepositions

Prepositions should only be used according to their logical meaning, not according to national idioms. When no preposition is suitable, the universal preposition om may be used.

Place

  • medžu - between
  • na - on
  • nad - above
  • okolo - around
  • po - in the manner of
  • pod - under
  • posred - amidst
  • poverh - across
  • pred - before, in front of, ahead of
  • prez - through
  • pri - near
  • protiv - against
  • v - in
    • vnutri - inside
  • vozle - next to
  • za - after, behind

Direction

  • aždo - till
  • iz - from
  • k - to

Other

  • bez - without
  • dla - for
  • krome - except
  • ob - about
  • ot - by
  • podčas - during
  • podolg - according to
  • pomimo - in spite of
  • posle - after
  • posresvom - by means of
  • pro - because of
  • s - together with
  • vmeste - instead of

Conjunctions

  • čim ... tim ... - the ... the ...
  • čo - that
  • hotija - although
  • i - and
  • ili - or
  • ili ... ili ... - either ... or ...
  • jesli - if
  • kak ... tak i ... - both ... and ...
  • li - whether
  • ni ... ni ... - neither ... nor ...
  • no - but
  • proto čo - because

The conjunction li (Esperanto ĉu) is also used at the beginning of all yes/no questions:

Li vi rozumet' vsečo? Do you understand everything? (Yes, I do. / No, I don't.)

The conjunction that (Esperanto ke) is translated čo. In English, this conjunction may sometimes be omitted. This isn't the case of Slovianski!

English expressions so that or in order that (Esperanto ke + -u) are translated this way:

  • Ona kupit jablokesa, abi det'esa bili zdrovu. = She buys apples so that children can/may/shall/will be healthy. = She buys apples in order that children can/may/shall/will be healthy.
  • Ona kupili jablokesa, abi det'esa bili zdrovu. = She bought apples so that children could/might/should/would be healthy. = She buys apples in order that children could/might/should/would be healthy.

(As you can see, one uses the conjunction abi and the verb is in the past tense form.)

Numerals

  • nula - zero
  • jedin - one
  • dva - two
  • tri - three
  • četiri - four
  • p'at - five
  • šest - six
  • sedem - seven
  • osem - eight
  • dev'at - nine
  • des'at - ten
  • sto - hundred
  • tis'ač - thousand
  • milijon - million
  • milijarda - 109
  • bilijon - 1012
  • bilijarda - 1015
  • trilijon - 1018
  • trilijarda - 1021
  • kvadrilijon - 1024
  • kvadrilijarda - 1027
  • mnogo - much, many

In terms of forming compound numbers, an example can show more than theoretical rules: osm milijon p'at sto trides'at šest tis'ač četiri sto dev'atdes'at osem - 8 536 498.

Numbers 11-19 may be formed either regularly (des'at sedem, des'at osem) or by adding -nast to the numberal from 1-9 to which one adds the 10: p'atnast - fifteen, osemnast - eighteen.

Numbers may be substantivised by adding -ojka: sedemojka, kvadril'onojka.

Ordinal number are formed by adding the adjectival ending -u: p'atu - fifth, dev'atu - ninth, bil'onu - bilionth etc. There are three irregular forms:

  • pervu = jedinu = first
  • drugu = dvau = second
  • tretu = triu = third

One can also add adverbial -uo to numbers: pervuo - firstly, druguo - secondly, tretuo - thirdly, šestuo - sixthly.

Fractions are formed by adding -ina: sedemina - 1/7, p'atina - 1/5, polovina (the only irregular word) - 1/2, četiriina - 1/4, sedem osemine - 7/8, osem šestnastine - 8/16, dva des'atini, četirides'at šest stoine - 46/100.

For multiplication, one can use the suffix -ojnu: dvaojnu - twofold, duplex (Russian двойной, Polish podwójny).

Collective numerals are formed by preposition v and suffix -ojem: v dvaojem - two together (Russian вдвоемъ, Polish we dwoje).

For mathematical operations, following words are used:

  • pl'us - plus
  • minus - minus
  • umnožanu (posresvom) - multiplied by
  • delinu (posresvom) - divided by

The English word times is represented by raz: jedin raz - once, dva raz - twice, tri raz - thrice, četiri raz - four times.

Word order

Word order isn't limited by useless rules, but it is quite important for the meaning and one has to pay attention to it.

  • Words ne, sušči, tolko have to immediately precede the words they are related to.
  • A participle, especially the active one, has to immediately follow its noun, because muž čitaču means a reading man but čitaču muž would mean reading a man.
  • Object has to follow the subject (while verb may be anywhere, so VSO, SVO and SOV are all correct). If this wordn't order isn't desired or viable, one has to rearrange the sentence into passive which is always clear. If even the passive sentence isn't desired, the object has to be preceded by the preposition tu.

Word formation

The word formation is described on a separate page.


You can send all comments and suggestions to svoboda.gabriel@centrum.cz.