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lisene

The Little Language -- an experimental minimalist auxlang

This one-off language (it isn't related to any of my conworlds) was partly inspired by Toki Pona, which I have discussed briefly elsewhere on this site, and which I consider to be interesting but flawed. It was also partly inspired by some thoughts of my own about constructed languages.

The idea is to try and create a viable auxiliary language, which would be genuinely easy for non-linguists to learn, and would try to avoid being eurocentric (eurocentricity being a common failing of most other auxlangs).

What follows is no more than a sketch, just a few preliminary ideas that I have put together without a great deal of thought, to act as no more than a starting point.

The phonology should be clearly differentiated. In other words, each of the sounds of the language should be as far as possible from the other sounds. The idea here is to allow for flexibility in pronouncing words, so that speakers are still understandable even if they have difficulties with particular sounds.

Only the simplest and most widely-used phonemes will be used. Voicing will not be used. All syllables will be in CV form.

Applying these rules, the following consonants are available (speakers are free to use voiced or unvoiced variants where available):

p/b, t/d, l/r, n, s/z, k/g

When writing the language, the unvoiced version is prefered: p, t, l, n, s, k.

The following vowels are available (using the SAMPA notation). These are approximate, and should allow an amount of variation in the actual pronunciation.

A, E, I, O:, U:

All syllables are pronounced. For example, a word such as kanine is pronounced KA-NI-NE.

Words are generally unstressed, or rather, each syllable has approximately equal stress. Again, variation is always possible and acceptable.

The vocabulary will be partly derived from the ULD word list, but only the most important of words will be included. Where necessary, speakers can use circumlocutions for words which are not part of the basic vocabulary.

As with Esperanto, (some) parts of speech are indicated by word endings. For now I have following in mind:

There will be some exceptions to the above, and the 'n' is not necessarily included.

Pronouns

Some concept roots, and derived words:

li- LITTLE; li-na little, small

se- SPEECH; se-ne speech, language; se-ri talk, say

ki- [interrogative]; ki-na which, what?

ti- [demonstrative]; ti-na this, that (but see fa- below)

fa- FAR, DISTANT; fa-na far, distant; ti-fa-na that; ti-fa-ne that one, that thing

ni- NEAR; ni-na near; ti-ni-na this; ti-ni-ne this one, this thing

A few words...

se-nespeech, language
se-ritalk, say
se-pa-neword
li-nalittle
ki-nawhich, what?
ti-nathis, that
ti-fa-nathat
ti-ni-nathis
si-risee, look
si-nesight
ka-ni-necountry, land
no-se-rinamed, called, known as

Some sample sentences

Sene tina noseri Lisene.This language is called Lisene.
Me noseri Pite.My name is Pyter (I am called Pyter).