Sonntag, 22. April 2012

Quick overview in English

Kweda is the project of an a posteriori, moderately schematic constructed language (conlang) with an agglutinative grammar. Its vocabulary as well as the grammatical features are borrowed from modern (and, partly, ancient) European languages. Besides, in some aspects the design of Kweda was influenced by other conlangs such as Dunia and Glosa.

The lexical fundament is to a great extent supplied by the Latin and Ancient Greek roots which make up the internationally known and used vocabulary of science, technology, medicine, law etc. Where words and expressions are needed beyond this thesaurus, they are taken from one of the great European language families (as Kweda is supposed to be an intereuropean language in the first place). These borrowings are not made randomly, however, but follow a certain system in so much that words are preferably drawn from one specific language family, depending on the parts of speech they belong to. This means in particular:

Common nouns are drawn mostly from Romance languages (and, complementary, from Greek, Albanian, Maltese, Basque and Celtic languages). They end in one of the vowels -a, -e, -o or -u: kaza 'house', monte 'mountain', lago 'lake', manu 'hand'.

The plural is formed by adding -s: kazas 'houses', montes 'mountains', lagos 'lakes', manus 'hands'.

There is neither any grammatical gender nor declension. If necessary, case is indicated by a preposition or particle: de for genitive, do for dative, and pe for accusative.

The definite article is li for both singular and plural. An indefinite article does not exist.

Adjectives are drawn mostly from Slavic languages. They end in -i: dobri 'good', dalni 'far', stari 'old', rudi 'red'. They stand before the noun they refer to: li stari kaza 'the old house', li alti montes 'the high mountains', li švidki koče 'the fast car'.

For comparison, two entirely equivalent systems can be used, namely
a) an analytical one, using the particles plu for comparative and mai for superlative: fagri 'beautiful' - plu fagri 'more beautiful' - mai fagri 'most beautiful', or
b) a synthetical one, using the suffixes -ior for comparative and -im for superlative: juni 'young' - juniori 'younger' - junimi 'youngest'.

Generally, adjectives can serve as adverbs without any changing: 
švidki 'fast' – li koče švidki faran 'the car goes fast'; dobri 'good' – li libro er dobri skrivati 'the book is well-written'.

Verbs are drawn mostly from Germanic languages. They end in -an or (sometimes, in case of derivation from non-Germanic roots) -en: drinkan 'to drink', findan 'to find', standan 'to stand'; viden 'to see'. There is no conjugation.

The infinitive form is used as the present tense as well: me drinkan 'I drink', te drinkan 'you drink', le drinkan 'he/she/it drinks'* and so on. 
The past tense is formed by adding -d instead of -n: me drinkad 'I drank', te drinkad 'you drank'; le vided 'he/she/it saw' etc.
The conditional mood is formed by placing -isi- before the verb ending (-n or -d): me drinkaisin 'I would drink', me videisid 'I would have seen'.
The imperative mood is formed by adding -i to the last vowel: drinkai! 'drink!' kurei! 'run!'
The participles are formed by -nti (present) and -ti (past): drinkanti 'drinking', videti 'seen'.

The other tenses and moods are formed by means of particles:
The future tenses with sal: me sal drinkan 'I will drink', me sal vided 'I will have seen';
The perfect tenses with did: me did drinkan 'I have drunken', me did vided 'I had seen';
The passive voice with bli: li biera bli drinkan 'the beer is drunken', li biera bli drinkad 'the beer was drunken'.

Adverbs are drawn mostly from Finno-Ugric languages: jo 'already', alig 'hardly', palun 'please', vel 'still'. They stand before the verb they refer to: 
He jo er koti. They already are at home. 
To alig er problema. – This is hardly a problem.

Interrogative words are drawn mostly from the Baltic languages: kas 'what', kur 'where', kad 'when', kaip 'how'. They serve as relative pronouns as well (as it is the case in English):
kas 'what' – li kaza kas... 'the house that...'
ki 'who' – li femna ki... 'the woman who...'
kur 'where' – in li kaza kur... 'in the house where...'
kad 'when' – pitkin li eve kad... 'during the time when...'

Conjunctions are drawn mostly from the Romani (gipsy) language: tai 'and', vai 'or', ke 'that', kai 'because'.

* Like the Fenno-Ugric and Turkic languages, Kweda does not have separate gender forms for the third person pronoun in the singular.

Kweda spelling and pronunciation 
Kweda basic vocabulary
Phrases and text samples


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