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Language description

In accordance with the principle of maximum lexical internationality, LdP basically includes the most widespread international words known to a majority of people. One result of this is to give a leading role to Latinate vocabulary. Latin roots are enormously widespread over the planet.

In considering the form of Latinate words, we are helped by Esperanto, and perhaps even more so by Novial, the language constructed by the famed linguist Otto Jespersen. Novial's vocabulary contains the most widely understood words in a form that is highly recognizable to the bulk of Europeans. Of course we have a different grammar in LdP, and we do not believe it necessary for all inanimate nouns to end in –е, and for adjectives to end in –i. But we use many Novial roots (Novial in turn incorporates many roots from Ido and Esperanto).

The principle of maximum lexical internationality also mandates a major role for English -- today's international language. According to some estimates, up to 1 billion people can speak some English. So quite often, we give preference to English. However, we do not extend this preference to the distinctive English pronunciation of Latinate words (which, by the way, non-English speakers often ignore, for the sake of clarity): [baiƏsfiƏ] for biosphere, [masl] for muscle, [grædjuƏl] for gradual. These words are read in LdP as they are written: biosfera, muskul, and graduale.

The principle of incorporation of the most spoken tongues dictates the inclusion of a noticeable amount of non-Western-European vocabulary: words from Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Slavic tongues. Today, less than 20% of the vocabulary in LdP is from these sources. But basically, this 20% includes the most frequently used words, so if one counts its amount in a concrete text (especially on an everyday topic, rather than an abstract one), the ratio will not seem so biased.

Some phrases will almost seem to be Russian:

Yu snova dumai om sey nove filma — "You think about this new film again."

Some phrases may consist almost solely of Chinese words:

Ta shwo ke ta bu yao chi yan, ta yao nangwa — "He says that he does not want to eat mutton, he wants pumpkin."

Some may consist of Hindi words:

Me jan ke mata pri pi chay — "I know that mother likes to drink tea".

And some are of Arabic ones:

Juma sabah me safari — On Friday morning I am going for a trip

As in everything, it is important to know measure in participation of a given tongue. Too big a share of Chinese, for example, might complicate LdP studying for the Europeans. On the whole, we are satisfied with how Chinese is integrated into LdP. Chinese words are brief, beautiful and distinctive, and all these features are important. The phonetic and other features of Chinese make it difficult to adopt too many words, but it is possible to take what is significant and used often. There is not a great amount of Chinese vocabulary in LdP, but the words we have adopted are really important, and hardly any conversation can do without them: words such as: shwo—to speak, yao—to want, hao—good, well, zwo (read as [dzuo]) —to do.

This solution — a smaller percentage of non-European vocabulary but concentrated in high frequency words — provides both simplicity for Europeans as well as a noticeable role (a smack) of non-European tongues. We plan to increase the ratio of non-European vocabulary as far as it remains in harmony with the principle of maximum internationality.

When we select words, our preferences lie with those that sound at least partly similar in several languages. Often these are loanwords but not always. For example, the word "darba" (strike) is of the Arabic origin, however it resembles the Russian "udar" and the Chinese "da" (to strike).

Our task is to combine the combinable in order to find a harmonious whole for the reconcilable components of different languages. We try to avoid discordant connotations. For example, we wanted to take the Arabic word "shams" for "sun," due to a partial similarity with the English word. However, "shams" is even closer to the German "Scham" (English "shame"), so we had to find another word. Of course it is impossible to get rid of all unneeded connotations but some effort in this direction is desirable, even though the new language has its own semantic system.

The grammar of LdP is simple. Verbs are invariable; adjectives are invariable; and adverbs of course are invariable. With the exception of plural endings –s (after vowels) and -es (after consonants), nouns are invariable as well. We try to avoid changing the forms of words (inflections), so instead of endings we often use particles, including some connected to the main word by a hyphen. We believe this makes the recognition of words easier. All this makes LdP text easy to understand.

Speaking of the grammar of a unifying language, we believe that the scheme does not have to be too strict. The grammar system should be flexible enough to be able to incorporate almost any word without serious deformation. For example, LdP incorporates such a universally understood word as the English "go". It has no additional endings in LdP and is not inflected.

In the same way LdP incorporates short Chinese words such as "gao" and "hao." We believe, actually, that brevity is very important. Zipf's law says that the most common words tend to be short; the future global language will be a language of short words. LdP appreciates brevity.

While it is true that there are no obligatory endings for different parts of speech in LdP, there are preferable ones. Thus, the bulk of adjectives end in –e. But adjectives like gao (high) and lao (old) are also admissible. These Chinese words are good as they are. They are distinctive and easily recognizable, and clearly need no additional endings.

In grammar you will find a more detailed description of the language.

Fo unitaa de Arda!
For the unity of the Planet!

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