unnamed volapük style language

What if Volapük didn’t see the world through an extremely 19th century lens? (And also what if it wasn’t trying to be an IAL so I can put some interesting stuff in there if I want to)



  Front Back
High i ü /i y/ ï u /ɯ u/
High central e ö /e ø/ o /o/
Low ä /æ/ a /ɑ/


  Labial Alveolar Velar, etc
Plosive /p b/ /t d/ /k ɡ/
Fricative /f v/ /s/ /h/
Nasal /m/ /n/
Lateral /l/

Consonants are all written with the same letter as in IPA.


This description is written in EBNF. Basically, parts in [square brackets] are optional, and parts in {braces} can be repeated (or skipped). A vertical bar | separates alternatives and a comma , just indicates a sequence of things.

word = [init cons], vowel, {[inner cons], vowel}, [final cons]
init cons = consonant
| s, plosive
| plosive, l
| s, (f | v | l)
| (f | v), l
| (p | b | k | ɡ), n
| (t | d | k | ɡ), m
| kv | gv
inner cons = consonant
| s, consonant (s | h)
| [m], (p, [s], t | b, [s], d)
| [n], (k, [s], t | ɡ, [s], d)
| sonorant-plosive, [s]
| [m | s], (p | b), n
| [n | s], (k | ɡ), n
| [n | s], (t | d | k | ɡ), m
| [n | s], (kv | gv)
final cons = consonant (h | s), [s]
| sonorant-plosive, [s]
| s
sonorant-plosive = m, (p | b)
| n, (t | d | k | ɡ)
| [l], plosive

In most cases a syllable break is between the first and second consonant of a cluster, but in cases like /–nk.s–/ it is between the second and third. The exact rules are:

  1. If there is only one consonant, then the break is before it.
  2. If there are more than one, then there is at least one consonant either side of the break.
  3. The cluster after the break is accepted by init cons.
  4. As many consonants are placed after the break as possible while still following the other rules.

Example words:


Verb stems begin with one or more consonants, and end with exactly one.

Person & number

If the subject and/or [primary] object are pronouns, they are instead marked on the verb as suffixes. (TODO link to secundativity section) For first and second person, the subject marker is the pronoun itself, and the object marker is the pronoun with the initial o– replaced with i–. These vowels change to u– ä– respectively for the dual or plural. For third person it is just the vowel with no consonant. In this case, independent third-person pronouns can be used instead of verb markers if it makes the sentence less confusing.

SBJ o– u–
OBJ i– ä–

If the subject or object are a noun phrase other than a single pronoun, they are not reflected on the verb at all.

Tense & aspect

Verbs have a distinction between past & nonpast, and imperfective & perfective. The tense/aspect marker comes directly after the person markers. blah blah blah

NPST –n–
PST –e –n–ö

For the perfective, an n is inserted before the last consonant of the stem. It interacts with the consonant already there in a few ways:


Noun roots end in either a vowel or a consonant other than s (or x/z). They have no restriction on what they begin with.


Personal pronouns have a distinction between inclusive/exclusive (I/E) first person, e.g. ov means “you and me”, but om means “me and someone else”. The third person singular is listed as ok, but that is only a default. People can choose to be referred to with o– plus any consonant or cluster that isn’t already another pronoun. Ok is used for strangers or objects, or for people who just want to be called ok.

  1;E 1;I 2 3
SG ob ot ok
DU om ov ond ong
PL oms obs oz ox

TODO yes i know this isnt the only type of pronoun obviously

Word order etc