introduction dictionary primer compound words

February 28, 2011

Patrick Hassel-Zein made this file. Andrew Nowicki updated it.

There are currently no actual grammatical rules in Ygyde. Most of the grammar is simply defined by the meanings and use of the words. The general idea is that the order of the words in any phrase is very free, except when dealing with logical prepositions and combinations of the same - more about that later. This means that people with different linguistic backgrounds may construct sentences indifferent ways. The only suggested restrictions are:

When speaking Ygyde, you do not need to specify plural or singular forms, temporal forms of verbs or any types of articles unless it is important to clarify details. The interpretation of basic sentences will be depending on the context. Ways to express details such as plural or time of verbs are presented in other sections of this primer.

Some interpretations of very simple sentences:

Any sentence may be changed with the phrasal suffixes:
Affirmative sentence: ije uduti o yfodyby hifu = "He is buying bananas." (uduti = to buy, o = plural, yfodyby = banana, hifu = optional last word of an affirmative sentence)
Question: ije uduti o yfodyby hipu = "Is he buying bananas?" (hipu = last word in a general question, to which the answer is expected to be an agreement or disagreement)
Order: uduti o yfodyby hino = "Buy bananas!" (hino = last word of a suggestion or order)

Numbers: Fractions other than those readily defined among the numbers may be expressed with number + olu + number. Expressions including both an integer and a fraction are expressed with the word iwa (meaning "and"). Use the expression "<Integer> iwa <numerator> olu <denominator>".
Example 1: 1/4 is expressed as (hofe) olu hofu or hoku if we are talking in octal numbers.
Example 2: 3/4 is becomes hofo olu hofu in octal numbers.
Example 3: 3/4 is becomes owy olu owe in decimal numbers.
Example 4: hofy iwa hofo olu hofu means "2 and 3/4" in octal numbers.
Ordinal numbers: hope hofo ysobe means "third tree" in octal numbers.

Although there need not be any distinction between singular and plural nouns or pronouns, plural may be specified by adding either a number, iza (more), hika (fewer) or similar prepositions before a noun. It is also possible to specify general and unspecific plural with the letter o.

The functional vowel a (genitive) may often be left out. a may also be referring to an entire phrase situated between e and y.
Example 1: ije uwopy iwa o yboebo = "he dances with wolves". (uwopy = to dance, iwa = with, plus, including, yboebo, ybobebo = wolf)
Example 2: ije (upalu) (a) e uwopy iwa o yboebo y = "he is one who dances with wolves". (upalu = to be, a = genitive, e = left parenthesis, y = right parenthesis)

A phrase of the type (a) e...y may be used as a noun or a name.
Example 1: (a) e uwopy iwa o yboebo y uba = "the one that dances with wolves is white." (uba = white)
Example 2: huko e uwopy iwa o yboebo y = name of a person who dances with wolves (the word uko indicates foreign name of a person).

The functional vowel i (accusative) is used before objects that take no preposition, but are not the active person in a phrase. This will clarify that the object is not a subject - especially if a phrase is written in straight order (noun followed by verb followed by object). However, this vowel may be left out if the word order is straight.
Example 1: both imu uduti i hito yfodyby and imu uduti hito yfodyby mean "I buy this banana." (hito = this, that, it)
Example 2: i yfodyby imu uduti or even i yfodyby uduti imu means "a banana I buy", i.e. "I buy a banana".
Example 3: hipy yfodyby imu uduti should be interpreted as hipy yfodyby uduti (i) imu, i.e. "the banana buys me"! (hipy = the)

The functional vowel i (accusative) also indicates passive voice: hipy i ylacopy hety icojaci = "the criminal was arrested" (hipy = the, ylacopy = criminal, hety = past tense, icojaci = to arrest)

Use functional vowels whenever the interpretation of a phrase is unclear!
Example 1: hipy haso ycujepy owoajo means nothing more and nothing less than "the big boy helicopter", and must actually be interpreted as "the big boy is a helicopter." (haso = big, ycujepy = boy, owoajo = helicopter)
Example 2: a e haso ycujepy y owoajo, owoajo a e haso ycujepy y both mean "a helicopter of big boy."
Example 3: a ycujepy haso owoajo and haso owoajo a ycujepy both mean "big helicopter of a boy."
Example 4: a haso ycujepy owoajo and ycujepy a haso owoajo both mean "a boy of a big is a helicopter"
Example 5: haso e ycujepy owoajo y and haso ycujepy u owoajo both mean "a big <boy helicopter>", and it is not very clear how this is supposed to be interpreted - possibly as "big boy-helicopter", but then the question is what a "boy-helicopter" might be. This phrase should probably better be changed to haso (e) acujepy owoajo (y) = "big boyish helicopter"- that is still a strange phrase, but the possible interpretation is much more obvious.

Throughout this document, the functional vowels are usually written between parentheses when the vowels may be left out.

Remember that e and y are always used in pairs! Several pairs and even nested pairs may be used in one and the same phrase.

All the prepositional verb modifiers are defined in other tables describing Ygyde. This section describes how the four listed words may be used as verb modifiers. It is quite possible to find further modifiers for other or similar functions... hety followed by verb indicates past tense of that verb. hecu followed by verb indicates future tense of that verb. hepa may be used to explicitly specify present tense of that verb.
Example 1: imu uduti (i) hipy (o) yfodyby = "I buy the bananas."
Example 2: imu hety uduti (i) o yfodyby = "I have bought bananas."
Example 3: imu hecu uduti (i) o yfodyby = "I will buy bananas."
Example 4: imu hepa uduti (i) o yfodyby = "I am buying bananas."
Example 5: o yfodyby ize uduti hiko imu = "Bananas are bought by me." (ize = passive voice, hiko = by)

It is possible to use the construction (a) e...y for passive constructions.

The word ize may be used together with any of the other verb modifiers.
Example: o yfodyby ize hety uduti hiko imu = "Bananas were bought by me."

If neither hety, hecu nor hepa is specified, present tense is likely but it is not taken for granted!
Example: o yfodyby ize uduti hiko imu may be interpreted as "Bananas are bought by me", "Bananas will be bought by me" as well as "Bananas were bought by me!"

upalu = "verb alive abstraction" = "to be, to exist". This verb is not necessary in simple or common phrases where the verb "to be" is required in English. Adjectives and other descriptions of objects may be regarded as "pseudo-verbs". However, this verb is absolutely necessary in some occasions.
Example 1: A phrase such as "that is a giraffe", is simply translated as hito yzyobo ("that giraffe") or hito upalu yzyobo ("That is giraffe"). The more specific phrase hito hepa upalu hofe yzyobo ("That presently is one giraffe") is less suitable, since it implies that we are dealing with some mutating lifeform that currently is a giraffe, but may have been something else before and may turn into something else in a little while.
Example 2: "The giraffe is yellow" is best expressed as yzyobo huco. The phrase yzyobo epa huco means "giraffe now yellow", which may imply that the giraffe wasn't yellow before, and may not remain yellow.
Example 3: "I am a dentist" is expressed as imu yseneco or imu upalu yseneco. The phrase "I am happy to be a dentist" must however be expressed with use of upalu: imu hape upalu yseneco ("I am happy being dentist"), (hape = happy), since imu hape yseneco should be interpreted as "I (am) a happy dentist!"

The English verb "to have" can be used to express many very different actions. Be careful to use the correct translation to Ygyde depending on the context! (upylu = "to have, to own" = "verb owned abstraction", usumo = "to hold" = "verb prolonged fusion") Consider the deeper meaning of the definitions of these verbs in Ygyde when selecting which is most suitable in a given context. In many cases, such as when the verb "to have" is followed by abstract items, it is often best expressed with other verbs.
Example 1: "I have a house" is probably best translated as imu upylu ycyzo ("I own home").
Example 2: "I have a banana" can be expressed as imu upylu yfodyby ("I own banana"), imu usumo yfodyby ("I hold banana"), or yfodyby igi imu ("banana in the same place as me", igi = in the same place).
Example 3: "I have to go" should be phrased as "I must go" or "I am forced to go".
Example 4: "I have a headache" can be expressed as imu usumo obapabu (more or less implying that "I have a prolonged fusion with a headache") or a imu ybapa ibuma ("my head is aching") (usumo = to hold = verb prolonged fusion, obapabu = headache, ybapa = head, ibuma = to ache).
Example 5: "I have an idea" is best expressed with the verb umini = "to have an idea"(corresponding to the noun ymini = "mental path" = "idea")

Prepositions are often used in ways similar to how the corresponding prepositions are used in, for example, English, but you must be careful with the exceptions and restrictions in the definitions of prepositions such as "then", "by", "about" and "and"!

The words ojuju (equal) and ade (different) may be used in expressions such as "at the same time" (ojuju ejo) and "someone else" (ade hypy).

"Too many" is expressed as iba hiki ("above many"),"too few" as hisa ily ("below any").

The words hupu (south), huti (north), ube (west), and uby (east) may be combined with each other to specify diagonal directions such as huti ube = "northwest". Geographic coordinates may be specified by use of yle (unit):owo oge owa yle huti owy oge yle uby = "25 units north, 30 units east. By the way, yle is a very useful word for degrees of anything!
Example 1: hofi yle yzyle = "zero degrees Celsius" -- but it may also be acceptably clear to say hofi yzyle.
Example 2: owy yle oneguby = "three units tea" (to be interpreted as "three cups of tea")
Example 3: owa yle yfodyby = "five units bananas" (this may sound funny in English, but not in Chinese, Swedish or some other languages)
For those that speak Chinese: compare with the generic classifier "ge"!

The words hiky (to) and hite (from) may be used together with preposition that state positions. If the preposition izu (in, inside, into, within) is used alone, it means "to be located in". hiky izu = "into". hite izu = "from the inside". Note, for example, the difference between phrases such as "he is walking in the garden" and "he is walking into the garden"!

The word iwa (and) can only be used to join objects together. The word igy (also) may join phrases. igy may also be used for expressions like "Me too!" igy imu! In most other cases the word "and" is translated as iwa (with).
Example 1: it is OK to say "I and you are buying a house".
Example 2: it is OK to say "We are buying a house and a car".
Example 3: it is not OK to say "We move to Mars and buy a house". The correct way of phrasing the meaning of such a sentence might be "We move to Mars. We also buy a house" (that would call for the word igy (also)!) "We move to Mars. At that time we buy a house" or "We move to Mars. There we will buy a house." The rephrasing will generally cause more logical expressions. The word iwy (or) can only be used to join objects together. The word hina (or) joins phrases only. A phrase such as "apples, bananas and pears" should in Ygyde be expressed with the word iwa (and) between all the nouns.

Words such as "sometime", "anytime", "never", "always", "somewhere", "nowhere", "everywhere", "somebody", "anybody" and so on are translated with the prepositions ily (any), ige (some), iga (nothing, no), ola (a few), hiki (many), hiso (most), or idu (all) followed by a suitable word, such as ejo (time of day), ypy (person), yji (place).

The functional vowels e ... y are very useful to group causes and actions of logical prepositions clearly. This becomes especially useful in long and/or complex statements. However, the e ... y may be excluded from simple statements where the logic is clear - particularly the word "then" may be excluded.
Example 1: ilu (e) hipe uduti (i) o yfodyby (y) iwi (e) imu udugali (i) hisu (y) = "If <you buy bananas>, then <I will borrow them>".
Example 2: ilu haca (e) hipe uduti (i) o yfodyby (y) imu ulati ige = "Unless <you buy bananas>, I will steal some."

Verb forms such as "would", "might" and "definitely" are usually used in logical statements such as "if you give me money then I will/would/might buy a house". The degree of probability in the resulting action may be specified with hica (impossible), hife (unlikely, 25% certain), izy (50% certain), hiku (75% certain), ime (certain), hini (unknown probability)
Example 1: ilu (e) hipe uduti (i) o yfodyby (y) hife (e) imu ulati (i) hisu (y) = "If <you buy bananas>, it is slightly probable that <I steal them>".
Example 2: ilu (e) hipe uduti (i) o yfodyby (y) hiku (e) imu udugali (i) hisu (y) = "If <you buy bananas>, it is most probable that <I borrow them>".

If the answer to a question is expected to be "yes" or "no," the last word of the question is hipu. For example, "are you busy?" can be translated into hipe hano hipu (you busy question), or just hano hipu (busy question).

If the answer to a question is expected to be more elaborate than "yes" or "no," the last word of the question is imi. These detailed questions use the word iwe (what, who, which, whose) to specify what we are asking about. iwe is always placed before the word we are asking about. "When?" becomes iwe ejo (what time of day), "who?" becomes iwe hypy ("what person?") "Why?" becomes iwe opope ("what cause?"), "how many?" becomes iwe olely ("what quantity?"). If the context makes it clear what we are asking about, the entire sentence may have only two words, for example, ejo imi means "what time of day is it now?".

iwe is also used in relative clauses, for example: "I do not know what/which person is missing." It does not transform affirmative sentence into a question, so iwe ejo is not a question, but a phrase meaning "pertaining to a time of day".

The words "when" and "then" in the meaning of "at that time" can be translated into hito ejo (that time, hito = this, that, it, ejo = time of day) in Ygyde.

The words "neither" and "nor" may be expressed as "also not", i.e., igy haca.

Words such as "may", "might", "could" and "should" often mean assumptions, guesses or uncertainty. Such expressions may be expressed with the preposition ili possibly combined with probability words such as hife, izy, hiku hini. The word ili can also be used to express doubt.
Example 1a: ije uduti o yfodyby = "he buys bananas".
Example 1b: ije ili uduti o yfodyby = "he is assumed to be buying bananas".
Example 2a: ilu ije hety uduti o yfodyby iwi imu hife uzuby hisu = "If he has bought bananas, then I may eat them" (chances are around 25%).
Example 2b: ilu ije ili hety uduti o yfodyby iwi imu hife hepa uzuby hisu = "Assuming that he bought bananas, then I might have eaten them."
Example 3a: ije uduti o yfodyby hipu = "Is he buying bananas?"
Example 3b: ili ije uduti o yfodyby hipu = "Could he be buying bananas?"
Example 3c: imu umino ije ili uduti o yfodyby = "I think he may be buying bananas"

Most simple sentences in Ygyde will have structures that do not deviate much from English. More complex phrases may seem complicated for beginners, but phrases written in Ygyde will generally be clearer and cause less risk for misinterpretation. Here is one example of a more complex sentence in Ygyde (with some words marked in bold characters or with underlining to simplify the reading, as well as possible extra use of e ... y marked as < ... >) to illustrate the strengths of the language:

There are two possible ways to write foreign names in Ygyde.