Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Viko Notes

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 25, 2002, 6:16
I didn't comment on all the sections, because some of them are at least as
good as I could have made them.   As for the following points, have they
been made before?   We'll see...

Writing and sounds:

1.      Like the script!  And it's nice to hear from a kindred soul who likes to
keep phonology simple.

2.      If "k" is always pronounced as in "skin," "t" as in "stick," and "p" as
"spin," the unwary reader should know that these will sound voiced (like
/g/, /d/, and /b/) to English speakers at the beginnings of words.

3.      "v" without "f"?   Well, there's no law against that.  It seems a bit
odd, but I'll defer
to linguists' opinions about whether it happens in any natural language.

Basic Sentences:

1.      "The emphasis is at the beginning of the phrase."  Are these phrases or
sentences?  We could say that the focus comes first.  Using the term
"emphasis" is less technical, but unwary English speakers might assume that
the first phrase receives more stress.  Is that true?

2.      The pattern "A is a B" is rendered as "A va B vo kisi ta."

You can't use this pattern if "vo" is a direct object marker.  To preserve
the pattern, you could give "vo" two readings:  direct object marker OR
predicate marker.  Alternatively, you could have a different marker for
predicate nouns or pronouns.

3.      You could put the note on capitalization in the first section, where you
describe the script and punctuation.   In languages, as in life, hardly
anything is free.  :-)  Why not put the variability of capitalization to
work somehow?   e.g.  You could vary capitalization patterns to mark speaker
or writer attitudes.


1.      Here I'll be picky:   "ta," "ti," and "to" mark tenses, but "tata" marks
a mood.

2.      "A verb can be transitive or intransitive."   Oops, better show the
intransitive example.  If all verbs have transitive and intransitive
readings, a great many will have two different translations in English.
e.g.  to buy vs. go shopping, say (a cuss word) vs. cuss,  go vs. go to,
jump vs. jump over, and on and on.


1.      Like your alternative ways of marking plurals.

2.      "The opposite of a word can be indicated by pi'i."   You could say "When
a word is premodified by 'pi'i,' it means the opposite of what it usually


1.      Nice relative clauses.  "vo" and "va" sure come in handy!

2.      Are you sure you want dependent clauses *always* at the beginning of the


If you use preformatting, and use tables to arrange the entries before
converting them back to text in your original document, you could arrange
the entries in columns, and easily produce Viko-English & English-Viko

Hope these comments help.  All are invited to correct me if I'm wrong.



Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>