Ayola A Constructed Language Linking the Global Community
Part 1 – Introduction

1.1 History and Unique Features

1.1.1 History of Ayola

 
Ayola has been developed by the Ayola Research Group (ARG) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The language was given the name ‘Ayola’, from the Italian word aiola, meaning ‘flower garden’. This name expresses the orderliness and beauty which the developers have striven to give to the language: a phonetic alphabet, logical grammatical and word-building systems, as well as pleasing and easily-perceived sounds. In developing Ayola, the ARG has borrowed ideas from many natural languages as well as previous constructed languages such as Esperanto, Interlingua and Loglan, and introduced many new ideas of its own. The Ayola vocabulary is taken from many natural languages of the world, with a strong emphasis on European languages. In contrast to previous constructed languages, Ayola takes more words from the less-widely-spoken European languages, such as the Scandinavian languages, the Slavic languages, and other central and eastern European languages.

 

1.1.2 Unique Features of Ayola

Many features of Ayola, such as phonetic spelling, regular grammatical endings, etc. are shared with other existing constructed languages. However, in several important ways, Ayola is unique.  The principal unique features are as follows:

  1. Accentless Familiar Phonetic Spelling

     
    The Ayola alphabet uses 24 of the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet for spelling (q and x are used only as symbols). No accents are used in spelling Ayola words; the stress accents (´) and (`) are used to indicate irregular stress in Ayola approximations of foreign names and in interjections borrowed from natural languages.  All letters have phonetic values recognized by at least some of the major European languages.

  2. Strict Rules of WordBuilding

    The meanings of prefixes and suffixes are precisely defined and their rules of application strictly stated. Word compounding is an important process in Ayola but the rules for compounding words of the same part of speech are more restricted than in most other languages.

  3. Complete and Consistent Markings of the Parts of Speech

    All of the major parts of speech including prepositions are marked by characteristic word endings.  In addition, names derived from Ayola words have a characteristic word ending. There is a consistent relation between the derived parts of speech and the underlying fundamental form. (See Chapter 1.3 for definitions of these).  For example, the noun ending -o applied to a verb root yields a noun which denotes the subject of the action or relation expressed by the verb.  The noun denoting event abstraction requires a suffix.

  4. System of Verb Transitivity

    A consistent system for marking associated pairs of intransitive/transitive verbs makes it immediately clear whether a verb is used intransitively or transitively.

  5. System of Prepositions and Links

    A unique system of prepositions and links eliminates most of the ambiguities which occur in other languages due to the ambiguous syntactic function of prepositions. Both prepositions and links precede nouns and form phrases. However, prepositional phrases modify verbs and are free to move around in a sentence whereas link phrases modify nouns and are bound to a position following the modified noun. Links are formed from prepositions by distinctive prefixes.

  6. Equivalence between Complex Derived Adjectives and Linked Phrases

    Every complex derived adjective has a one-to-one correspondence with a linked phrase of identical meaning.  Ambiguities due to the notoriously vague meanings of adjectival suffixes are eliminated.

  7. Precise and Familiar Vocabulary

    In the great majority of cases the Ayola root of the word for a concept is identical to the root used in one or more natural languages, but the Ayola word is often defined more precisely. Most of the lexical ambiguities which are still present in most international languages are eliminated.  Shades of meaning and specific technical meanings are allowed. The major portion of the vocabulary is easily recognizeable by speakers of major European languages.

  8. Distinctness of International Combining Forms

    A large number of international combining forms, such as kata-, meta- and mono-, are used only as combining forms which are parts of longer words. The possible roots within them (kat-, met-, mon-) are not used as Ayola roots. This restriction completely eliminates many potential ambiguities which might result if such possible roots were used both within combining forms and as roots. Ayola draws from such a large number of languages that it is always possible to find a suitable alternative root and maintain the distinctness of the combining form.

  9. Simple Ayola Equivalents of Linnaean Terms

    Ayola provides a simple set of rules for converting the internationally-used Latin Linnaean names for animals, plants, clouds, etc. into equivalent Ayola form. Genus and species words take the noun ending –o; descriptive adjectives take the ending –a; relational adjectives take the ending –ay. The resulting Ayola terms are almost always very similar to the original Latin ones but are simple and uniform in their word endings and satisfy the rules of Ayola grammar. For common animals and plants whose Latin name does not contain a species word, Ayola also derives a single-word term for that species from the natural languages.

1.2 Spelling and Pronunciation

1.2.1 The Ayola Alphabet

Ayola is a phonetic language, which means every sound is consistently spelled with a unique letter or letter combination. The Ayola alphabet has twenty-eight characters. Ayola uses as characters twenty-four of the twenty-six letters of the Latin alphabet (all except for q and x) and four digraphs (the two-letter combinations dj, dz, tc, and ts).
 
Here is the complete alphabet, with a key to Ayola pronunciation.

 

Table 1.2-1 The Ayola Alphabet

Character

Character Name

Sound

A a

a

A as in akto (act)

B b

bew

B as in bebo (baby)

C c

coy

C as in caro (car)

D d

daw

D as is dotro (daughter)

DJ dj

dju

DJ as in djaro (year)

DZ dz

dzow

DZ as in rudzo (rust)

E e

e

E as in elfo (elf)

F f

fey

F as in fakto (fact)

G g

gow

G as in gazono (grass)

H h

hey

H as in hando (hand)

I i

i

I as in inko (ink)

J j

jow

J as in juvelo (jewel)

K k

koy

K as in kilto (kilt)

L l

ley

L as in lingo (language)

M m

mey

M as in manio (mania)

N n

nay

N as in naso (nose)

O o

o

O as in okazo (occasion)

P p

pey

P as in pelvo (pelvis)

R r

ray

R as in ritmo (rhythm)

S s

say

S as in salo (salt)

T t

tay

T as in teho (tea)

TC tc

tci

TC as in tcefo (chef)

TS ts

tsey

TS as in pitso (pizza)

U u

u

U as in ulno (ulna)

V v

vew

V as in valvo (valve)

W w

woy

W as in wato (watt)

Y y

yay

Y as in yogo (yoga)

Z z

zaw

Z as in zipo (zipper)

 

Every letter is pronounced in Ayola, even in the cases of two identical consonants or vowels occurring together, as in ennaciona (national), which is pronounced as [en-na-ci-O-na], and riinventare (to reinvent), >which is pronounced as [ri-in-ven-TA-re].



 

1.2.2. Stress

a. Normal

Ayola vocabulary words are always pronounced with the stress on the penultimate or next-to-the-last syllable. Note the following examples where the stressed syllable is capitalized.

 

alu [A-lu] glaco [GLA-co] instruktats [in-STRUK-tats]
vodo [VO-do] kanuo [ka-NU-o] instruktare [in-struk-TA-re]
medu [ME-du] rodeo [ro-DE-o] dikcionario [dik-ci-o-na-RI-o]
patro [PA-tro] manio [ma-NI-o] fotografo [fo-to-GRA-fo]
dyaza [DYA-za] kalorio [ka-lo-RI-o] fotografio [fo-to-gra-FI-o]

 

b. Abnormal

No accents are used in the spelling of native Ayola words. Names of non-Ayola origin are approximated using the Ayola alphabet and the stress accents – acute (´) and grave (`) – if necessary to indicate abnormal stress. The acute accent indicates that a normally unstressed syllable is stressed (Bárbara), whereas the grave accent indicates that a normally stressed syllable is not stressed (Kùsto). Interjections borrowed from natural languages may also use the stress accents (olé, hurá, etc.).


 

1.2.3. Hyphens

In Ayola, hyphens are used to:

  1. separate the powers-of-ten places in quantifiers and numbers as in dec-una (eleven), trestcen-dusdec-kwino (three hundred twenty-five)
     
  2. prevent complex words from dividing into incorrect units of meaning as in *nonegzistayto (*no negzistayto) → non-egzistayto (nonexistence)
    *nonadhera (*no nadhera) → non-adhera (non-adherent)

     

1.2.4. Special Cases for Word Combination

In forming complex words by combining simple words of different parts of speech, the part-of-speech endings in the words preceding other words are sometimes dropped, the roots placed directly adjacent to one another and pronounced without a pause or intervening sound.

  • en- + zgrad- + a → enzgrada indoor
  • av- + fol- + a → avfola leafy

However, there are two special cases:

 

  1. The final sound of one root and the initial sound of a second root form a double consonant or double vowel.
    In this case, a brief pause must be made between the two consonants or two vowels so that both of them are heard distinctly.
     
    en- + nacion- + a → ennaciona national

    ri + invent- + are → riinventare to reinvent

  2.  

  3. A root is unpronounceable before any consonant.
    In this case, a brief neutral vowel (schwa) is inserted between the first root and the second root in pronunciation, but is not represented in the written form.

     
    long- + fol- + a à longfola long-leaved

1.3 Word Forms

 1.3.1 Classification of Words

Words in Ayola may be classified according to several different criteria: by morphemes, by part of speech, and by fundamentalness. Classification by morphemes is based on whether words consist of one, or more than one morpheme. A morpheme is a unit of meaning; the English word walk comprises one morpheme (which conveys the verbal action “walk”), while the word pears comprises two morphemes (pear, which conveys the noun meaning “pear” and -s, which conveys plural number). Classification by part of speech is based on the syntactic function of words, roughly what they do in a sentence. More complete definitions and treatments of the various parts of speech can be found in the respective chapters of the guide. Classification by fundamentalness is based on whether or not a particular word form is in the base, or fundamental part of speech for that word root. For example, donare (to give) is fundamental, while dono (a gift) is simply derived, because the root don- is fundamentally verbal in Ayola.

 

Classification By Morphemes

  1. Elementary: A word containing only one morpheme. (myo: me, la: the, no: not)
  2. Compound: A word containing two or more morphemes. (humano: human, lergare: to read, cakyo: everyone)

 

Classification by Part of Speech

  1. Noun: A noun denotes a person, place, thing, or idea.  The singular forms of nouns have the –o ending and the plural forms have the –oy ending.
  2. Descriptive Adjective: An adjective modifies a noun, noun phrase, or another adjective, describing how or what its argument is.  Descriptive adjectives end in –a.
  3. Relational Adjective:  A relational adjective modifies a noun, and describes the relationship between the derived adjective and the noun. Relational adjectives end in -ay or -way.
  4. Verb: A verb denotes an action.  The infinitive form of verbs has the –are ending.  Verb tenses are conjugated as follows:
    lergare   to read

    present lergats
    past lergits
    future lerguts
  5. Preposition: A preposition describes relations between words.  They modify nouns, noun phrases, verbs, or whole sentences.  Prepositions end in either –u or –ew.
  6. Quantifier: A quantifier is a determiner that denotes quantity.  They take the adjective endings –a or –ay.
  7. Determiner:  A determiner is a short function words that serve to disambiguate the precise reference of a noun or noun phrase.  This category includes possessive pronouns and quantifiers.  Some examples: la (the), myoza (my), le (a/an).
  8. Adverb: An adverb modifies an adjective or a verb and has the –e ending.
  9. Link: A link describes relations between words like prepositions, but links tightly bind elements together. Links modify nouns and always begin with either j- or c-; non-elementary links end in -u.

Fundamental or Derived?

  1. The part of speech is its fundamental part of speech if no derivations have been made.
  2. The part of speech of a simply derived* word is changed from its fundamental part of speech by changing the ending.
  3. In an inflected* word, the form of the word is changed (but not the part of speech) by changing the ending.

*The processes of simple derivation and inflection do not affect the number of morphemes a word contains.

 

 

 1.3.2 Fundamental and Derived Forms of the Parts of Speech

The roots of all simple words, i.e. those consisting of a root plus an ending, are associated with a fundamental part of speech.  Other parts of speech may be derived from the roots by changing the word ending applied to the root; legal derivations are listed in the following table.

 

Fundamental Part of Speech Derived Parts of Speech
Noun/Pron Adj (desc) Adj (rel) Verb Prep Quant Det Adv* Link*
Noun F D D
Adjective D F D D
Verb D D D F D
Preposition D D D D F D D
Quantifier D   F D
Determiner D   F

 

*Note that relational adjectives, adverbs, and links are only derived parts of speech and have no fundamental form.

 

 1.3.3 Elementary Words

There are 82 elementary words in Ayola. These words are designed to be short and distinct; they are functional words and most are very common in typical usage. Several classes of words within the elementary words are distinguished by their initial letters. It can be seen that all elementary words beginning with ‘c’ are connectives, words beginning with ‘d’ are pronouns, words beginning with ‘h’ are interrogatives, words beginning with ‘j’ are links, words beginning with ‘k’ are clausal words, words beginning with ‘l’ are articles, and words beginning with ‘n’ are negation words.

 

Ayola Word Meaning
adiu goodbye
ake that
aloa hello
aveu welcome
byu by
caw or (exclusive)
cay or (inclusive), and/or
ce and
cke and jointly
cpe and then
ci if
cnoci whether-or-not
coe but
cu then (used with ci, etc.)
cwa to/for
cwe and/with/to/from
cwi if-and-only-if
dwa it #1
dwi divided by
dwo it #2
dya he/she #1
dyo he/she #2
dza it
dze there
gratsi thank you
hwa which?
hwande when?
hwe how?, to what degree?
hwerve where?
hwo what?
hworde how?, by what method?
hworfe why?
hya what kind of?
hye how?, in what manner?
hyo who?
iyo one
ja of (used/owned by)
jbi of (which is)
je of (which is part of)
ji of (done by)
jwa of (using/owning)
jwe of (containing)
jwi of (as object)
ke that
kuye whether (yes/no clause)
kyake such that
kyasu such as
kye that
kyo who/which
kyu of the choice of
la the
le a/the
lo the
moy we/us
mwa times, multiplied by
mye minus
myo I/me
necwi unless
neoy neither
nio it is not the case that …
no not
now no
noy nor
nuo it’s nothing
nurci only-if
ow oh
plea please
poa to the power of
pwi (left grouping operator)
pwo plus
pyu (right grouping operator)
rua to the…th root
sua sub (subscript)
swe so
sya such a
syo himself/herself/itself
tyo one
voy you
vu you
ya yes
ye is/does?
zay let/may

 1.3.4 Simple Words

The following table lists the basic endings for the fundamental parts of speech along with the inflected endings (shaded rows) for nouns and verbs.  These endings are placed on roots to forms simple words.

 

Fundamental
Part of Speech
Ending Meaning Ayola Example English
Noun -o singular libro book
  -oy plural libroy books
Adjective -a descriptive adjective bela beautiful
Verb -are infinitive lergare to read
  -ats present tense lergats reads
  -its past tense lergits read
  -uts future tense lerguts will read
  -aw imperative mood lergaw read!
Preposition -u preposition overu above
  -ew preposition (object reference) ezew as (object reference)
Quantifier -a quantifier dusa two
Determiner -a determiner tisa this

 

 1.3.5 Complex Words

Roots of various parts of speech may be joined together in order to replace a longer phrase or set of words with a single complex, but compact word. The rules for when to make use of the long or short forms of these phrases can be found in the corresponding chapters of the guide.

 

Examples of Complex Words Formed by Joining Roots

Ayola Phrase English Ayola Complex Word English Complex Word
delu prapu from behind delprapu
jenu centro in a center encentra central
kwantu sesa futoy to the degree of six feet sesfute six-foot
javu rufa haro having red hair rufhara red-haired
javu dusa gamboy having two legs dusgamba two-legged
janu caka djurno on each day cakdjurna daily

Examples of Complex Words Formed by Collapsing Relative Adjectives

Ayola Phrase English Ayola Complex Word English Complex Word
vodway botelo water bottle vodwebotelay kapo water-bottle cap
vortway kreyajo word creation vortwekreyajway grupo word-creation group
oceanay vodo ocean water oceanevoday termperaturo ocean-water temperature
zgraday kelsenso building height zgradekelsensway specifikimo building-height specification

Examples of Complex Words Formed with the Infix –i-*

Ayola Phrase English Phrase Ayola Complex Word English Complex Word
parce katsa ce parce fema samyo partly cat and partly woman someone katsifemo catwoman
parce bona ce parce mala partly good and partly bad bonimala good-and-bad
parce ruja ce parce alba ce parce blua partly red and partly white and partly blue rujialbiblua red-white-and-blue

 
*The infix –i- is never used with prepositions, quantifiers or determiners.

 

 1.3.6 Resolution of Word Boundaries

Ayola achieves unambiguous word boundary resolution by the following restrictions on the choice of words:

  1. No word can begin with the consonants ts-, w-, or y-.*
  2. No word can begin with a syllable which is an elementary word, such as ce, ja, la, myo, pyu, etc.*

* A few highly recognizable international and Linnaean words beginning with ts/w/y or ce/ci/cu/ja/je/ji/ke/la/le/lo/no are allowed such as tsunamo (tsunami), keroseno (kerosene), labirinto (labyrinth), leopardo (leopard), logaritmo (logarithm) and nobeliumo (nobelium), as long as the string of sounds which follows the initial syllable, i.e. unamo, roseno, birinto, opordo, garitmo and beliumo, is not and never will be an Ayola word. In these cases the word-boundary resolution is still unique but it depends on knowledge of the vocabulary.

 

 1.3.7 Interjections

Interjections operate independently of the syntax of a sentence.  There are no native Ayola interjections.  All interjections are treated as adopted foreign words, and as such may use one of Ayola’s stress accents.

waw

wow

hurá

hurrah

olé

olé

 1.3.8 Punctuation and Special Symbols

 

Punctuation and several other symbols in Ayola have several word forms, depending on how they are being used. Like alphabet characters, punctuation marks each have a name, what they are called, and a pronunciation, what they sound like. In English, a simple example of this distinction is how the decimal point is treated. The character is typically called by name as period, decimal point, full stop, or otherwise, but it typically is pronounced either dot or point when used grammatically in speech.

 
Likewise, Ayola makes this distinction. The most important area in which it is made is with grouping characters and mathematical (or other) operators. When using grouping characters for mathematical or other purposes, Ayola provides two levels of specificity for determining order and membership of grouping. Initial and terminal grouping characters, often noted as “open” and “close” in spoken English, have short, distinctive pronunciations in Ayola. The general words for a pair of non-specific grouping operators are pwi, opening, and pyu, closing. Thus, in Ayola, the following expression “5 + (3 * 5)” would be spoken kwaro pwo pwi treso mwa kwaro pyu. Ayola also provides for distinction between levels of generic grouping and for explicit grouping. The generic grouping operators do not have names, only pronunciations (do we want this to be true?).

 
The explicit grouping operators have names as well as pronunciations and they establish a relationship which can be used for other delimiters. The system is extensible; for example, commas sometimes function as delimiters for clauses in sentences, as in the sentence the night, which was cold, wet, and miserable, was a night to remember. The first and fourth comma in that sentence mark an appositive clause, which contains information that modifies the sentence’s subject, the night. Although these commas are typically not differentiated in English, Ayola offers the ability to do so for clarity. Since the Ayola word for comma is komaho, the opening and closing operator names would be komahwi and komahyu respectively.

Names and Pronunciations of Ayola Grouping
Operators and their English Equivalents

Opening Operator

Closing Operator

Symbolic Equivalent

English Word

Ayola Word

pwi

pyu

( ) (generic level 1)

pwe

pyo

( ) (generic level 2)

pway

pyoy

( ) (generic level 3)

parentezwi

parentezyu

( )

parenthesis

parentezo

braketwi

braketyu

[ ]

bracket

braketo

breyswi

breysyu

{ }

brace

breyso