This is intended to be a large tutorial that becomes increasingly complex. Once you've mastered this, you've mastered most of Brevlo.
- letter - /IPA/ - Example.
- a - /ɑ/, /a/, or /ä/ - Always a "short A" sound as in "father" or "fawn".
- b - /b/ - Always a "b" sound as in "boy".
- c - /ʃ/ - Always an "sh" sound as in "ocean" or "racial".
- d - /d/ - Always the "d" sound as in "dog".
- e - /ɛ/ or /e̞/ - Always a true "e" sound as in "error" or "egg".
- f - /f/ - Always as an "f" as in "fancy".
- g - /g/ - Always a hard "g" sound as in "gun" or "glory".
- h - /h/ or /x/ - As either a soft "h" as in "help" or a "hard h" as in "hanukkah".
- i - /i/ - Pronounced as the "i" in "ski" or "ring".
- j - /ʒ/ - Pronounced as the "j" in "bonjour" or as the "s" in "measure".
- k - /k/ - Pronounced the same as in English.
- l - /l/ - Always as an "l", as in "lilly".
- m - /m/ - Always as an "m" as in "mother".
- n - /n/ - Always as an "n" as in "nanny".
- o - /o/ - Always the long "o" sound as in "post" or "rope".
- p - /p/ - Always a "p" sound as in "police".
- r - /r/, /ɹ/ or /ɾ/ - Always an "r" sound as in "rat". A trill can be applied for cleared pronunciation.
- s - /s/ - Always makes the "s" sound as in "sound" or "sister".
- t - /t/ - Pronounced the same as in English.
- u - /ʉ/ or /u/ - Always as a long "u".
- v - /v/ - Pronounced the same as in English.
- x - ?
- z - /z/ - Pronounced as it is in English.
- y - /ɨ/, /ɪ/, or /ʊ/ - Not really a part of the Brevlo alphabet, but used to separate difficult to pronounce consonant clusters.
Compound vowels (aka "diphthongs") are just two or more vowels that form a complete sound. In Brevlo these are:
- ai - /ai/ - Pronounced like "ay" in "Maya" or just like "ai" in "haiku" or "OH HAI!".
- ei - /ei/ - Pronounced like the "ei" in "weight".
- oi - /oi/ - Pronounced like "oi" in "oil" or "coin".
Compound consonants (aka "digraphs") are just two or more consonants that sort of naturally "blend together" to form a complete sound.
- tc - /tʃ/ - The "ch" sound as in "which witch".
- dj - /dʒ/ - The hard "j" sound as in "judge".
Parts of Speech
- End in the letter "o"
- Can be singular or plural
- hundo - A Dog
- veko - A Vehicle
- mivo - Me/I
- vuvo - You
- lovo - A Love
- belo - A Beauty
- baito - A bite
- toro - A Destination
- fromo - An Origin
- narbo - A Tree
- mono - A Person
- taimo - A Time
- poeso - An Owner
- poesoznako - Ownership (compound word).
Adjectives, Adverbs, and Articles
- End in the letter "a"
- Grouped by the "ca" struktuzvorto.
- bela - Beautiful
- sala - The
- bona - Good/Well
- fasta - Fast
- larja - Large
- nota - Not
- runu - Run
- movu - Move
- draivu - Drive/To go forward
- havu - Has/Have
- besu - Be/Is/Are/Am
- nendju - Enjoy
Keywords are Brevlo's answer to prepositions and conjunctions. They always end in "e" and are terminated with "ce".
- nete - And
- knire - Or/XOR (exclusive)
- nire - Or (inclusive)
- dure - During
- taime - At (time)
- tore - To/Toward
- frome - From
Much of Brevlo's strength comes from the way it handles inquisition. Any Brevlo word can be made into an "inquisitor" which is just a word that specifies a question.
- Inquisitors end in i.
- Any Brevlo word can be an inquisitor.
- taimi - What time? (When?)
- taimo = time; taimi = what time/s?
- resni - What reason? (Why?)
- resno = reason; resni = what reason/s?
- hundi - What dog?
- This might be a response to mivo vidu cu hundo, for example.
Structuring words are single-syllable words that start with "c". They are the only words that start with "c" in Brevlo. They can be left off the end of a sentence.
- ca - Used to group adjectives and adverbs.
- ce - Used to group and terminate keyword phrases.
- mivo runu cu tore hundo sala.
- veko sala draivu cu tore mivo.
- "The vehicle drives toward me."
- mivo nete hundo sala ce draivu.
- "Me and the dog drive."
- Notice that ce terminates nete which groups mivo and hundo sala together.
- vuvo draivu fasta cu tore narbo sala.
- "You drive fast (quickly) toward the tree."
- If you haven't noticed by now, cu terminates the end of a verb phrase. Things between the verb and cu apply to the verb. So in this case, fasta is an adverb.
Brevlo numbers are joined by z to form complete numbers.
- neno - 0 - Zero
- lulo - 1 - One
- dado - 2 - Two
- tito - 3 - Three
- kako - 4 - Four
- fifo - 5 - Five
- seso - 6 - Six
- vavo - 7 - Seven
- gugo - 8 - Eight
- jijo - 9 - Nine
These numbers can be combined to form other numbers.
- lulozneno - 10 - Ten
- jijozdado - 92 - Ninety two.
- titozvavozdado - 374 - Three hundred seventy four.
- dadozfifozkiloz, sesozjijozjijo - 25,699 - Twenty five thousand six hundred ninety nine.
- kilo is a term for "thousand" its usage is optional, but helps quickly tell the listener the order of magnitude of the number.
- In Brevlo, the comma (,) simply indicates a slight pause (about 1/4 second). Spaces and commas are also optional.
Noun vs. Adjective Numbers
The noun form ends in "o" but the adjective form of numbers end in "a". Writing 77, for example, would be vavozvavo, but writing "77 dogs" would be hundo vavazvava — of course you could just use the number.
Grouping Nouns and Phrases
Nouns and phrases can be grouped with keywords. The grouping helps a listener or reader know when a keyword phrase (or "prepositional" phrase) ends. Note: ce can be left off the end of a sentence, as a period (.) terminates all open keywords.
- mivo draivu cu tore domo sala ce hundo sala.
- "I drive the dog to the home."
- Literally: "I drive to-the-destination-of the home, the dog."
- ce terminates the prepositional phrase opened by tore.
- Bill nete Sally ce nire Clara nete Jill dace
- "((Bill and Sally) or (Clara and Jill))"
- Bill and Sally are grouped as are Clara and Jill.
- dace is like closing the last two open parentheses, you could also use ce ce instead.
- Samantha nete Billy ce frome Washington ce draivu cu tore Alabama.
- "Samantha and Billy who are both from Washington drive to Alabama."
- Here the first ce groups Samantha with Billy, and the second ce closes the keyword phrase which was opened by frome.
Verbs and Keywords
In English, people can be confused by phrases such as "I'm driving Bill from Alabama." Does that mean that Bill is from Alabama, or that I'm driving Bill and I'm driving from Alabama? Brevlo handles this easily.
- mivo draivu cu Bill frome Alabama.
- "I'm driving Bill who is from Alabama."
- mivo draivu cu frome Alabama ce Bill.
- "I'm driving from Alabama, and I'm driving Bill."
- mivo draivu cu Bill cu frome Alabama.
- This is the same as ... draivu cu frome Alabama ce Bill, since frome comes after an extra cu which is just a placeholder for the verb.
Even though Brevlo verbs are relatively easy (this includes the comparison to other constructed languages like Esperanto) you should spend a decent amount of time reading over the examples.
Adverbs to Modify Tense
Brevlo does not modify the verb to change tense. In fact, tense is entirely optional with Brevlo if a time indicator is specified. For example, in English we might say "I will run tomorrow", but in Brevlo you could just as easily say "I run tomorrow".
The most common tense-manipulating adverbs are the following:
- kura - Present progressive tense. Think "currently".
- preva - Past simple tense. Think "previously".
- posta - Future simple tense. Think "post" as in "after".
- prieva - Past progressive tense.
- piosta - Future progressive tense.
- pava - Makes the verb passive.
- nota - Negates the verb.
"runu" Tense Example
- mivo runu. - "I run"
- mivo runu kura. - "I am running"
- mivo runu preva. - "I ran"
- mivo runu posta. - "I will run"
- mivo runu prieva. - "I was running"
- mivo runu piosta. - "I will be running"
- mivo runu prieva pava. - "I was being ran"
- mivo runu piosta nota. - "I will not be running"
- mivo runu cu taime nektazdago. - "I will run tomorrow"
- Notice that posta is not needed when a time is specified.
- taime is just a keyword that indicates an point in time; nektazdago is the point in time of the sentence.
- mivo runu kura cu taime nektazdago. - "I will be running tomorrow"
- kura could be swapped with piosta if one wishes to do so.
Verbs can be grouped within keywords for the purpose of reusing the subject or object.
- mivo runu cu taime nektazdago ce nete draivu piosta cu tore Kansas.
- "I will run tomorrow and (I) will be driving towards Kansas (at some point)."
- mivo runu nete draivu ce kura cu taime nektazdago.
- "I will be running and driving tomorrow."
- The above is a much shorter version of mivo runu kura cu nete draivu kura cu ce taime nektazdago which means the same thing. (It's like saying "I will be running and will be driving tomorrow")
Imperative verbs (also known as "command" verbs) are treated exactly the same way as normal verbs, but are wrapped in an attitude indicator. The attitude indicators
are special classes of words that will be covered later. For now, just know that commands will be trivial.
Infinitives are verbs that are often prefixed with "to" in English. Examples include "I like to run" with "to run" being the infinitive. In Brevlo, there are three distinct ways to think about infinitives.
Warning: infinitives can seem complicated when you're used to a language like English.
The keyword dose indicates that the subject on the left does the action following dose. It places the subject at the beginning of the keyword phrase started by dose.
- mivo nendju cu dose draivu veko sala.
- The same as saying mivo nendju cu nake mivo draivu veko sala.
- "I enjoy the act of me drive(-ing) the vehicle"
- "I like/enjoy (nendju) to drive the vehicle."
- vuvo nendju nota cu dose runu.
- "You do not like to run."
- hundo sala nendju cu dose runu.
The keyword rese is just like dose except that it uses the passive version, and places the subject on the left at the end of the keyword phrase started by rese.
- mivo nendju cu rese draivu.
- hundo sala nendju cu rese runu.
- "The dog likes to be ran."
The keyword nake indicates the "act" of something.
- mivo nendju cu nake hundo runu.
- "I like it when dogs run" literally: "I enjoy the act of dogs running."
- mivo vantu cu nake vuvo runu.
- "I want you to run" literally: "I desire [the act of you running]."
- mivo vantu cu nake vuvo draivu cu mivo cu tore O'Hare ce taime nektazdago.
- "I want you to drive me to O'Hare tomorrow."
- Literally: "I want the act of [you driving me to the destination of O'Hare tomorrow]."
Why do we say mivo vantu cu nake vuvo draivu cu mivo instead of mivo vantu cu vuvo dose draivu cu mivo? ("I want the act of you driving me" instead of "I want you to drive me").
The first one specifies that you're solely interested in the act of being driven. The second one says "I want you (who does the act of driving me)". Either one can be correct depending on context. Just remember, if you're trying to specify the act of something then use nake.
Adjectives, articles, and adverbs (A-words) can be grouped with ca. Grouping allows one to specify the exact order that A-words are applied to a noun.
Why Group A-Words?
Take the following sentence:
That can be interpreted a few different ways:
- The home for a large dog.
- The large home for a dog of unspecified size.
- A home for the large dog.
- A large home for the dog.
- The large home for a large dog.
Brevlo fixes this by having a built-in order for A-words.
- domo sala larja hundo.
- A-words that aren't grouped all apply to the first noun of a segment. The noun that they apply to in this example is domo (home).
- This means "The large home of a dog."
- domo sala hundo larja ca.
- Here ca groups larja with hundo.
- This means "The home of a large dog."
- This is the same as saying domo sala fove hundo larja.
- domo ruja norja sala
- "The orange and red house."
- domo ruja norja ca sala
- veko hundo sala
- veko hundo sala ca
- veko sala hundo sala ca
- domo sala hundo ruja larja sala tica
- "The home of the large and red dog."
- tica is an alias for ca ca ca, which groups ruja, larja, and sala with hundo.
- You could also use: "domo sala poese hundo larja ruja sala" to be more specific.
- "The home which is owned by the large and red dog"