How the Language Works

I was going to call this section "Grammar", but in truth, ta lo ne has no real grammar. However, it is not just a jumble of emotional syllables called a language, either. There are general guidelines for ta lo ne's basis and word order that make it more of a usable means of communication, which are below.

ta lo ne is much inspired by East Asian languages in that it is isolating, or analytic, in structure. In other words, it does not have the inflections (explained below) for tense, gender, number, and all that more "fancy" grammatical stuff that may have been perplexing, for example, if you're a Latin student.

1.) First things first, here is the alphabet. Vowels are pronounced clearly and distinctly as they would be in Italian or Spanish, and consonants are pronounced just as you would assume, i.e. as they are in English. All letters are completely phonetic and stand for only one sound.
Vowels: a, e, i, o, u
Consonants: m, p, t, n, l, k
Particle sound: x (has the sound of the "ch" in the Scottish "loch" or in "Bach", like the Chinese "h", o German "ch", or Esperanto "hx", i.e. a hard "h". Use is explained below in section 9)

Check out how the sound and words were decided on the FAQ page here.

2.) General Word Order: (optional subject) + verbal word + additional objects, descriptors, etc.

In other words, ta lo ne basically uses the same SVO word order as English does. Here are some examples that may help:

ta nu ne. Humans are able to speak. (literally 'human' 'know' 'speak')
pu mu. (I) feel happy. (literally 'feel' 'good/happy')

3.) Notice how the second sentence does not contain a subject. ta lo ne does not make use of true pronouns, prepositions, or other "inflections" like English, Spanish, or many other European languages do. Don't pass this up as crude or pidgin-like; many expressive and fully-functioning modern languages like Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and others have aspects of this feature.

4.) Because of its limited vocabulary, ta lo ne subtly forces the speaker to focus on the elemental meaning of what they're trying to convey. An example would be as such:

English: I very much have the strong desire to eat some food now.
ta lo ne: po pe mo. (literally 'strong' 'want' 'eat')

It's interesting how much you can fit into three small syllables. Think it's too vague and stupid? Please check out the FAQ page before you dismiss ta lo ne.

A couple more notes, keep it up, you're doing awesome:

5.) It is completely normal for a ta lo ne sentence to be comprised of only one word. For example:
ku! My, how beautiful it is! (literally 'beautiful'!)

6.) ta lo ne words are never capitalized, even at the beginning of a sentence or in a title (as you can see). One exception to this is for foreign or loan words, such as in the language toki pona. However, unlike toki pona, the foreign words receive no change in spelling, i.e. are not adapted into ta lo ne phonology.
ta Michael ni na. The man, Michael, is not satisfied. (literally 'man' 'Michael' 'no' 'satisfied/content')

Also, Arabic (our) numerals are used in writing (1, 2, 3,...) the language, and for spoken, there are no real words for numbers. Most of the time it is completely suiting just to say "few" or "a lot", or use context or displaying fingers for immediately apparent numbers.

7.) That brings me to another point. Adjectives and adverbs come before their respective noun or verb, as in English or German, but not like in Spanish. This includes the negation particle ni 'no'. For example:

te ku ta. You are a beautiful person. (literally 'you' 'beautiful' 'being/human')
ni nu ki lu. It is impossibly to kill a spirit. (literally 'no/not' 'possibility' 'kill/end' 'spirit')

8.) Please note these two common verb formations that will be useful in translating or speaking ta lo ne.

To form a hortatory subjunctive (ooh fancy), e.g. "let's go __(verb)__!", ta lo ne uses ko ka ('with' 'togetherness') + the verb, for example:
ko ka le to ku tu. Let's go look for a beautiful gift. (literally 'with' 'togetherness' 'to go/to act' 'seek' 'beautiful' 'gift/present/addition')

To form an imperative statement as in "Stop!" or "Don't do that!", ta lo ne uses reduplication of the verb, i.e. you say the verb twice. An exclamation point can be used if wanted, for example:
pu pu ko. Love everybody (and everything). (literally 'love' 'love' 'with/together/all')
ni pi pi ta! Don't kill things! (literally 'no/not' 'kill' 'kill' 'beings/things')

8.) Punctuation actually plays a pretty important role in ta lo ne. Each punctuation mark actually brings up some grammar points, so here we go.

Period (.) = indicates the end of an idea or phrase, as in English somewhat. But as you saw before, in note #5, it is normal for a ta lo ne sentence to only have one word.

Question mark (?) = indicates a question (with no change in the sentence word order) with a rise in vocal tone, as in most languages. Like "who isss iTT??" when you respond to the doorbell. However, to form questions, one may also add the word me ('question/unknowingness') to the end of the sentence. Meanings slightly change when you add me, making it more of a "aren't you___?" or "isn't it___?" kind of question, e.g.:
te mu? Are you happy? (literally 'you' 'happy/good'?)
te mu me? Are you happy? or You're happy, right? (literally 'you' 'happy/good' 'question'?)

Exclamation point (!) = indicates the same type of mood as in English, i.e. excitement or strong emotion. They're not really necessary but thought they would be fun and should be added into the language.

9.) Now, this is the last point that I am adding about two months after the creation of ta lo ne. I noticed in trying to use the language that it was impossible sometimes to create meaningful sentences because there was no conjunctive separator, or something like the words "for" "because" "thus that" "so to" "since" "that" "which" "who" to break up the very varied-meaning words in the language. This idea was sparked by Arpee's puna language. Let me give some examples to explain.

If I said "mo po tu nu.", and meant it as "Listen well in order to gain knowledge", without some kind of separator for the meaning of "to" or "in order to", it could be translated as "Receive many gifts to learn." or something else confusing. There needs to be word a here to separate. However, I wanted to keep the 30 words that were already in ta lo ne and make a separate particle (non-word) for this purpose. So, I've added the letter "x" as a particle that stands alone between the conjunctive clauses (if that's correct) to serve this needed purpose. See how to pronounce it in note #1 above.
Now the sentence is "mo po x tu nu." and can mean "Listen well to gain knowledge" as intended.

This is kind of strange, I realize, but I didn't just want to add punctuation because it would need to be heard if the language was spoken. I think this wispy "h" sound adds interest to the language, anyway. Let me know of any questions or suggestions on this topic.

10.) Just a final note that is very important. ta lo ne words are always written separately and never combined as syllables to form large words, such as in Arpee's puna and pulu, or I believe as in aUI, Esata, Vuyamu, or Sona. The thirty roots of ta lo ne are words, not syllables to make more confusing words. I think this is best for being able to actually learn to speak and use the language. Sometimes the numbers, etc. can just get too confusing. For example:
INCORRECT = talone. Life meaning language (ta lo ne itself).
CORRECT = ta lo ne. (Has same meaning, but is written separately.)

Last major change June 24, 2010.
This 'grammar' is continually being changed and elaborated. Eventually it will be redone to fit questions that come in, or more additions that I find suiting to make it more clear and usable. In general, you are free to be creative with how you use the words in ta lo ne. If you have any questions, email me as always.