Esper Word Lists
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In this section of the WikiBook Esper you will find an index to some Esper' word lists with a small sampling of Esper' words, roughly translated into various languages and categorized by formal qualification, with a special section for words which have been entered into the list as word stems or without formal qualification being specified. In the Esper' language, formal qualification of a word is marked by an apostrophe character preceding the grammatical word ending. Everything before the apostrophe is then considered to be a word stem, which may consist of any number of roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
At the heading for each word list you will find a short description of the word structure that list is based on. Note that words are chosen to be in a list based on having a particular form, which indicates a particular way that the word MAY BE interpreted, although the translations listed may indicate some other interpretation and in fact the most common interpretation may be either or neither. The main reason for these word lists is to help the student of the Esper' language to get a better feel for how the same Esper' word may take on various meanings, but in ways which are tied to the form of the word rather than entirely arbitrary reasons, although the history of a particular word still plays a roll in such ambiguity but the Esper' language is designed to help iron out such wrinkles over time by connecting all words in the language into a simple multidimensional linguistic fabric.
Under the English translation of a word, you may notice some notes on how the Esper' word may be broken down into English translations of various parts of the word. Keep in mind that a word in one language may often translate into several or even many words in another language and the Esper' language is no exception. However, this formal system of breaking down a word into possible constituent parts from which it "could have been constructed" may shed a little light on how some of these different translations might be understood and learned, often even without having encountered them. Some such possible breakdowns of a word may be entirely nonsensical, but if you wish to learn faster, try to imagine how each of them "could be used" and try to think of a single word or short phrase in your first language which may more or less match what sense you can make of each individual breakdown of an Esper' word in the list.
You may notice that each Esper' word is capable of being transformed into any basic part of speech through the use of a simple derivational ending. With such endings left off, the word is grammatically ambiguous and may be used as any part of speech, although your understanding of the word may make more sense in one role than another. If you encounter a word being used without formal qualification in a role that makes no sense to you, keep in mind that the writer or speaker may be thinking of the word in a different way and may even be using a parallel construction of the same word from out of different parts. This can be a beautiful tool for humor, and playing with a language is a good way to make learning it less of a chore.
Also note that the construction breakdowns listed in English for a particular Esper' word are for the form of that word rather than the listed translation. The breakdown for that specific translation may or may not be listed. If all else fails, treat the Esper' word like you would a word from any other language when it comes to learning a particular translation or definition, but know that what you learn about deriving, inflecting, conjugating, breaking down, and building up any word in the Esper' language is applicable to EVERY word in the Esper' language, and while this may be of little use in the case of a few words, such as the direct article la', or the indirect article o', know that they are not exceptions either and you are free to explore the possibilities.
That brings us to an important point about word breakdowns. The fully qualified form of the direct article is la'ya which specifies that it is a classifier word, but it is well established in this roll so full qualification should be rather unnecessary. However, adding the ending onto such a word WITHOUT the apostrophe to clearly show that the additional letters are meant to clarify and qualify the word, can result in a word form which is more ambiguous and less likely to be recognized. laya could be taken as lay'a which is an adjective rather than a classifier, with the potential for the "y" to be seen as a suffix denoting a "familiar form" of a word, or may be taken by the reader as part of a previously unencountered word root "lay" with an unknown meaning. In many such cases, the spoken stress just before the word ending would clarify such an ambiguity when speaking rather than writing, but in this particular case because there is no vowel involved in the ambiguous placement of the implied apostrophe, both forms would be pronounced the same.
If you are speaking to a person directly, that person may have the opportunity to ask for clarification when a word, phrase, or anything else, is not clearly understood. The medium of writing does not as frequently afford such opportunities. For this reason it is always a good idea to clarify what you can, and use the apostrophe to mark the stressed syllable at the end of each word stem, after all suffixes and before the role ending, so that the reader should at least have no doubt about what past of speech the word was meant to function as and what part of the word is not included in the grammatical role ending. The apostrophe is always optional, so feel free to add it where you think it belongs and to leave it out when you see fit to, but at least now you should have a reasonable understanding of how it can be useful and why it is used in the first place.
There are of course many opportunities for ambiguity which will not be cleared up by an apostrophe or spoken stress in just the right place. For example, the incisive ending "aw" is indistinguishable from the composite ending "aw" designating a singular adjective. This should be no trouble at all for people communicating with each other who's first language does not distinguish number in adjectives, but someone who's first language always makes the adjective agree in number with the noun it modifies may find this to be an annoying ambiguity at first. The existence of the incisive form is inherited from Esperanto and the support of an explicit singular adjectival form is both to allow more detailed clarification when necessary and to not violate the rule of the Esper' language having no "exceptions" by allowing the singular marker "w" to be attached to the end of any role ending in its proper place, which would be just before the nominative marker "z" or the accusative marker "n" if used, and after everything else. Leaving the grammatical singular marker off does NOT make the word plural, but does allow for the possibility of people interpreting it as what ever number makes sense to them.
This section is being developed mainly offline, so it is recommended that suggested that direct editing of this section specifically be left to the original author, for now, so that edits are not accidentally lost. The lists in this section are intended to help people studying the Esper' language to build their vocabulary, but should also support the linguistic concepts intended to be presented in this book.
Each word list highlights a specific morphological factor. Many of the actual words in a given list may be there because their spelling allows them to "pass for" being in the given category, even though the definition listed with them may indicate that it was just a coincidence, think about how you may be able to tie such meanings together in your mind and this should help you to learn their meanings faster as well as prepare you for the possibility that someone may actually use such an alternative interpretation some day. Imagine how someone could play with the potential for dual meanings. If you are into comedy and word play this should really give you something to think about. The idea is that a person who is new to the language should be able to use recognizable patterns without ever having to worry that they may be fine under certain circumstances but unacceptable under other circumstances. For example, if you learn that the prefix "mal" forms the opposite of something, and then you come across a word with a stem that starts with "mal" causing it to "look like" the prefix you had learned, it should be perfectly fine for you to remove that "apparent prefix" and adjust the meaning of the resulting word accordingly. Look for useful examples of this concept as you browse each word list. In any language there are always endless ways to say something nonsensical or useless, but learning to say something useful can be a bit of a chore. Try to make it more like play as you study the Esper' language and trust that quite alright to do so.
The Number Prefixes lists contain words which either have, or could pass for having, numeric prefixes. This includes prefixes which indicate such things as "all" or "some" as well as the actual words for the single digit numbers which may be used to modify any word but are particularly useful for attaching to number name stems. For example, du means "two" and dudek means twenty. The word kvindek means "fifty" and kvinmi roughly translates to "we five".
The lists of words with Terminating Suffixes will contain spelling patterns which seem to indicate a possible suffix that generally doesn't come before other suffixes.
The conjugating suffixes list is where you will find the kinds of suffixes which can be joined together or can receive a terminating suffix as the final part of a fully constructed word stem. These are the conjoining suffixes which for the most part may just as easily come in one order as another, depending the intended meaning to be expressed. Suffixes for finite verbs such as gerunds and participles should come after these if they occur in the same word, but before any terminating suffix at the end of the stem. You can find them listed separately in the Participles lists. Keep in mind that each "word" has a life of its own, and the parts it seems to be made of do not completely define it. They are more like guides to help keep things sensible and help make recognized patterns mean something. Look for patterns between the vowel in a particular suffix and how that suffix relates to another with the same consonants in the same order. Again, such patterns are not guaranteed to be followed by any particular speaker or writer, but you are free to use them and set the example for others to follow.
These are a type of conjugating suffix, but should generally be placed between any other conjugating suffix and any terminating suffix, when they are used in the same word. Use these suffixes to conjugate verbs and to form such things as gerunds and participles. The word lists should should you enough examples to get you started.
You will generally find Inflectional Role Endings right on the very end of those Esper' words which use them. That's their word construction pattern and it's how they can be recognized. Specifically, you may notice that these contain the endings for case and number, which when found together always end in the case rather than the number. The Esper' language supports many "optional" features, which may feel absolutely necessary to one person and completely useless to another person. For example many languages have plural adjectives. English does not. As English speaker may see no use for the plural form of "hot" or the explicitly singular form of "cold" but it shouldn't be difficult to prepare yourself for the day when someone else chooses to use such constructions. Generally a plural adjective doesn't add anything to a sentence if the noun it modifies specifies that it is plural anyway, although the "agreement" between noun and adjective may help to clarify which adjective goes with which noun. Redundant case indication tends to serve that same purpose. but in the Esper language you have the option to specify an accusative noun as the objective of the verb and a "plain noun" as the subject, or to use an explicitly nominative noun as the subject and the plain noun as the direct object. It's your choice. You can put the plural marker on the adjective INSTEAD OF on the noun, or to make plural adverbs or even try figuring out how to pronounce and make sense of some plural verbs if you so dare. Is it useful? Play with it a while and see. Even without using the Esper' language as a tool for communicating with others, you are likely to find that it enhances your internal linguistic processing capabilities, because you will no longer have to always stay within the rigid confines of an irregular language.
These include your basic "part of speech" indicators, along with a few other derivational forms. Technically, the non-finite verb tenses fit into this category, but they are included separately in the Verbs Lists. Some of them are pretty much duplicates in both form and meaning of some of the conjugating suffixes, but the suffix for tends to put more emphasis on that aspect of the word. This can be understood and remembered simply enough since the final syllable BEFORE this part of the word is what gets stressed by default, although the Esper language does allow the flexibility to adjust the stress in speech in order to bring more attention to a specific part of a word, since spoken communication lacks such things and bold and italic representations.
Deriving one part of speech from another is pretty simple. If you have a noun marked by an "o" right after the full stem (including suffixes) and you replace that "o" with another vowel, the word changes to another basic part of speech. These Derivational Role Endings may be followed by markers for number and case, and you may choose to clarify everything, just what's necessary for clear communication, or in some cases less than enough, perhaps to allow for suspense or to not give away the punch in a joke too early.
Of course not all Normal Prefixes are going to be covered in these lists. In fact, all word element types are "open sets" which may gain or lose active members at any time, and all elements are potential members in each such set, but these lists should help you to get a feel for what people have found to work so far.
Some words are fit into many of these lists while others hardly fit into anything at all. The word "dum" for example, is quite well recognized in its stem form and generally thought of as an adverb and treated as such, although there is nothing saying that it "has to be" treated or thought of as an adverb. Adding an "e" on the end to form dum'e explicitly states that it is intended as an adverb, but the common translations of the word into "while" or "during" indicate that it has something to do with time... that it is often meant as a temporal word. So dum'am may indicate THAT facet of the word more clearly. Leaving the word in it's stem form makes it hard to place in a particular category since it is potentially so versatile. The Miscellaneous Words lists are mainly for such cases.
By the way, if you are looking for a specific word that you think should be in a specific list, and you can't find it there, try one of the other lists. Although a word may be in more than one list, duplicate listings have been kept within limits because these lists are not intended to serve as a dictionary but rather as educational tools within the book Esper.