An Introduction to Volapük
This is an introduction to the constructed language Volapük, which was quite popular for a period at the end of the 19th century, and is still in active use by a small number of people today.
Background[edit | edit source]
Volapük was originally the creation of a German priest, Johann Martin Schleyer (1831–1912), and was published in 1879. It met with immediate success, with Volapük supporters' clubs being formed throughout Europe and the United States, and even as far away as Brazil and China. In its heyday, about 1889, there were dozens of Volapük periodicals, and hundreds of different books had been published in and on the language.
There is much debate about the cause of Volapük's speedy decline. Some put it down to the clamour for reforms to the language, others point to the author Schleyer's proprietorial attitude to his creation, and still others point to the fact of Esperanto being easier to learn. There was a revival of Volapük in the 1930s, principally in the Netherlands, led by Arie de Jong (1865–1957), who also revised the language slightly into the form which is normally used today.
His revised form of Volapük is the one which is described here, but section III below describes where the classical form of the language differs from the modern one.
Grammar[edit | edit source]
Pronunciation and orthography[edit | edit source]
Volapük uses the Roman alphabet, except for the letters Q and W, which are not used, and with the addition of Ä, Ö, and Ü. Rules for capitalisation are much the same as in English. The "names" of the letters are themselves plus e for the consonants and just themselves for the vowels, giving a, ä, be, ce, de, e, fe etc.
- a – as a in 'father' or 'nap'.
- ä – as ea in 'head' or 'bear'.
- c – as ch in 'church'.
- e – as e in 'obey'.
- g – always as g in 'get'.
- h – as h in 'house'.
- i – as i in 'ski' or 'fit'.
- j – as sh in 'shoe'.
- o – as o in 'for' or 'no'.
- ö – as u in 'fur' or more properly as eu in French 'fleur'.
- u – as oo in 'fool'.
- ü – as ue in French 'rue' or ü in German 'Büro'.
- z – as ts in 'bats'.
The other letters have their usual values in English. Where a letter only has an unvoiced version, e.g. c, j, s, z, some voicing is permitted.
Stress is always on the last syllable, except when that syllable is the hyphened suffix -li or -la, in which case the stress falls on the syllable preceding.
Articles[edit | edit source]
There is no article for Volapük words. Thus pod can mean apple, an apple or the apple according to the context.
There is an article el which is used with proper nouns which have not been assimilated and other words which for one reason or another are not declinable. This article is declinable in the same way as nouns (see below). For example:
- Kanobs logön eli Sputnik me daleskop. We can see the sputnik with a telescope.
- El Paris binon cifazif Fransäna. Paris is the capital of France.
Here the -i on the end of el signifies the accusative (direct object) case.
Affixes can also be added on to el, e.g. you can use jiel if you want to indicate that the proper name refers to a female (male: hiel), elep for a plant etc.:
- Elaf Felis Catus lödon valöpo. The (animal) Felis catus lives everywhere.
Nouns[edit | edit source]
Nouns in Volapük have four main cases. These are the nominative, accusative, genitive and dative cases. The nominative case has no ending and is used for the subject of a sentence or with a preposition, e.g.
- Vom binof in dom. The woman is in the house.
Here, both vom and dom have no ending as they are in the nominative.
The accusative ending is -i added on the end of the noun. The accusative in Volapük is not shown by word order as in English. Thus:
- Man beitom dogi AND Dogi beitom man both mean the man bites the dog.
In some languages, the accusative form of the noun is sometimes used to signify motion after some prepositions. This is not the case in Volapük.
- Dog bunon sui tapäd. The dog jumps onto the carpet.
- Dog bunon sua tapäd. The dog jumps off the carpet
Here we see that Volapük can form prepositions of motion to and motion from by adding the suffixes -i and -a respectively to prepositions.
The prepositions of motion can also be used with adverbs as in Esperanto, but the accusative ending is added on before the adverb ending in Volapük:
- Vom golof domio. The woman is going homewards.
(From home would be domao, and at home would be domo).
The genitive case ending is -a:
- Gramat Volapüka. The grammar of Volapük.
- Jul hipula. The boy's school.
The dative case ending is -e:
- Givob buki tidane. I give the book to the teacher (or I give the teacher the book).
The plural ending is -s which is added on after any case ending:
- Flens binons gebovik. Friends are useful.
- No labom flenis mödik. He does not have many friends.
- Selidöp flenas. The shop of the friends.
- Egivom oni flenes okik. He has given it to his friends.
The fifth case is the vocative, which just means you have to use the word o if using a noun as a form of address:
- O flens, o Romans, o kelänans! Friends, Romans, countrymen!
Pronouns[edit | edit source]
Pronouns are one of the few groups of words in Volapük which are mostly a priori, i.e. not borrowed from existing languages even in a mutilated form.
The main pronouns are:
- ob - I
- ol - you (singular)
- om - he
- of - she
- on - it or he/she
- oy - one
- os - impersonal (null subject), e.g. reinos - it is raining.
- obs - we
- ols - you (plural)
- oms, ofs, ons - they (masc., fem., common/neuter)
These pronouns are also added on the end of verbs:
- Golob. I go.
- Golom. He goes.
- Man golom. The man goes.
Pronouns are declined just like nouns.
Other pronouns are ok, the reflexive pronoun:
- Flapom omi. He hits him (i.e. somebody else).
- Flapom oki. He hits himself.
and od the reciprocative pronoun:
- Löfons odis. They love each other.
As opposed to:
- Löfons okis. They love themselves.
The polite forms of ol and ols are or and ors, but these are hardly ever used except poetically. Part of Arie de Jong's official modern grammar, but never used are og (you or me) and ogs (you and me/you and us).
Some other pronouns are: at (this), et (that), it (itself), ot (the same thing), ut (whoever), kel (who/which: relative, not question), kin (who?), kis (what?), ek (somebody), nek (nobody), bos (something), nos (nothing).
Verbs[edit | edit source]
The verb in revised Volapük has 1683 possible conjugations, including many that are extremely rare. It is important to observe that these forms are derived simply and regularly, so there is no great difficulty involved. There are four tenses which are commonly used: the present, which is the form used in most of the examples so far, the future, which involves adding the prefix o-, the imperfect with prefix ä-, and the perfect, which has e-. The suffix used is the pronoun involved, or if a noun is the subject, whichever pronoun would be appropriate for that noun.
Fidol. You are eating. Man fidom. The man is eating. Vom fidof. The woman is eating. Cil fidon. The child is eating. Studans fidons. The students are eating. Ofidol. You are going to eat. Äfidol. You were eating. Efidol. You have eaten.
The prefix for the present tense is a-, but this is only used in certain circumstances. One of these is if used with a word other than a verb, because in Volapük, not only verbs can have tenses:
Delo. By day. Adelo. Today. Odelo. Tomorrow. Ädelo. Yesterday.
The other circumstance is in the passive voice:
Pafidol. You are being eaten. Pofidol. You are going to be eaten, etc.
which uses the prefix p- before the tense prefix.
There are four other tenses which are much less common: the future perfect (prefix u-), the pluperfect (prefix i-), the future in the past (ö-), and the future in the past perfect (ü-):
Ufidobs. We will have eaten. Ifidobs. We had eaten. Üfidobs. We were going to eat. Öfidobs. We were going to have eaten.
Questions are constructed by adding the particle -li after the verb:
Nolol vegi. You know the way. Nolol-li vegi? Do you know the way?
There are four other moods in Volapük: the conditional which uses the ending öv, the optative (polite imperative) ending in ös, the imperative ending in öd, and the subjunctive which uses the particle -la.
The subjunctive is only used where something ridiculous or unimaginably unlikely is referred to.
- Ekömoböv, if ilaboböv moni. I would have come if I had had the money.
- Seilolös! Please be quiet.
- Seilolöd! Be quiet!
- Golobsös! Let's go!
- Ogivob-la dolaris lul? Cogol, no-li? Me, give you five dollars? You're joking, aren't you?
Notice how the pronoun is still inserted in the optative and imperative.
The infinitive form of the verb ends in ön. Where the infinitive form actually means in order to, we add the word ad:
- Fidobs ad lifön. We eat to live.
Participles end in öl. Participles behave as adjectives (see below).
- Ovisitob oli ün vig okömöl. I shall visit you in the coming week.
- Ägolölo ve süt, älogob fleni bäldik oba. While (I was) going along the street, I saw an old friend of mine.
Whether a verb is naturally transitive or intransitive varies from one word to the next. Transitive verbs can be made intransitive by inserting the affix ik, and intransitive verbs made transitive by the use of the affix ük:
Seadom su stul. He is sitting on the chair. Seadükom cili sui stul. He seats the child on the chair.
Eperom moni okik. He has lost his money. Mon omik eperikon. His money has got lost.
(In the above examples, oka and oma are acceptable alternatives for the possessive adjectives okik and omik respectively).
The affix ik can be used with intransitive verbs, and ük with verbs that are normally transitive. In these cases, they provide a kind of medial voice or causative voice respectively.
- Äseadikom sui stul. He sat down on the chair.
- Man päperükom moni oki fa briet. The man was caused to lose his money by drunkenness.
Adjectives and adverbs[edit | edit source]
Adjectives in Volapük end in -ik. The normal position for adjectives is after the noun they qualify and if placed there, and there is no ambiguity, they do not need to agree with their noun in case or number. However, if placed before the noun they qualify, or there is ambiguity, they must agree.
The prepositions used with the comparative and superlative degrees are ka and se respectively.
Flens gudik. Good friends. Flens gudikum ka ons. Better friends than they. Flens gudikün se valikans. Best friends of all.
Adverbs end in o, and can be formed from adjectives or nouns:
Delo. By day. Deliko. On a daily basis.
When they modify other adverbs, they always go in front, but when they modify adjectives and verbs, they can go on either side, though there is a convention to put them in front of adjectives.
There are also a number of common adverbs which are roots in themselves and do not end in o: ai (always), ba (perhaps), i (also), is (here), nu (now), plu (more), te (only), ti (almost), us (there), ya (indeed), ye (however), kö (where: relative), kü (when: relative), lio (how: question), vio (how: relative).
(The questions where and when are kiöpo? and kiüpo? respectively. These are formed from ki- then the affix of place or time respectively (öp or üp), then the adverb ending.
Numerals[edit | edit source]
The numerals are:
|100 - 101||123||234||1 000|
|1 234||2 345||10 000|
|mil teltumkildegfol||telmil kiltumfoldeglul||degmil|
|234 567||1 000 000||4 876 329|
|teltumkildegfolmil lultumäldegvel||balion||folbalion jöltumveldegmälmil kiltumteldegzül|
- balion = million (10^6).
- telion = billion (European)/trillion (US) (10^12).
- kilion = trillion (European)/quintillion (US) (10^18) etc.
0,1 = dim 0,01 = zim 0,001 = mim 0,0001 = dimmim 0,00001 = zimmim 0,000001 = balyim
- 0,345 = kiltumfoldeglul mim
- 0,123456 = tumteldegkilmil foltumluldegmäl balyim
For smaller magnitudes telyim (10^-12), kilyim (10^-18) etc. are formed in the same way as their high magnitude counterparts telion, kilion etc.
(You probably noticed most of the numerals are apriori ).
Numerals are placed after their nouns:
- Dolars teltumluldeg. $250.
Ordinal numerals are formed by the suffix -id;
Fractional numerals are formed by the suffix -dil;
Repetition or multiplication is expressed by the suffix -na, e.g.:
Binos düp velid soara. It is 7 o'clock in the evening. Foldils kil binons veldeglul zim. 3/4 is 0,75. Ibinos visit folnaik ofa us. It had been her fourth visit there. Folna fol binos degmäl. 4 x 4 = 16.
Other parts of speech[edit | edit source]
These can exist as roots in themselves, with no particular ending as in the following examples.
- bü (before: time), dis (under), fo (before: place), ko (together with), ma (according to), nen (without), po (behind), su (on), sus (above), ta (against), vü (between).
- ab (but), bi (because), das (that), dat (so that), do (though), du (while), e (and), klu (therefore), u (or).
- ag! (ah!), he! (hey!), o! (oh!), sö! (psst!).
Alternatively, they can be formed from other roots by adding the endings -ü for prepositions, -ä for conjunctions, and -ö for interjections:
Nil. Proximity. Nilü. Near. Kod. Cause. Kodä. Why. (relative; question is Kikodo?) Seil. Silence. Seilö! Silence!
Word formation, prefixes and suffixes[edit | edit source]
The main word comes last:
Bödakanit. Birdsong. Kanitaböd. Songbird. Pokamon. Pocket-money. Monapok. Money pocket.
In the above examples, the roots are joined by the genitive ending -a. It is also possible to join words using the accusative ending -i, which allows subtle differentiation of meaning:
Dogapöjut. Dog-chase. (Dog(s) chasing (someone/something).) Dogipöjut. " ((Someone/something) chasing dog(s).)
Numerous prefixes and suffixes also allow Volapük's approximately 3000 root words to be vastly extended. Some of the most important of these are:
- be (see example below), fi (to the end), hi (male), ji (female), ke (together), läx (ex-), le (greatness), lu (disparagement or step relationship), lü (in-law), ne (opposite), ru (ancient).
Givön. To give. Begivön. To present with.
(Makes what was the indirect object the direct object).
Reidön. To read. Fireidön. To read completely. Jevod. Horse. Hijevod. Stallion. Jip. Sheep. Jijip. Ewe. Men. Human being. Kemen. Fellow human being. Presidan. President. Läxpresidan. Ex-president. Kan. Ability. Lekan. Art. Dom. House. Ludom. Hovel. Fat. Father. Lufat. Stepfather. Blod. Brother. Lüblod. Brother-in-law. Laodik. Loud. Nelaodik. Quiet. Fot. Forest. Rufot. Primeval forest.
Many prepositions are also used as prefixes.
- am (verbal noun), ag (abundance), an (person associated), at (amount of), av (science), äb (victim), äd (generalisation of effect), än (country), ät (abstraction), ed (particularisation), ef (group of people), el (maker of), em (group of things), et (consequential or concrete example), iäl (inclination), il (diminutive), im (philosophy), od (softer or less serious example), ot (harder or more serious example), ov (possibility), öf (quality), öm (equipment), öp (place), ül (young of animals, endearment).
Finükön. To complete. Finükam. Completion. Her. Hair. Heragik. Hairy. Feil. Agriculture. Feilan. Peasant. Mäl. Six. Mälat. Half-a-dozen. Stel. Star. Stelav. Astronomy. Fan. Imprisonment. Fanäb. Prisoner. Spik. Power of speech. Spikäd. Lecture. Deutän. Germany. Men. Human being. Menät. Humanity. Pen. Writing. Pened. Letter (correspondence). Reidan. Reader. Reidanef. Readership. Bod. Bread. Bodel. Baker. Buk. Book. Bukem. Library. Jonön. To show. Jonet. (TV) screen. Ok. One's self. Okiäl. Selfishness. Dom. House. Domil. Cottage. Sogäd. Society. Sogädim. Socialism. Mag. Image. Magod. Illustration. Mag. Image. Magot. Statue. Pron. Pronunciation. Pronovik. Pronounceable. Flen. Friend. Flenöfik. Friendly. Nün. Information. Nünöm. Computer. Vob. Work. Voböp. Workplace. Kat. Cat. Katül. Kitten.
This lists only a proportion of the affixes available.
Differences with classical Volapük[edit | edit source]
In 1887 there were also a number of reforms to the original Volapük. These are also outlined here, but the majority of changes refer to those agreed in 1930 and proposed by Arie de Jong.
Pronunciation and orthography[edit | edit source]
Exactly the same as modern Volapük except that the apostrophe (') was used instead of h before 1887.
The letter r was much less commonly used in classical Volapük, and a number of new words have been introduced using it. Some of these replace old words which appeared too mutilated as a result of not using an r.
Many other words, especially the most common ones, still retain their original l. Some words crept in classical Volapük where the root began with a vowel. This was standardised to begin with l. A very small proportion of words have changed for no other reason than the passage of time or to remove ambiguities. Here are some examples of the changes in vocabulary:
OLD NEW Gletik. Gretik. (large). Flentän. Fransän. (France). Jeval. Jevod. (horse). Ägüptän. Lägüptän. (Egypt). Nelij. Linglän. (England). Lilöm. Rein. (rain) Lilädön. Reidön. (to read) Lemön. Remön. (to buy)
Changes to the vocabulary as a result of changes to the affix system and to attitudes to word formation are dealt with later.
Articles[edit | edit source]
The use of el and its derivatives occurs only in modern Volapük.
Nouns[edit | edit source]
The predicative case and the modified prepositions to show motion are used only in modern Volapük.
Pronouns[edit | edit source]
The pronouns oy, or, ors and od do not occur in classical Volapük.
Previously on was used instead of oy, and om was used instead of on for all common or neuter items as well as masculine ones.
Before 1887, the reflexive pronoun was added to the end of the verb, e.g. modern lavons okis (they wash themselves) was lavomsok or lavomoks.
Verbs[edit | edit source]
The future in the past and future in the past perfect tenses do not appear in classical Volapük.
Classical Volapük also had an aorist aspect, which was formed by placing an -i- between the tense marker and the verb root, e.g.
Olödob in zif. I shall live in the town. Oilödob in zif. I shall always live in the town.
Classical Volapük also had a third imperative mood, called the jussive, which was stronger than the other two and ended in -öz.
Seilolös! Please be quiet. Seilolöd! Be quiet! Seilolöz! Why don't you shut up?!
The subjunctive mood was formerly used more often than it is now.
Adjectives and Adverbs[edit | edit source]
Numerals[edit | edit source]
The numbers ten, twenty, thirty> etc, which are deg, teldeg, kildeg etc. in modern Volapük were previously formed by adding an s to the numbers for one, two, three, etc.: bals, tels, kils. The units were added on to the tens by the word e (and), e.g. balsebal (11), balsetel (12) etc.
The decimal fractional numerals are also modern.
Other parts of speech[edit | edit source]
No major change except that modern ad is al in classical Volapük.
Word formation[edit | edit source]
Modern Volapük uses affixes to form words less than was previously the case. This is largely because of the greater number of roots available.
The modern Volapük affix system is much more systematic and regular than the classical one. A number of the modern affixes did not appear in the classical form of the language.
Some classical affixes have been abolished. Previously gle- existed in addition to le- as an augmentative prefix, and sma- in addition to -il as a diminutive affix.
The old suffixes -lik and -nik are the equivalent of the modern -öfik and -agik respectively. Previously the affix -el covered the meanings of both -el and -an.
As you can see below, one problem where the word lemel previously existed as an isomer (it could be analysed in two different ways: le-mel and lem-el) has been removed.
Also, Arie de Jong introduced some new words to address the problem of sexism in the affix system. And even classical Volapük never said ji-fat and ji-man for mother and woman.
OLD NEW Ludog. (dreadful dog) Lup. (wolf) Snekafit. (snake fish) Pil. (eel) Lemel. (big sea) Sean. (ocean) Lemel. (buy-er) Reman. (buy-er) Flenlik. (friendly) Flenöfik. (friendly) Lutnik. (airy) Lutagik. (airy) Lezif. (big town) Cifazif. (chief town, i.e. capital) Glezif. (big town) Lezif. (big town, i.e. city) Jiblod. (she brother) Sör. (sister) Jison. (she son) Daut. (daughter)
Specimen Volapük text[edit | edit source]
Nim Pebuüköl Söla K[edit | edit source]
Ven Söl K. päsäkom, nimi kinik gönom-li mödiküno se ons valik, enemom leefadi, ed ekleilükom atosi so:
Leefad balon käfi me näm. Ye atos no binon käf zesüda, kelos saidikon ad skeapön se dinäd, ud ad kädedön fidi nen paküpön, ab käf lü kel näm gebidön ad dunots gretik. Kö nim at ebinon, dugon veg veitik. To at, binon benovimik, suemon cogi. Binon flen gudik, asä binon neflen gudik. Vero gretik e vetik, binon i vemo vifik. Probod ona blinon kope levemik ona igo fidotis smalikün, äsi nötis. Lils ona binons mufoviks; lilon te utosi, kelos lönedon one. Vedon i vo bäldik. Binon i sogädik, e no te leefades votik. Valöpo ä palöfon ä padredon. Kodü sot cogiäla, mögoy igo stümön oni. Labon skini bigik, ini kel neifs breikons okis; ab ladälastad ona binon molädik. Kanon vedön lügik. Kanon vedön zunik. Löfilon ad danüdön. Deadon in bimilem. Löfon cilis e nimülis votik. Binon gedik, e paküpon te sekü gretot ona. No binon pafidäbik. Kanon vobön gudiko. Löfilon ad drinön e vedon läbik. Dunon bosi pro lekan: Blünon viori ....
(Translation of Herrn Ks Lieblingstier by Bertolt Brecht).
NIM P-E-BU-ÜK-ÖL SÖL-A K. Animal pass.-perf.-before-trans.-part. mister-gen. K. Animal preferred/favourite of mister K.
Ven Söl K. p-ä-säk-om, nim-i kin-ik gön-om-li When Mr. K. pass.-imp.-ask-he animal-acc. what-adj. favour-he-qu. When Mr. K. was asked animal which he preferred
möd-ik-ün-o se on-s val-ik, e-nem-om much-adj.-superl.-adv. out of they all-adj. perf.-name-he most of all he named
leefad-i, ed e-kleil-ük-om at-os-i so: elephant-acc. and perf.-clear-trans.-he this-neut.-acc. thus the elephant and explained this thus:
Leefad bal-on käf-i me näm. Ye Elephant one-he/she cunning-acc. with force. However The elephant unites cunning with force. However
at-os no bin-on käf zesüd-a, kel-os this-neut. not be-he/she cunning necessity-gen. which-neut. this not is the cunning of necessity which
said-ik-on ad skeap-ön se din-äd, ud ad enough-adj.-he/she to escape-inf. out of thing-der. or to suffices for escaping from a predicament or to
käd-ed-ön fid-i nen p-a-küp-ön, ab cash-der.-inf. eat-acc. without pass.-pres.-notice-inf. but collect food without being noticed, but
käf lü kel näm geb-id-ön ad dun-ot-s cunning according to which force use-inv.-inf. to thing-der.-plur. cunning according to which force is used for deeds
gret-ik. Kö nim at e-bin-on, dug-on greatness-adj. Where animal this perf.-be-he/she lead-he/she great. Where animal this has been, leads
veg veit-ik. To at, bin-on way width-adj. Despite this, be-he/she a path wide. Despite this, he/she is
ben-o-vim-ik, suem-on cog-i. blessing-adv.-attitude-adj., understanding-he/she joke-acc. good natured, he/she understands a joke.
Bin-on flen gud-ik, as-ä bin-on ne-flen Be-he/she friend goodness-adj. as-and be-he/she opp.-friend He/she is a friend good as well as an enemy
gud-ik. Ver-o gret-ik e vet-ik, bin-on goodness-adj. Truth-adv. greatness-adj. and weight-adj. be-he/she good. Truly large and heavy, he/she is
i vemo vif-ik. Probod on-a blin-on also very speed-adj. Trunk he/she-gen. bring-he/she also very quick. Trunk his/her he/she brings
kop-e le-vem-ik on-a igo fid-ot-i-s body-dat. aug.-expanse-adj. he/she-gen. even eat-der.-acc.-plur. to body enormous his/her even the foodstuffs
smal-ik-ün, äs-i nöt-i-s. Lil-s smallness-adj.-superl., as also nut-acc.-plur. Ear-plur. smallest such as nuts. Ears
on-a bin-on-s muf-ov-ik-s; lil-on te he/she-gen. be-he/she movement-der.-adj.-plur.; ear-he/she only his/her are adjustable; he/she hears only
ut-os-i, kel-os lön-ed-on on-e. that which-neut.-acc., which-neut. own-der.-he/she he/she-dat. what suits him/her.
Ved-on i vo bäld-ik. Bin-on i sogäd-ik, Becoming-he/she also very age-adj. Be-he/she also society-adj. He/she gets also very old. He/she is also sociable,
e no te leefad-e-s vot-ik. Val-öp-o and not only elephant-dat.-plur. otherness-adj. All-place-adv. and not only to elephants other. Everywhere
ä p-a-löf-on ä p-a-dred-on. and also pass.-pres.-love-he/she and also pass.-pres.-fear-he/she. both he/she is loved and he/she is feared.
Kod-ü sot cog-iäl-a, mög-oy igo stüm-ön Cause-prep. kind joke-inc.-gen. may-one even respect-inf. Because of a kind of jovialness one may even respect
on-i. Lab-on skin-i big-ik, in-i he/she-acc. Possession-he/she skin-acc. thickness-adj. in-acc. him/her. He/she has a skin thick into
kel neif-s breik-on-s ok-i-s; ab which knife-plur. break-he/she-plur. self-acc.-plur.; but which knives break; but
lad-äl-a-stad on-a bin-on mol-äd-ik. heart-der.-gen.-state he/she-gen. be-he/she softness-der.-adj. disposition his/her is gentle.
Kan-on ved-ön lüg-ik. Kan-on ability-he/she becoming-he/she sadness-adj. Ability-he/she He/she can get sad. He/she can
ved-ön zun-ik. Löf-il-on ad danüd-ön. becoming-inf. anger-adj. Love-dim.-he/she to dance-inf. get angry. He/she likes to dance.
Dead-on in bim-il-em. Löf-on cil-i-s e Death-he/she in tree-dim.-coll. Love-he/she child-acc.-plur. and He/she dies in the thicket. He/she loves children and
nim-ül-i-s vot-ik. Bin-on ged-ik, e animal-dim.-acc.-plur. otherness-adj. Be-he/she greyness-adj., and young animals other. He/she is grey, and
p-a-küp-on te sek-ü gret-ot pass.-pres.-noticing-he/she only following-prep. greatness-der. he/she is noticed only because of size
on-a. No bin-on p-a-fid-äb-ik. Kan-on he/she-acc. Not be-he/she pass.-pres.-eating-der.-adj. Ability-he/she his/her. Not he/she is edible. He/she can
vob-ön gud-ik-o. Löf-il-on ad drin-ön e work-inf. goodness-adj.-adv. Love-dim.-he/she to drinking-inf. and work well. He/she likes to drink and
ved-on läb-ik. Dun-on bos-i pro becoming-he/she happiness-adj. Action-he/she something-acc. for he/she becomes happy. He/she does something for
le-kan: Blün-on vior-i .... aug.-ability: Supply-he/she ivory-acc. art: He/she supplies ivory ....
Abbreviations[edit | edit source]
acc.: accusative; adj.: adjective; adv.: adverb; aug.: augmentative; coll.: collective; dat.: dative; der.: derivative; dim.: diminutive; gen.: genitive; imp.: imperfect; inc.: inclination; inf.: infinitive; inv.: inversion; neut.: neuter; opp.: opposite; part.: participle; pass.: passive; perf.: perfect; plur.: plural; prep.: preposition; qu.: question; superl.: superlative; trans.: transitive.
Dictionaries[edit | edit source]
Further information[edit | edit source]
- A complete original grammar of Volapük (classic Volapük) by Charles E. Sprague - 1888
- A complete Italian grammar of Volapük (1888) (Schleyer's classic Volapük) by V. Amoretti
- Una grammatica completa di Volapük in lingua italiana (1888) (Il Volapük classico di Schleyer - non riformato) a cura di V. Amoretti
You can get in touch by post with either of the following:
Flenef Bevünetik Volapüka (The International Friends of Volapük) c/o Ralph Midgley 24 Staniwell Rise Scunthorpe South Humberside DN17 1TF England
Mr. Midgley will provide you with a Volapük course and dictionary for a small amount of money.
Zänabür Volapüka (The Volapük Centre) c/o Brian R. Bishop 155 Leighton Avenue Leigh-on-Sea Essex SS9 1PX England
AN INTRODUCTION TO VOLAPÜK
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