Meanderings of an Amateur Linguist

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Archive for the ‘Volapük – Volapük’ Category

Volapük: Lesson 2/Volapük: Tiodem Tel

Posted by ILuvEire on December 1, 2008

Volapük is a heavily agglutinative language as I’m sure you know. Each noun can be declined in the Nominative, Dative, Genitive, and Accusative cases. I will abbreviate them as nom., dat., gen., and acc. in the rest of this lesson. The other abbreviations I will be using are pl., and sing..

The nom. sing. doesn’t really have a declension. It is the base for forming all of the other declensions.
The nom. pl. uses the suffix -s.

Acc. sing. uses the suffix -i
Acc. pl. uses -is

Dat. sing. is -e
Dat. pl. is -es

Gen. sing. is -a
Gen. pl. is -as

A fully declined noun:
Nom. Sing. Yat
Nom. pl. Yats
Acc. sing. Yati
Acc. pl. Yatis
Dat. sing. Yate
Dat. pl. Yates
Gen. sing. Yata
Gen. pl. Yatas

Volapük doesn’t use articles for “native words” (real Volapük words). Words that don’t have Volapük equivalents, and ones that wont be transliterated use a “dummy article”. Called el. It is declined instead of the word itself.

This is usually only used for place names. For example using my name (Tyler), I don’t call myself el Tyler. When people are going to see me they say Kileke, not ele Tyler (using the transliteration of my name into Hawaiian, Kileki, and deleting the i).
el New York
els New York

eli New York
elis New York

ela New York
elas New York

ele New York
eles New York

Decline the word buk (book).
Decline the place name Helsinki


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Volapük: Lesson 1/Volapük: Tiodem Bal

Posted by ILuvEire on December 1, 2008


IPA will be in green, X-SAMPA in blue, but only when they differ. There will also be English examples.
A: /a/ spa
E: /e/ egg
I: /i/ meat
O: /o/ no
U: /u/ blue
Then there are the three umlauted vowels. Similar to the German umlauts.
Ä: / ɛ E/ made

Ö: / ø 2/ This one has no English equivalent. Make it by making your lips say “oo” but have your mouth say “eh”.
Ü: /y/ This one doesn’t have an English equivalent either. Make it by making your lips say “oo” but your mouth say “ee”.
If you cant type umlauts, just leave them out. There is nothing like the <ae oe ue> of German used.
There are also handwritten shortcuts to the umlauts. I personally use them all the time. You can see them here (I can’t post the image because it’s too big.)

All of the consonants are the same as their IPA values except the following:
C: / tS/ church
J: /ʃ S/ shin
X: /ks/ Mexico
Y: /j/ yes
Z: /ts/ Mets
Some amount of voicing is allowed for all of the consonants, especially <C, J>.


Practice saying the numbers 1-10.
1. bal
2. tel
3. kil
4. fol
5. lul
6. mäl
7. vel
8. jöl
9. zül
10. deg

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