En rponse  Hemmo :


Welkom op de lijst :) .

>I created a conlang called Nmalo. I don't know much about linguistics, so
>if things are not correct, please say so. Some basic information about my
>language follows.
>(I can't read sampa)

Then learn it. "Pronounced like" descriptions are well-known to mean 
nothing to most people. You really need to learn IPA and at least its 
X-SAMPA transcription, or you won't ever be able to describe sounds in a 
meaningful way here. I will show you why immediately.

>ŝ (S with ^): like English SH

Please no HTML entities in e-mail. HTML is for webpages. For e-mail, use a 
transliteration, a description (like you do otherwise) or point out to a 
webpage with some info. But no HTML of any kind in e-mail, please.

>: like English TH

"th" is "this" or in "thick"? Or, if I want to be evil, "th" in "Thames" 
maybe? ;)

>X: like Dutch G, Spanish J, Scottish Ch

Except that Dutch "g" can be "soft" (X-SAMPA /G/) or "hard" (X-SAMPA /x/), 
that Spanish "J" can have myriads of pronunciations depending on dialect 
and on whether you're talking about Spanish of Spain or Spanish of Latin 
America (and we have more people here who have been exposed only to 
Latinamerican Spanish, so you cannot expect that people will take 
Castillian Spanish as the default), and that most people don't know what 
the Scottish "ch" is.

>AU: like Duch/English OU, German AU

Once again, especially in English, this has myriads of pronunciations, 
depending on dialect and word. Even in Dutch and German, this diphtongue 
has various pronunciations depending on the dialect. I suppose you mean 
something like /aw/, but how can I know it's not /aU/ or even /au/?

>W: like Dutch, German, Frisian

In Dutch this letter has at least four different pronunciations depending 
on dialect, three having nothing to do with the German pronunciation (which 
is also extremely dependent on dialect). And most people here don't know 
any Frisian.

>R: rolling R

Which one? I can roll two different ones with little in common with each other.

>Y: like Dutch IJ/EI

Most people don't know how this is pronounced. And do you mean /ej/, /Ej/, 
/aj/ or /E/ (all four pronunciations current in various Dutch dialects. 
There are more).

>: like Dutch/French U, German 
>: like Dutch/French EU, Danish 

Except that the Dutch "eu" is *never* pronounced like French "eu". I should 
know, I speak both languages.

>Z: like English J but without the D-sound
>E, short: Like short E in Spanish, English, Dutch, but not as a sjwa

The English spelling is "schwa" :) .

>E, long: Like English AY

One of the worst choice of description you could find. But many people will 
point that out :) .

>U: A shorter English OO, French OU, Dutch OE
>I: A shorter English EE, Dutch IE
>O, short: short Dutch O
>O, long: like English O as in Open, long Dutch O
>A, short: like English A as in America, short Dutch A
>A, long: like above, but longer
>: like Afrikaans , like English A as in War
>: like Afrikaans/Frisian , French AI
>Other letters are like English.

Which means pretty much nothing since English spelling is known not to be 

By the way, I don't see "" anywhere in this description, yet it is in the 
name of your conlang. What does it represent?

You really should learn the IPA and X-SAMPA (or at least the slightly 
different form we use here). To learn the IPA, go here:
It has sounds, so you'll know exactly what each symbol refers too. And for 
the transliteration used here, go to:
That's the chart we use.

While we're at it, here's the main site we give for newcomers to look at: :)

>The adjective in the subject ends with A,
>The subject's noun ends with O,

That's what you call the nominative case.

>The adjective in the direct object ends with AN*,
>The direct object's noun ends with U*,

That's the accusative case.

>The adjective following a preposition ends with AS,
>The noun followed by a preposition ends with UM.

Languages that have that call it the prepositional case :) .

Nouns in your language don't have plural? Nice :)

>Possession also uses AS/UM, but US/IS replaces do/di (from sing./pl.):
>his house  heŝi kastum
>house from (the) ghost - kasto do ndum / kasto-ndus

I fear to ask why this choice of vocabulary ;) .

>*) exept when the direct object is equal to the subject.

What do you do then? :)

>Adverbs usually end with I.

All adverbs or only adverbs derived from adjectives?

>One word is always written as one word, unlike English does.


>  Combined words
>may be connected by using the letter Y:
>ilamuiio + grevjo = ilamuiiygrevjo
>Y may be left out when there already is a vowel or when it just sounds right
>without it.

/ej/ as a binding sound? That's strange. Normally binding sounds are much 
more neutral (i.e. usually just schwa or similar). Any reason for this choice?

>Articles are only used when necesary. They can indicate if a word is
>singular/plural or which case it should have. This is only used when a word
>doesn't end with its own -o/-u/-um.

And when does this happen?

>I translated the Dutch version of a text I found at
> Other
>translations are available.

[snip text]

It would be more interesting if you provided us with an interlinear, i.e. a 
grammatical description of the structure of each sentence, separating each 
word from its affixes and describing what they represent. This would help 
us appreciate better Nmalo :) .

Please do try to take my advice. It will help you give a better 
presentation to your conlang and give it better justice here :) .

Welcome again to the list! :)

Christophe Grandsire.

You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.