Novbasa (formerly known as Ardlang) is a constructed worldlang created by Elia Ansaloni in 2013. Its name is composed by the words nov ("new") and basa ("language"). Its main features are a regular phonetic inventory, a strict SVO sentence order and a vocabulary that aims to defy Eurocentrism without renouncing to widely known translations. While its main inspiration is Lingwa de Planeta, Novbasa has some traits in common with Sambahsa, like the use of proto-languages and a rather wide vocabulary base.
The main linguistic influences of Novbasa are Indo-European languages, Chinese (from which most of the isolating grammar is derived) and Arabic, but its a posteriori vocabulary is built considering many other languages, including Austronesian languages, Altaic languages, Swahili, Basque and Nahuatl. This approach is remarked by Novbasa's motto Ab hol dunya, pro hol dunya ("From the whole world, for the whole world").
As of 2014, a basic dictionary of Novbasa has been released, and some translations and lexicon are available on the Unilang forum and on this wiki.
- 1 Phonology and orthography
- 2 Grammar
- 3 Lexicon
- 4 Translations
- 5 External links
Phonology and orthography
Note: q and w are used only in loanwords and foreign proper nouns.
Some letters can be pronounced in two different ways in order to make the pronunciation easier to the majority of speakers. For example, a Russian or a French speaker would find more natural to pronunce j as /ʒ/, while an English or an Hindi one would rather choose /ʤ/. Both are equally valid and mutually interchangeable. It should be noticed that ng is always pronounced as /ŋg/ and never as /ŋ/ (as it would be in English or Indonesian). N is pronunced as /ŋ/ before velar plosives.
The stress is always on the penultimate syllable.
In the diphtongs ao and eo, "o" is considered a semivowel and the accent never falls on it.
Generally, the only way to identify a word as a noun, adjective or verb is the context and the position in the phrase. For example, tuk may stand for "poison", "poisonous" or "to poison". However, a name can be identified by the presence of an article.
There are two determinative articles: al (singular) and i (plural). There is only one indeterminative article: un, which is only singular. Articles are required when it's necessary to clear the status of a noun as singular or plural, or when the noun can't be immediately identified in the phrase.
Nouns in Novbasa do not change for number or case. Some nouns have a masculine and a feminine form that can be obtained by adding the prefix man or fem.
- tsula - fox (gender not specified)
- man-tsula - male fox
- fem-tsula - vixen
Few nouns have two different versions.
- patro/matra - father/mother
- brator/sestar - brother/sister
Adjectives always precede the noun they're related to.
- un hvan dom - a yellow house
- al xao kali kat - the small black cat
Adverbs may be identified by adding -di to an adjective.
- garme (warm) → garme-di (warmly)
The particle is pronunced separately from the root, whose pronunciation is left unchanged.
Possessive adjectives and pronouns are formed by adding y to the personal pronouns.
Much like Esperanto, Novbasa organizes demonstrative and relative pronouns in a table.
(everyone, each one)
(in every way)
(for some reason)
(for any reason)
(for all reasons)
(for no reason)
(all of it)
* Adverbs sastan and tostan are rarely used. They are often replaced by the more practical je ("here") and la ("there").
The main difference with Esperanto is that "question" pronouns are not formed this way, and therefore are listed apart.
Much like in English, verbs in Novbasa change only for mood and tense but not for number and person. Apart from es ("to be"), all verbs are regular. The subject must always be expressed.
|Present||me bina||I build|
|Present perfect||me ha bina||I have built|
|Past||me li bina||I built|
|Past perfect||me li ha bina||I had built|
|Future||me yao bina||I will build|
|Near future||me vao bina||I am going to build|
|Conditional||me ud bina||I would build|
|Past conditional||me ud li bina||I would have built|
|Present Participle||ra bina||building|
|Past Participle||(ge) bina||built|
The reflexive is formed by adding se before the verb and after eventual particles.
The passive is formed by coupling the particles with the past participle of the verb. In this case, ba cannot be dropped.
Es ("to be") is the only irregular verb.
|Present||me es||I am|
|Present perfect||me ha es||I have been|
|Past||me bi||I was|
|Past pefect||me ha bi||I had been|
|Future||me yao es||I will be|
|Near future||me vao es||I am going to be|
|Conditional||me ud es||I would be|
|Past conditional||me ud bi||I would have been|
|Present Participle||ra es||being|
Main article: Novbasa/Lexicon
Novbasa lexicon draws from the main language families of the world. The main source are Indo-European languages (around 60% of the current lexicon), but the core of everyday use terms includes many Afro-Asiatic and Sino-Tibetan terms.
Virtually, any language can be a source for Novbasa. However, due to historical, geographic and/or cultural relevance and to the number of speakers, a restricted number of languages forms the main core. These languages are classified as it follows.
- Indo-European: Latin, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, English, German, Russian, Sanskrit, Hindi-Urdu, Bengali, Persian
- Sino-Tibetan: Chinese
- Afro-Asiatic: Arabic
- Altaic: Japanese, Korean
- Austronesian: Malay-Indonesian
- Niger-Congo: Swahili
Minor sources include Nahuatl, Basque, Turkish, Tamil, Telugu, Finnish, Vietnamese, Irish and Armenian.
Novbasa also draws from proto-languages when the root is clear and widespread enough. The most used proto-language is Proto-Indo-European (PIE from now onwards). Few words are derived from Nostratic roots, like kerd ("heart"), from k̕ærd, or nem ("to take"), from nʲamo.
Although the selection doesn't follow a specific path, some criteria are followed to choose a specific translation among the various languages.
- Familarity: The main criteria for a word to be chosen is its diffusion.
- Terms used on a worldwide scale have the priority. Examples: sport; chay (tea) from Chinese 茶 (chá); muzik ("music").
- Words borrowed by many languages have a good chance of being chosen. Example: kitab (book) from Arabic كتاب (kitāb) and borrowed by many languages, including Persian, Hindi, Indonesian, Malay, Hausa and Turkish.
- Simplicity: When possible, the priority goes to words that are short and easy to pronounce.
- Unambiguousness: Novbasa tries to eliminate the typical ambiguities of natural languages.
- Each word should refer to only one concept. Example: "right" is translated as deks if referring to the direction, but is translated as pravo if referring to the legal term.
- If an eligible word would be pronounced as another already existing one, it must be discarded.
- Diversity: While searching for easily recognizable words, Novbasa tries to challenge biases like Eurocentrism. Words of everyday use are thus taken from various language families.
- Relevance: A language can get the priority if it has a particularly meaningful cultural and/or historical relation with the term. Examples: soyuz ("union") from Russian, adab ("good manners") from Arabic, fob ("fear") from Greek, xamrog ("shamrock") from Irish, tao ("way") from Chinese.
Article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Omni human janma azad va ekval in dignita va pravo. Le hav ratyon va lyanxin va deb akti naku in spirit de yondita.
Noy Patro, ke es in akax
Tuy nam ba ge-fa santi
Tuy van-go ba lay
Tuy vol ba ge-fa
Kam in akax, so sur arda
Da hodi a no noy din pan
Va pardon a no noy utan
Kam no pardon le a noy utan-jen
Va ne dukti no in temptati
Lekin azad no ab mal