sjyko (written without capitals) is a constructed language created by User:Sugarfi. It is based around the idea of describing objects as simply collections of traits, rather than the traditional approach taken in many nat- and conlangs of describing them as nouns or specific things with various extraneous properties, ie. adjectives. This, combined with the very small lexicon (approximately 120 words) leads to some concepts being hard to express, but seeing as this is just a small experiment no plans are made to fix this.
sjyko phonology is very simple:
- There are 3 vowels, 'a', 'y', and 'o'. These can be represented in IPA as 'a', 'i', and 'o', respectively.
- There are 8 consonants, represented in IPA as follows:
- 'p', IPA 'p'.
- 'c', IPA 's'.
- 's', IPA 'ʃ'.
- 'k', IPA 'k'.
- 'd', IPA 'd'.
- 'j', IPA 'j'.
- 'r', IPA 'r' or 'ʒ'.
- 'v', IPA 'v'.
There are also three 'seperator' letters:
- The high separator, written as 'ʰ' or as an apostrophe. It is pronounced like IPA 'h', but with air moving along the roof of the mouth, like in the Mandarin word 'hei'.
- The low seperator, written as 'ₕ' or ','. It equivalent to IPA 'x' or German 'ch' (or Lojban 'x').
- The middle seperator, written as 'h' or '+'. It is equivalent to IPA 'h'.
In a word, when two letters of the same type (two consonants or two vowels) are next to eachother, they are pronounced with a pause between them.
(The following content is taken from the official sjyko tutorial, linked below.)
All sentences in sjyko are simply written as objects, which themselves are described as a collections of attributes. This is in contrast to many other languages, in which objects are described using specific words. The sjyko approach is much more general and allows for more objects to be describd with fewer words. Attributes of an object are described using combinations of tags. A tag is just a way to write an attribute.
Tags are composed of three main types of words: points, attributes, and particles. A point describes a certain quality of an object, ranging from something concrete, like color, to more abstract things, like conciousness. Points are each 3 letters long, and they can be chained to produce new points: if points 'abc' and 'def' are valid, then point 'abcdef' (and 'defabc') is also valid. The meanings of chained points are interpreted left to right: if I combine two points meaning 'sound' and 'musical' together, the meaning would be 'musical sound', ie. 'song'. Points may refer to something called the ‘built object’. This simply means the object described so far by any other tags applied and all points interpreted so far. When points are being interpreted left to right, each point changes the built object sequentially, so what exactly this is may change as one reads a word. Let’s look at an example: suppose I had a point meaning 'the parent of the built object' and one meaning 'the name of the built object'. Imagine our sentence had this tag, and another tag expressing that the object was red. This tag would then be interpreted as 'the name of the parent of this red object'. The built object starts out as simply a combination of all other tags in a sentence, so when interpreting the parent of the built object, the built object is just something with the tag of 'red'. Then we apply the next point in the word, and get 'the name of the built object'. Now the built object refers to the parent of the full described object, so the name of the built object is interpreted in this context, leading to the given translation.
Points aren’t useful on their own; they must be chained into tags using particles. Each tag in a sentence is composed of a point, one or more ‘sub-points’, a particle, and a value. The first point tells us what trait is being described, for example in the above the name of the red object’s parent. The sub-points describe any additional values needed for this particular tag. The particle defines the tag’s type, and the value what the vlaue of that particular trait is. A tag type just describes how a tag describes an attribute. There are three types of tag:
- Spectrum tags. These tags have two sub-points, describing two points of a spectrum for the given attribute. The value must be one of a few position words, describing the position on the spectrum of the described trait, with ‘left’ representing the first attribute and ‘right’ the second. The words are:
- Far left: 'pa'
- Mid left: 'ca'
- Slightly left: 'sa'
- Center: 'ka'
- Slightly right: 'da'
- Mid right: 'ja'
- Far right: 'ra'
- No position, or outside of the spectrum: 'va' (Notice that the first letters of each word are the consonants in order.)
Spectrums are written using the main point, an optional low seperator, the first sub-point, another low seperator, the second sub point, and a third low seperator, followed by the spectrum particle 'py'. Then there is another optional low seperator and the value.
- Boolean tags. These simply describe whether a trait is true or false, exists or doesn’t exist. They have no sub-points, and are written as a point, followed by an optional low seperator, followed by the boolean particle 'cy', followed by yet another low seperator, followed by a boolean value. The words for booleans are yypo for true and yyco for false.
- Object tags. These are used for the most broad points, and simply say that the value of a trait is a given object. They take no sub-points. An object tag is written as a point, followed by a low seperator, followed by the object particle 'sy', another optional low seperator, and then an object or a point. The object should be terminated with a middle seperator so that you can have tags applied to the parent object after the object tag.
- Enumerated tags. They use the particle 'ky'. These are like object tags,, but instead of allowing any object, they specify a choice between several objects. This may not seem useful at first, but when you get into asking questions (see below), its purpose becomes evident. An enumerated tag is written as a point, followed by an optional low seperator, and then any number (at least 1) of points seperated by low seperators. Then, there should be a low seperator, the enumeration particle ky, another optional low seperator, and the value. The value can be any of the given sub-points.
Questions can be accomplished with the dy particle. It can be substituted for any value, and it asks the speaker to respond with an appropriate answer. For spectrum tags, this means a position; for enumerated tags, one of the passed sub-points; etc.
The final type of word is attributes. These are really a subclass of point, but they are not valid as the leading point in a tag: only as sub- points or as a value. They are similar to adjectives in other languages. They cannot be joined and must stand alone.
The morpology of sjyko is relatively simple: words can be any ‘shape’ (ie., ccv, cvc, etc.) as long as they are 3 letters long. There are a few exceptions, as we have seen: particles are always a different amount of letters, to distinguish them from points. As well, when transliterating a name, it should either be padded or truncated to that it is never 3 letters long. This can be done easily by simply adding a vowel or similar to the end.
Numbers, like particles, must be distinguished from points. Numbers are written in base 8, using the consonants in order as digits, and ending in the suffix oay. Thus, the numbers 0 through 7 can be written as follows:
- 0: 'poay'
- 1: 'coay'
- 2: 'soay'
- 3: 'koay'
- 4: 'doay'
- 5: 'joay'
- 6: 'roay'
- 7: 'voay'
To make numbers higher than seven, consonants should be chained to write digits. For example, the number 8, 10 in octal, would be written as 'cpoay'. If one desires, a vowel can be inserted after any digit except the last. Thus, the octal number 123 could be written as 'cskoay', 'cysykoay', 'cosykoay', etc. However, no consonants can be used, as that would change the value of the number.
(Content from this point forward is not from the tutorial.)
There is also an official writing system for sjyko, as a counterpart to using the Latin alphabet to write it. In this writing system, each letter is assigned a single glyph. Single words are written as multiple glyphs on top of each other. Two letters of the same type next to each other in a word are written as two glyphs in a row. Words are read left-to-right, with seperators having their own glyphs. The glyphs for each letter and seperators are as follows:
Seperators can be written as follows:
- High seperator
- Low seperator
- Middle seperator