- 1 intro
- 2 phonology
- 3 Syntax
- 4 Nouns
- 5 Verbs
- 6 Particles
- 7 Number
- 8 lexicon
- 9 phrasebook
Kalo is intended to be a minimalist artlang, not an auxlang. It draws primarily on vocabulary from the five most spoken languages in the world; Mandarin, Spanish, English, and Arabic (Hindi is used sparingly although it is spoken by more speakers than Arabic). The grammar is mostly isolating with very few elements of inflection, mostly to show plurality or possession.
Kalo is NOT meant to mimic, replace, or be inspired by Toki Pona or any IAL. Any similarities are based on design aesthetic coincidences and the minimalist nature of the language.
kalo has nine consonants (/p, t, k, s, m, n, l, j, w/) and five vowels (/a, e, i, o, u/). Stress is word final.
There are two diphthongs [ai̯] ai, and [au̯] au. These are rare and typically only occur word-finally.
All syllables are of the form (C)V(N), that is, optional consonant + vowel + optional final nasal, or V, CV, VN, CVN.
A few syllables sequences are disallowed; /ji, wu, wo/. Also, a syllable-final nasal may not occur before /m/ or /n/ in the same root.
If desired, an adaptation of Hangul may be used to write Kalo.
- ㄱ ㄴ ㄷ ㄹ ㅁ ㅂ ㅅ ㅇ
- k n t l m p s -
- ㅏ ㅑ ㅓ ㅕ ㅗ ㅘ ㅛ ㅜ ㅝ ㅟ ㅠ ㅡ ㅣ
- a ya e ye o wa yo u we wi yu - i
- 와로 너 고머 사
- walo ne kome sa
- 1pl NEG eat FUT
- We will not eat.
The nasal at the end of a syllable can be pronounced as any nasal stop, though it is normally assimilated to the following consonant. That is, it typically occurs as an [n] before /t/ or /s/, as an [m] before /p/, as an [ŋ] before /k/, and as an [ɲ] before /j/. Because of its small phoneme inventory, kalo allows for quite a lot of allophonic variation. For example, /p t k/ may be pronounced [b d ɡ] as well as [p t k], /s/ as [z] or [ʃ] as well as [s], /l/ as [ɾ] as well as [l], and vowels may be either long or short. Both its sound inventory and phonotactics (patterns of possible sound combinations) are found in the majority of human languages and are therefore readily accessible.
Classical Arabic is primarily VSO, but MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) tends to be SVO, favoring full agreement over partial. Chinese is classified as an SVO language. Transitive verbs precede their objects in typical simple clauses, while the subject precedes the verb. Spanish unmarked word order for affirmative declarative sentences is SVO; however, as in other Romance languages, in practice, word order is mostly variable. English word order is almost exclusively SVO. Hindi is primarily an SOV language.
Based on the above information about the main source languages for Kalo, it is primarily an SVO (subject-verb-object) language. Modifiers generally follow what they modify, as do prepositional phrases and subordinate clauses.
- wa kome - 1S eat - I eat. (SV)
- wa amo ko - 1S love 3S - I love her. (SVO)
- o mala amo - DO woman love - The woman is loved. (OV)
The interrogative particle ma (taken from Chinese (嗎) is used in conjunction with various nouns, adverbs, and adjectives to form specific questions.
Any statement can become a polar question by adding the interrogative particle ma at the end of the sentence.
Nouns only decline for number and possession. They are altered with -lo to show plurality, and possessiveness with -yo.
kalo has three basic pronouns; wa [1sg], ni [2sg], and ko [3sg]. These do not indicate gender. These can be made plural using the suffix "-lo", and possessive with "-yo".
|1st person|| wa
my; mine; our(s)
|2nd person|| ni
|3rd person|| ko
he; she; him; her; it
they; them; those
- walo wite ni - 1pl see 2s - We see you.
- kolo ne kono wa - 3pl NEG know 1s - They don't know me.
Verbs do not change and are only ever modified by particles. There are three basic tenses in Kalo, past, present, and future. The simple present is not marked, the past is marked by le from the Chinese particle (了), and the future is marked by sa from the Arabic construction (سَـ).
|present||-||wa ila||I go|
|past||le||wa ila le||I went|
|future||sa||wa ila sa||I will go|
|conditional||kisa||wa ila kisa||I would go|
- wa kome le - 1s eat PST - I ate.
- aki koyo kome - brother 3sg.GEN eat - His brother eats/is eating.
- nilo ne wite sa ko - 2pl NEG see FUT 3sg - You all will not see her.
Uncertainty is marked by ki, kisa, or kile. These are taken from Spanish (quizá) and used across the three basic tenses. It can also act as a subordinating conjunction, and conditional constructions, “if, whether”. It is also used to express possibility or probability.
- tela wa ki ni wite ko - tell 1s if 2s see 3s - Tell me if you can see her.
- ki ni amo yawe te pu yuma ne inpo - if 2sg like weather of today NEG important - Whether you like today’s weather does not matter.
- kisa pu yuma yuwa - maybe this day rain - It may rain (later) today.
Kalo does not use prepositions, but instead uses positional verbs as auxiliaries. These are also used as temporal adverbs in certain situations.
- yu - in; at; within; inside; during; between | from (于)
- ila - be toward; at; in the direction of; go; walk; travel | from (إلى)
Determiners in kalo precede the noun they modify.
- pu - this; these
- su - that; those
- aku - many; much (one hundred)
- kula - all; every; each
- ne - no; none; zero
- poka - some; several; a few
- meno - less; fewer / few; a little
- maso - more
- asi - such
- ayo - whichever; whatever
- oto - other
- tonye - same
|si||4||four||aku / -ku||100||(one) hundred|
When numbers one through ten occur independently, the indicator "ke" precedes the number.
- ko yo le o kasa ke li
- 3s have PST O house NUM two
- She had two houses.
- wa wite o nano ke si
- 1s see O man NUM four
- I see four men.
- yewa - 11; eleven
- yeli - 12; twelve
- liye - 20; twenty
- liyesi - 24; twenty-four
- kuyeli - 112; one-hundred-twelve
- sankuweyepen - 365; three-hundred-sixty-five
The working lexicon for Kalo.
- kasa /ˈka.sa/ from SPA casa
- n - house; building
- v - dwell; reside
- kan/a /ˈka.na/ from ARA كان
- n - existence; occurrence
- v - be; exist; occur
- kai /kaɪ̯/ from ZHO 該
- v - should; ought to; need to; have to
- kisa /ˈki.sa/ from SPA quizá
- part - perhaps; maybe; if; conditional particle [COND]
- kula /ˈku.la/ from ARA كل
- n - all; whole; entire; every; complete; each
- kute /ˈku.te/ from FRE écouter
- v - listen; hear
- prep - with; by means of
- v - use; employ
- ke /ke/ from ZHO 個
- part - number marker
- ko /ko/ from JAP 個
- n - person; individual
- pro - he; she [3sg]
- kono /ˈko.no/ from SPA conocer
- n - knowledge; awareness; understanding; recognition
- v - know; understand; be aware (of); recognize
- kome /ˈko.me/ from SPA comer
- v - eat; consume; drink
- koyo /ˈko.jo/ from KALO
- part - whose; of who(m)
- sa /sa/ from ARA سَـ
- part - future tense particle [FUT]
- saka/na /ˈsa.ka.na/ from ARA سخن
- v - be hot; be warm; burn
- n - heat; warmth / fire
- san /san/ from ZHO 三
- num - three; 3
- sana /ˈsa.na/ from ARA سنة
- n - year; 365 days
- sapa /ˈsa.pa/ from ARA سبب
- n - cause; reason; purpose; rationale; motive
- salama /sa.ˈla.ma/ from ARA سلم
- n - peace; calm; tranquility; quiet
- v - be peaceful; be calm
- intj - Peace! Hey! Hi!
- sawa /ˈsa.wa/ from ARA زوج
- n - spouse; husband; wife; sweetheart; mate
- v - marry
- si /si/ from ZHO 四
- num - four; 4
- siya /ˈsi.ja/ from ZHO 下
- prep - below; under; beneath
- v - be under; be lower
- su /su/ from TUR şu
- part - that; those (over there)
- sunya /ˈsun.ja/ from HIN शून्य
- num - zero; 0
- n - nothing
- v - be empty; be void
- se /se/ from SPA se
- pro - reflexive / reciprocal pronoun
- sosa /ˈso.sa/ from SPA salsa
- n - juice; sauce; gravy; dressing
- ta /ta/ from ZHO 大
- v - be large; big; grand
- v - to thank; show appreciation; express gratitude
- part/intj - thank you; thanks
- tapo /ˈta.po/ from ZHO 打破
- v - damage; wreck; break; destroy
- n - destruction; damage
- v - be good; pleasant; agreeable; nice; sweet; OK
- intj - great! good! thanks! OK! cool! yay!
- tiya /ˈti.ja/ from SPA tía
- n - aunt/uncle; extended family
- v - to move away from
- prep - of; from
- tenpo /ˈtem.po/ from SPA tiempo
- n - time; moment; period
- tela or talo /ˈte.la/ or /ˈta.lo/ from ENG tell
- n - language; talk; speech
- v - talk; speak; discuss; say; tell
- tonpa /ˈtom.pa/ from ZHO 同胞
- n - sibling; compatriot; friend
- tonye /ˈto.ɲe/ (or ton /ton/) from ZHO 同一
- v - be identical; same; equivalent; equal
- na /na/ from JPN なな
- num - seven; 7
- nai /naɪ/ from ZHO 內
- v - be inside; within
- prep - inside; within; during; while
- nano /ˈna.no/ from ZHO 男
- n - man; male
- nama /ˈna.ma/ from ARA نام
- v - sleep; rest; relax
- naya /ˈna.ja/ from HIN नया
- v - be new; fresh; young
- nalu /ˈna.lu/ from JPN なる
- v - succeed; finish; complete; accomplish; become; turn into
- ni /ni/ from ZHO 你
- pro - you [2sg]
- nun /nun/ from PIE h₁néwn̥
- num - nine; 9
- ne /ne/ from ENG nay
- part - no; not; negative [NEG]
- nesi /ˈne.si/ from SPA necesitar
- v - need; require; must
- n - obligation; need
- nen/ka /ˈnen.ka/ from ZHO 能
- v - be able to; be capable; be possible
- n - potential; possibility; capability
- note /ˈno.te/ from SPA noche
- n - night; darkness
- pa /pa/ from ZHO 八
- num - eight; 8
- n - bread; food; sustenance
- pala /ˈpa.la/ from SPA palabra
- n - word; morpheme; lexeme
- pina /ˈpi.na/ from ARA ابن
- n - child; offspring; kid
- pu /pu/ from TUR bu
- part - this; these (here)
- pula /ˈpu.la/ from HIN बुरा
- n - evil
- v - be bad; spoiled; be broken; to break down; be wicked; be evil
- pen /pen/ from ELL πέντε
- num - five; 5
- po /po/ from SPA por
- prep - by; for; [be] about
- v - [go] through; [move] across
- poka /ˈpo.ka/ from SPA poca
- v - be small; little
- v - be few; less
- ponte /ˈpon.te/ from ENG ponder
- v - think; ponder; consider; weigh
- n - thought; idea; consideration
- pone /ˈpo.ne/ from SPA poner
- v - to put, to place, to set
- ma /ma/ from ZHO 嗎
- part - interrogative particle [Q]
- maka /ˈma.ka/ from ENG make
- n - cause; action; happening
- v - do; make; cause; happen
- maso /ˈma.so/ from SPA más
- part - more; again
- n - layer; repetition; addition
- v - add; repeat; layer
- mala /ˈma.la/ from ARA امرأة
- n - woman; female; wife
- mila /ˈmi.la/ from SPA mil
- num - thousand; 1000
- muki /ˈmu.ki/ from ARA مهم
- n - importance; significance
- v - be important; matter
- muna /ˈmu.na/ from ENG moon
- n - moon; month
- me /me/ from FRE mais
- part - but; however; although
- moto /ˈmo.to/ from SPA modo
- n - mood; manner; way; method
- ya /ja/ from ARA يا
- part - vocative marker [VOC]; hey; let's ~
- yati /ˈja.ti/ from ARA يد
- n - hand; arm
- v - give; transfer
- yapu /ˈja.pu/ from ARA عفا
- n - pardon; excuse; forgiveness
- v - pardon; excuse; forgive
- yame /ˈja.me/ from ARA جمع
- n - collection; gathering; group; set
- v - gather; collect; assemble; unite
- yu /ju/ from ZHO 于
- v - be in; at; out of
- prep - in; at; to; by; than; out of
- yuma /ˈju.ma/ from ARA يوم
- n - day; daylight; 24 hour period
- ye /je/ from KOR 열
- num - ten; 10
- yeko /ˈje.ko/ from ZHO 以后
- prep - back; behind; rear; afterwards; after; later
- adv - from now on; henceforth
- yo /jo/ from ZHO 有
- v - have; possess; carry; hold; keep
- laka /ˈla.ka/ from ARA رقم
- n - number; digit; amount
- v - count; enumerate
- lata /ˈla.ta/ from SPA lata
- n - box; bucket; basket; container; vessel
- v - carry; tote; transport
- li /li/ from ZHO 兩
- num - two; double; duo
- pro - some; a few
- le /le/ from ZHO 了
- part - past tense marker [PST]
- loka /ˈlo.ka/ from SPA local
- n - place; location; point; spot
- pro - I; me [1sg]
- num - one; 1; single
- v - be alone; be singular
- wan /wan/ from ENG want
- v - want; desire; wish for
- waya /ˈwa.ja/ from HIN वयस्क
- v - grow; mature; develop
- n - adult; mature thing
- wite /ˈwi.te/ from PIE weyd
- v - look; see; observe; watch; read
- wino /ˈwi.no/ from SPA vino
- n - alcohol; beer; wine
- v - drink ~
- we /we/ from PIE swéḱs
- num - six; 6
- weko /ˈwe.ko/ from SPA hueco
- n - door, hole, orifice, window; port
- wento /ˈwen.to/ from SPA viento
- n - air; wind; void; essence; spirit
- wela /ˈwe.la/ from SPA fuera
- prep - outside; exterior
- v - leave; exit
- aku (-ku) /ˈa.ku/ from JPN ひゃく
- n - a very many, lots, a lot; much
- num - hundred; 100
- alima /a.ˈli.ma/ from ARA علم
- v - to discern, to find out, to learn
- n - learning; education; knowledge
- amo /ˈa.mo/ from SPA amor
- n - love; affection; adoration
- v - love; adore; like
- ante /ˈan.te/ from SPA ante
- n - front side; chest; fore area
- prep - before; in front; forward; ahead
- asi /ˈa.si/ from SPA así
- part - like this/that; as [such]; thus; so
- awa /ˈa.wa/ from ARA أو
- part - either; or; other
- ayo /ˈa.jo/ from ARA أي
- part - whichever; whatever; something [INDEF]
- part - and; also; too
- ila /ˈi.la/ from ARA إلى
- prep - toward; at; in direction of
- v - go (toward); walk; travel
- o /o/ from JPN を
- part - direct object particle
- ola /ˈo.la/ from SPA hola
- part - hello; goodbye; general greeting/farwell
- ola - Used for "hello; goodbye; farewell; welcome" (analogous to aloha)
- kan/a - "yes; it is"
- ne - "no; it is not"
- yapu wa - "Excuse me."
- nenka ma - "Please." [lit: is (it) possible?]
- by extension "Do you mind?"
- tanka (ta) - "Thank you (very much)."
- tipa - "(That's) OK."
Greetings & Goodbyes
- ola yuma - "Good morning/day/afternoon"
- ola note - "Good evening/night"
- salama - "Hey/Hi/Hello/Bye"
- moto (niyo) ma - manner 2s.POSS Q - How are you?
- tipa - "Good/OK/Fine."
- ... - "Not bad."
- tenpo ta ne wite - time big no see - Long time no see