Uncle Davey, 2003
Lesson 1 – Alfabet
The alphabet of Fucatokk contains the same 26 letters of the modern English alphabet and no diacritics.
Each letter has one sound only and always keeps that sound. Words are spelt as they sound in the Fucatokk language.
Some of the letters, especially ‘q’ and ‘x’ have quite different values to those usually given in modern English, but most letters are not so surprising.
The punctuation marks and the numbers, other than where they abbreviate letters using the Fucatokk alphanumeric shorthand, follow typical European usage, except for the absence of capitalisation, which is perfectly acceptable form in Fucatokk.
Many people visiting this will know Esperanto, so here are the Esperanto equivalents of the Fucatokk letters:
a = a (Short. Long is ‘ey’)
b = b
c = cx (English ‘ch’ as in ‘church’)
d = d
e = e (Short)
f = f (Where English pronounces this as ‘v’, Fucatokk writes it ‘v’. Eg. ‘ov’)
g = g (always hard. Soft ‘g’ is ‘j’)
h = h
i = i (short. Long is ‘iy’ but Fucatokk avoids the sound)
j = djx (the sound at the end of ‘bridge’, or ‘brij’ in Fucatokk)
k = k (or English hard ‘c’in ‘cat’)
l = l (Not critical whether the ‘light’or ‘dark’ version)
m = m
n = n
o = o (short. Long is ‘ew’, but Fucatokk avoids the sound)
p = p (Not critical as to degree of aspiration)
q = Not in Esperanto, this is the English ‘th’ in ‘thing’ (English ‘qu’ is ‘kw’)
r = r (Not critical whether rolled or pronounced as in US English or as in French)
s = s (where English ‘s’ sounds like ‘z’, Fucatokk writes it as a ‘z’. Eg. ‘hiz’)
t = t (Not critical as to degree of aspiration)
u = u (short. Long is ‘yu’, but Fucatokk avoids the sound)
v = v
w = w/ux (one of two semivowels. It does not appear as a full vowel)
x = sx (English ‘sh’. English ‘x’ is ‘ks’ in Fucatokk)
y = j (the other semivowel. It does not appear as a full vowel)
z = z
Except in the construction of adjectives from nouns or nouns from verbs, Fucatokk avoids where possible double letters. The name of the language ends in a double letter because ‘talk’ is basically a verb, but also functions as a noun.
Where they do occur, double letters do not affect pronunciation or the length of surrounding vowels.
Examples: ‘copik’ = tropic. ‘copikki fixiz’=’tropical fishes.
Note the spellings of some of the Capital cities of the European Union in Fucatokk Full Convention, pronounced as in modern Southern British English, and below in the local language but in Fucatok convention, as close as it gets:
landan, berlin, paris, rewm, madrid, worsow, stokhewm, prag, byudapest, talin, riga, lizben, vilnias, bratislava, aqenz, viena, kopenheygen, nikosia, laksemberg, braslz, de heyg, dablin, helsinki
landan, berliyn, pariy, roma, madriy, varxava, stokholm, praha, budapext, talin, riga, lisboa, vilnius, bratislava, aqini, viyn, kebnhawn, nikosia, luxombur, brusel, den hag, dublin, helsinki
Lesson 2 – Fucatokk Alphanumeric Shorthand (‘FAX’)
The language is equipped with some numerical shorthands, which are like the modern English text messaging convention of using ‘m8’ for ‘mate’, except that they incorporate more of the digits from 1-9 and this gives the language a more outlandish appearance in writing than it would otherwise have.
It is optional to use alphanumeric shorthand, but it is not considered ‘bad style’ in Fucatokk. It can be written without, but that takes more time to write, more space on the page, and more bytes in the stored sentence.
Here are the available numeric shortcuts:
1 = ‘xan’ (english ‘-tion’ suffix. ‘no17’= ‘notionally’)
2 = ‘nd'(a more common combination in Fucatokk than in English)
3 = ‘ks’, English ‘x’ (see Greek letter ‘ksi’)
4 = ‘er’ (‘f94’ = ‘finger’,’kw514’= ‘questioner’)
5 = ‘est’ (‘g5’= ‘guest’)
6 = ‘ix’ (English ‘ish’ so ‘9l6’= ‘inglix’= ‘English’)
7 = ‘alli’or ‘ali’ (English ‘ally’,’of67’= ‘officially’, ‘147’ = ‘generally’)
8 = ‘ejt’ (English ‘ate’ as in ‘m8’)
9 = ‘ing’ as in ‘singing’ (=’s99′)
0 is too similar to ‘o’, therefore permanently unassigned.
wots e gri1 4n?
wotev4z in hiz w7t!
(What’s a Grecian Urn/earn? Whatever’s in his wallet!)
(Note this is not Fucatokk, but transliterated English)
Without using Fucatokk words or grammar, only the writing conventions, compare how the Fucatokk Full Convention (FFC) abbreviates a text and the alphanumeric shorthand convention even more:
“Four seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of Man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring’s honey’d cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness – to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook:-
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forgo his mortal nature.”
“for siyzenz fil de mexer ov de yier;
der ar for siyzenz in de maynd ov man:
hi haz hiz lasti spring, wen fansi klier
teyks in ol byuti wiq an iyzi span:
hi haz hiz samer, wen lagxuryasli
springz hanid kad ov yuqful qowt hi lavz
tu ruminejt, and bay sac driyming hay
iz niyrest antu hevn: kwayet kewvz
hiz sewl haz in its owtem, wen hiz wingz
hi ferleq klews; kontentid sew tu luk
on mists in aydelnes – tu let fer qingz
pas bay unhiydid az e qrexewld bruk:-
hi haz hiz winter tu ov peyl misfiycer,
or els hi wud forgew hiz mortel neycer.”
Fucatokk Alphanumeric Shorthand (FAX)
“for siyzenz fil de mex4 ov de yi4;
d4 ar for siyzenz in de may2 ov man:
hi haz hiz lasti spr9, wen fansi kli4
tey3 in ol byuti wiq an iyzi span:
hi haz hiz sam4, wen lagxuryas7
spr9z hanid kad ov yuqful qowt hi lavz
tu rumin8, and bay sac driym9 hay
iz niyr5 antu hevn: kwayet kewvz
hiz sewl haz in its owtem, wen hiz w9z
hi f4leq klews; kontentid sew tu luk
on mists in aydelnes – tu let f4 q9z
pas bay unhiydid az e qrexewld bruk:-
hi haz hiz wint4 tu ov peyl misfiyc4,
or els hi wud forgew hiz mortel neyc4.”
A reduction of about 8 percent on the FFC version and a further 5% on the FAX version. Imagine the time saving if everyone had learned to talk and write that way from their earliest days.
But bear in mind that this poem is still in English, only the notation has been changed to help us practise the Fucatokk writing systems, and the equivalent words and grammar of Fucatokk are still more simplified.
Lesson 3 – Pronouns and prepositions
So now we come on to the Fucatokk language proper.
In this section, we don’t yet make full sentences, you need verbs for that and they come in the next lesson. However the combination of pronouns and prepositions gives the chance to make a lot of sense even without full sentences, and is a pretty good place to start as it is not hard, and paves the way for the verb.
wehu? = who?
ay = I
yu = you
hi, xi, id = he, she, it
wi = we
yuyz = you (plural)
dey = they
This is used for the direct or indirect object of the verb and is used after prepositions.
wehum? = whom?
ma = me
ya = you
him, ha, id = him, her, it
wa = us
yaiz = you (plural)
wehuaz/(wewaz for short)? = whose?
ayaz = my
yuaz = your
hiaz, xiaz, idaz = his, her, its
wiaz = our
yuyzaz = your (plural)
deyaz = their
The need for apostrophe ‘s to show possession is replaced by the fact that the ‘apostrophe+s’ of possession is ‘-az’ ans the ‘s’ of plurality is ‘iz’. The equivalent of english ‘s+apostrophe’ is ‘izaz’
The genitive plural ending is always ‘izaz’ and not ‘aziz’ because that is as it is and is as good as it gets.
This follows logically the English usage that in that case the apostrophe follows the plural marker.
Semivowels ‘w’ and ‘y’can appear when these suffixes are added to words ending in a vowel.
The prepositions are mainly as follows
on = on
in = in
wiq = with
elong = along
tu=towards, or in order to
bay=by (near to), and ‘by’of agency. til= until and ‘by’ of time ov=of
Note also these words:
ye = yes
no = no (and ‘not’)
ap = up
o = or
dawn = down
lef = left
ray = right
bak = back, backwards
for = in front, forwards
bat = but
an = and
e = a, an
de = the
pli = please
qanks = thank you
Lesson 4 – The Verb
We should note that there are no changes to the form of the verb depending on the person, because the subject pronoun is not left out. All other tenses but present and past are made with modal verbs.
The infinitive form takes ‘na-‘ as a prefix:
nagon = to go
nadu = to do
naran = to run
natok = to talk, speak
nasey = to say
naxawt = to shout
nawok = to walk
nastan = to stand
nawud = to would (modal)
naxud = to should (modal)
naroyt = to write
nabikom = to become
nateyk = to take
nakom = to come
nasliyp = to sleep
naslip = to slip
nawan = to want
naleyk = to like
nalav = to love
nasit = to sit
naley = to lie (down)
nalay = to tell lies
nayit = to eat
nacast = to trust
najink = to drink
najayv = to drive
nariyd = to read
naswim = to swim
naweyk = to wake
naandastan = to understand
nahaz = to have (possession)
nagot = to obtain
nahov = to have (purely in the modal sense) nafawn = to find
nasow = to see
nalet = to permit
natic = to teach
the suffix -en can show the main verb being done to someone else
naweyken = to awaken
naleyen = to cause to lie down, to lay
nasiten = to make someone sit down
naandastanen = to make someone understand
The present tense is simply the verb minus the infinitive prefix, continuous or iteratitive meanings take the suffix -ing, which also serves for the negative imperative, eg: ‘no duing dat’,and the past tense is in ‘d’ or ‘id’ if the root form ends in d, t or a cluster that makes d require a vowel before it for ease of pronunciation.
One of two question form, but not the negative form, takes ‘nadu’, and in the past tense both the modal and the main verb show as participles.
‘Nadu’ is used as an emphasiser as in English ‘do’.
The other verbal form, which is not found in English, is used with positive imperatives and with the question words ‘izid’ for a positive question and ‘iznid’ for a negative. Also the first person plural imperative ‘lez’ is followed by this verb form,called the courteous voice, which adds an -i root to the end of the present or past tense form.
Examples: goni awej! = Go away!
iznid yu gondi tilnaw? = Haven’t you gone yet?
izid yu cuali wani nahert ma? = Do you really want to hurt me?
It is not common for a verb to end in a double letter. It signifies a verb made from a noun or another part of speech.
ay tok fucatokk = I speak Fucatokk (futuretalk)
du yu tok fucatokk?/izid yu toki fucatokk? = Do you speak Fucatokk?
no, ay no tok fucatokk, bat ay du andastan ya.
du yu andastan ma?/izid yu andastani ma? = Do you understand me?
weykeni him /(no weykening him) namoro at nayn.= (Don’t)/Wake him up tomorrow at nine.
ay wud hov weykend ha at ejt, bat ay sliypd tu longali.
You will notice that on occasion the English past tense of a strong verb becomes its Fucatokk root form.
This applies to nakom, nabikom, nagot, naran, nagon, nafawn, nasow and some others. All Fucatokk verbs are weak, so you will not find a past tense without a ‘d’ in it.
‘ay bid’ = I was
‘ay hov bid’ = I have been
‘ay ofer’ = I bid
‘ay hov oferd’ I have bid
The -ing suffix has purely verbal meanings. Words that are nouns and borrowed from English terms in ‘ing’ have the suffix ‘-inn’, which is a double letter because when a word which is at base verbal changes to have the function of a noun, or a word which is at base a noun starts to function as an adjective, this is indicated by the doubling of final letters, which is something otherwise avoided in Fucatokk.
“yu tok de tokk, bat yu no wok de wokk”
“Lez wi ol bi humann binniz” – ‘Let’s all be human beings’.
“hazi e jinkk, hazi e jayvv, goni awt an sowi weot yu kan fown”
“hey! no jinking en jayving!” – ‘Hey! Don’t drink and drive!’
The verbal phrases in English that mirror the German separable verbs such as ‘to put on’ to take off’ are no longer separable. They are written together with the verb and obey the rules of the verb as above.
The syllable with the preposition element bears the stress. In all other case the syllable following ‘na’ always bears the stress in all parts of the verb. naputon = to put on
putoni dat!= Put that on!
teykofi ol yuaz klodiz = take off all your clothes
ayaz wajf leyk nadresap xiazselv = my wife likes to dress herself up
Lesson 5 – Nouns
Nouns have double letters on the end when they derive from verbs that otherwise sound the same:
ay hop yu fel gudali = I hope you feel well
id bi ayaz hopp, dat yu fel gudali = It’s my hope, that…
leting ma haz e fell ov yuaz legiz = Let me have a feel of your legs
Here, the words ‘hop’ and ‘hopp’ or ‘fel’ and ‘fell’sound identical, but the double final letter marks the fact that something that is basically an action word or verb, is a noun.
Other than that, nouns in Fucatokk do not have double letters and the gender follws natural gender, as in English, with the vast majority being inanimate and therefore neuter.
As mentioned before, the genitive marker is -az, the plural -iz and the genitive plural is ‘izaz’.
Irregular plurals are not found and words are usually not limited to being found in the plural or singular only.
There are no ‘silent e’s and there are certain regular sound shifts that can be observed, such as the change from double letters to single letters, the avoidance of diphthongs if a simple vowel will work, and the use of ‘c’ for ‘tr’ and ‘j’ for ‘dr’. Voiced ‘th’ becomes either ‘d’ or goes unvoiced and the unvoiced ‘th’ is written ‘q’, as we saw earlier.
The overwhelming loan stock is from English, but there are other sources, particularly where the alternative is more international.
The ‘er’ suffix in English is also ‘er’ in Fucatokk. Not everybody pronounces the final ‘r’.
ticer, riyder, jayver, laver, raner, mister, master = teacher, reader, driver, lover, runner, mister, master.
The ‘ee’ suffix for someone who is on the receiving end of an action is spelt ‘iy’. ployer/ployiy,(employer/employee)
castiy = trustee
(note here that the stress falls on the first syllable, unlike English, where it falls on the ‘-ee’.
dir laviyiz = dearly beloved
nouns in -ness, -ship, -dom, -ment and -hood from English follow spelling changes to -nes, -xip,-dom, -mend and -hud
hajnes, frenxip, kingdom, fragmend, cajlhud.
val = valley
riv = river
land = land, country
kontinend = continent
sitt = city
tawn = town
vilaj = village
haws = house
mawnd = moundM
mawnden = mountain
kat an dog
flayy (naflay = to fly)
Parts of the body:
hed = head
ey = eye
iyur = ear
arm = arm
leg = leg
cest = chest
stomak = stomache
nek = neck
xulder = shoulder
hand = hand
newz = nose
Lesson 6 – Adjectives
adjectives that are adjectives in their base form, such as qualities of size and colour, never take a double consonant.
examples: red, pink, blu, griyn, wayt, blak, grey,
Lesson 7 – Adverbs
Lesson 8 – Conjunctions, numerals, table words
- Cultural Tells of Language (eldraeverse.com)
- Why can’t we spell English words phonetically? (io9.com)
- Why I study English ? (thekeyofinterpretation.wordpress.com)
- Politics and the English Language (sgtreport.com)
6 thoughts on “FUCATOKK – repost of an old attempt of mine at an easy conlang (unfinished – collaboration welcome)”
Looks like you followed the path of discretion and pulled the post on a contrived language for expressing with precision all of 49,378 some-odd gradations of flatulent variation.
Pity that only now have I discovered that Benjamin Franklin, whom you facially resemble, also wrote about the importance of the subject, against which all other areas of scientific endeavor rank as but a fart[h]ing.
No punches were pulled in the preceding two sentences. Enjoy.
I am not sure I have pulled it. Maybe it is a question of it being hard to find in the tsunami of unbelievable guff that is my life’s work online.
I did not know that I look like Benny Franklin. He can go into the list along with “Hill” “Hinn” and “Him off Crossroads” which is the club of Bennies I resemble. Maybe I can turn that to my advantage.
Here there has been no (self-)censorship! With all that Cambridge larnin’, don’t tell me you’re so insecure as to call your life’s work guff. Nonsense! You’ve accumulated, created, recombined, and shared an incredible body of technical knowledge.
Heh heh. You make me smile. I get the impression you are one of my old mates appearing incognito. Not sure which of them, but would your initials by any chance be IN?
I see I forgot to write the word I was asking about! I meant the [ʒ] in measure.
Very interesting! I’ve wondered what it looked like. How do you write the [ʒ] in ?
And the shorthand for is similar to my substituting for [ŋ] when that character is not available.