Here are some of the problems we have encountered during the
development of the Slovio language. We feel we have to explain them again and again
because again and again come the same questions on these subjects and enthusiasts, again
and again, try to "reinvent" the language by repeatedly suggesting all those
possibilities we have already considered.
cx, sx, zx, gx, - after trying many variants we have accepted this type
of spelling, because the letter combinations "cx, sx, zx, gx" don't exist in any
major languages and thus don't create confusion or mix up with existing words from other
languages. We felt is was important to give Slovio the ability to use and if needed to
absorb words from other languages while keeping the original spelling and without creating
any confusion or conflicts with existing Slovio words. Of course, instead of writing
"gx" you could also write "dzx" but why waste an extra letter and make
the spelling look more complicated?
ch, sh, zh, - this is the spelling used in the English language, and just
because it is used in the English language its use in Slovio would create thousands of
possible words which would look the same way as existing English-language words yet have
different meanings and pronounciations in Slovio and in English.
c', s', z', dz', - one of the problems with the use of an apostrophy is
that there are several similar looking characters, on various keyboards, which look the
same - yet have different codes and would look different in different browsers.
cz, sz, zz, dzz, - this was another possibility being considered, however
we felt that the dual use of letter "z" for two different sounds was confusing
and that this type of usage could create conflicts with existing words from other
languages for example "jazz, pizza, puzzle, grizzly, razzia, paparazzi" and
thousands of other words. A frustrated Russian user attempting to transliterate the name
of his city Zaporozhzhya using this system got the ridiculous combination of Zaporozzzzia.
cj, sj, zj, dzj, - this is still another possibility.
j / y - the first version of Slovio was using "y" instead of
"j" for the same sound - more or less in the same way it is being used in
English. However for the Slavic speaking nations using the latin alphabet the letter
"j" was more appropriate, and better known.
-(i)s - despite the fact that the letter combination -is designating the
plural is not native to Slavic languages, we felt that this usage created a more simple
language, spelling and grammar and fewer conflicts. It did not require massive
root-mutiliation in order to make the roots fit the other possible alternative
-i - In the Slavic languages plural is being formed in many different
ways, and it is this feature of the Slavic languages, their irregularity in the formation
of the plural, which creates most difficulties for both native and non-native speakers. It
is true that one of the most common ways (but by far not the only one) to create the
plural of nouns is the letter "-i". However, this usage creates thousands of
conflicts, because in order to use it one would have to change and amputate many naturally
occurring and well known Slavic word-roots. The changing of thousands of roots in order to
accomodate this type of plural formation was more negative to comprehension than the use
of -(i)s plural ending. For example how do you create the plural of such words as Slavia,
historia, guru, gora, dete ... without mutilation of the roots of these words.
-ju - after trying many other alternative adjective-endings we felt that
this ending was the most natural and the most flexible for adjective. It can be just as
easily added to roots ending with a consonant as to those ending with a vowel. This cannot
be said about such endings as "a" or "e". And the adjective ending
"-ju" occurs naturally in some Slavic languages.
-a, -e -y, - all of these ending are less suitable to use as an ending
for a natural language such as Slovio because they require that the root always ends with
a consonant - something that is not possible with a naturally sounding Slavic language.
Slavic roots end both in vowels and in consonants and this fact has to be taken into
consideration instead of amputating and mutilitating Slavic word-roots in order for them
to fit an imperfect grammar.
-ya, -yu - as explained previously the first versions of Slovio used "y" instead
of "j" however this had been changed in later versions.
-uo - the advantage of this ending is the fact that the letter
combination "u+o" can be just as easily added (and pronounced) to word-roots
ending both in vowels or in consonants. The other possible alternatives don't allow this
kind of universal usage, and once again demand amputation of naturally occurring vowels
from Slavic word-roots.
-e, -o, -om - once again these kinds of simple endings may be well suited
for artificial languages with artificially amputated roots, all of which end with a
consonant, but are absolutely unsuitable for Slavic languages which have roots ending both
in vowels and in consonants.
-(u)f, -(i)fs, - this is the feature of the Slovio gramar which has
caused the most arguments. While we realize that perhaps these endings are not ideal, we
had to accept them during the first stages of Slovio development in order to complete the
language and the grammar. At the time we had accepted these endings it was not yet clear
how would the language develop, but since the letter "f" is very rare in Slavic
languages we felt that these endings created the least confusion and that they could be
easily changed to a better to a more natural ending - should such ending be found and
agreed upon. Some of those other endings, still being considered, follow. However, we felt
and we feel, that it is better to wait a little, until we and the rest of the Slavic
speaking people are 100% sure about the best ending. Follow some other possibilities under
[ -(u)m, -(u)mis, -
currently we feel that perhaps this is the best alternative and the best replacement for
the above. We recommend the experimental usage of this form until we can establish if it
-(u)m, -(u)mis, - one of the best alternatives for the above.
Here are several similar-sounding alternatives:.
-(u)g - this is similar to the usage in several Slavic languages but it
may be difficult to pronounce and may create problems for roots ending with "g".
Question remains if we use -(u)g for the singular what do we use for the plural: -(i)gs,
-(u)g, -(i)ms, - this is another possible combination singular / plural
-(u)v - this is similar to the usage in central-European Slavic
languages but it may create problems for roots ending with "v".
-(u)h - this is another possible alternative.
If you have other proposals or other ideas you are welcome to voice them at blognik.com But before you give us other
"new and revolutionary" proposals how to improve Slovio, you should keep all of
the above mentioned arguments in mind, and you should keep in mind that Slavic word-roots
end just as frequently with a vowel as with a consonant. This is not Esperanto, this is
Slovio - a natural fusion of modern Slavic languages.
Slavic / non Slavic:
Another argument we have come across over the years was from those who were attempting to
make the all-slavic language more Slavic, by eliminating most or even all words of
non-Slavic origin. Unfortunately such steps would lead to a reduced comprehensibility,
since most slavic languages are inundated with foreign words, and many of those non-Slavic
words are universally understood in all Slavic speaking countries. While we want to use as
many words of Slavic origin as possible, in many cases non-Slavic words offer better and
more universal comprehensibility.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who want to use as many international
non-Slavic words as possible, in the belief that this will make the language more
acceptable and easier to learn to non-Slavic speakers. This extreme position could lead to
a language that is incomprehensible, without learning, to the majority of Slavic speaker.
We have to balance between the two opposing directions and demands, keeping in focus the
simplicity of grammar and spelling on one hand and the comprehensibility of the language,
especially to native Slavic speakers, on the other hand.
Flexible grammar and spelling proposal:
In order to help us all to find the best grammar and spelling solution for our common
language, we invite all to write in Slovio - but use the grammar and spelling that they
prefer - in order to test their ideas. Just use the common Slovio vocabulary and add your
grammar and spelling. We think in this way, with time, the readers will decide which
grammar and spelling is the best, the most flexible and the most understandable. If your
grammar and spelling system are as good as you think, it should be no problem to use them
and to be understood. Only through practical usage can we try it. Theoretical quarelling
is just theory and does not try the theory in practice. However, it is important that
Slovio and the Slovio grammar, spelling and vocabulary remain as stabilized as possible.
Therefore we will not change the current official Slovio grammarand spelling until a
solution has been found with which can agree most Slavists and institutes of Slavistics.
But please use in your spelling only the basic letters of the latin alphabet without any
special signs or formatting.
Why is Slovio the way it is?
Slovio is trying to find the right balance between simplicity, on one hand, and
comprehensibility by the maximum number of readers or listeners, on the other hand.
Perhaps the grammar and spelling could be made even more simple - but at the price of
losing comprehension. And perhaps the language could be made even more
comprehensible - but once again at the cost of losing its simplicity and regularity. We
feel that currently Slovio is close to the right balance between simplicity and
comprehensibility and we would like to keep it that way, or improve - if possible. So if
you want to help us please keep this in mind. Thank you.
See also: Flexible grammar and orthography