Thursday, 14 March 2013

What is a simple language ?

           First a simple language is a language which is easy to pronounce for the largest possible number of people, which is not the case for English. After having studied English for 8 years, many of my students still don’t know how to pronounce it properly. For example, you never know whether a is pronounced æ as in « cat », ā as in « car », ei as in « cake », ō as in « call » or ə as in « a », etc… You never know whether i should be pronounced i as in « pig » or ai as in « night », thus some of my students pronounce the word « study » [stoo-dye].

           The famous Irish writer and humorist Bernard Shaw used to write the word fish «ghoti» because gh is pronounced f in « enough & laugh », o is pronounced i in « women », and ti is pronounced sh in «station, nation», etc… 

              On the other hand, the Italian language can be pronounced easily by most Europeans, not to say most people in the world, because it presents no specific problem of pronunciation for them. Therefore the Uropi pronunciation is very close to that of Italian.


The pronunciation is Italian

                              a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, ʒ, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u, v, w, z.
All vowels are pronounced as in Italian, so are nearly all consonants.

s = ss in Italian (between two consonants):         U. kase = I. casse [as in cases] = cashdesks
z = s in Italian (between two consonants):          U. kaze = I. case [as in phases] ( U = cases, I = houses )
g = g, gh in Italian : (as in give)                          U. gob, goben = I. gobba, gobbo = hump, hunchback
w is pronounced like Italian u in uomo, buono, duomo, suono (= English w)
c and ʒ [sh & s in measure] are pronounced easily by Italians who have [ch & j] in (città, giorno);

Only h (= English h) is a phoneme which is different from any Italian sound.

> Many endings exist both in Uropi and Italian (although their meanings may be different)

-i (Ur. adjectives = It. masculine plural)
Ur.alti / It.alti (tall), keri/cari (dear), anenomi/anonimi (anonymous), kurti/corti (short), longi/lunghi (long), desti/destri (right-hand-), enormi/enormi (enormous), falsi/falsi (false), futuri/futuri (future), justi/giusti (fair, just), anmezi/immensi (immense), lifri/liberi (free), magri/magri (lean), mati/matti (mad), mori/morti (dead)

-e (Ur. masculine plural = It. feminine plural)
hase/case (houses), kase/casse (cash-desks), alme/anime (souls), bitale/battaglie (battles), belade/bellezze (beauties), kulpe/colpe (faults), kopije/copie (copies), koze/cause (causes), koje/code (tails), kurve/curve (curves), forme/forme (forms), were/guerre (wars), liste/liste (lists), line/ linee (lines), etc…

-a (Ur. = It. feminine singular)
Ʒina/donna (woman), tiota/zia (aunt), kolega/collega (female colleague), kokora/cuoca (female cook), medikora/medica (woman doctor), sekretora/segretaria (female secretary), kata/gatta (she-cat), kuna/cagna (bitch), gala/gallina (hen), kwala/cavalla (mare), kada/capra (nanny-goat), liova/leonessa (lioness), vulpa/lupa she-wolf), etc…

-o (Ur. verbs in the infinitive = It. verbs in the first person of the present, or nouns in the masculine singular)
vizo/viso (to see, face), santo/canto (to, I sing), pivo/bevo (to, I drink), ceko/cerco (to, I seek), kluzo/chiuso (to close, closed), opro/apro (to, I open), komando/commando (to, I command), koduto/conduco (to, I drive), konto/conto (to, I count), veno/vengo (to, I come), teno/tengo (to, I hold), kreo/credo (to, I believe), curo/giuro (to, I swear), skrivo/scrivo (to, I write), pajo/paio (to pay, a pair), sforo/sforzo (to, I make an effort), so/sono (be, am), trugo/trucco (deceive, make up), turno/turno (to, I turn (with a lathe), etc…

(stressed: Ur. past = It. passato remoto (simple past), 3rd person singular of the verbs ending in IRE)
vestì/vestì (dressed), usì/uscì (uttered, went out), sendì/ sentì (sent, heard), servì/ servì (served), diskrovì/ scoprì (discovered), oprì / aprì (opened), proslogì /proseguì (pursued), etc…

> Expressions with double consonants as in Italian

he nom ma / insomma (he calls me, in short), je zon ne / le donne (it doesn't sound, the women), ven ne/ venne (doesn't come, came), cal la / spalla (call them, shoulder), etc…

> Expressions stressed on the antipenultimate syllabe = “parole sdrucciole” .

vizo la / isola (see them, island), dezo lo / Jesolo (tell them, Jesolo), cago ma / sagoma (hunt me, silhouette), stigo la / spigola (sting them, sea bass), debo no / debbono (owe us, they owe), breno va / Genova (burn you, Genoa), glado va / Padova (look at you, Padua), findo va / Mantova (find you, Mantua), etc…

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