Although the idea of making Tilya a logical language was partly inspired by the Lojban project, Tilya has different goals. From time to time I will call attention to the similarities and differences between the two languages. In the long run, there will probably end up being more differences than similarities, but there are enough similarities that references to Lojban may help to clarify the intended meaning or usage of the corresponding features in Tilya.
Consonants Vowels bilab. alv. postalv. velar front unr. back rounded stops p b t d k g i u high affricates q c nasals m n e o mid fricatives f v s z x j h r approximants w y a low lateral appr. lThe next-to-last syllable of words containing more than one syllable is stressed. One-syllable words are unstressed. Each part of a compound word is stressed on the next-to-last syllable, with the strongest stress on the final root.
The simplest predicate consists of a single root word with the suffix "-a". These roots, called qefqa in Tilya (Lojban gismu), always have a CVCC structure. The word qefqa itself is an example of this type of predicate, with the root "qefq-" and the suffix "-a". More complex predicates can be built by combining roots with the suffix "-i" between them. Thus, from the roots "hirk-" (rain) and "nofh-" (arch), the predicate "hirk-i-nofh-a" (rainbow) is constructed.
The main predicate of a sentence is indicated by the predicate marker a. The simplest kind of argument is a two-letter pronoun such as bo (I), ja (you), or re (he, she, or it). Names, which begin with the vowel i- and can be of any length, can also be used as arguments. Suffixes such as -a are added to names just as they are with predicates.
Predicates are categorized according to the kind and number of arguments they take. Some are more "noun-like", and others more "verb-like".
NOUN-LIKE: jexha [S ~] S is a doughnut. Bo a kenyi-jexha. I MP jelly doughnut "I am a jelly doughnut." VERB-LIKE: qenha [S ~ O] S (resident) resides (dwells, lives) in O (home). Bo a qenha iberlina. I MP reside Berlin "I live in Berlin." VERB-LIKE: bilna [S I ~ D] S gives D to I. Bo ja a bilna re. I you MP give it "I am giving it to you."Predicates can be made into arguments in a number of ways. The simplest way is to use the particle ke. This particle takes a predicate as an argument and allows it to be plugged in to the argument slot of another predicate. In the examples it is translated as "some", although more literally it means "more than zero (at least one; a quantity of), but not all". It can be used as the equivalent of either the definite or indefinite articles of English.
Ke racma a qenha ke wetwa. some bear MP reside some forest "Bears live in the forest." Ke qenha a racma. some reside MP bear "The resident is a bear."The indefinite pronoun no in conjunction with the relativizer ga can be used to include more complex arguments.
No ga qenha ke lolwa a huvga no ga lugra ke logja. one that reside some moon MP require one that provide some oxygen "Those who live on the moon require a supply of oxygen."Predicates can be inflected for tense, aspect, and mood by adding prefixes such as "jei-" (past tense) or "tai-" (imperative).
Bo ja a jei- bilna ke fokma. I you MP PAST-give some water "I gave you some water." Bo a tai- bilna ke wesma! I MP IMPER-give some brain "Give me the brain!"
zilma [S ~ qe L] S is blue at location L. Ke pasya a zilma. some bird MP blue "The bird is blue." Ke pasya a zilma qe [na] tijwa. some bird MP blue at [all] wing "The bird has blue wings." rehka [S ~ O qe L] S bites O at location L. Ke jejda a rehka bo. some mosquito MP bite I "A mosquito bit me." Re a rehka bo qe [ke] rugla. it MP bite I at [some] elbow "It bit me on the elbow."
kerfu pasya ... kerfipasya ... tijwipozgu kerfipasya black bird ... blackbird ... red-winged blackbird "a black bird" ... "a blackbird" ... "a red-winged blackbird"The phrase "kerfu pasya" can refer to any bird that is black (such as a black swan), but the word "kerfipasya" refers to certain kinds of black birds that form one or more defined categories. By convention, the phrase "tijwipozgu kerfipasya" can only refer to birds of the species Agelaius phoeniceus. Words and phrases composed of roots with the "-i" and "-u" suffixes are treated as single words for the purposes of assigning definitions, and their meanings cannot necessarily be predicted from the meanings of their components. Still, Tilya doesn't allow such idiomatic compounds as the English "ladybird", which is a beetle. A "reiyicdipasya", whatever it may be, is necessarily a warm-blooded animal with feathers, which hatched from a hard-shelled egg.
Long compounds may be abbreviated by substituting the suffix "-e" for any of the "-i" or "-u" suffixes. For instance, "bezlitijwu vejwa" ("rotating-wing aircraft") is a compound meaning "helicopter", but in actual practice, the short form "bezlitijwe" is used. Inexact, metaphorical compounds may be formed by using the suffix "-o" in place of the final suffix "-a".
jenha [S ~] S is a quantity of paper. lolfa [S ~ O qe L] S folds O at location L. jenhilolfe [S ~] S is origami (an art object of folded paper). gimpa [S ~] S is an anteater. lukra [S ~] S is a pig. gimpilukro [S ~] S is an aardvark (metaphorically, an "anteater-pig").Another way to combine predicate words is with the modifier particle so. The mnemonic "sort of" is useful in understanding the use of this particle: for instance, a "kerfa so pasya" is a "black sort of bird". That is, out of all the possible entities that can be described as "birds", it belongs to the subset that can be described as "black". Following the Lojban precedent, "black" in this case means "black in the way that birds are black". This kind of construction is analogous to what Lojban calls a tanru, and it is used for similar purposes.
But there is another way to combine predicate words: by simply combining them in sequence without any particles between them. This construction is analogous to the serial verbs of some languages, and also serves to translate adverbs in languages like English. Note that each predicate in the sequence may have its own arguments following it, but they all share the same subject.
A tai- hotsa mopma bo rozma ke lolwa. MP IMPER-fly carry I go-to some moon "Fly me to the moon." Ke joxfirurta a joxfa cucma kuhsa ke joxfitovja. some gazelle MP quick run flee some cheetah "The gazelles are running quickly to flee from the cheetah."
Ke pasya a hotsa qe nahpa ke hirkinofha. Mema bo a le ka dahwa? some bird MP fly at area-above some rainbow why? I MP not can do "Birds fly over the rainbow. Why can't I?"Another kind of modifier is a prepositional phrase, which follows the phrase it modifies.
ke zelva a zaxra ma ke jevga so pasya some gerbil MP thump due-to some scary sort-of bird "The gerbils are thumping at the scary bird."
Bla a qujca ke peswa qelwa. VAR MP assign some god exist "Consider the proposition that a god exists." Meno a ka yogya bla? which? MP can know VAR "Who can know whether that is true?"In this example, the variable "bla" is assigned the value "ke peswa qelwa" (someone's god exists). The predicate "yogya" (to know the truth value of a proposition) requires a complete proposition as an argument. Since "bla" stands for a proposition, it may be used as the second argument of "yogya". Of course, in this simple example, it's easier just to include the proposition "ke peswa qelwa" as the argument of "yogya".
Meno a ka yogya ke peswa qelwa? which? MP can know some god exist Who can know whether or not a god exists?But in more complex cases, it may be difficult or impossible to embed propositions inside larger constructions without changing the structure of the sentence or adding delimiters. Since explicit delimiters were considered undesirable in the design of Tilya, I decided to rely on variables for such cases.
bezla [S ~ O] S rotates around O (pivot, axis). bezlitijwe [S ~] S is a helicopter. bilna [S I ~ D] S gives D to I. bla (example of a variable) bo [pron] I; me. cucma [S ~ qe L] S runs at location L. dahwa [S ~ O] S (agent) does (performs) O (activity). fokma [S ~] S is a quantity of water. ga [conj] that (relativizer). gimpa [S ~] S is an anteater. gimpilukro [S ~] S is an aardvark. hirka [S ~] S is precipitation (typically rain). hirkinofha [S ~] S is a rainbow. hotsa [S ~ qe L] S flies at location L. huvga [S ~ O] S requires (needs) O. iberlina [name] Berlin. ja [pron] you. jei- [infl] (past tense). jejda [S ~] S is a mosquito. jenha [S ~] S is a quantity of paper. jenhilolfe [S ~] S is origami (an art object of folded paper). jevga [S ~ O] S frightens (scares) O; S is scary. jexha [S ~] S is a doughnut. joxfa [S ~] S is quick (fast, rapid). joxfirurta [S ~] S is a gazelle. joxfitovja [S ~] S is a cheetah. ka [adv] can, is able. ke [quan] more than zero (at least one; a quantity of), but not all. kenya [S ~] S is jelly. kenyijexha [S ~] S is a jelly doughnut. kerfa [S ~ qe L] S is black (color) at location L. kerfipasya [S ~] S is a blackbird (various species of Icteridae, or Turdus merula). kuhsa [S ~ O] S flees from O. le [adv] not. logja [S ~] S is a quantity of oxygen. lolfa [S ~ O qe L] S folds O at location L. lolwa [S ~ O] S is a satellite of O; S is a moon. lugra [S ~ O ko R] S provides O to R. lukra [S ~] S is a pig. ma [prep] due to, because of. mema [question] why? meno [question] which? who? mopma [S ~ O] S carries O. nahpa [S ~ O] S is the area above O. no [pron] one. nofha [S ~ qe L] S has the shape of an arch at location L. pasya [S ~] S is a bird. peswa [S ~ O] S is a god of O (religion, tradition, worshiper). qe [case] at (locative). qefqa [S ~] S is a basic Tilya root word (CVCC structure). qelwa [S ~ qe L] S exists at location L. qenha [S ~ O] S (resident) resides (dwells, lives) in O (home). qujca [V ~ P] Let V (variable) represent P (proposition). racma [S ~] S is a bear (animal). re [pron] he, she, it; him, her. rehka [S ~ O qe L] S bites O at location L. rozma [S ~ D de O sa R] S goes to D (destination) from O (origin) by means of R (route). rugla [S ~ O] S is an elbow of O (living being). rurta [S ~] S is an antelope. so [conj] sort of. tai- [infl] (imperative). tijwa [S ~ O] S is a wing (appendage for flying) of O (living being, aircraft). tilya [S ~] S is the Tilya language. tovja [S ~] S is a cat. vejwa [S ~] S is an aircraft. wesma [S ~ O] S is a brain of living being O. wetwa [S ~] S is a forest. yogya [S ~ P] S knows the truth value of P (proposition); S knows if P. zaxra [S ~] S thumps (makes noise by repeated jumping). zelva [S ~] S is a gerbil. zilma [S ~ qe L] S is blue (color) at location L.