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Neo
Created byArturo Alfandari
Date1961
Setting and usageInternational auxiliary language
Purpose
SourcesMost of the vocabulary from Romance and some from Germanic languages; phonology from Romance and Slavic languages
Official status
Regulated byAkademio de Neo (now defunct)
Language codes
ISO 639-3neu
neu
Glottologneoa1234

Neo is an international auxiliary language created by Arturo Alfandari, a Belgian diplomat of Italian descent. It combines features of Esperanto, Ido, Novial, and Volapük. The root base of Neo is closely related to French, with some influence from English.

History

The basic version of Neo was published in 1937 by Arturo Alfandari. It attracted attention in 1961 when Alfandari published his books Cours Pratique de Neo and The Rapid Method of Neo. The works included both brief and complete grammars, learning course of 44 lectures, translations of literary works, scientific and technical texts, idioms, detailed bidirectional French and English dictionaries. The total volume of the publications was 1,304 pages, with dictionaries numbering some 75,000 words.

The language combines the features of Esperanto or Ido, with the same goal: a simple, neutral and easy-to-learn second language for everybody.

Neo attracted the interest of the circle around the International Language Review, a periodical for IAL proponents whose publishers co-founded the international Friends of Neo (Amikos de Neo) with Alfandari; the organization also published its bulletin, the Neo-bulten. For a few years it looked like Neo could give some serious competition to Esperanto and Interlingua.

As Alfandari's health worsened, to avoid disappearance of his language, he founded a second, more serious organization: the Academy of Neo (Akademio de Neo), with the task of regulating, nurturing and spreading the language; but the organization was not very successful. Progress was cut short by Alfandari's death in 1969 and the language was mostly forgotten.[1]

Overview

The cover of The Rapid Method of Neo

Grammatically, the language is mostly influenced by Ido and Esperanto; though some characteristics such as a plural -s and natural-appearing pronouns come from naturalistic IALs like Interlingua and Interlingue.

The way of forming the vocabulary and the preference for short, monosyllabic words show a substantial Volapük influence but, unlike the latter's roots which are often changed and mutilated beyond recognition, the Neo roots are easily recognizable as Romance.

It is also notable for its terseness, which exceeds that of English or any International auxiliary language (IAL) of the a priori type, which makes it very compact and brief in expression, and for the facility of its grammar whose overview occupies only two pages.

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n (ŋ)
Stop p b t d k ɡ
Fricative f v s z ʃ h
Affricate ts
Approximant w l j
Trill r

Vowels

Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Orthography

Alphabet

Neo alphabet (+ digraphs)
Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 - -
Upper case A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z SH TS
Lower case a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z sh ts
IPA phoneme a b t͡ʃ d e f g h i d͡ʒ k l m n o p kw r s t u v w ks j z ʃ t͡s

Neo uses the 26 letters of the standard Roman alphabet: 5 vowels and 21 consonants. When spelling a word, the letters have an -e ending:

a, be, ce, de, e, fe, ge, he, i, je, ke, le, me, ne, o, pe, qe, re, se, te, u, ve, we, xe, ye, ze.

Pronunciation

Examples:
Neo English approximation
c (ch) chair, such
g garden, log
j jewel, badge
q (kw) quart, liquid
s some, mash
sh shall, mash
ts tsetse, lots
w wing, southwest
x (ks) oxen, taxes
y yarn, yogurt

The c has the same pronunciation as the digraph ch; both are pronounced as in English words like chalk or chimney, and in borrowed Italian words like ciao or bocconcini, never with the 'k' sound in care or the 's' sound in certain. The g always has the “hard” pronunciation of get or good, never the “soft” pronunciation of gem or giant. The s is always unvoiced, never pronounced with the 'z' sound in rose or the 'zh' sound in leisure.

Other letters, including the vowels, are pronounced as in Esperanto. Words with the letters q (not pronounced 'kjoo' but as in English 'qu') and x (pronounced 'ks' without an initial vowel) may optionally be spelled with kw and ks, respectively. Each letter is always spoken in the same way, except that final h is silent in a few borrowed words like pashah, muftih, kadih, papah, mamah.

Spelling

All words are written with initial small letters (minuscules), except for proper nouns and the first word of a sentence.

Stress

Words ending in a vowel have a stress accent on the second-last syllable. Words ending in a consonant have a stress accent on the last syllable.

Examples:
Neo English meaning
libro book
patro father
kemio chemistry
folyo leaf
garden garden
amik friend

The plural -s or -os does not affect the stress accent.

Examples:
Neo English meaning
libros books
gardenos gardens
amikos friends

In the combinations uo, au and eu, the vowels are to be pronounced separately, not as diphthongs. Nevertheless, the stress accent does not fall on the u in these vowel combinations.

Examples:
Neo English meaning
linguo language
auto automobile
neutra neuter (grammatical gender)

Grammar

The articles are invariable:

Adjectives end in a and are invariable:

Adverbs end in e and are invariable:

Singular nouns end in o, which can be dropped, as long as the pronunciations remain very easy.[2] Plural nouns end in os.

  • arbro, frat(o), sor(o), arbros
Pronoun declension
English Subject Object Possessive
I mi me ma
you tu te ta
he il le la
she el le/ley la
it it le/it la
(reflexive) so se sa
we nos ne na
you vu ve va
they (m.)[citation needed] zi ze za
they (f.) zel ze/zey za

There is also the pronoun ziel for mixed-sex group.[3]

Verbs:

Samples

The Lord's Prayer

Na Patro ki sar in cel,
siu ta nom santat.
Venu ta regno.
Siu fat ta vol,
asben in cel, as on ter.
Na shakida pan ne diu oje.
E ne pardonu na debos,
as nos pardonar na deberos.
E no ne induku in tentado,
mo ne fridu da mal.

Sentences

Look before you leap. = Miru pri salti.
Goodnight, Miss Wilson. = Bonnox, Damel Wilson.
What do you call this in Neo? = Kom namar vu eto nee?
Where are you going? = Qo tu?
It's none of my business. = Eto no ma eco.

Numbers

1 un, 2 du, 3 tre, 4 qar, 5 qin, 6 sit, 7 sep, 8 ot, 9 non, 10 is
11 isun, 12 isdu
20 duis, 21 duisun, ... 30 treis, 40 qaris
100 ek, 1000 mil
5184 qinmil ek otis qar
3522 tremil qinek duis du

Wanderer's Nightsong (German: Wanderers Nachtlied) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Task by Douglas Blacklock

Lo diplomata linguos

Latin sir, us l'endo del issepa seklo, l'oficala linguo de diplomatio. Latine so redaktir lo tratalos e l'akordos e so skambir lo komunikos inte governos. Lo last gran tratal ridaktat latine sir lo de Westfalio, in 1648; depdan kauzel preeminenta plas trenat pe Franso, Latin pokpoke cedar plas a fransal; e fransal restar us l'enso d'et seklo - us 1918 - lo diplomata linguo, lo linguo de tot internasyona medos.

Ab 1918, lo diplomata linguos jar du: fransal e anglal. In et du linguos, sir meant lo negosados pol Versailles-Tratal e pol osa paxtratalos de 1919 e sir ridaktat et tratalos, amba linguos fande fid; dok no sen inkonvenos, lo du textos pande somyes determeni def interpretazos.

Do 1945, espanal, rusal e cinal sir an admitat as oficala linguos. Nos nun nel epok de tradukeros e interpretos.

(Gino Buti)

Ka sor l'avena diplomata linguo?

Sar nel internasyona riunos, konferensos e kongresos, dey num pluar idide, ke lo neso d'un monda adlinguo se far senti pluste.

Nilo samtempe plu groteska e plu afligifa qam lo spekto ofrat pel kongresistos munat kon udokaskos, ki tentar, sen sem riusi, kapi lo diskorsos pronuncat in def lingoes. Diskorsos tradukat aste pe interpretos, dey lo melestas sar force, konforme l'itala dikton: tradukeros, trazeros.

Es so exijur dal parpreneros lo kono d'un komuna adlinguo, ke zi pur apreni kon infana izeso, so fur ilke un enorma ekonomio de temp, dengo... e de malkomprenos.

(Arturo Alfandari)

References

  1. ^ Harlow, Don (2000). "How To Build A Language: Neo". The Esperanto Book. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
  2. ^ Rapid Method of Neo, p. 10: not "tabl" or "libr" which may be difficult to pronounce
  3. ^ Rapid Method of Neo, p. 16

Bibliography