All the grammar you need to know!
This page contains the ENTIRE jolo grammar
The jolo Alphabet
jolo is a phonetic language: you read and write it just as it sounds (similar to Spanish, in this regard).
No capital letters, excluding names.
24 letters, that is - all the letters as in English, excluding Q and C. The letter C appears only in the personal pronouns and is pronounced as in CAT, or with H, as in CHIP. The letter G is pronounced as in GIFT, the letter J is pronounced as in JAR, the combination SH is pronounced as in SHIP, the letter X sounds like "KS" and the letter Y is pronounced as in YARD.
a - as in car
e - as in neck
i - as in feel
o - as in orange
u - as in cool
I - a
you - ba
he - ca
she - ce
we - da
you (pl.) - fa
they - ga
What about IT? No neutral form in jolo.
What about IS, then?
jolo uses no auxiliary verbs, that is - it does not use verbs such as TO BE (am, is, are) and TO HAVE (have, has, had) for building tenses.
This means that sentences like:
The dog is happy will look like the dog happy
The dogs are happy will look like the dogs happy
Note: "The tree is tall. Can I climb it?"
If there is no neutral, how would you say "it" in this case?
jolo is flexible! Choose between ca and ce, whatever sounds more intuitive to you. Both are CORRECT.
You may also use zom, meaning "that".
In jolo, prepositions are not conjugated. Instead, the personal pronouns are used as is, in the most intuitive way possible. For example:
"gona" is the possession preposition:
gona a - mine
gona ba - yours
gona ca - his
gona ce - her
gona da - ours
gona fa - your (plural)
gona ga - their
"solio" is the preposition "on":
solio a - on me
solio ba - on you
solio ca - on him
solio ce - on her
solio da - on us
solio fa - on you (plural)
solio ga - on them
Verbs & Tenses
Lets take a look at some verbs:
gopgi - to walk
memgi - to eat
depgi - to write
The infinitive structure always ends with "gi". No other word in jolo ends with"gi".
In jolo there are only 4 tenses, since all we need for full communication is one past tense, one present tense, one future tense and an imperative.
jolo uses NO conjugation in order to build the tenses. Let's have a look at one verb for example, to see how we get the tenses in the simplest way ever.
gopgi (to walk)
Take off the "gi" to get the imperative form: gop (walk!)
Add "pa-" for creating the past tense: pa-gop (walked)
Add "pre-" for creating the present tense: pre-gop (walk/s, walking)
Add "fu-" for creating the future tense: fu-gop (will walk)
No other word in jolo begins with "pa", "pre" or "fu".
So this is how you build the tenses, no exceptions:
a pa-mem (I ate)
da pa-mem (we ate)
ce pre-mem (she eats)
ba pre-mem (you eat)
ga fu-mem (they will eat)
a fu-mem (I will eat)
Note: Since verbs and tenses do not change to fit the pronoun, the pronoun should always be noted.
BUT, what about general statements, such as "it isn't possible to change the world"?
The form for a general statement would be:
"man can't change the world"
(As the English "one", the German "Mann", or the French "on a").
Another (last) thing about verbs...
memgi - to eat, BUT what about to be eaten? And to feed someone else, or to be fed? In jolo, the different forms of the verb - active and passive alike - are constructed by adding a prefix to the verb, as follows:
for active verbs the prefixes i, e or a (rare), or no prefix at all.
for passive verbs the prefixes o or u.
memgi - to eat
imemgi - to feed
omemgi - to be eaten
umemgi - to be fed
a pre-mem - I eat/I'm eating
a pre-omem - I am eaten/I'm being eaten
ga fu-umem - they will be fed
Just another example:
fengi - to fix
ofengi - to be fixed
da pa-fen - we fixed
ca pre-fen - he fixes/is fixing
zom fu-ofen - it will be fixed
(zom = that/it)
No other word in jolo begins with a, e, i, o or u
(2 exceptions here: the numbers 1 [on in jolo] and 8 [eio in jolo] and words derived from them)
All adjectives begin with "ta".
Every noun can be turned into an adjective by adding "ta".
No other word in jolo begins with "ta"
freso (beauty) - tafreso (beautiful)
noro (speed) - tanoro (speedy)
suso (horse) - tasuso (horsy)
jolo treats colors more like entities, rather than adjectives: All colors begin with "ma" and end with "i": mapi, mazi, maji, mabi etc.
Correct Order of Words in a Sentence
There is NONE.
This is one of the main, core features of jolo: In order to hug your native linguistic tendencies, jolo is constructed in a way that allows you to speak in your native, most intuitive word order. The role of words is identified by the special prefixes/suffixes, which are noticed immediately in every order of words. Let's recall them (and add another two, last ones):
All and only infinitives begin with gi
All and only tenses in past form begin with pa-
All and only tenses in present form begin with pre-
All and only tenses in future form begin with fu-
Words that begin with a, e, i, o or u are always infinitives/imperatives (2 exceptions)
All and only adjectives begin with ta-
All and only questions words begin with x-
All and only nouns in plural form end with -si
BUT, there is only one case in which the word order does matter, namely: when an action involves two sides, only one of them is actually DOING the action.
So, jolo gives you two options of how to do this:
1. The first person noted is the doer:
Danny pre-lav Sharon
Danny is the one who loves (Sharon)
2. You can still choose to note Danny (and Sharon) wherever you want inside the sentence, but then you'll have to add "-em" to denote the doer:
pre-lav Sharon Danny-em
Danny loves Sharon
Same goes with pronouns:
a pa-lav ba (I loved you)
ba pa-lav a (you loved me)
ba pa-lav a-em (I loved you)
pa-lav ba a-em (I loved you)
pa-lav a ba (I loved you - no need for -em here!)
Notice that when no -em is added, it means the first one to be mentioned is doing the action.
Last but not least - NUMBERS
To indicate order (sequence), add "xon":
onxon - first
tuxon - second
texon - tenth
For fractions, add "xa":
tuxa - half
trixa - third
texa - one tenth
So, how do you say 63? Once again, you choose, based on your intuition. You may say:
sish tri (sixty three)
sish vo tri (sixty and three)
tri vo sish (three and sixty)
tri sish (three sixty)
All are CORRECT.
Done with grammar - forever!
Yup. This is all the jolo grammar you'll ever need to know.
Two final notes, and a few words about flexibility and vision:
1. Measurement units are international and remain the same. You can spell them phonetically, in a jolo way (sentimiter), or in English or as in your native language.
2. Names of countries, cities and languages will be as pronounced and written in the respective countries! The idea behind it is that such a convention is almost an imperative for an equality-based language.
Terminal Stress (as in "affair") or Penultimate Stress (as in "language")?
You choose! Truth is I chose the terminal, but it is only my own personal preference. Which leads me to the final note.
Flexibility and Vision:
It was in 2010 or 2011 when I sat in a Tel Aviv bar with three girls - one was Swedish, one was Norwegian and one was Danish. Back then, almost a decade before I had even conceived of jolo, I was stunned to discover how the three young women were having a lively, fluent conversation, in which they each had spoken their own native tongue!
10 years later, while working on jolo, I recalled that evening, and not without a reason. This is the model I had in mind: forming a language that has a resilient core, but in many ways allows any speaker to adjust this essential structure to his or her own native tendencies.
That way, jolo speakers are actually speaking different idioms of the same language, so similar that they are easily understood by speakers of other "idioms", and yet - without losing their fluency or artificially trying to adhere to a specific order or particular particle words.
For example, in some languages you eat with a fork while in others you eat in a fork. In jolo, all forms are CORRECT, as long as they follow the basic grammar taught in this one sole page. No idiom has superiority over another, not even MINE. jolo is about EQUALITY. No one will speak a "better jolo" just because he was born in a country which operates a better educational system.
I believe this flexibility and diversity of the "idioms", which I perceive to be the greatest strength of jolo, will create intriguing linguistic phenomenon. With bright shining eyes, I am looking forward to hearing a "Chinese jolo", an "Arabic jolo" and an "Icelandic jolo"!
jolo is a hug - it hugs who you are and the way you think, and it lets us hug each other, leaving linguistic barriers behind. Let's jolo together!