6. Subsequent changes in Novial
In 1934 Otto Jespersen introduced certain changes in Novial which he admitted besides the original forms, saying that experience and experiment should show which are the better.
As a preferable alternative he introduces ve besides sal, and ved besides saled [lo dikted ke lo ved veni = he said he would come]. The suffix -iv(i) is to submit to the same rule as -ione; if the verb ends in a,i or o a -t- is inserted between the full verb and the suffix [afirm-a, afirm-a/t/iv; demonstr-a/t/iv, signifik-a/t/iv]. As an alternative form for the suffix -ere the suffix -tore has been admitted with the same meaning; it is more international for certain words [diktatore, kolaboratore]; it may also be used for instruments [akumulatore, elevatore, transformatore]. The suffixes -on and -ilo are abandoned and -mente is used as the best substitute for -ilo. (Novialiste, 18, 1937.)
Novial differentiates between kafe = coffee and kafee = café. Jespersen now accepts that words ending in -ee should have the stress on the first e, an abrogation of the rule that the vowel preceding the last consonant should be stressed, with the exception of consonants used for flexion [-s, -d, -m, -n]. The new rules may also be formulated to say that the double -ee is stressed as one long e. Two words have been changed back into the form in which they are found in Ido, semper into sempre, and even into mem, although me-m may also be the accusative of me.
c and z. In order to retain historic spelling in Novial against the original phonetic spelling which led to the suppression of both c and z, Jespersen has re-introduced both letters without distinctive pronunciation. He now distinguishes between phonetic Novial (F.N.) as hitherto used without c and z, and orthographic Novial (O.N.) admitting c, ç, sc, and z. An important rule is that s, c, ç, sc, z in O.N. are always to be pronounced as hard s [sivil or civil, sientie or scientie, sone or zone]. ç, taken from F [façade], is pronounced as s before a, o, u, and is required if suffixes begin with the vowel a, o, or u [nuançosi, françum, prinça, but nuance, Francia, prince]. Similarly in the words komença, komençant, komenço.
In O.N. the k-sound before a, o, u and before consonants may be written with c [cosmopoliti, succese].
In O.N. Jespersen re-introduces the letter y as a vowel with the pronunciation of i [sylabe, symbole, symetri, symfonie].
In the e/a/o words Jespersen abandons the ending -o and uses the infinitive without any suffix. He says that linguists have known for a long time that the infinitive was originally a noun [manca de dormi trubla me, ante li ariva del trene, vive es labora].
The changes introduced are slight. To give a short example, a passage from Andersen's The Emperor's New Clothes is here reproduced in Orthographic Novial.
`Men Deo!' lo pensad, `ob es posibli ke me es stupid? Tum me ha nulitem opinet, e tum nuli home darfa sava! Ob me non es habil por men oficie? No, vud es non-tolerabli ke me nara ke me non vida li texatu!'
`Nu, vu dicte nulum pri lu!' dicted un ek li texeres.
`O, lu es belisi! totim charmivi!' dicted li oldi ministro, regardant tra sen lunetes, `dis desine e dis colores! Yes, me ve dicte al emeperere ke lu plesa me tre multim!'
`Nu, tum plesira nus!' dicted li du texeres, e les nomad li kolores e li stranji desine. Li oldi ministro auscultad atentim, por tu pove dicte li samum, kand lo venid retro al emperere, e talim lo fad.
(Comparative Texts, International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA).)
Return to Contents Page