31 January 2016

summary of words documented in January

ma (I), man (my), zan (this), ka (sentence-ending interrogative particle)

dobri (good), sleki (bad)

lengo (language), zango (Zango), honxu (book), stilo (pen), kundo (physical exercise)

lindu (bird), libli (butterfly), bambu (bamboo), zonzu (sun), sabro (morning)

possible sentence: zan honxu dobri ka. Is this book good?

30 January 2016

voiced vs. voiceless consonants

For a few years I toyed with the idea of only using voiced consonants in Zango.

Later I considered using voiceless consonants only for harsh or unpleasant concepts. Thus “pizza,” being one of the most pleasant concepts in the universe, became bidza (voiced consonants) in Zango.

I have abandoned the idea of using voicing, or lack thereof, to indicate (un)pleasantness, but a few remnants of that experiment still linger in the lexicon.

28 January 2016

word: kundo

kundo : working out, doing physical exercise : Finnish kuntoilu, Japanese undō

26 January 2016

word: libli

libli : butterfly : inspired by Estonian liblikas, Tamazight iblilli

24 January 2016

word: bambu

bambu : bamboo : inspired by words in a large number of languages such as German Bambus, Russian bambúk, Greek bampoú

22 January 2016

word: stilo

stilo : pen, writing utensil : inspired by Greek styló and Romanian stilou

20 January 2016

word: ka

ka is a sentence-final particle; adding ka turns a declarative sentence into a question; it is obviously borrowed from Japanese. It’s not clear if Zango will adopt any of the other uses of ka which occur in Japanese.

18 January 2016

word: sleki

sleki : bad : derived from Latvian slikts, German schlecht, Dutch slecht

16 January 2016

15 January 2016

words: ma, man

ma : I, me : ostensibly from Nepali ma, also inspired by my feeling that using mi as a first person pronoun is too common

man : my

There may be some sort of pattern among zan and man, perhaps demonstratives and possessive pronouns are going to be CVC words ending with n.

14 January 2016

word: zonzu

zonzu : the sun : inspired by Dutch zon, German Sonne, Croatian sunce, Hindi sūrya

12 January 2016

11 January 2016

word: dobri

dobri : good : inspired by Czech dobrý, Polish dobry, Ukrainian dóbryj

10 January 2016

in Esperanto, a brief explanation

Zango estas negrava lingvo konstruata sur bazo de 5-leteraj substantivoj kaj verboj. L’ aŭtoro gvidas l’ evolucion laŭ prefero kaj kaprico. La vortprovizo kaj gramatiko enhavas fragmentojn de multaj lingvoj de l’ mondo.


dobri – bona 
sabro – mateno
sleki – malbona
lengo – lingvo
xanda – luno (x = ŝ)
zonzu – suno
grafe – skribi
stilo – skribilo

09 January 2016

quinqueliteral word structure

The five-letter words in Zango have the vowels and consonants arranged in a CVCCV or CCVCV pattern. This is not the first time I’ve used sonic word-shape as the basis for a vocabulary; Vorlin was based on CVC(VC(VC)) nouns.

08 January 2016

word: sabro

sabro : morning : the first part of sabro is inspired by Japanese asa, Turkish sabah, the latter part by Greek proí, Russian útro

06 January 2016

word: zango

zango : Zango (the name of this language) : a portmanteau of “zan lengo”

04 January 2016


There are patterns among the final letters of the 5-letter words. Most nouns end with a or o, most verbs end with e, most adjectives end with i. There are a few exceptions to these patterns for various reasons.

03 January 2016

word: zan

zan : this, these : not related to equivalent words in other languages

02 January 2016

word: lengo

lengo : language (the system of vocal or written communication used by a particular community or country) : inspired by Papiamentu lenga, Occitan lenga, Japanese gengo

01 January 2016


the alphabet and phonemes of Zango

Latin alphabet, lower-case only, standard alphabetical sorting (a to z).

b, p, d, t, g, k : About what you’d expect. The voiced ones are not aspirated; the voiceless ones can be aspirated or not, it doesn’t matter.

f, v, l, m, n, s, z : Exactly as they should be.

h, w, y : Only occur at the beginning of a syllable. y = IPA [j]

j : ʒ or ʤ
x : ʃ
r : r, ɹ, ʀ – whatever the speaker is comfortable using

a, e, i, o, u : Ideally like IPA [a, e, i, o, u]. But if a speaker uses ɑ for a, ɛ for e, or ɯ for u, no harm is done.

The diphthong ai is used in a few grammatical particles.