The grammar of ROILA is intended to be regular. There will be no exceptions and any rule will be applicable to all words from a part of speech. Since ROILA’s grammar is of the isolating type new words will be added to reflect grammatical categories and typically only one new word will be added after the part of speech in question. For e.g. the new word will be added after the verb to exhibit tense and after the noun with regards to plurality. Hence in any one sentence an inflection takes place near only one word type.
Parts of Speech
ROILA has the following parts of speech: Nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives and 4 pronouns (I, you, he and she).
Names and Capitalization of Nouns
Names of people will be used as it is. The first letter of names borrowed from natural languages will be capitalized as will be the first letter of every new sentence.
Gender will not be marked in ROILA for animate beings neither for inanimate objects. Gender will only be marked for pronouns (he/she), see the section on person references.
Grammatical Numbering will be represented for plural nouns. In the singular instance there will be no changes whereas for plural nouns the word “tuji” will be added after the noun. The meaning of “tuji” is “very”.
I love this fruit
Pito loki wikuteI love fruit
I love all fruits
Pito loki wikute tuji
I love fruit <word marker for plural>
Person References are conveyed using “I” and “you” (pito and bama respectively). We assume that this would be enough as ROILA is primarily intended for interactive communication between two people and references to he/she can be replaced by the usage of names of those people. However we still allow for the representation of gender in the third level of person references. This is accomplished by using “liba” for he and “mona” for she.
I can go left or right
Pito leto fosit webufo buno besati
Tense will be spread over the basic three levels: past, present and future. Present tense will imply normal sentences with no changes. Past will be represented by the addition of the word “jifi” and future by “jifo” after the verb in question. For e.g.
I am walking to the house
Pito fosit bubas
I walk house
I walked to the house
Pito fosit jifi bubas
I walk <word marker for past tense> house
I will walk to the house
Pito fosit jifo bubas
I walk <word marker for future tense> house
Polarity will simply be represented by yes/ok/good (“wopa”) and no (“buse”).
Do not listen to her
Buse lulaw mona
No listen her
Questions can be addressed using the word “biwu” which literally translates to what.
What color is the musuem?
Biwu wekepo buse kulil bubas?
What color not new house
Conjunctions include: sowu (and), buno (or), kijo (because).
I think this musuem is very dirty and bad
Pito wetok pimo buse kulil bubas topik sowu bujeti
I think that not new house dirty and bad
Word Order will be a rendition of SVO.
He (S) saw (V) (the) bird (O)
Liba (S) make jifi (V) mipuki (O)
He see <word marker for past tense> bird
Every sentence will conclude with a full stop: “.”
Question marks can be used in sentences where a question is asked.
We do not support commas, apostrophes and quotation marks: , ‘ ” respectively.
What the ROILA grammar does not have and some work-arounds
While designing the ROILA grammar we took into account several criteria which meant that some grammatical categories were dropped completely. These categories may be found in several natural languages. We discuss each briefly and suggest how we could make up their absence.
- Certain form of Tenses such as perfect tenses are not fully supported. In some situations it would be possible to express perfect tenses by rephrasing the sentences. Let us look at an example
I am going (I am about to go) | Pimo kapim kanek | I about go
- Case is partially supported in ROILA by means of pronouns. Obivously the noun does not inflect. ROILA supports the expression of I, you, he and she as pronouns which covers the Subjective/Nominative case. For possession the sentences would have to be rewritten. Here is one example
This is Omar’s book (This is the book of Omar) | Bamas fojato fomu Omar | This book of Omar
- Aspect is loosely interchanged with tenses in most languages. ROILA does not support it explicitly.
- Modality can be partially expressed by the usage of words such as ‘may’ instead of ‘might’ for the Subjunctive type.
He might be ill (He may be ill) | Liba bemotu mufe pubemu
- Active voice is the default scenario supported by ROILA so the subject or actor of the action is always before the verb. Therefore there is no direct support for expressing passive voice.
- Articles are not part of the ROILA vocabulary, so there is no ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’.