The Wayback Machine -


A logical language

version 4.2 (2002.01)

by Claudio T. Gnoli


0 : Introduction

1 : Writing system

2 : Phonology

3 : Morphology

4 : Syntax

5 : Vocabulary

0 : Introduction

Liva is a logical language, currently under development. It is created mainly by the volunteer work of its author, Claudio T. Gnoli.

Logical languages are a special kind of artificial languages, namely of speakable languages created from scratch rather than developed spontaneously within a culture: the most famous artificial language is Esperanto. The typical feature of logical languages is that their structure and grammar are intended to express the logical relations between words in clear and effective ways: the most successful logical language is Lojban, while few others are known.


0.1 : Aims

Liva is constructed mainly for fun: at first, it has not any practical aim.

It can be seen as an experiment, trying to satisfy both the requirements of logic and the aesthetic preferences of its author -- two things not unrelated to each other. Just as poets like to express their souls by writing poetry, "glossopoets" like to express their way of seeing the world by coining a language to describe it. There is few hope that such a language will ever be spoken by a wide community, but that does not matter.

A secondary effect of the experiment is learning interesting things about the structure of languages, with special reference to their logical sides. Syntactic and semantic solutions developed in Liva could be applied in future to other information processing tools, for example indexing languages like thesauri and classification schemes.


0.2 : Name

The name "Liva" has no special meaning: I chosen it just because I like its sound. It does not mean anything special in the language itself.

"Liva" is also a name of women: for example, it is the name of a nice young girl living in Slovak mountains, in a novel for young people of the Poly series by Cécile Aubry [errata corrige: it was another author]; and of a former prostitute who meets the leading male character, in the film "Mifune" directed by Søren-Kragh Jacobsen of the Dogma group (1999). In some dialects of central-southern Italy liva means olive fruit.


0.3 : History

I began thinking about an artificial language when I was very young, perhaps 12. While a teen-ager, I developed the alphabet and grammar of an agglutinative "rational" artificial language, called Aarbane and later Aarbad (stress on the second [a]). Of course it was quite naive; however, some ideas from it survived in Liva.

I did not study linguistics, and did not spend more time with Aarbad. However, after my degree (in zoology), my interest within artificial languages increased again, and was stimulated by reading some linguistics books and discussing my ideas with a couple of friends. At that time I also got in contact with many other people sharing the same hobby, mainly through the mailing list ConLang: such exciting experience has obviously been a major incitement.

So, in 1995, a new language began to develop from the ashes of Aarbad: it was provisionally referred to as "universal logical language" and then Luv, but very soon the name became Liva. I am working on it at sessions separated by long periods of quiescence, depending both on inspiration and time factors.

Though always developing the same basic philosophy, Liva underwent major evolutions, especially in morphology and syntax, while phonology got relatively stable around 1998. Vocabulary, as dependent from phonology and morphology, was never fixed, and only provisionally defined words were used to experiment the other language features.

This version 4 (2001) of the Liva description differs from version 3 (2000) mainly for the presence of nasal+stop pairs, and for adopting the "Liva C" model, in which both nouns and relators have a predication valency, instead of the "Liva A" model, where nouns are constants; besides, version 3 "predicates" are now called "relators", and version 3 specifiers have been separated into deictics, quantifiers, and intensionals. Version 3 is available for comparison (see especially its section 3.2.1).


0.4 : Acknowledgements

I am grateful to all friends and fellow "langdevils" who have contributed to the development of the language by stimulating discussion and useful information: especially Tommaso R' Donnarumma, Alessandro Emilio, Maurizio M' Gavioli, B' Philip Jonsson, And Rosta.

Rick Harrison generously made his Universal Language Dictionary (5.1) publicly available, and Leo J' Moser shared useful additions to it; Michael A' Rouse sent to me his "enormous corpus" of lexical information derived from the Internet, which I have not yet exploited. Allocation of a Unicode Liva character set has been possible thank to John Cowan's initiative.

Other logical languages, especially Loglan and Lojban, are obvious references.


0.5 : Documentation

A first amount of information on the language was originally posted to the "ConLang" mailing list, then hosted in "Mia Soderquist's little conlang page" during 1996: that is considered the version 1 of the language description. This web site do not exist online anymore. A second version has been hosted since 1997 by Nick Summers in his web site, at <>. Recent developments and alternatives on some details, especially concerning phonology, have been discussed in "LangDev" and "Aleppe".

Since version 3.1 (October 2000), a more complete description of the language is available at this address, and is integrated with additions from time to time.

1 : Writing system

An alphabetical system -- as opposed to syllabic, ideographic, etc. -- has been chosen for Liva.

The representation of sounds in Liva is always phonetic, namely each symbol represents only one phoneme, and each phoneme is represented by only one symbol.

1.1 : Liva graphemes

A Liva original alphabet has been planned to represent the phonemes of the language. It is intended to be iconic, namely reflecting by the shape of graphemes the main articulatory features of the phonemes, according to a regular scheme.

C.A. de Moy's alphabet (1787), modern Visual Speech, and to some extent the Korean alphabet have already been based on such idea. Its most complete realization probably is Herman Miller's Lhoerr alphabet, even available as a TTF file. B' Philip Jonsson has also done much research in this direction.

After many previous attempts not completely satisfying, a new Liva alphabet is being studied by the author, with precious suggestions by Tommaso R' Donnarumma and Maurizio M' Gavioli.


1.2 : Roman graphemes

To easily represent Liva texts and communicate them, a standard Roman writing is provided.

Roman graphemes (letters) are commonly written all non-capital. For graphical purposes it is possible to write them all capital, leaving the non-letter characters unchanged. A blank space between words is usually given as a visual help, but it is not strictly needed, as phonotactics make words self-segregating (2.4).

In this document, Liva words and phrases will be written in italic characters. Liva graphemes will be indicated in brackets like {a}, rather than in angled brackets like <a> as used in linguistics; this is because angled brackets can be confused with symbols very common in online documents and email.

As Liva has 32 phonemes, while the Roman alphabet only offers 26 graphemes, some additional symbols are necessary. The use of digraphs (sequences of two graphemes representing one phoneme) has been rejected; instead, some special graphemes have been defined.


1.2.1 : Extended set

The Liva extended Roman alphabet uses, besides the 26 common Roman graphemes, the following ones:

{ð} and {þ} are from the Icelandic alphabet, {ñ} from Spanish, {£} from the British pound symbol (it can be replaced by a Greek lambda when available), {î} from French, {ø} from Danish. All these symbols are included in the character set used for the HTML format.


1.2.2 : ISO 80646 set

The special letters above are not included in the 7-bit ISO 80646 character set, also known as the ASCII set, which is widely used in exchanging digital information, for example in email.

When not available, the above letters are replaced by the following symbols:

{0} can also be used in place of {&}, and {1} in place of {@}, so making the whole alphabet made only of letter and digit symbols.


1.3 : Non-Liva sounds

Non-Liva sounds and words, delimited by special markers (3.2.4), can be represented within Liva text in foreign alphabets. The native alphabet of the foreign language, IPA international phonetic alphabet, or Herman Miller's Lhoerr alphabet are recommended for such purpose.

2 : Phonology

Although human phonatory apparatus is able to produce a continuum of different sounds, languages make distinction between a limited number of relatively fixed sounds, called the phonemes. Phonemes differ from each other by one or more parameters or distinctive features:


2.1 : Phonemes choice

Although it would be possible, by combining the numerous distinctive features, to distinguish between many hundreds of potential phonemes, each natural language only uses a limited number of them, usually some tens, so that misunderstanding is less likely; on the other hand, more phonemes allow to coin more short words. Hence, a number of phonemes between 25 and 40 seems to be a good compromise.

Liva phonemes have to be:

(1) easy to distinguish between each other, both for speakers and for listeners. So, places and manners of articulation will be clearly separated: no semivowels, which could be confused with voiced fricatives or closed vowels; places of articulations will be at quite regular intervals;

(2) simple to articulate. So, sounds formed by overlapping different places, like labiovelars, sounds formed by quick succession of simple sounds, like affricates and vibrants, and sounds produced by unusual air flows will be avoided;

(3) included in an elegant and regular phonological scheme, as an implementation of Liva's characteristic regularity.

Prosodic features, namely intensity, tonality and duration, will not be used to distinguish phonemes. So, it will be possible to pronounce Liva with any accent or intonation without changing the meanings. For personal aesthetic preferences, I suggest to adopt a fixed stress on the first vowel of words, and primarily on syntagm heads. Among articulatory parameters, air flow will not be a distinctive feature: all sounds will generally be pulmonar egressive. So, Liva's phonological system will be based only on place and manner of articulation.

By manner, phonemes will be distinguished in:

Raymond A' Brown does not include voiced fricatives in his "briefscript" because they "have a tendency to weaken to approximates and become virtually silent" (LD 1999.01.13); however, Mark Rosenfelder notices that "just about everything has a tendency to weaken (and ultimately drop)" (LD 1999.01.13).

Each of these manners will be realized by four different places; in this respect, phonemes are defined only generically as:

A fifth place of articulation has longly been considered: as for occlusives it would have been realised by retroflexed sounds, like in Indian languages; but it has been eventually discarded in order to improve perceptual distinction.


2.2 : Phonemes representation and schema

This is the table of the 32 phonemes of Liva.

manner \ place labial front centre back
occlusives voiced  b  d  j  g
voiceless  p  t  c  k
nasal  m  n  ñ = 4  q
lateral  w  l  £ = 2  r
fricatives voiced  v   ð = 6  z  h
voiceless  f  þ = 5  s  x 
 closed vowels  y  i   î = @  u
 open vowels  ø = &  e  a  o

2.3 : Phonemes description and allophones

Voiced and voiceless occlusives are very common in natural languages, with the possible exception of central ones (palatals), which are found e.g. in Hungarian and Quechua. Front lingual occlusives {t, d, n, l} can be pronounced as alveolars, as it happens generally in European languages.

Nasals are present in many natural languages: [m] and [n] especially are very common. In many natural languages the velar nasal only occur at word end; however e.g. Ligurian dialect uses it even before vowels, as Liva does: with some training, it is not difficult to pronounce.

A dental/alveolar lateral is very common. A palatal one is found e.g. in Italian and Spanish. Velar lateral is less common, but it can be approximated by the velarized alveolar, as in English hill. The labial lateral is Liva's most original phoneme: I (and my friends langdevils with me) am not aware of any language having one, neither of an IPA symbol to represent it; the easiest way to realize it seems to be by the tongue's tip between lips, either in the middle or at one side: in this position imagine to pronounce a common [l]; a more rigorous alternative, as it does not involve the tongue and is hence truely "labial", would be to put lips near only in their central part and leaving two spaces on the sides, though it seems a difficult position, or to put them near on a side and leave a space on the other side.

In a phonetic scheme, typical fricatives could appear shifted of one position backwards in relation to the occlusives (e.g. velar occlusive but uvular fricative): this can enhance their distinction; in Liva's phonological scheme, however, occlusives and fricatives can be showed in one column, so to make the representation simpler and considering the possibility of allophones. So, central fricatives are typically prevelar, like in German ich, but they can also be pronounced, without risk of confusion, as the palatal fricatives common in French (jambon, choisir) and English (azure, sheep). In European languages, dental/alveolar fricatives are typically realized as furrowed, like in English see, but also not furrowed dentals can be found, like in English think: in Liva they can be both furrowed and not. The velar/uvular voiced fricative, which is not common (e.g. Czech and Slovak {h}), can also be realized as a slightly vibrant French {r}.

Among velar vowels, the labialized (rounded) versions are much more common, and they can be used. It is recommended that open vowels {ø, e, o} are pronounced well open. A prevelar half-closed vowel is common in French and German as "neutral vowel" ("schwa"); it can be thought as the closed or half-closed phoneme corresponding to the open /a/; it must not be labialized.


2.4 : Phonotactics


2.4.1 : Phonotactic criteria

Liva phonotactics, namely the rules according to which sounds can follow each other, is intended to be based on the same principles of easiness both in pronouncing and perceiving, as the definition of phonemes is.

Rick Morneau's essay on the morphology of an artificial language offers useful ideas for this purpose.

One factor to be considered for this purpose is the sonority of the phonemes. Manners of articulation have different sonority, according to the following scale:
Os < Oz < Fs < Fz < N = L < W < V
Adjacent phonemes should not both have low sonority.

Occlusives (included nasal and lateral ones) can be distinguished from each other mainly for their "solution", namely the final part of their pronounciation changing into the following phoneme: so they should not be in final position in words.

Word boundaries should be distinguished unambiguously, i.e. self-segregating. A very simple way to achieve this is stating that all words begin by phonemes of given classes. (3)


2.4.2 : Phonotactic rules

The following phonotactic rules must be respected:

(1) In a word, each phoneme must be of a different manner class from the preceding one: the pairs OO, FF, WW, VV are hence forbidden;

(2) however, On can be followed by homorganic Os, Oz (i.e., by Os, Oz sharing the same of articulation with the preceding On): the resulting groups {mp, mb, nt, nd, ñc, ñj, qk, qg} can be written Ons, Onz.

The same could be done with Ol followed by homorganic Os, Oz {wp, wb, lt, ld, ...}; however this is not allowed, in order to allow unambiguous shortening of wî, lî, £î, rî to w', l', £', r' (2.4.3);

(3) O cannot be followed by F: hence they must be followed by either W or V;

(4) Os, Fs, On (included Ons*), Ol always and only occur as the first phoneme of words -- hence they can be collectively abbreviated with "B";

(5) Oz, Onz*, Fz always and only occur as the first phoneme of primitive fragments in derived words.

Voiced occlusives are hence relatively rare in Liva, as in Finnish where they even are almost absent: such feature is an aesthetic preference by the author -- but probably it is not by chance that Finnish is regarded as a sweetly sounding language by many linguists and glossopoets, included J.R.R. Tolkien.

So, the following combinations are possible for primitive words:

number of


number of

of words

2 BW

   20 x 4
+ 20 x 4
= 160
ku, no, ly,
fa, qke
   20 x 4 x 4
+ 20 x 4 x 4
= 640 [+ ...]
qou, sie,
kaî, mpio

* Ons, Onz are considered here as single letters, for practical purposes.


2.4.3 : Elision of ending {î}

Words ending in preceded by Fs, Fz, or Ol can be shortened, both in writing and in speaking, by dropping the {î}, where this does not make pronounciation and perception too difficult. So:

Even the apostrophe marking the elision can be omitted: kauz, .

3 : Morphology

Liva is an isolating language: each word has only one form, carrying a fixed meaning. So, words are not inflected for parameters like gender, number, case, tense, aspect; neither affixes (prefixes or suffixes) exist that can be attached to word stems. So each word consists of one morpheme.

3.1 : Primitive and derived words

Words begin by either Os, On, Ol, Ons, or Fs. As those letters can only occur in initial position, word boundaries are marked unambiguously.

Some words can be derived from two or more primitive words, having meanings related in some way to the meaning of the derived words. Derived words still are only single morphemes, as their precise meaning is defined in the dictionary, rather than inferrable univocally by the meanings of the primitive words.

So derived words cannot be said to be compounds. Like And Rosta said about his language Livagian, "there are no rules for forming compounds or for any other kind of derivational morphology. If the meaning of a compound is fully predictable from the meaning of its parts, then the compound is not necessary in the first place. If the meaning is only partly guessable from its parts then it doesn't really matter whether it's clear which parts a compound is made of. In Livagian you create a new word by whatever means you like -- you can toss in some recognizable components if you like, but the only absolute rules are that the creation must be phonologically licit and must not produce homophony." (LD 1997.10.03) A word like English "bluebird" must be defined independently, and the creator of the vocabulary can decide to do it by using the primitive words for "bird" and "blue", but they will just be a mnemonic help; such derived words are equivalent to Lojban's lujvo. As Tommaso R' Donnarumma noticed, a wide use of derived words pushes the language towards the controversial field of pasigraphies... On the other hand, a "blue bird" is a bird which happens to be blue for any reason: the relation between the two concepts is not specified, so the exact meaning can change; Liva will express this by two separate words; this is equivalent to Lojban's tanru.

In derived words, the second and the following primitive fragments begin by Oz, Onz, or Fz homorganic to the first letter of the original primitive words, according to the following scheme:


3.2 : Word classes

Liva words (morphemes) belong to few basic grammatical classes, defined on the base of the logical function of their meaning, and consequently their syntactic behaviour. Most natural languages have more grammatical classes ("parts of speech"), which do not entirely correspond to the logical function of the meaning of their words: for example, the English word "father" is grammatically a noun, although it implies a relation between entities, and hence should be more logically defined as a verb or a preposition.

The idea of a language expressing the relations between concepts in a more faithful way dates back at least from Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and 17th century's "philosophical languages". Charles Renouvier wrote [La revue. 2 (1855.08). p 56-85 ; referred in: Histoire de la langue universelle. p 75-76. / Couturat, Leau -- Hachette (1903 ^Paris)] that a universal language should be "philosophical as for grammar, empirical as for vocabulary": while grammar should express the general forms of thought, vocabulary should be allowed to evolve according to spreading of new ideas in culture.

The grammatical class of each word is marked by the phonological class of its first letter:

The number of word classes could still be reduced, e.g. by defining only diadic relators; however this would result in a language too clumsy for common use.

4 : Syntax

One or more words can make up meaningful unities called syntagms.

Syntagms are connected to each other either by their sequence, or explicitly by markers (X).

Syntagms including predications, like ne ta "this is food", are usually called "sentences" and "clauses" in linguistics; but in Liva they are not viewed as having any special status, in comparison to syntagms not including predications like te nta "two cities". So there is no need to identify any "main clause" nor clause borders by mean of grammar and punctuation marks: Liva texts simply are sets of more or less complex syntagms, variously connected by foric deictics (4.1) to yield a more or less extended virtual net. "Truth values" also don't have any special status in Liva: ño su me l ta "I (really) eat food", ñe su me l ta "I don't eat food", etc. are just regular syntagms including modal deictics (4.1).


4.1 : Deictics (D)

Deictics denote directly things of the real world: their meaning changes according to the context. They begin by a nasal. There are various subclasses of them:

As deictics denote things in the extralinguistic world, they cannot be referred to other deictics: e.g., to say "that is me" one cannot use na me (which means "that; me"); rather:


4.2 : Predicates (:P)

Predicates describe other syntagms as having the properties typical of a certain category (a noun or a relator): they denote sets of things of the world. For example,

expresses the fact that the object represented by the deictic na can be described as belonging to the category "food"; in other words, the category "food" is predicated of that object.

Predicates include nouns and relators: so even nouns are, logically speaking, functions. Whether nouns are constants or functions is a big question. Both Lojban and Livagian treat them as functions, hence they do not distinguish a class of nouns from the class of predicates; so in Lojban predicates need to be coupled with other words (cmavo) to mean isolate nouns: to mean "dog" it is necessary to say "something-which is-a-dog" (le gerku). The possibility of defining nouns as constants in Liva has been considered: it originates the parallel language Liva A, in which nouns can stand alone without being referred to any deictic, and a word meaning "to be" is needed. In Liva B some "nouns" are constants while some others ("adjectives") are not, like it happens in many natural languages. The present version, where nouns are functions, is called Liva C. Alternative versions are also different in being modifier-first (Liva A2, C2, etc), like English, or head-first (Liva A1, C1 etc.); head-first version is preferred by the author for the documentation principle of "front-loading": expressing the main meaning at the beginning of strings is helpful to produce useful sortings.

When there is no need to express any particular deictic of which a predicate is predicated, the generic deictic ñî can be used:

If a predicate is preceded by a marker, so that there is no risk of interpreting it as predicated of another syntagm, the generic deictic can be omitted:

Also, to avoid clumsy repeated use of ñî, the predication marker l' can be used instead:

Predicates can also describe more complex syntagms, such as another deictic-predicate syntagm. For example:

The connection between the predicate and its argument, namely the object it describes, is commonly expressed just by the sequence of words, as a predicate is connected by default to the term which precedes it. A predication marker li is available (4.5.2), but is usually unexpressed in standard word sequences:


4.2.1 : Nouns (:N)

The simplest kind of predicates are nouns; they begin by a voiceless occlusive. Some common nouns are:

Nouns include names, which are quantified by qki (4.3):


4.2.2 : Relators (:R>)

Relators denote relations between things. They begin by a voiceless fricative.

The syntagms connected by a relator are called its arguments. For example, the relator "give" provides for three arguments: the giver, the beneficiary, and the thing given. Each relator provides for a given number of arguments in a given order, depending on its definition in the dictionary.

The basic structure of a relation is a relator followed by arguments:

Provided arguments can be either expressed or not. If some arguments are unexpressed, or repeated, ambiguity about the role of each argument is avoided by relation markers (4.5.3): £ø marks argument x0, £e marks argument x1, £a marks argument x2, £e marks argument x3. In symmetric relators, any argument following the second one is marked by £ø:

Markers of the arguments (£e, £a, £o) and of the end of predication (£î) are unexpressed, unless some argument is missing or is in non-standard sequence:

Liva relators can be:


4.3 : Quantifiers (-Q)

Quantifiers denote which part is considered of the set of things meant by a syntagm; they have no autonomous meaning. They begin by {nt, ñc, qk}.

In the syntagm

te means "one or more members of the set of cities", but the quantity of cities considered is not specified. To specify it, we can say for example

According to some logicians, a noun together with a quantifier, such as "two cities", would have an autonomous meaning and would be equivalent to a deictic. Perhaps the meaning of English words such as "two" includes a deictic connotation; in fact, they are used without generic determiners: while one says "some big cities", there is no need of saying "some two cities"; however, in Liva it is preferred to keep separate in two different word classes the deictic function and the quantification function. In particular, predicates with a typological quantifier (4.3.1) are virtually defined in the real world (e.g., the totality of existent ravens is as such a determined entity), so they could be considered to be equivalent to a deictic; in such cases determination is expressed by the deictic : nø te qko = "all the (existent) cities".

Quantifiers can also be appended to other noun-quantifier group, e.g.:

When they are appended to relators, their meaning can apply to the whole relation:


4.3.1 : Typologicals

They denote which part of the set of things meant by a word is considered; they begin by {qk}:

Typological quantifiers are useful to distinguish essential predications from accidental predications; e.g.:


4.3.2 : Generic quantities

They express which quantity of the set denoted by a word are considered. They begin by {ñc}:


4.3.3 : Numerals

They denote how many specimens of the set meant by a word are considered. They begin by {nt}:

The other numerals are derived (5.3) according to the following scheme of "digits":

Default order is 0, so the numbers from "4" to "15" are simply

Default base is 16, i.e. the default system is hexadecimal. So "16" is the first number of order 1. Orders greater than 0 are expressed by ntu- followed by the appropriate "digits":

Bases smaller than 16 can also be used, by expressing them with nti- followed by the appropriate "digits". E.g., in the more familiar base 10:

Non-natural numbers can be expressed as results of mathematical operations:


4.4 : Intensionals (=I)

Intensionals denote how much a word fits the class of things it means; they begin with {mp}:

Some intensionals are used to translate adjectives describing a syntagm as unusual in some feature, compared to the typical referents usually denotated by that syntagm; they are derived from the intensional mpø and a noun:

Intensionals could be considered as a special kind of quantifiers: they specify in which sense the referent fits the set of things denoted by the word, instead of which part of the set is considered. Indeed, intensionals begin by the same letter class as quantifiers, and behave syntactically in a similar way. However, the connection of a syntagm with an intensional is more strict than that with a quantifier; hence the intensional must precede any quantifier.


4.5 : Markers (X)

Markers denote logical relations between concepts, by marking the syntactic function of words and syntagms. So they help to reduce the network of syntactic connections to bidimensional strings of words.


4.5.1 : Word markers

They mark the beginning and ending of words where needed:

As Liva words are self-segregating and their grammatical class is self-marked, word markers are usually not needed.

They are used to delimit the begin and end of non-Liva words or phrases, e.g. personal and geographic names, which are not self-segretating:

The word-begin marker also informs about the syntactic function that the marked phrase has in Liva.

As the Liva phoneme represented by {w} (labial lateral) is very uncommon in natural languages, it is unlinkely that it can be confused with sounds of the non-Liva words, so that both the beginning and the end of non-Liva words can be determined unambiguously, even in listening.

If however the speaker/writer is afraid that the non-Liva text contains sounds that could be confused with Liva word markers, he can contextually define any other string as a more suited word marker, which will be repeated at the end of the non-Liva text:

Such an ingenious device has been already created by And Rosta for Livagian; something similar exists in Lojban.


4.5.2 : Predication markers

They are used to mark predication in non-standard word sequences (4.2):


4.5.3 : Relation markers

They mark arguments of relations where needed:


4.5.4 : Quantification markers

Markers ry, rø are used after relators, to make multiple quantifications of relation arguments (such as "three dogs gnaw two bones") unambiguous (are bones two or six?...):

5 : Vocabulary

Liva vocabulary is constructed a priori, namely from scratch and independently of any other existing language: unless the vocabulary of international auxiliary languages, Liva's one is not intended to be especially easy to learn.


5.1 : Selection of primitive concepts

A set of primitive concepts, i.e. concepts to which primitive words will be assigned, is individuated to make the basis of Liva vocabulary. The set is based on Rick Harrison's Universal Language Dictionary (ULD), a careful list of 1600 meanings commonly occurring in most languages; few additions and changes are made to the list.

Each entry in the list is then classified into one of the syntactical classes of Liva (nouns, symmetric relators, diadic relators, triadic relators, quantifiers, intensionals), according to its essential meaning.


5.2 : Generation of primitive words

Phonotactic rules and morphology allow for a given number of words for each syntactical class (3.2). Shorter words are generally assigned to the most common or basic meanings. Word generation and assignation is random, with exceptions for the following cases:


5.3 : Derivation

Words for less basic meanings are defined by derivation from primitive words, according to the rules described in section 3.1:

Once they have been defined, both primitive and derived word always keep their precise meanings as reported in the dictionary.

Liva : a logical language # 4.2 / Claudio T' Gnoli -- Yahoo!-GeoCities <> = <> : 2002.01-201_
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