Rules Of Volapuk

(Some of the) Rules of Volapk

VolapukLanguage is actually hideously complicated for an artificially constructed language (ConLang), this is only a very sketchy summary. (Cf. the relative simplicity of the RulesOfEsperanto)


Stress on ultimate syllable except when this is the suffix -la.

Nominative case is not marked. Other cases marked as follows: Gentive -a, Dative -e, Accusative -i.

The plural marker -s comes after the case marker.

Ji- forms the feminine counterpart of masculine nouns (before flaming, remember that I am not Fr. Schleyer, and all this was thought up in the 19th century).

Prepositions are formed from nouns by adding -.


Personal pronouns are: ob "I", ol "you", om he or it, of she, os abstract subject, on collective subject ("one"). All but os and on may be pluralized with -s. The pronouns are also the person markers for verbs.

Reflexive pronouns are formed by adding -i.

Possesive pronouns are formed with the gentive case marker -a or, if a possessive adjective is called for, with the suffix -ik (obik "mine").

Demonstrative pronouns which follow the noun: at "this", et "that", it reflexive, ot "the same", ut "that" in a relative clause. The corresponding emphatic forms are t, eit, iet, t, t.

Others: som "such a".


The numbers are bal, tel, kil, fol, lul, ml, vel, jl, zl. Adding -s mutliplies by ten. balsetel "twelve", etc. Also -tum (100), -mil (1000), balion''' (million).

Ordinal numbers end in -id. Note kimid, an ordinal equivalent of "how many" as in Del kimid mula binom? "what day is it?"

Months are Balun "January", Telul "February", ..., Zlul September, Balsul October, Babul "November", Batul "December".

Days are Baldel "Sunday", Teldel "Monday", etc.

-na means "times": kilna "thrice".

Passive voice is marked by p- before the other markers.

The tense markers follow: a (present, omitted in the active voice), (imperfect), e (perfect), i (pluperfect), o (future), u (future perfect). The tense markers can be added to other parts of speech as well: adelo "today", delo "yesterday".

The tense marker may be followed by -i- to indicate aorist or frequentative sense.

The person ending is the same as the corresponding pronoun. binob "I am".

Infinitive: -n.

Modal verbs and verbs taking infinitives as objects: mutn "must", daln "may", letn "allow", etc.

The participle marker is -l: logl "seeing", elogl "having seen", can take all of voice and tense markers.

Imperative mood is marked -d, which comes after the usual person markers.

The conditional is marked -v and the subjunctive -la and are used with the imperfect and pluperfect.

The reflexive is marked -ok after the person marker.

The gerund is marked by - (active) or p- (passive).

Adjectives follow the noun, though there are some exceptions for euphony.

Can be formed from nouns by adding -ik.

Interrogative pronouns when used as adjectives are kiom, kiof, kios.

Comparative ending is -um, the superlative is -n. These endings can also be added to nouns: flen "friend", flenn "best friend". "Than" in comparatives is ka.

Adverbs of place: is "here", us "there", kip "where?"; they can take case endings: isa "from there", kipi "where to?".

Can be formed from adjectives by adding -o.

PREPOSITIONS Prepositions: fa "beside, near", neb "past", bei "by means of", dub "by(each)", len "at (place)", in "at (time)", du "during", bev "between,among", bifu "in front of", bf "before", pos "after", po "behind", d "composed of", al "towards", de "from", plo "in favor of", ko "with", me "by means of", pl "except", nen "without", zi "around", d "concerning", za "approximately'''.

ab "but", sod "but (after not)", e(d) "and", ... "both ... and", bi "because", bfo "before", at "that", dat "in order that", do "although", i(d) "also", ni "nor", ni ... ni "neither ... nor", if "if", va "whether", u(d) "or", uf ... ud "either... or", ven "when", k "where", nog "yet", yed "nonetheless".


Interrogative pronouns: kim, kif, kis. The can take case endings: kisa "whose?".

Kikod "why", kiplad "where", kipladi "where to", kip "when", liko "how". Also lio- may be added to express a question of degree "how X?".


li is the interrogative particle.

Si "yes", no "no, not".

Ai- is a unversality marker: aikel "whoever".

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