Babm (pronounced [bo;ah;bo;mu]) is an international auxiliary language created by the Japanese philosopher Rikichi [Fuishiki] Okamoto (18851963). The language uses the Roman alphabet as an abjad each letter marks an entire syllable rather than a single phoneme by omitting the vowels.
Roman letters are named and unexceptionally pronounced as follows:
a [a:] as a in arm [a:m],
b [bo] exceedingly short as bo in boil [boil],
c [ko] exceedingly short as co in coin [koin],
d [de] exceedingly short as de in dense [dens],
e [e:] much longer than e in every [evri],
f [fu] exceedingly short as fu in full [ful],
g [ga] much shorter than ga in garden [ga:dn],
h [ha] much shorter than ha in hard [ha:d],
i [i:] as e in even [i:ven],
j [zi] exceedingly short as zi in zinc [ziNGk],
k [ke] exceedingly short as ke in kettle [ketl],
l [le] exceedingly short as le in leg [leg],
m [mu] much shorter than mo in move [mu:v],
n [na] much shorter than na in nasty [na:sty],
o [o:] as o in order [o:de],
p [pe] exceedingly short as pe in pen [pen],
q [ku] exceedingly short as coo in cook [kuk],
r [ra] much shorter than ra in rather [ra:ðe],
s [se] exceedingly short as se in sense [sens],
t [to] exceedingly short as to in toy [toi],
u [u:] as ou in wound [wu:nd],
v [vi] exceedingly short as vi in visit [vizit],
w [wa] much shorter than wa in waft [wa:ft],
x [ki] exceedingly short as ki in king [kiNG],
y [ju] much shorter than you in youth [ju:TH],
z [zo] exceedingly short as zo in zoril [zoril].
Three sample sentences:
The three examples are taken from Okamoto's book with his English translation. For the sake of interest, I have added the Speedwords translation for comparison as Speedwords has been claimed to be "the Universal Word-Compression system". To facilitate comparison, monotype font is used for the sentence in each of the three languages.
Babm: Bcet cojao op clob rayb.
English: In a civilized society, persons are quite free.
Speedwords: I u sokyd sok, erz e ga libs.
Babm: V ch migip, V meiqipiru.
English: If I had studied, I should not have failed in the examination.
Speedwords: X j hy stu, j yr n h suko i l tese.
Babm: Kodb cmoh kig.
English: The care of health is absolutely necessary.
Speedwords: L ene d san e gae nes.
To create a language:
1. which, when written alphabetically, can serve as an alphabetic shorthand*
2. which can, if desired, serve as an international auxiliary language (IAL)
The two objectives above were thosse of Reginal Dutton's Speedwords (1936, 1946, 1951); they are, presumably, also the objectives of systems derived from or inspired by Speedwords such as Iso and Xmal. They certainly remain the objectives of Piashi, which was inspired by Speedwords.
Phonology & Orthography of the Piashi language:
# Five pure vowels:
a - IPA [a]
e - Mid front unrounded vowel - IPA [e]
This is a pure vowel; there should be no trace of any final [j] sound as in many varieties of English.
i - IPA [i]
o - Mid back rounded vowel - IPA [o]
This is a pure vowel; there should be no trace of any final [w] sound as in many varieties of English.
u - IPA [u]
# Two diphthongs:
w - IPA [au]
y - IPA [ai]
The remaining 19 letters represent consonants with its own specifc unstressed vowel, as shown in the table below.
consonant + [i] [a] [u];
bilabial plosive b [pi] p [pa] v [pu];
dental/ alveolar plosive c [ci] t [ta] d [tu];
velar plosive k [ka] q [ku];
sibilant fricative x [çi] s [sa] z [su];
'vowel colored' fricative h [Xa] f [fu];
nasal g [ni] n [na] m [mu]
(lateral) approximant j [li] l [la] r [lu]
All morphemes conform to the following five rules:
1. Three letter morphemes with the written shape CVC, that is an unaccented-vowel syllable, followed by a stressed vowel or diphthong, followed by an unaccented-vowel syllable. They are always lexical morphemes.
2. Two letter morphemes with the written shape CV, that is an unstressed syllable followed by an stressed vowel or diphthong. They may occur only:
* with functional value at the end of clauses, or
* independently as exclamations (e.g. cw! "ciao!").
In writing they must be followed by a punctuation mark, while in speech they will naturally be followed by a pause
3. Two letter morphemes with the written shape VC, that is an stressed vowel or diphthong followed by an unstressed syllable. They may occur only:
* with functional value at the beginning of a clause, preceded in writing by 'white space' & in speech by a pause, or
* as a bound, formative element after a CVC morpheme (thus the combination CVCVC is analyzable only as CVC-VC).
4. One letter morphemes with the written shape C, that is an unaccented-vowel syllable. These morphemes are functional morphemes or 'particles'.
5. One letter morphemes with the written shape V, that is a single stressed vowel or diphthong. They may occur only as interjections (a!, y!, o! etc).
There are no exceptions to the five rules above So, for example. ekratflunipjtxw must be: ek-rat-f-lun-ip-j-t-xw. No other analysis is possible.
Proper names in Piashi must conform to the phontactics of lexical words. The simplest wll take the form CVC, e.g. Han [Xa-a-na] "Hannah, Ann, Anne", Pwl [paáwla] "Paul". Longer names must have the form CVC followed by one or more VC elements, e.g. Rahel [luáXa.éla] "Rachel", Mihel [muíXa.éla] "Michael", Jisidor [liísa.ítu.ólu] "Isidor(a), Isador(a)", Hanibal [Xaána.íbi.ála] "Hanibal", Navuqodonozor [naápu.úku.ótu.óna.ósu.ólu] "Nabuchodonosor, Nebuchadrezzar, Nebuchadnezzar."
Where, however, it is deemed preferable to retain a proper name in its original spelling, with no commitment as to the pronunciation, then it is put between ', e.g. 'Washington', 'Beijing'.