Created in 1998, Traumae is a synthetic language by Devine Lu Linvega for language processing experiments and research.
The Traumae language has 27 root syllables, each associated to a core idea - combinable and specific, to make all permutations of its alphabet possible. Written from left to right with implicit neutrality, words and groups of word are both ruled by the same grammatical logics. And so, a single letter or a word will work as a function onto the succeeding pieces of the phrase.
It wouldn't be wrong to assume that traumae has 27 core words, and to learn these few concepts should be enough to guess at what a new word might mean. In practice, the relationship between sounds and meanings can become very blurry, it is good to rely on both memory and logic while learning traumae.
Similarly to how kanji compound words work, Traumae constructs are formed by combining letters from its alphabet. To give you a sense of the possibilities of Traumae, the following table will show you how to create many words stemming from the so letter, in combination with the ka letter.
|so||soka||to observe||sota||to picture||sopa||to show|
|lo||loka||to return||lota||to stay||lopa||to leave|
|vo||voka||to take||vota||to have||vopa||to give|
A common difficulty with Traumae is to properly divide the words and to use the correct sequence of letter to express a specific concept - or which letter comes first in xoka, why is it not kaxo.
|Do loka||is it entering?||Dolo ka||who is coming?|
Traumae's grammar is asexual and its pronouns are divided into four families and three persons, where "it" is included in the third family.
The following table shows the permutations of tenses and modality of traumae.
|Normal||was thinking||tek so||am thinking||so||will be thinking||tep so|
|was being||tek lo||am being||lo||will be||tep lo|
|was doing||tek vo||am doing||vo||will be doing||tep vo|
|Impossible||could not think||tek ko so||cannot think||ko so||will not think||tep ko so|
|could not be||tek ko lo||cannot be||ko lo||will not be||tep ko lo|
|could not do||tek ko vo||cannot do||ko vo||will not do||tep ko vo|
|Potential||could think||tek to so||can think||to so||might think||tep to so|
|could be||tek to lo||can be||to lo||might be||tep to lo|
|could do||tek to vo||can do||to vo||might do||tep to vo|
|Certainty||must have thought||tek to so||must think||to so||will have to think||tep to so|
|must have been||tek po lo||must be||po lo||will have to be||tep po lo|
|must have done||tek po vo||must do||po vo||will have to do||tep po vo|
A preliminary list of particles, this is a work in progress.
This is a draft for a few Traumae lessons - to get you started, a walkthrough if you may. There are 9 word types. And these lessons will explain to you how to use each and every family, from the simpliest constructs to the more complex ideas. At the end of these lessons, you should be able to express simple ideas. After each lesson, a new grammatical element will be introduced. Each block will teach you words to be reused in the lessons that follow.
Some of these exercises are also explored in a video tutorial.
The first family that these lessons will explore is the "alignment family". The following 2 words/Aeths will speaks of your position/stance on a topic. "Yes" or "No", "Good" or "Bad". And so your first Traumae word will be Yes, xo.
|is it good ?||doxo||dox|
|is it bad ?||dobo||dob|
You now know 2 simple words, that can now be mixed with eachother. As a third word, you need to learn "do". Do is an interogation letter, transforming anything into a question. When combined with "xo", as "doxo", it creates the construct "Is it good?", or simply "good?".
The next most important word family is for actions-type words, or verbs. When used in the beginning of a word, the word will become an action. For instance, turning "a thought" into "to think".
|to be seen||loso||los|
Simple enough, these constructs can also be mixed together to create new concepts.
The third most important family talks of "direction". We are reaching more complex nuances with this family and the ability to create sentences and to imply directions within constructs. Direction in traumae can be explained as a relative motion from the self. For instance, giving would be an outward gesture, and taking would be inward as it is something that is coming closer to the self.
The following explains will show verbs which do not start with either so,lo or vo.
Let us take a moment to learn how to say "Hello".
This article has for goal to explain the reasons behind some aspects of the Traumae syntetic language. These notes were inspired or taken from The voidshaper document.
The selection of the core letters are done following a few rules.
While the choice for the simplier letters is easy to understand by comparing them against their opponent, some might be a bit harder to understand, partly due to the fact that they had to be translated into a single english word, where in some cases might not be the best of choices.
The core meanings were not chosen to map the english language perfectly or even to explain everyday tasks. The language was originaly meant to talk of ideas rather than things. You can look at the Divieths Dictionary to see the list of 2 letters permutations.
As highlited in the Voidshaper document, traumae constructs are better explained using the object.method pattern, ex: observation.multiplicity, rather than the X of Y, ex: the multiplicity of observation. And so using this pattern we can look at the core meanings in context as follow:
saso => so.sa(observation.multiplicity) or sight.multiply
This pattern seems ideal to visualise the letters, where each core letter have 27 associated methods and sentences are but a larger set of methods created from the combination of core letters.
posaso => saso.po
The pattern used to create the sound is very visual and should help to form a mental image of the sound for if only a few sounds are know, the remining ones can be extrapolated. The whole alphabet can be mapped onto a cube, splitting the cube into 3 horizontal layers will look as the following table.
|Layer 1||Layer 2||Layer 3|
If we compare the sounds used in traumae against our alphabet, we get the following graph of unused letters and sounds.
The sounds go from sharp to round as the letters' meaning are going toward simplicity and materiality.
Below is a draft of the number system, currently base 8.
|-1||vala||Lack of 1|
|3||da||Between base 2 and base 4|
|4||sasa||Combine of two smallest plural(2x2)|
|5||xa||Actually sasaxa, 4+1|
|6||sada||Between base 4 and base 8|
|7||ba||Actually sasasaba or lavaba, 8-1|
|8||la va||One and 0, 10|