Palo (literally "language") is a conlang designed to capture a particular aesthetic. What aesthetic has Palo been created to capture? Imagine it is raining in a suburban neighbourhood and there's kids catching cartoon frogs in those very yellow raincoats and it's all heavily and unnaturally blue-tinted.
Palo is rare among conlangs I've created in that it is an a posteriori language (at least in terms of lexical sourcing). The main sources from which Palo has borrowed are Italian, Hawaiian, Polish, Cantonese, Tagalog, Finnish and of course a few others.
Sound the "cheap phonology design" alarm because Palo's phonology is a near identical copy of Toki Pona's phonology (save for coda /s/ and /l/). There originally was a voiceless post-alevolar affricate included in earlier drafts of Palo, but it has rightfully since been ditched.
Verb particles are the syntactic glue by which Palo is held together. They come in 3 voices and 2 denominations and always preceed the predicate of their clause. Every clause must contain a preverb particle.
The voice's exact meanings don't deviate too far from their classical definition. Active means the subject is doing the verb to the object, passive means the subject is experiencing the verb due to the object, and reflexive means the subject is doing the verb to themself. The "denominations" (a word I pulled directly out of my rectum) have more contemporary meanings. Main denomination is the easiest of the two, marking their verb as the main one in the sentence. The "participle" denomination is used for a handful of things from relativisation to actual participles.
- Kane isla tuka min sa manjo kakan.
dog vrb-pass-ptcp like 1-pat vrb eat shit-pat
The dog that I like eats shit.
Noun-based bound morphemes come in two varieties in Palo: -s for genitive and -n for patientive. Since all Palo root words end in a vowel, these endings will never change to conform to phonotactics. Their patterning also holds true for pronouns ("mis" = my, "tis" = your, etc.). Some final things to note are that the patientive case is not applied to adjectives modifying the patient and the cases can not stack. Below are some example sentences to show how both cases are used in context.
- Mi sa tuka pa tutun.
- Mis papas noka sa tantu min
- Tau pini sa ma pa santalon
1 VRB want NEG insects-PAT
I don't want insects.
1-GEN parent-GEN foot VRB hurt 1-PAT
My parent's foot hurts me.
person small VRB have NEG shoe-PAT
The little person doesn't have shoes.
3rd Person Pronouns
Palo has a 5-way 3rd person pronoun distinction. The usage rules of each 3rd person pronoun is dependent on the semantic connotation of its antecedent.
|ja||inanimate objects||rock, bone, drywall, bottle|
|li||animate beings||artist, cat, woman, spider|
|po||plants and flora||flower, orange, succulus, tree|
|sija||computers||smartphone, laptop, robot, program|
|wa||abstract concepts||goodness, dream, sorrow, democracy|
There are also, of course, 1st and 2nd person pronouns but those are simply "mi" for me/us and "ti" for you/you all.
Miscellaneous Grammar Rules
- Adpositions preceed their object, with adpositional phrases always coming last in their clause.
- Adjectives and adverbs always succeed what they modify.
- The word "n" is used to coordinate only agent nouns. It has a unique pronounciation of [n̩] and is inserted between agent nouns with the basic meaning of "and".
Palo writing is a colour-dependent syllabary. It is written top-to-bottom left-to-write like backwards Japanese.
This system is natively called "Sulata Nansi" (literally "colour writing") and is the first colour-dependent script I've developed. The colour decides the inital consonant of the syllable, while the shape and arangement of the circles dictates the vowel of the syllable. While there are null-vowel glyphs for every consonant, the only ones used in native Palo words are the "n", "l", and "s" (and sometimes "m") null-vowel gylphs. Also there are no punctuation or special characters.