FAQ

From The Toaq Wiki

The grammar seems very simple. Am I overlooking something?

✅ It is simple! You do not need to learn a lot of rules to be able to say a lot. More bang for your buck.

How many tones are there?

✅ 6 full tones and 1 neutral tone.

See article
Tone

What does tone X do?

✅ See the following table:

# Name Mark Creates/Used with
2️⃣ Rising tone rising tone argument phrase
3️⃣ Rising glottal tone rising-creaky tone relative clause
4️⃣ Falling tone falling tone predicate phrase
5️⃣ Rising-falling tone rising-falling tone content clause
6️⃣ Low tone mid-falling tone preposition
7️⃣ Low glottal tone falling creaky tone adverbial phrase
8️⃣ Neutral tone neutral tone particle

Tone 1 used to be flat tone, a flat tone that formed compounds. Nowadays Toaq uses word tone instead of syllable tone, therefore tone 1 is no longer needed anymore (although the numbers of the other tones have not changed to reflect this).

See article
Tone

How do you pronounce X?

✅ Please refer to this tool: http://toaq.org/letters/

Is there a way to check whether my sentence is correct?

✅ Yes, using one of the online parsers:

If you're on Discord or Telegram, you can also use commands like %english %logic %structure (for Zugaı) and %miu for the outdated Mıu; more bot commands are listed here.

How do I type the tone marks/symbols/diacritics?

✅ Please see http://www.toaq.org/#autohotkey and https://github.com/acotis/autokey-toaq-tones

See article
Input methods

Where does the Toaq logo come from?

✅ It's original.

Are the Toaq logo, flag, or colors based on the transgender flag?

✅ No, it's a coincidence that they share the same colors.[1]

Is "Toaq" based on the word "tongue" or "tone"?

✅ It is not, in fact. But that's an interesting coincidence. Might be a good mnemonic.

How are roots created?

✅ A priori, based on my intuition. I usually have to think long and hard and feel my options out before I decide what root to assign to a concept.

Where can I find a dictionary?

✅ Here: http://www.toaq.org/dictionary/ and here: https://uakci.pl/toadua/. The latter is a collaborative dictionary to which everyone can contribute.

How do I answer a yes/no question in Toaq?

✅ In ascending order of verbosity and formality:

nho
jẽo
Nủ da. Bủ nủ da.
Jẻo hóq da. Bủ hóq da.

Is Toaq easy/difficult/hard?

✅ If you can handle the tones, which I believe anyone can, then it's really not a difficult language to become decent at.

X seems to be missing from the language. Why does Toaq not have X?

✅ Part of the philosophy behind the initial design was that I didn't want to over-engineer the language. Lojban (to name a random example) started out with a boatload of complicated rules that turned out not to be beneficial. I would rather start out with too few rules and only add extensions when it's clearly needed, avoiding clutter.

In doing so, I'm also giving the language the chance to grow organically with the help of its speakers.

Is there really a glottal stop in the ä and ã tones?

✅ Yes.

How new/old is Toaq?

✅ The current version was published in September 2017. The very first version alpha version was published in 2013.

What's the difference between ceo and sho?

sho means something undergoes a change such that it ends up satisfying the second place.

ceo says that a thing begins to be the case, which can be said of things that don't priorly exist or are the case. sho on the other hand can be said of things that already exist; they merely undergo a change that makes them become such that they now have a certain property they previously did not. Both are appropriate in most situations.

What's the process for creating taxonomic vocabulary (animals/plants)?

✅ The process follows these steps:

  1. Find the scientific name of the animal or plant
    Let's use butterfly and spider as examples.
  2. Check the etymology of the name.
    For "butterfly" the order is called "Lepidoptera", for "spider" we get "Araneae"
  3. If the name is a compound, make a calque of the compound.
    This is the case for "Lepidoptera", which is put together from λεπίς (lepís, "scale") and πτερόν (pterón, "wing").
    Translating "scale wing", we arrive at the Toaq word for butterfly: tıqshoaı
  4. If the name is not a compound, follow the etymology as far back as possible, then borrow that word.*
    This is the case for "Araneae", which can be traced back to Ancient Greek ἀράχνη (arákhnē). Toaq-ifying yields arane, which is our word for spider.

What's the vowel order?

A U I O E Y

How can I join the discord server?

✅ Use this invite link: https://discord.gg/qDqDsH9

See article
Discord

How can I join the Telegram groups?

✅ Use these invite links:

What's a tonal pangram?

✅ In the broadest sense, a tonal pangram is a sentence that contains each tone at least once. In a more narrow sense, it is a sentence that contains each tone exactly once. The latter is a form of Toaq poetry.

What's the terminator of X?

✅ Please refer to this table:

Structure Terminator
ga
po ga
mo teo
kıo
lu ky
prenex
statement cy
See article
Terminator

Is there an automatic interpreter of Toaq? Is there a translator from Toaq to logic notation?

✅ Indeed there is!

Go to https://toaq.net/zugai/ and select logic. Note that Zugaı is still in development, so some things may not work as expected.

See article
Zugaı

How do you say "I'm making some coffee" in Toaq?

☕ 404

What does ku ("focus") mean?

✅ Here's an explanation: https://toaqlanguage.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/on-the-logic-of-ku/

Is there a way to mark contrastive focus or emphasis?

✅ Yes, by using beı in front the word.

What's the system for referring to nationalities/languages/countries?

✅ This is the system: Take the country's native name or the native adjective describing the nationality and borrow it. This borrowing now refers generically to anything having to do with the country or its culture.

For example, Juqguo ("China") means "to be Chinese, to be of China, its languages or people".
Faraqse means "French".

To refer more specifically to the country, add gua ("country").

Juqguogua, "China".
Faraqsegua, "France".

To refer to a language, add zu ("language").

Faraqsezu, "the French language".
Juqguozu is ambiguous between the many languages of China, "a Chinese language".

What are the numbers from 1 to 10?

✅ They are as follows:

1️⃣ shı
2️⃣ gu
3️⃣ saq
4️⃣ jo
5️⃣ fe
6️⃣
7️⃣ dıaı
8️⃣ roaı
9️⃣ neı
1️⃣0️⃣ heı

What are the numbers from 20 to 99?

✅ They are as follows:

20 = guheı
30 = saqheı
40 = joheı
50 = feheı
60 = cıheı
70 = dıaıheı
80 = roaıheı
90 = neıheı
21 = guheı shı
34 = saqheı jo
83 = roaıheı saq

What's with the ı / i without dot / dotless i?

✅ Writing ı without the dot distinguishes it more from an i that carries a tone mark, it also makes more room for an adjacent tone mark. Overall, it just makes things easier to read.

See article
Latin writing system

How do I do an indirect quote?

✅ Use lû or the fifth tone (rising-falling tone tone) on a predicate and use it with ruaq or duatūa for indirect assertions and duasue for indirect questions: Examples:

Rủaq hó bû tỉ hó chíejıo "She says [that] she isn't at school."
Dủatua hó jí tî hó hı rảı "He told me where he is."
Dủasue hó jí bûa jí hı rảı "They asked me where I live."

Is there a memrise deck?

✅ There is: https://www.memrise.com/course/1974691/toaq-simple-predicates-2018-06-03/

Is there a frequency list?

✅ Why yes! Look here: https://gist.github.com/lynn/c8c6f904d4e5c29a6b2533a7ac05680a

What is the meaning of an m with a tone mark?

✅ If you see an m with a tone mark, chances are it's used as an interjection of sorts. We're still experimenting with it. One suggestion was the following:

ḿ > huh?, wonder, surprise
> roger, gotcha, ok
> aha!, discovery
> slight disappointment
> no, disagreement

Is there a list of translated sentences?

✅ We are working on it! See: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bCQoaX02ZyaElHiiMcKHFemO4eV1MEYmYloYZgOAhac/edit#gid=1395088029

Is there a subreddit?

✅ Yes: https://old.reddit.com/r/Toaq/

What's the hashtag?

✅ We're using #miToaq for now.

What are the personal pronouns?

✅ Toaq's 'pronouns' are verbs. Instead of a word for "I/me", there's a verb meaning "to be me". These are the personal reference predicates:

me = I, me
you = súq you
they = nháo they/them, he/him, she/her
you + they = súo you
me + you = úmı we, us
me + they = ínhe we, us
me + you + they = ámao we, us

súq and nháo can be singular or plural. When necessary, plurality can be expressed by using puq (e.g. púq nhảo "they").

See article
Pronoun

How do you make a plural? How do you pluralize a noun?

✅ Toaq nouns are not inflected for grammatical number. Any noun can refer to one or more things. When necessary, singular and plural can be made explicit:

  • To specify a singular, use shı ("one") as the head of a serial predicate.
    Example: shí jỉo "the [one] building" (explicit singular)
  • To specify a plural, use puq ("multiple") as the head of a serial predicate.
    Example: púq jỉo "the [more than one] buildings" (explicit plural).

Marking number is never required. It is usually obvious (or not terribly important) whether something is one thing or more than one thing. When in doubt, read a bare noun as plural unless context suggests otherwise.

Why do I sometimes see words ending with consonants other than q? / What is vietoaq? / What are these weird word shapes?

✅ Vietoaq is a now obsolete way of encoding tones without diacritics. Each tone is marked via a specific consonant at the end of a syllable. For closed syllables (q in the coda), the voiced equivalent of the same consonant is used.

See
Vietoaq
Lynn's Vietoaq practice tool
http://foldr.moe/vietoaq/

Why are some tones missing from this text and some are not? Sparse tonal marking

✅ It was discovered that it's possible to write Toaq without explicitly distinguishing falling tone and neutral tone. Both can be written as a diacritic-less syllable and the tone of the syllable can be deduced by the following rules:

  • If the syllable is a contentive (predicate word / root word), it carries the falling tone tone.
  • If the syllable is a particle, it carries the neutral tone tone.

Examples:

Kaı jí daKảı jí da ("I write")
Kaqgaı súq hı rảı moqKảqgaı súq hı rảı moq ("What do you see?")
De ní ruaDẻ ní rủa ("This flower is beautiful")

This style of writing remains fully unambiguous. It can be seen as a less formal way of writing, useful if one is lazy or if one doesn't have easy access to falling tone diacritics on one's input device.

What does it mean when a function word is written in all caps? / What function word classes are there?

✅ In discussions about Toaq grammar, a function word in all caps usually refers to a function word class. Function words that share the same grammar are grouped together in a class. This class is usually named after its most prominent member. For example, the words da, ba, ka and moq have the same grammar, and their class is named da. We say, for instance, that "moq is in da".

Knowing these classes is useful, because once you have learned how to use one member of a class, you automatically know how to use every other member of the same class, too (syntactically speaking). If a sentence is grammatically correct with one member of a class, then substituting it with any other member of the same class will retain the same grammatical structure. The grammar does not distinguish between individual members of a class.

See article
Particle

These are the classes and their members:

da da, ba, ka, moq, nha, go, zay
sa sa, sıa, tu, tushı, tuq, ja, ke, , baq, hoı
ru ru, ra, ro, , roı
to to
la la, ma, tıo
je je, keo, tıu, nhu, fou
po po, jeı, mea
ju ju, la
ku ku, beı, mao, tou, juaq
hu hu, jıbı/jıy
kıo (kıo
, mıru
mo mo
teo teo
shu shu
na na
ga ga
cy cy
ky ky

What's up with the letter q in this language? Pronunciation / allophones of q

q is somewhat special and its pronunciation may not be immediately obvious. It is usually pronounced like English ⟨ng⟩ (IPA [ŋ]), but it has the optional allophones [n] and [m]. The use of the letter Q is a nod to Rex May’s Ceqli, an international auxiliary language with loglang elements; it’s also found in natural languages such as Fijian (where it represents [ᵑɡ], to be exact).

The [n] and [m] allophones these rules:

  • The default pronunciation is IPA [ŋ], and it keeps this pronunciation before m, f, n, s, r, l, nh, sh, g, k, ', h, and at the end of a breath group.
  • Before d, t, z, c, j, ch, it is pronounced [n].
  • Before b, p, it is pronounced [m].

Examples:

kaqgaı → [kʰaŋ.gaɪ] ("to see")
jaq de → [d͡ʑan.dɛ:] ("to be very beautiful")
baq bego → [bam.bɛ.go] ("beech trees in general")

Again, these allophones are optional; it is acceptable to use [ŋ] in all positions.

What are the words for the days of the week and for the months?

✅ The names for the days of the week are based on the colors of the rainbow, starting with red on Monday and ending with purple on Sunday:

Mon kıachaq
Tue naraqchaq
Wed luechaq
Thu rıqchaq
Fri kuaochaq
Sat mıochaq
Sun loachaq

The months use compounds of the number of the month + jue ("month"):

January shıjue
February gujue
March saqjue
April jojue
May fejue
June cıjue
July dıaıjue
August roaıjue
September neıjue
October heıjue
November heıshıjue
December heıgujue

What's the difference between an indirect question and a phrase?

✅ The distinction is extremely important logically speaking, but English usually conflates the two, so many people overlook the difference. The following example illustrates the difference:

  1. Dủa jí chî súq hı rảı – I know what you believe
  2. Dủa jí lú chỉ súq hóa – I know what you believe

Let's say that what you believe is [God exists].

  1. says that I know that you believe [God exists], because I know what it is that you believe
  2. says that I know [God exists], because I know that which you believe.

Does Toaq have a flag?

✅ This is a candidate design:

giphy.gif

References

  1. Quote from Hoemaı on Discord:

    This comes up a lot, so maybe I should tell the whole story of how those colors came to be.
    It was around 2015 while I was working on/planning my second Lojban album (which was originally meant to "just" be an EP). One of the cover designs had pink and light blue text on a black background (neon style), and it was then that I realized how much I liked that color combo. Coincidentally, it wasn't much later that I had to pick colors for Toaq, and so I picked those. This was long before I had ever seen the trans flag. So the answer to the common question "is it a coincidence that they share the same colors?" is Yes.