The Preface to "Americai Speak":


The following is the preface to Ruby Olive Foulk's book, "Americai Speak." I quote it verbatim except that where she writes words both in standard English orthography and in the Americai Speak alphabet, I retain only the former for ease in display here. Note that all first-person pronouns in the text refer to Miss Foulk; I do not claim any connection with this language except to present it to you to read what she did. Also note that the book is from 1937, so obsolete references, as to the League of Nations, can be found.
This book is simplified English spelling and grammar for international use at the Olympic games, and for the Pan-American Union, League of Nations, and for foreigners here and at home. The changes are of such a nature that English-speaking people can understand them when they are spoken, but they cannot read them until the changed letters have been studied.

Every sound is always spelled by the same letter. Every letter has only one sound. The English letter "c" is not needed because it has the sound either of "k" or "s"; so I use "c" for the short sound of "a," as in "hat." The English letter "q" is not needed because it has the same sound as "k"; so I use "q" for the short sound of "u," as in "up." The English letter "x" is not needed because it has the same sound as "ks"; so I use "x" for the short sound of "e," as in "let." Long "a," as in "hate," and long "i," as in "right," are compound sounds, and I spell them as such to save inventing new letters for them. I use two different forms of "a." Capital, printed "A" is the sound of "a" in "all." Phonetic "" is the sound of "a" in "father" and of "o" in "not." Because there are twenty-eight sounds in "American Speech" and only twenty-six letters in English, I needed one more letter. I use "o" with a mark thru it for the sound of "oo" in "book." This plan leaves "o" for the long sound of "o," as in "no," "u" for the sound of "u" in "rule," and "i" for the short sound of "i," as in "it." See page tu for American sounds and English equivalents.

Tle plural of all nouns and pronouns is tregular. The plural of "man" is "mans." In some cases I use a verb form for both verb and noun, as the English word "love" is both a verb and a noun. "Speak" becomes a noun in place of "speech." The comparison of all adjectives and adverbs is regular, as "good, gooder, goodest." In Englisg the most common ending used to form an adjective from a noun is the short sound of "i," as in "sun, sunny," "noise, noisy," "cloud, cloudy," "dust, dusty." I have extended this rule to some other words. "Grammatical" becomes "grammari." "American" becomes "Americai."

All forms of all verbs are regular. The present tense of the verb "to be" is "I be, you be, he be, Is be, yous be, hes be." I have dropped many Latin verb endings, the meanings of which have been dropped long ago, as "at," "ate," "et," "it," "ant," "ent," "ance," "ence," "ion," "tion," etc. "Regulate" becomes "regul." "Composition" becomes "compos."

Under "Stems" I have respelled and defined for identification all common English words that can be put into groups under the same root or stem. Other common English words have been respelled and defined under their respective parts of speech.

The second division of this book on grammar is a complete grammar, giving and explaining all the grammatical constructions of the eight parts of speech, and of phrases, clauses, and sentences. The preface only is in English. The book itself is in simplified spelling.


This page was originally a part of my site on Geocities, maintained until 1998. The last edit on the Geocities page was made on May 24, 1997. The pages on Geocities could not be edited between 1998 and 2009, and were preserved as they were, until download in preparation for migration to this site took place on May 22, 2009.
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Last modified by B. R. Gilson (brg@netcom.com) June 1, 2009.
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