The "epicene" pronoun is used for living beings when the sex is not known or
important. Both "le" and "lum" translate "it" in English, but
"lum" is a true neuter and "le" is (as indicated) epicene: a baby
or animal might be "le" but a house is "lum." (this may be
confusing, since neuter nouns usually end in -e. But according to
Jespersen's usage in his translation of "The Emperor's New Clothes" he uses
"lum" for the invisible garment, though the only nouns in -um seem
to be abstracts.
Reciprocal: mutu = each other, one another
In the following, the -i forms are actually adjectives but are
grouped with the pronouns because they directly relate to them; so
"that" as an adjective would be "ti" (that man); as a pronoun it takes
all the forms of the 3rd person. Thus "ta" is "that one," if referring to
a female; "tes" means "those": the whole group can be figured out from
Demonstrative: ti (te, to, tes, tum, etc.) = that
disi (dise, disum, etc.) = this
tali (-e, etc.) = such
tanti (-es, -um) = so much, so many
sami = same
self (invariable) = self: les ha self dikte lum = they
have said it themselves.
English speakers may ask: "How does 'self' differ from 'se'?"
The distinction is clearer in other languages such as German; it is about the
same as between "selbst" and "sich" - one is a sign of emphasis,
one of reflexivity.
Interrogative: qui, que, quo, qua, quum
Relative: kel (usually no ending except for genitive kelen
Indefinite: nule = none, omne = all, irge =
anyone, kelke = some, sertene = a certain one, chake =
each, altre = another
Note that the English word "that" has many meanings: relative pronoun (kel
in Novial) as in "the man that came to dinner," demonstrative adjective
(ti) as in "I want that book, not this one," demonstrative pronoun
(tum) as in "He sent me that," and even conjunction (ke
) as in "He said that he would come." English speakers must be careful about
For more details, see the web pages that have been put up giving the details
of the chapter in An International Language on pronouns.
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.
Please inform me of dead links and any other problems.
Last modified by B. R. Gilson
(firstname.lastname@example.org) May 28, 2009.
Back to my home page
Back to the Novial top page