SHAŊKARYA Ba-sa ozh ned-a / The language for all

Shangkarya is a new language based on simple, short and readily-read rootwords used by 365 living and formerly used languages from all over the world. They include aboriginal, Egyptian, Hittite, Akkadian, Greek and Latin to Esperanto. The name Shangkarya itself has roots in Chinese and the Indo-European Sanskrit and Greek tongues. (from: Shang from the name of the first Chinese historic dynasty, karya ("work") from Sanskrit, and Ikaria from the Greek mythical character Icarius who tried to fly too close to the sun and plummeted to the sea, supposedly near where the present Greek island of Ikaria lies in the Mediterranean; their inhabitants live to a very ripe old — and most importantly, healthy — age.)

All languages borrow from all other languages to various extents. But since Shangkarya borrows not just vocabulary but principles of grammar and word-building from other languages as well, it may thus be viewed as a species of "superlanguage." It builds on the work that produced the World Languages Dictionary of 2007 in over 200 languages and dialects from across the world.

Previous serious attempts to create "universal" languages have all been based on European languages only. Consequently they were never going to be politically acceptable to ALL peoples of this Global Village and the eventual possibilities of universal acceptance were always going to be severely limited. Shangkarya is a game changer with this new approach.

Bearing in mind the millions of illiterates all over the world (particularly among females) and that even so-called "sign languages" are not standardized after all this while — Shangkarya is purposely designed to be the easiest language — the least labour-intensive — language to learn, to read, to speak and to write. To write whether using stick on sand, finger on a glass pane covered with condensed water vapour, chalk on board, pen and paper, or on a keyboard of a smartphone or computer.

The alphabet originated with the ancient Phoenecians from the eastern Mediterranean region, though it is possible that Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics (so-called "words of God") with its semi-alphabetic system of writing, may have contributed its part. Seven of them did pass into the Coptic language.

Shangkarya has adopted an alphabet system as well, at one stroke placing it among the learning-efficient systems. The alphabet has just 26 x 2 capital and small letters: Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Ŋ/ŋ (NG/ng) Ñ/ñ (NY/ny) Oo Pp Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Yy Zz.

On the Internet Ŋ/ŋ and Ñ/ñ may not be displayable, depending on your system software and hardware, in which case NG/ng or NY/ny may be used instead. (HTML coding: &# 330, 331, 209, 241) As for vowels, there are combinations AE joined side by side, a long "E" represented with a short horizontal bar on top (a macron) etc.

It is written from left to right (LTR), with a SVO (subject-verb-object) language structure. A completely phonetic alphabet is used; the spoken and written language is one — assuming Shangkarya users are able to distinguish between closely similar consonants such as B and P, G and K etc. Certain sounds are made by the human tongue touching the teeth and proceeding backwards and upwards to the top and back of the mouth cavity. As the number of points where the tongue tip touches the roof differs like the stars projected on a theoretical "celestial sphere", no two humans can vocalize certain sounds exactly the same way. In this respect written Shangkarya is far more precise than the spoken form.

Shangkarya is atonal; there is no system of tones or tone sandhi (changes with preceding tones), and no difficult nasal, click, whistling and "tongue-twisting" sounds are used.

There is also a single egalitarian register — no special form for royalty or distinctions between the language of different sexes, ages, social castes or status, no "book" form and informal variety. Words are not inflected by sex, number or case.

Word-building principles are regular. In Shangkarya, a word that has an opposite or complementary meaning to another is spelt in reverse order. Nam (yes, from Arabic) reversed becomes "man" ("no"). At one fell stroke, about half the labour of learning a language is thus achieved.

If there may be doubt on how a multisyllable word has been constructed (especially at the initial learning stage), the syllables are separated by an apostrophe (') or a short hyphen (-).

The vocabulary so far referred to is that common to all humankind, ie prior to the Industrial Revolution, going back to about 1500 before the "New World" was "discovered" by Europeans.

The new vocabulary that has come since then in the names of exotic animals, plants, fruits etc is based on the native language(s) for such entities, as far as is currently known. Thus the word for jaguar from South America comes from the Tupi language; the fruit durian from the Indonesian-Malay language of Southeast Asia.

Scientific and technical progress has brought in a vast new vocabulary. In this case the words and terms used in Shangkarya follows that designated of the discoverers and inventors (no need to reinvent the wheel!). Consequently there is a profusion of influence from Greek, English, and languages of the advanced First World countries.

Numbers used are the Indo-Arabic type, with a base of 10. (However, when the numbers are spelled out in words, Shangkarya has borrowed from Modern Greek.) The metric system (System Internationale, SI) is used, allowing for metres (length), kilogram (weight) and second (time). Though mass and energy are equivalent, and light waves are also particles, and spacetime is one according to physicists, the traditional systems of ordinary human experience are followed.

Punctuations include the comma, full stop, open and close quotation marks, question, exclamation marks etc.

Shangkarya now has 364 entries in its vocabulary. In it, each and every entry was selected after considering that word in well over 200 languages/dialects.