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Basa de Dunya

Vocabulary

Basa de Dunya draws from eight primary source languages, although words may be drawn from other languages as needed. These eight languages were chosen for their large number of speakers, geographic diversity, and lingua franca status:

  • English
    inglish
    1,348,000,000 speakers
  • Mandarin Chinese
    gwanhwa
    官话
    1,120,000,000 speakers
  • Romance languages
    romanik basas
    lenguas romances · langues romanes · línguas românicas
    >900,000,000 speakers
  • Hindi–Urdu
    hindi i urdu
    हिन्दी-उर्दू · ہندی-اردو
    750,000,000 speakers
  • Arabic
    arabi
    العربية
    270,000,000 speakers
  • Malay
    melayu
    bahasa Melayu
    225,000,000 speakers
  • Russian
    ruski
    русский
    200,000,000 speakers
  • Swahili
    swahili
    Kiswahili
    70,000,000 speakers

Words can either be borrowed from source languages or derived from existing Basa de Dunya roots.

When borrowing words (with the exception of geographic and ethnic terms, discussed in the next section), the stress shifts onto the penultimate syllable. For example, the Russian word ещё eshho is pronounced [jɪˈɕːɵ], with its stress on the final syllable. It was borrowed into Basa de Dunya as yesho, pronounced as /ˈjeʃo/, with the stress on the penultimate syllable.

Geographic and ethnic words

Words for geographic areas and ethnic groups keep the stress from their original language, marked with an acute accent on the stressed syllable. For example, the Spanish español /espaˈɲol/ was borrowed as es­pan­yól /espʰanˈjol/, keeping the stress on the final syllable.

Geographic and ethnic words are also not required to conform to Basa de Dunya syllable structure as described in the section on phonotactics. For example, the English Wales /weɪ̯lz/ was borrowed as Weils /ʋejls/, even though this conflicts with the language’s phonotactics.

The word for a country and the word for its people are derived separately: Weils “Wales” and kim­réig “Welsh” are separate roots. The base form of a geographic word is always a noun, and the base form of the term for an ethnic group is always an adjective.

The word for a country and the word for its people always refer to those two meanings. It would be improper to refer to the government of Wales as *kim­réig gwan; gwan de Weils or Weil­si gwan would be more accurate.