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Volapük is a constructed language created in 1880 by Johann Martin Schleyer[?], a Catholic priest in Baden, Germany. Schleyer felt that God had told him in a dream to create an international language[?]. Volapük conventions took place in 1884, 1887, and 1889. The first two conventions used German and the last conference used only Volapük which may have been one of the primary reasons that Volapük started to fade. Also, the first Esperanto book (Unua Libro) was published in 1887; Esperanto was much easier to learn, and many Volapük clubs became Esperanto clubs. Schleyer insisted strongly on retaining his proprietary rights which restricted the language from evolving naturally. There are an estimated 25-30 Volapük speakers in the world today.

Schleyer adapted the vocabulary mostly from English, with a smattering of German and French, and often modified it beyond easy recognizability. For instance, "vol" and "pük" are derived from the English words "world" and "speech". Although unimportant linguistically, these deformations were greatly mocked by the language's detractors. The grammar is roughly based on that of Indo-European languages but with a regularized agglutinative character: grammatical features are indicated by putting together unchanging elements, rather than shifting, multi-meaning inflections. As in German, the Volapük noun has four cases: nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative. Adjectives do not take a case unless they precede the noun or stand alone. The verb carries a fine degree of detail, with morphemes marking tense, aspect, voice, person, number, and the subject's gender. However, all of these categories are optional, and a verb can stand in an unmarked state.

Volapük's ISO 639 language code is vo, and there is space set aside for a Volapük version of Wikipedia (http://vo.wikipedia.com/), as yet barely used.

External links

  • Vükiped (http://vo.wikipedia.com/), The Volapük Wikipedia
  • Handbook of Volapük (http://personal.southern.edu/~caviness/Volapuk/HBoV/), Charles E. Sprague
  • Volapükalised (http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/volapuk), desinü bespik dinas komunik
  • Vödasbukalised (http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/voydasbuk), desinü bespik vödastoka e glamata
  • Glup ICQ Volapükik (http://web.icq.com/groups/group_details?gid=11998108), desinü bespiks ko votik Volapükaflens

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