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Poliespo (Polisinteza Esperanto) is an extension of Esperanto using Cherokee words, created by Billy Ray Waldon (also known as Nvwtohiyada Idehesdi Sequoyah).[1]

Principle of creation[edit]

Nvwtohiyada believed that certain languages contained (to use his term) "lightning words," or phrases that speed up or clarify thought. Poliespo was an attempt to combine these 'lightning words' into one language. Most of Poliespo comes from Cherokee, English, Esperanto, and Spanish, the languages that Nvwtohiyada could speak.

The philosophy behind the language is reminiscent of sound symbolism or phonosemantics, and therefore radically differs from the principles of Esperanto.


Alphabet: a, â, ⱥ, ⱥ̂, b, b̆, c, ĉ, d, e, ê, f, g, ĝ, h, ĥ, i, ĭ, ĭ:, ĭ́, î, î:, î́, j, ĵ, k, k̆, l, m, m̆, n, n̆, o, ô, p, pʷ (actually, an overstruck ʷ), s, ŝ, t, t̂, ť, u, û, ŭ, v, z, ẑ, z̆, q, q́, q̂, q̂́, w, ẃ, ŵ, ŵ́, x, x́, y, 2, 2́.[2]

The sound values of these are not well explained. It appears that the vowels a, e, i, o, u are as in Esperanto. A circumflex vowel is nasal. Ⱥ is [æ] as in English 'ash', and ⱥ̂ is nasal ⱥ. Ĭ is [ɪ] as in English 'ship', î is nasal ĭ. The vowel q sounds "like the ir of English 'girl'". W is "like the sound in awful, law", and ŵ is nasal w. X is schwa; its nasal form is written 2, because 2 resembles, according to Waldon, a nose. Acute accents mark a rising tone.

The consonants are as in Esperanto, plus b, k, m, n breve, which are perhaps pre-aspirated with a nasal h. T̂ is voiceless th [θ], ť is voiced th [ð]. Pʷ is 'pw'. Ẑ is [kts], z̆ is [gdz]. Y is perhaps [ç]. Glottal stop is phonemic but not written.


The structure is more similar to Ido than to Esperanto, since radicals are inflected (it is a polysynthetic language); therefore, the language is not perfectly agglutinative. Unlike Ido, it has only one prefix in addition to those of Esperanto: pe-, which is used to indicate the "neutral" gender. Besides the accusative, there is also a subject suffix, as in Korean and Japanese.


The suggested goal is to give the western U.S., and mainly the native peoples, the opportunity to acquire the "Cherokee Spirit". According to its speakers, one cannot speak Poliespo (or Po, as it is often called) well unless one speaks Esperanto.

Since Waldon asked for donations from interested people, he has been accused of having dishonest intentions.[3]


  1. ^ Wallace, Amy (30 June 1991). "Making a Case for Providing Own Defense". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ "Poliespo: A Cherokee Esperanto". Archived from the original on 2005-02-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ *"Human Rights Advocates" (PDF). 42. Winter 2003–2004. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]