against
 
against
air
 
air, wind, breeze, gas, vapor
all
 
all, every
and
 
and, also, too
animal
 
animal
ass
 
end, rear, butt
back
 
backward, behind, before
bad
 
no, bad
beautiful
 
beautiful
believe
 
believe, think
between
 
between, medium, intermediate, vacillating, confused
big
 
big, highly, large
blue
 
blue, sad, sour, bitter
body
 
body, trunk, hull
box
 
box, cup, container, bowl, vase, tub
boy
 
boy, man, male
break
 
break, crack, canyon, cut, disparity, destroy, disrupt
bump
 
hill, bump, lump, mountain
can
 
can, possibility, ability
cause
 
cause, force, make, compel
child
 
child, descendant, offspring, baby
circle
 
circle, ball, round, cycle, loop, surround, around, with respect to
close
 
end, finish, close
cloth
 
cloth, clothing, fabric, covering
come
 
hello, arrive, come from
cool
 
cool, cold, agreeable, ok
count
 
count, number, amount
crazy
 
crazy, foolish, wild
dark
 
dark, black
different
 
different, difference, distance, interval
dirty
 
dirty, dirt, earth, scum
drive
 
drive, control
ear
 
ear, hear, know about
eat
 
eat, food, consume
eye
 
eye, look, see
face
 
front, face, facade, representative
feel
 
feel, touch
fire
 
fire, hot, angry
foot
 
foot, base, least
forward
 
forward, on behalf of, ahead
friend
 
friend, nice
fruit
 
fruit, reward, prize, award, goal, aim
get
 
get, take, receive, catch, find
girl
 
girl, woman, female
go
 
go, move, goodbye, become
good
 
good, yes
ground
 
ground, floor, land, foundation
group
 
group, set, class, team, collection
have
 
have, own
head
 
head, top, most
heart
 
heart, middle, center
hit
 
hit, strike, tap, poke
house
 
house, home, building, system
inside
 
inside, interior, within, member
it
 
she, he, it, her, his, its
knot
 
knot, hard, dense, difficult
know
 
know
leaf
 
leaf, sheet, paper, flake, petal
left
 
left, beside, with
life
 
life, energy, power, fuel, vigor
light
 
light, bright, white
 
like, love
limb
 
limb, stick
link
 
link, connect, relate, copulate
machine
 
machine, vehicle, car, console
make
 
create, produce, accomplish, bring about
mat
 
support, chair, bed, table
maybe
 
maybe, might, perhaps
me
 
me, I, my
mistake
 
mistake, screw up, incorrect, wrong, false
money
 
money
mouth
 
mouth, opening, hole
must
 
must, have to, need, should
name
 
name, word, term
nose
 
nose, smell, intuit
only
 
only, just, barely
open
 
open, start, begin
or
 
or
outside
 
outside, beyond
over
 
over, above, about
parent
 
parent, ancestor, predecessor
path
 
path, line, street, route, road
person
 
person
picture
 
picture, screen, diagram, representation
place
 
place, at
plant
 
plant, vegetable, vegetative
play
 
play, do
pocket
 
pocket, valley, fold, pit, depression
put
 
put, give, send, throw, lose
reason
 
reason, because, for
red
 
red, sweet, happy
right
 
right, beside, on behalf of
same
 
same, like, equal, mean, imply, also
skin
 
surface, covering, peel, shell, coating
sleep
 
sleep, rest, oblivious
small
 
small, little, less, slightly
some
 
some, part, portion
sound
 
sound, ruckus, tumult
space
 
space, room
stay
 
stay, continue, keep on
story
 
story, chain, thread, sequence, explanation, excuse
stuff
 
stuff, soft, goo, sand, easy
talk
 
talk, say, discuss, address
that
 
that, there, away, the other
that
 
that, there, away, the other
thing
 
thing, exist
this
 
here, this, the
time
 
time
tip
 
tip, finger, point, unit
tool
 
equipment
true
 
true, correct, honest
try
 
try, attempt
type
 
kind, type, sort, category
under
 
under, below, supporting
use
 
use, with
want
 
want, desire, lack
water
 
water, liquid
way
 
way, method, means
what
 
what
work
 
work, do
write
 
write, writing, article, book
yellow
 
yellow, scared, salty
you
 
you, your

dictionary

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Moss is a pidgin language with a musical phonology. Moss words are elementary melodic shapes. They're recognized by way of four distinctive features: each note can be relatively high or low, far or near, long or short, and separate or contiguous. Moss has a tiny lexicon that ranges over the combinatoric space produced by these distinctions, such that no melodic rudiments are excluded. At the same time, Moss abandons pitch, pacing, inflection, and other aspects of melody to free variation, where they're magnetized by the desire of the speaker.

When we speak, we usually forget what our voice sounds like because we're busy trying to make a point. Sounds recede into the background of our awareness. If we do become conscious of our voice, we're likely to become distracted from the conversation. Yet, as we say even the most ordinary things, each of us intones, inflects, and modulates our words with an astonishing range of expression. We speak with an effortless virtuosity that would put any musical performer to shame. Moss furnishes this unconscious virtuosity with music.

Like Esperanto and other auxiliary languages, Moss can serve as a means of communication between people that do not have a natural language in common. Historically, groups of people in this situation have developed simple, makeshift languages called pidgins. Since pidgins are the most practical and historically attested solution to language barriers, Moss emulates them by being as small and simple as possible. It has just 120 words and a few grammatical rules of thumb.

As a result, Moss is very easy to learn. When in doubt, you can always fall back on patterns and idioms that are comfortable to you. If you’re familiar with European notation, then the notation on this website will feel natural to you, but this website is designed so that you can learn just by clicking to listen, then imitating what you hear.

A pidgin is just a starting point for language. If it is adopted by a permanent speech community, it will evolve into a full-fledged language called a creole. The creole that Moss becomes will be shaped by the people that come to speak it. The destiny of this language lies with you – your native language, your culture, your inventiveness, your wit. So take a look around, and then join the conversation!