This is a common mistake (or proposal) I have seen in Esperanto; I have recently heard the word "alies" when listening to ĈRI, and I have also encountered it in Hasegawa Teru's (Verda Majo's) En Ĉinio Batalanta:

Aliel ol en Japanio, ĉi tie mi ne bezonis konsideri la ideon kaj socian situacion de kunparolanto.

There is also a PMEG page about this issue:

"Ĉu ALI-vortoj povas esti tabelvortoj?"

Multfoje oni proponis aldoni al la tabelvortoj la antaŭparton ALI- kreante la novan serion aliu°, alio°, alia°, alies, alie°, aliam°, alial°, aliel, aliom°. Iuj eĉ praktikas tion uzante precipe la vortojn aliel kaj alies.

I would say the problem is well-treated in that PMEG article, but I'd appreciate an English-language summary of why this is considered incorrect.

It seems to be such a natural mistake, so natural that many people come to it spontaneously without having seen it before, and others try to defend it and use it purposely. For this reason I think it's an important issue to highlight and explain, because it seems like a possible hotspot of natural evolution and unintended development of irregularity in the casual use of the Esperanto language. Since Esperanto is a living language, I feel it's not in anyone's power anymore to stamp out natural growth. But because Esperanto is often touted as a completely regular language this seems to be a bit of a glaring contradiction to that claim. Of course "ali-" tabelvortoj are not official, but they seem to appear commonly in day to day writing and speech, intentionally or not.

So, why are these ali- tabelvortoj considered to be incorrect? And, if it doesn't convolute this question too much, has anyone else seen examples of irregularities like this in Esperanto, whether embedded within the 'official' Esperanto language or sliding by undetected in the flawed, natural, everyday speech of its speakers?

  • I would like to see a discussion sometime about the inevitability of ungrammatical casual speech and writing developing in our language, but I'm sure that is straying much too far from this question's scope. This SE is the first I've ever participated in so I would appreciate tips/opinions on shaving my questions down if they're too broad. I want this SE and all in-depth information and discussion about Esperanto to be successful.
    – Kat Ño
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 20:04

2 Answers 2


The reason why it is considered incorrect is simply because, as PMEG states, ali already is a defined root. Thus alio, alia, alie etc. are already words, whose definition need not coincide with the proposed definitions of the correlative-equivalent. (In particular, alie would then mean ‘elsewhere’, alia would only be ‘another kind’ and not ‘other’ in a more general sense.)

The reason why PMEG (and also PIV) recommends not using the other correlative-suffixes to the root ali is because it would cause confusion. If someone uses alies and aliel, one may extrapolate that alie means ‘elsewhere’, which it does not. This would cause confusion.

The remainder of the PMEG article further points out some illogicalities of using ali- as a correlative root. For instance, that you could no longer say alikaze, because with correlatives, you cannot remove the suffix: We say tiukaze, not tikaze, etc.


Adding to the answer of @Joffysloffy

If you combine ali- with a corelative root like -io, -iam, -iel you would end up with aliio, aliiam, aliiel, etc rather than with aliom, aliam, aliel.

Last not least, there are good alternatives like alispeca, aliloke, alitempe, alifoje, alikvante, alia ...

  • 1
    When they suggest the transformation of ali as a correlative, that i is the intermediate i from all correlatives, so you would actually get alio, alia, alie, aliu, aliam, etc. Or was that not your point? Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 8:42

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