Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Relational language

From:Ben Haanstra <kof@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 21, 2007, 0:35
Hope this works like I want, im not really familiar on how to post easy to
topics/replies, cant really find an easy FAQ and such...

Thanks for the comment Jim Henry!

>... You might find Rick Harrison's article on verb aspect useful
for ways to derive a lot of specific verbs from a few verb roots. Thanks for the tip it gave me some extra ideas for derivations.
>... Interesting. Lojban and some other engineered languages aim to
eliminate syntactic ambiguity, but regard a fair amount of semantic ambiguity as unavoidable even in a conlang with no arbitrary homophones. It sounds like you're trying to create structures to reduce semantic ambiguity to an arbitrarily small amount? At the moment im trying to get a better structure for derivations for morphemes as it didnt work out with only 992 roots with 155 relations descriptions, in addition to that it quite used up all the rest of the possibilities. As it stands now i have, only 16 mainroots so far, the words between () is a description and possible root words: -interaction (talk, speak, scream, see, uninteract(prohibit/not acting), trade, use, interact) -grouping (add as group, use as group, identicate as group, ungroup, addin to group) -creation (create, give birth, help, improve, repair, discreate(like disappear)) -destruction (destroy, break, renew, damaging) -identification (identify/copula, search, help to identify, unidentify, find, endarken) -change (change surface, change inside, change outside(light,small,etc), normalizing, gradually changing) -"tijden" (found this required, but im still brainstorming on how to explain/use it, it would be easily translated "to spent someones time .." and roots are quite unknown for this one) -Existence(there is, there is none, exists, help to exist, starts to come), -Connecting (connect, break apart, engage connecting, relativating, to know, to have(still thinking about it)) -Placing (as in movement, coming and going, put something on) -Surfacing (to close/open, surround, cover) -None (directally takes rootderivations, as in none+idea = idea, where as interact+idea = idea behind interacting, likewise with: none+location = location, interact+location = location of described(context) interaction) -Attraction(like connecting but not as in 'adding up together' or directly connecting, words like love, hate, pull, going away from, push) -Supporting (support, encourage, unsupport, follow(not sure)) -"to Or" (another weird verb root, its derivations make up words as "decision, selection, arrange, or make something an option or an disjunction) Im still thinking about how to distinguish faces/forms/objects/relations/animals/ other special words from those root words without overusing or words that are hardly distinguishable. (for example only difference is the first consonant: s and sj, doubt that is easily understandable/learnable for everyone. On top of this it makes it more redundant capable.) Im still searching for more derivations, (so far I got 15, which some of them are actually 'partlly' derivations) to get more further options. The Interact option already has an 'affix' part which describes through what the interaction was done. (by matter/by sound,waves/light/etc and those has whether it is small/big/normal/invisible/inside/etc. This to create words as: whisper, say, scream, sonar, fibration and as mutual: talk softly, talk, scream to each other, and other valence aspects: scream together at, scream after each other, scream in reaction to, etc.)
>I suspect that may be contradictory with your other goal, but I wish
you luck. Having easy pronunciation (meaning, I guess, a relatively small phoneme inventory and restrictive phonotactic constraints) means that you're not going to have very many possible short words. Then either you assign multiple senses to the same short words (hopefully in widely different semantic fields, so they won't often occur in the same context and cause confusion, but even so that seems to contradict your other goal). Or you expand your vocabulary to have many highly precise roots and plenty of affixes to make them even more precise, but would then have to use a lot of longer words. So far the pronunication of 'easy words' (as in, not highly structured placement/relational situations or descriptions, but normal words and verbs) is about: (V-af)C-rootVC-deriv(C-passive/causative/normal*valence)(V-thru)(optional-affixes) Making normal words as big as 3 letters, more complex average verbs 4-6 letters and for now up to 10 letters for highly informated words. However this is subject to change as the derivations are still being looked on.
>... For describing motion and position, in addition to Ithkuil's
spatial coordinate system, you might look at my gzb's spacetime postposition system. It's not perfect -- there are a few annoying gaps -- but it has the advantage over Ithkuil of being proven by nine years of experience to be learnable and speakable in real time. (I'm not perfectly fluent in gzb yet, but the postposition system is one aspect I have learned to use fluently, constructing ad-hoc precise postpositions for particular situations on the fly.) I didn't have time to read it thoroughly (site was down first when I tried), but the Ithkuil description for spatial aspects was a bit odd to me, although it seems descriptioned well and has a good idea, I rather describe the view from a "personal view" instead of using the sun (or maybe I didnt read/understood it that well from what John wrote down). To be honest I wanted to add more possiblities then diagonal/left/right/forward but directions between those. (a Sapir-whorf's thingy if I got it right). As for now I got the biglines written down: (dont be scared by the amount) Construction of form/relation: -Horizontal/vertical/diagonal and kinda any combination of that... (as it may occur in different looks) -Mainforms: ball/square/piramides/triangle/etc as main C's with derivations describing the the length/width/height(depth), to describe how complex as it is now: a circle might be a line. (if the balance is 1:unlimited, it becomes a line) -Holes/oddforms/surface descriptions, are there some odd surface openings and such -Connections: where it is connected with another object (described as mainform as well), and what edge of the object is touching (for example a square may hit it by a side but also with an edge...) X-Transition aspect, for example you have a picture of a ball and cube that are partially "inside" each other, but there is something ambigu about it. Are the objects completely abrupt 'ball' and 'cube' or does the ball gradually "convert" into the cube so that changes shape, or does the object stops to exist when it comes to approaching that side? (To describe this is quite hard, but lets say that on a side of the above of a cube a ball "approachs/connects" to the upperedge of the cube. I created an image to show a bit what I mean: excuse me for my bad drawing skills. -Relational Aspect: how is this related to another object, i thought of different solutions to this: X-Describing a form in which objects are described (when identical/about identical/not relevant order to be precise) uses mainform objects descriptions, for example 4 pipes are ordered as a square, so every angle of the triangle has a pipe. X-Using gradiants and distance + normal/standardized relation concepts. So you can describe that for example a person in front of you, is actually a bit to the right. Of course this all is to describe the most outrageous forms, dont know if this is a good option for normal explanations as I doubt that the fantasy of everyone is going that far. So otherwise i should just use the 'big lines' of using forms (i had written down about 46) and give it a derivation on the scale of it.
>...Interesting. You could have a number of short morphemes
for shapes and angles, and a number/measurement system that lets you describe the relative sizes and distances of different facial features...? Im still brainstorming at this part, I wouldn't be surprised if it became something like I wrote down with the Form description. To explain my thoughts: I regularly come across faces which im "familiar" with, not as in family, friends or people I know, but totally unknown people which I relate to different faces of (un)known people that I have seen before. On top of that, some of those faces seem to be location-related(at least to me). (To describe it in better words, I hope..., to distinguish typical American/europeaan/etc. faces (and hopefully even there countries/districts)). You could say that this would be another way to arrange/identify people next to the options: "motherlanguages", "ethnicity", "involved with group X". About the phonetic part of the conlang: So far it uses the typical latin alphabet and combinations of consonants (kr/rk/sr/st, etc, however im attempting to make the amount as low as possible) Vowels is a harder aspect (well I guess for people who aren't that familiar with diphthongs). Before I created a way to make 155 derivations from the roots, the 155 relations was made up by 3 vowels, a single, dual and triple vowel. It would look hard at first, "triple vowel? WOW!", but the idea is to break it into two parts, the 3rd vowel going with the next consonant (as the root ended with a consonant, easily said: same structure as ithkuil). But for now I got in total 30 most important relational aspects which would be easily described by 5 singular vowels and 25 diphthongs (5x5). Hope that wasn't too much of text..