Re: Comparison of philosophical languages
|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, January 16, 2003, 22:19|
On Thu, Jan 16, 2003 at 03:41:45PM -0500, Andrew Nowicki wrote:
> Philosophical languages are defined as conlangs which do not
> derive their root words from other languages. They are my
> favorite international auxiliary languages because they are
> not hampered by the flaws of existing languages.
Not all conlangs are IALs. :-) For example, Ebisedian derives no root
words from existing natlangs, but it's neither an IAL nor intended to be
> A perfect language should be easy to pronounce, easy to understand, and
> easy to learn.
Unfortunately, these three things are not absolute measures. A Mandarin
speaker finds any language with any inflection at all troublesome to
learn, but speakers of European languages have no trouble with simple
inflectional systems. OTOH, speakers of most European langs finds tones
impossible to manage, yet they are second nature to Mandarin speakers.
Another flaw: the difference between the vowels /y/ and /i/ are difficult
to learn for people whose native language does not differentiate between
them. (E.g. a Mandarin speaker probably can't tell the difference.) And a
Korean speaker would find /f/ and /p/ impossible to distinguish. (I'm not
making this up just to be mean; I have personally seen Korean friends
struggle for *years* trying to pronounce "fork" and "pork" correctly. And
sometimes they still can't tell the difference by ear.)
Basically, if you want the language to be easy to learn for *everyone*,
you'd have to reduce the phonological inventory drastically. Of course, if
you target a more narrow audience (such as speakers of European langs),
then you might be able to get away with the existing system.
Yet another flaw: the color naming system is too fine-grained to be
useful, except perhaps to graphics artists and painters. The human eye is
not equally sensitive to red/blue/green light components. Most people can
distinguish between more shades of green than blue, for instance. But
personally, I can't tell the difference between umi, uno, and ule. I can
see that they're *different*, but I'd have no idea which was which if I
see them in isolation. Also, ugy, uka, ufu, ugo, and uke all look black to
me. I wouldn't have identified the very faint tinge of color in them if
they weren't labelled with the exact color composition.
Finally, I didn't find very much information about the grammar of Ygyde.
What's the word order (if there is one)? Do adjectives come before or
after the modified noun? I'd be curious to find out if you have a workable
grammar simple enough for "everyone" to learn easily.
Anyway, I don't mean to rip your language to shreds, :-) but I do find
claims of being "easy to learn" by "everybody" rather difficult to live up
Today's society is one of specialization: as you grow, you learn more and
more about less and less. Eventually, you know everything about nothing.