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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 one.
> 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.
> Ygyde conlang is ahead of the competition. It has only one > flaw: some of its compound words are not defined well, which > means that it is difficult to guess their meaning. I invented > this language with the help of Patrick Hassel-Zein. > Web description: > > and
[snip] 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 to. T -- 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.


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>