Re: Comparison of philosophical languages
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 21, 2003, 17:15|
H. S. Teoh scripsit:
> Exactly, which is why I keep going back to the point: it's easy relative
> to who? *I* think tonal languages are the way to go, because you can get
> so many more root words into a single syllable. Plus, tones are so darned
> easy to learn! After all, if *I* have no problem with it, why would
> anybody else? But just because I think this way, doesn't mean it works for
The language Gua\spi (pronounced gua1 spi4, using Mandarin tones)
uses tones not to disambiguate lexemes, but to express grammatical
falling tone marks the beginning of a new subphrase;
rising tone marks the return to the superphrase (the previous
word is the last word of the subphrase);
rising-falling tone marks the end of a subphrase and the
beginning of a sibling subphrase;
level tone marks the continuation of a phrase.
Level tone comes in two flavors, high and low; high is the default,
whereas low represents a specific kind of compounding. Falling-rising
tone is the equivalent of falling tone, except that it marks the start
of a subordinate clause rather than a subphrase.
Example: :i \tara /crw \kseo
(start) (rat )eat (cheese)
The word ":i" (":" is pronounced [?]) indicates the start of a new
sentence. The falling tone on "tara" shows that it is the start of a
subphrase, in this case a noun phrase. The rising tone on "crw" ("w"
is pronounced [N], in this case syllabic or with epenthetic schwa) shows
that it belongs to the top-level sentence. The falling tone on "kseo"
shows that it too belongs to a subphrase. So this means "The rat eats
the cheese". Change the tones, and you get something different:
:i -tara \crw /kseo
[start] rat (eat[er] )cheese
So here "eat[er]" is in the subphrase, and "rat cheese" is the verb.
By Gua\spi rules, this compound means "is a rat and is cheese". So we
now have "The eater is a rat and is cheese."
As for the name of the language, "gua" means "language", and "spi" means
"the local culture, whatever it is". So "gua \spi" means "the language
of the local culture".
More information at the Gua\spi home page: http://www.math.ucla.edu/~jimc/guaspi
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...>
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Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)