Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Saturday, January 25, 2003, 22:29
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Nowicki" <andrew@...>

> Andreas Johansson wrote: > AJ> Quite possibly it doesn't concern you at all, > AJ> but a language in which (apparently) most nouns > AJ> are lengthy compounds, without any actual > AJ> derivational morphemes, strikes me as unnatural.
> You sound like a conservative person. > aUI and Lojban conlangs also use compound words. > Each aUI root word is a single letter. Lojban root > words are 3 or 4 letters long.
But Lojban, nay any philosophical or logical language, is not "natural." Andreas may have missed the point of your type of conlang, a possibility he admits to; but his remark has some validity: many languages, natural or invented, don't turn most of its word into a description. With such a small root base, Ygyde gets vague, I've noticed, when it starts building words, especially since compounds can't be repeated for different meanings. Most natural languages have quite a number of compound words, but a sizeable number of basic words whose original prehistorical components cannot be detected within them anymore, even though they may have cognates in other languages: foot, man, look, see, root, go, do, get, horse, ground, God, love, ship, file, grind, wolf, bear, birch, but, I, give, get, ill, mean, boast, BIRD just to mention a few of hundreds of English words whose origins in Indo-European (if we can find them) don't break down into compounds. Others have suggested that you greatly expand your root base. If the human brain can learn English, and the adult human brain can learn Esperanto, how is it that having only 180 words makes Ygyde any easier, when finally it's the compounds that you have to memorize and their vague suggestings?
> If you have memorized 180 root words of Ygyde, it is > easy to memorize "money craftsman." The word "accountant" > is meaningless to someone who learns the English language.
Not if he knows some Latin via French: ad + compt + -ant. "One who counts toward," or "counts up." "Money craftsman" could be a lender of money. A banker, a usurer, a maker of counterfeit money. To get refinements on your words, your phrases will have to get longer and longer. How is that simple? And by the way, calling somebody "conservative" is an ad hominem attack, Andrew--the very thing that some conlangers have apologized or been chastized for when you came on list. You can call a person's argument conservative, but calling him a "conservative person" is arrogant. Sally Caves


Andrew Nowicki <andrew@...>