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Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

From:Andrew Nowicki <andrew@...>
Date:Thursday, January 16, 2003, 23:55
Christopher Wright wrote:
CW> I'll be interested in hearing about your
CW> compounding method, though.

The rules are explained in:

1838 examples are posted at:

CW> ...but we try to avoid international auxiliaries
CW> because of the Highlander factor: there can be
CW> only one. This only invites flame wars.

I am not a flamer. Ygyde deserves your interest because
its method of making compound words is simple and yet
sophisticated. Ygyde is not protected by copyright
laws, so anyone can use its ideas in his own conlang.

Andrew Nowicki wrote:
AN> A perfect language should be easy to pronounce,
AN> easy to understand, and easy to learn.

"H. S. Teoh" wrote:
HST> Unfortunately, these three things are not absolute
HST> measures. A Mandarin speaker finds any language
HST> with any inflection at all troublesome to learn,
HST> but speakers of European languages have no trouble
HST> with simple inflectional systems. OTOH, speakers
HST> of most European langs finds tones impossible to
HST> manage, yet they are second nature to Mandarin
HST> speakers.

Ygyde has neither inflections nor tones, so it passes
this test.

HST> Another flaw: the difference between the vowels /y/
HST> and /i/ are difficult to learn for people whose native
HST> language does not differentiate between them. (E.g. a
HST> Mandarin speaker probably can't tell the difference.)
HST> And a Korean speaker would find /f/ and /p/ impossible
HST> to distinguish. (I'm not making this up just to be mean;
HST> I have personally seen Korean friends struggle for
HST> *years* trying to pronounce "fork" and "pork" correctly.
HST> And sometimes they still can't tell the difference by ear.)

HST> Basically, if you want the language to be easy to
HST> learn for *everyone*, you'd have to reduce the
HST> phonological inventory drastically. Of course, if
HST> you target a more narrow audience (such as speakers
HST> of European langs), then you might be able to get
HST> away with the existing system.

Good points. The problem is that Ygyde needs large number
of letters to make large number of root words. At present
Ygyde has 6 vowels and 15 consonants. This is enough
to make 6X15X2=180 root words. I need all the 180 root
words and I wish could get a few more. If I reduce the
number of letters, I will have to find some other way
to make more root words. Ebubo
(, the
precursor of Ygyde has fewer letters but its rules
to make compound words are no good. It sounds funny,
but maybe there should be several ways to pronounce
Ygyde letters. One for Indo-Europeans, another for tonal
speakers, etc. Can you think of a better solution?

HST> Yet another flaw: the color naming system is too
HST> fine-grained to be useful, except perhaps to graphics
HST> artists and painters.

And women. On average, they see colors better than men.

HST> The human eye is not equally sensitive to
HST> red/blue/green light components. Most people can
HST> distinguish between more shades of green than blue,
HST> for instance.  But personally, I can't tell the
HST> difference between umi, uno, and ule. I can see
HST> that they're *different*, but I'd have no idea which
HST> was which if I see them in isolation. Also, ugy,
HST> uka, ufu, ugo, and uke all look black to me. I
HST> wouldn't have identified the very faint tinge of
HST> color in them if they weren't labelled with the
HST> exact color composition.

My color vision is somewhat impaired, but I can easily
see the difference between umi, uno, ule, ugy, uka,
ufu, and ugo. On the other hand, ufa looks almost black
to me, and I cannot tell the difference between uwi
and uso. Too many colors is not a serious flaw. Ebubo
has fewer colors.

HST> Finally, I didn't find very much information about
HST> the grammar of Ygyde. What's the word order
HST> (if there is one)? Do adjectives come before or
HST> after the modified noun? I'd be curious to find
HST> out if you have a workable grammar simple enough
HST> for "everyone" to learn easily.

Patrick Hassel-Zein invented the grammar. Basics are
posted at:
Examples are at:
The first file explains the word order.

HST> Anyway, I don't mean to rip your language to
HST> shreds, :-) but I do find claims of being "easy
HST> to learn" by "everybody" rather difficult to live
HST> up to.

Well... at least it is easy to memorize, because there
are only 180 root words and most compound words are
easy to remember. Take a look at the dictionary:


Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>IALs was Re: Comparison of philosophical languages
Joseph Fatula <fatula3@...>
H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>