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Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

From:Joseph Fatula <fatula3@...>
Date:Friday, January 17, 2003, 1:38
From: "Andrew Nowicki" <andrew@...>
Subject: Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

> The rules are explained in: >
> Andrew Nowicki wrote: > AN> A perfect language should be easy to pronounce, > AN> easy to understand, and easy to learn.
Agreed. As Teoh said, what's good for one isn't good for all, so I doubt you'll get agreement on this. But some things are more appropriate than others. I imagine most people in the world would not find a tonal clicking language to be easy to pronounce. And it's usually easier to take away a feature one language has than add ones that it doesn't. So speakers of languages with clicks shouldn't have too much trouble if you take away the clicks in an IAL. Same goes for tones, voicing, aspiration, etc. But if you take it all away, you run out of sounds. As a proposed IAL, Ygyde will undergo far greater criticism and scrutiny than any artlang. After all, you're proposing that I expend the time and effort to learn this language. That's going to be hard to do. Would I be interested to learn *about* this language? You bet. I'd love to know more about it. But I see no reason I should have to learn it. English? I learned that 'cause my family spoke it. Spanish? Girlfriend's native language. Slovak and German? I'm interested in learning those because some of my family speaks them. But if knowing a language doesn't provide me with any advantage, I'm not likely to have the time and energy to learn it.
> 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.)
Imagine if you have problems distinguishing |y| from |i| in Ygyde. This will be the case for perhaps the majority of the world's people, who make no such distinction in their own languages. Some interesting homophonies exist: to advertise = face-to-face conversation branch = fruit from a tree North America = South America bag = to cast with a mold barbaric = civilized medicine = battery desperation = story spy = actor A few of these aren't too bad, such as bag=mold, as they have some actual similarity, and one could consider using the same word for both. But some are a bit of a problem. barbaric=civilized? And your pronuciation of |o| as the vowel of "all" or "saw" is just as bad. I'd change that to the vowel of "know" or "ode". But if it's the same as in "saw", most people would consider that the same as the vowel of "hot". And then you've got even more trouble. backward = curved captain = economist fat = spicy Not to mention that the sounds of |j| and |ch| will be very difficult for many people. Perhaps to make this language a little easier, give each root two meanings in very different fields. That way, context will make it clear which one is intended. Consider pair/pear/pare in English. It's always obvious which one is intended, as the situations where one could be used, none of the others are possible. Perhaps something like this needs to happen in Ygyde. And allowing some simple clusters might give you an incredible amount of new roots possible. Many of the consonants here are very difficult for a large percentage of the people in the world. A few simple clusters might be easy to work with. Then there is the matter of definitions. A great number of your defined words are not very clear, or even inaccurate. "vomit = verb outer food" is a very good definition. "cross = noun religious shape" is almost ridiculous. The shape of a cross is far too common to be restricted to religious use, which is what is happening here. "last name = noun rear name" is true, but not in line with how people use it. "last name" in English usually means "family name". I'd redefine this so that it works for people who put the family name in a different place than at the end. "leaf = noun sheet anatomical" doesn't distinguish it from "membrane" or "skin", and it certainly is a different thing. "Buddhism = noun philosophical religious organization" is far too vague, and not even correct. I don't think there's much of an organization to Buddhism. And I don't think there is a religion out there that isn't also philosophical. "reef = noun wet geological protrusion" is unclear. It could be an island, or an atoll, or a spit of land. And it has no connection to what a reef actually is, nor how people interact with reefs. Looking around a bit more, I find that "dam = noun wet geological protrusion". Apparently it's even worse than I thought. "blueberry = noun cold middle food" is particularly interesting. I don't think there's anything especially cold about blueberries, and I don't understand why they'd be "middle". "hockey = noun slippery disk" sounds more like a gasket or a flat bearing. "barbaric = adjective bad town" I don't think barbarism has anything to do with towns. Not to mention that this word and "civilized" sound almost the same. "cone = noun sharp rigid solid shape" could just as easily mean "edge" or "point". "angel = noun attractive religious craftsman" makes me think that you don't have the slightest idea what an angel is, except that it's somehow "religious". Anything closer to "messenger of God" would be perfect. If I were to make a language like Ygyde, where the roots combine together to make all the words, I'd change around one piece. Let me make an example: Imagine that we have 16 consonants and 5 vowels. Not too difficult to manage. Not allowing clusters in any way, that would give us 85 possible one-syllable roots. Combining those into two-syllable words would give us 7,225 words. But many of those combinations wouldn't be very useful. Imagine if we had a root word like |ta| meaning "tall". It might go well with |gu| "animal" as |guta| "giraffe", but it wouldn't be very useful with |si| "food". So instead of having one-syllable roots, we have two-syllable roots. That would give us 7,225 possible roots. Then we would be able to have words like |bazu| "home" and |sheda| "sheep". A word like |bazusheda| could mean "sheep pen". With over seven thousand root words, there's plenty of room. So allowing four-syllable compounds, we get over 52 million possible words. Anyway, it's a very interesting language, but I wouldn't want to use it myself. Joe