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
> 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
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
"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
"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
"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
"cone = noun sharp rigid solid shape" could just as easily mean "edge"
"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
Anyway, it's a very interesting language, but I wouldn't want to use it