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[SILLY CHAT] Futurese

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 1, 2002, 21:34
In a message dated 05/1/02 11:31:57 AM, uaxuctum@YAHOO.ES writes:

<< Japanese 27 consonants!!?? And may I know which ones those
are?? >>

    Well, sticking to phonemes:

/k/, /s/, /S/, /t/, /tS/, /n/, /h/, /m/, /j/, /4/, /w/, /N/ (uvular nasal),
/g/, /z/, /dZ/, /b/, /p/, /d/.

    That makes 18.  Then there are the palatalized consonants:
/k_j/, /n_j/, /h_j/, /m_j/, /4_j/, /g_j/, /b_j/, /p_j/.

    That actually makes 26, but then there are two "allophones" of two
phonemes which aren't that common: [ts] for /t/, and [P] (voiceless, bilabial
fricative) for [h].  That would make 28.  Then if you wanted you could get
into the technicalities (for example, Japanese has [m], [n], [J], [N] and the
other [N], which is a uvular nasal), but usually you don't include allophones
in a phonemic inventory.  So, let me change that from 27, to 26 phonemes.

<<So, what's that phoneme system do you propose that is so
damn better than the one I propose and makes a better use
of the roman script?>>

/p/, /t/, /k/, /s/, /l/, /m/, /a/, /i/, /u/.  This, of course, would cause
you to change the languages concept of word design, which, in my opinion,
would be a good idea.

<<I'd much rather say they're two-morpheme compounds.>>

    To repeat, you can't, because you cannot predict the meanings from a
combination of the two words, just like you can't predict that "yellowtail"
is a fish from knowing what the meanings of "yellow" and "tail" are; you just
have to learn it.  The examples you listed are marginal, though, in that a
"fire exit", for example, is a type of exit, but the word "fire" isn't going
to help you determine what kind.  You need to know that what it means is, "an
exit that one uses in case of fire".

<<If you take the meaning of "crash"
(and not of "crashing"; maybe you didn't notice the compound
was "plane crash", not "plane crashing")>>

    I see that I've confused you.  Let me try again.

<<A plane crash is "the crash(ing) of a plane".>>

    The word "crashing" is a noun (that's why you can't have "the" in front
of it).  It isolates one particular instance of crashing.  In the case of the
word "crash", though, you have the word "crash" which also picks out a
particular instance of crashing.  This, however, doesn't happen with the
other words in the other examples.  So, with what I said here, with "fire
exit" being "the exit(ing) of a fire", I could also have said "the exit of a
fire".  I wasn't suggesting that this is the way I understand the word  (I am
a native speaker of English, after all).  Clearly you misunderstood.  What I
was suggesting was that for a speaker of a radically different language
trying to learn English, if he came to understand the meaning behind "plane"
crash (noun + noun), s/he might then extend that pattern to another (noun +
noun) combination like "fire exit", and assume that the word meant "the exit
of a fire".  It's a logical mistake.  Would you insult and berate this
non-native speaker for making such a mistake?  I certainly hope not.
Similarly, if they came across the word "fire exit" first, they might look at
"plane crash" and think that it meant "a crash one uses in case of
plane"--clearly nonsensical.  If you insisted on using noun combinations in
only this way *without any other morphology to indicate what relationship was
to be understood* (that's important), then there's no reason anyone who
doesn't share the metaphorical background of English or Indo-European speaker
would be able to deduce the meanings of what, to us, are "simple" compounds.
Even with "fire emergency exit", you'd have to understand what an "emergency
exit" was.  It could be "an exit you use in case of an emergency" (quite
correct), but it could also be "the exit of an emergency", or, if you wanted
a more dictionary definition, "the situation in which an emergency ceases to
exit".  In that case, if someone were to shout out "fire emergency exit",
some speakers might pick up quite the wrong meaning, thinking that the fire
was out and there was no longer an emergency.
    This whole thing would be cleared up if you just allowed for the two wo
rds to be thought of as a compound, or as one lexically listed word.  Then
the task would be the same as seeing any given word, learning how it's
pronounced, and assigning a meaning to that word.  To mandate that any
compound must be derived from the sum of its independent parts can only lead
to problems if you don't uderstand the metaphorical backgrounds of the many
world languages, which is an aspect of language that has not been fully
explored by any linguist yet, let alone IAL creator.

<<To dare make such a derogative comment about me>>

    It wasn't derogatory, and I wasn't making any comment about you, but the
argumentation you employed, which was clearly flawed, as many people have
pointed out (some much better than I).

<<You're suggesting my argumentation is deliberately falacious,>>

    It seemed to me like it was deliberately falacious and intended to trick
its audience.  If it wasn't, I apologize; I was in the wrong.  However, *if*
it wasn't, and your argumentation was still falacious...

<<I would complain if an IAL didn't make the l/r distinction
but kept b/v.>>

    So would I (see my system above).

<<Then you're proposing that I base the phoneme chart upon
my personal taste!!>>

    No, no, this was a joke; it was taking the logic you presented to its
logical conclusion.  You said that to include only one liquid phoneme
*because* you wanted to make it easier to pronounce for a certain group of
people (in this case, about a fourth of the population of Earth), then the
other speakers would have reason to complain.  Fair enough.  So if you
*don't* say that it's to make the language easier to pronounce for a
particular group of people, then the only problem you presented would be
solved.  That, of course, would *not* solve the real problem, since you need
to justify each of your phonemes.  It was just a play upon your logic.  Do
you see how that works?

<<I was talking about NORMAL PEOPLE, not about people with
articulatory problems.>>

    Aside from the fact that you were directly insulting my friend, I was ta
lking about "normal" people too.  People all over the world have difficulty
pronouncing some sounds in their native language.  Nearly all children have
to go through a process whereby they learn how to articulate each sound in
their language.  Most master all the sounds; some don't.
    But, of course, if these people don't count as "normal", then I guess
they won't be allowed to speak your language?  Only "normal", "good" people
get to speak Futurese?  I'll have to start talking with a lisp now so I don't
get swept up in your revolution.


"fawiT, Gug&g, tSagZil-a-Gariz, waj min DidZejsat wazid..."
"Soft, driven, slow and mad, like some new language..."
                    -Jim Morrison