Speedwords hare (was: Some new Brithenig words? Narbonosc
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, May 25, 2001, 19:22|
At 11:00 pm -0400 24/5/01, Herman Miller wrote:
>On Thu, 24 May 2001 06:16:38 +0000, Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
>>At 10:10 pm -0400 23/5/01, Herman Miller wrote:
>>>How old is Speedwords? Lagomorphs were once classified as a suborder of
>>Its origins are in the 1930s; it reached its final form in 1951.
>Well, lagomorphs were separated from rodents sometime in the early decades
>of the 20th century, but I think they were already classified separately
>before the 1930s. Perhaps some out of date textbooks in the 1930s might
>have still referred to them as rodents. But probably Dutton was using
>"rodent" in a more abstract sense (lagomorphs and rodents are
I suspect, in fact, Dutton was unaware of this distinction.
His _zovrap_ (hare) highlight two problems thrown up by his insistence on
having a small basic vocabulary (about 500 morphemes) on which to build
1. You have to use compounds to express all other ideas & forming
satisfactory compounds, which are not too unwieldy - as we see with this
one - is not always easy. Rick Harrison in his critique on Speedwords
(which can be found on Richard Kennaway's conlang site) points out some of
the unsatisfactory ones.
2. By using compounds you soon produce words which are longer than the
ordinary English word, which rather runs counter to the concept of an
alphabetic shorthand! I guess an advocate of Speedwords would argue that
the commonly used words are much shorter and that, therefore, the odd word
like _zovrap_ for hare won't matter; but it does seem a little
unsarisfactory to me that English & Swedish _hare_, Danish _Hare_, German
_Hase_, Dutch _haas_ is represented by a six-letter word in a briefscript.
I fear I won't be able to avoid such things in 'briefscript', but at least
I hope having something like 2000 basic morphemes will ease matters.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]