building from primitives
|From:||Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, November 29, 2007, 12:06|
Jörg Rhiemeier writes:
> The problem I see with such schemes is that the world is way too
> complex. How do you say 'spaghetti' or 'kimono', or 'quantum
> chromodynamics' or 'morphosyntactic aligment', in an oligosynthetic
Easily done: you lexicalise a compound or derivation (with a
specilised or even slightly adjusted meaning). Start with translating
those loans -- this makes them easy to grasp in English for a start.
Then try to find a mapping to not too many lexemes in your conlang and
lexicalise the result. Done. If you allow portemanteaus, you can
further shorted long words.
One mis-conception of Toki Pona that is often spread and repeated for
some reason is that it has only 118 words. It only has 118 roots plus
a lexicon of compounds. Look at Sonjas page -- both are given there,
the lexicon being quite small yet, but the idea is quite clear and I
hear the community has more words they mostly agree on.
If there wasn't another thing about Toki Pona, namely that the creator
does not *want* it to be used for, say, scientific conversation, then
you could very probably make it an all-purpose language. Well, ok,
you might want to think about whether the selected 118 roots are a
good choice to start with for an all purpose lang, but the mere number
is not a problem. Some natural polysynthetic languages do not have
that many more roots (e.g. Kalaallisut, Náhuatl or Blackfoot IIRC),
although for a direct comparison I suppose they do have too many.
Ach, I don't want to go into an auxlang discussion. I will stay
focussed on discussing the design of a speakable conlang regardless of