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Universal Translation Language

From:Marcos Franco <xavo@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 26, 1999, 16:54

I posted this message to the auxlang list, but since there's not much
activity there, and I think this can be interesting for conlangers
too, I post it here.

I'm developing a logical language (that is, an unambiguous,
full-expressive one) which relies on western world vocabulary and
syntactics. To make it, I'm taking advantage of Esperanto/Ido
structure and lexicon. Something of this was attempted on the DLT
project, but they were too reluctant to make changes in Eo, perhaps to
not be seen as reformists by their colleagues or to keep close to what
was aimed with DLT Eo, which was to be a machine-translation-oriented
version of Esperanto. Well, this is not what my project attempts to
be, but rather a freely-made new language heavily influenced by
Esperanto and Ido. This is important to get rid of the features which
make those languages unsuitable for MT.

The aim of this project is then to make an auxiliary language with the
next characteristics:

1. Being unambiguous (or unambiguous enough), which make it suitable
for good quality machine translation (from it) and other computational
issues, and for scientific, philosophical and linguistical purposes.=20

2. Being easy to learn.In some aspects, it will be easier than Eo/Ido,
as it's more consistent and regular. On others, it'll be harder, for
the requirements of unambiguity and meaning-preciseness.=20

3. Other minor aspects taken into account on language design are being
aesthetically pleasant for most people, and being concise. A text on
this language will almost ever be somewhat shorter than the English or
Esperanto version.

To give you an idea of how the language is, I'll give you first some
basic details of its grammar and then I'll show to you its
direct-derivation table.

The alphabet and phonetics of the language is that of Ido. Accented
letters are therefore avoided.=20

95 to 99 per cent of vocabulary is directly imported from Eo and Ido.

Part-of-speech endings are -o (noun) -e (plural noun) -a (adj) and -am

Verbs work as in Esperanto: -i -as -is -os -us -u

-ant- -int- -ont-, -at- -it- -ot- forms are not used. Active
participle is derived directly from verb (e.g. reganta homo is said
rega homo). Passive verb is made by the suffix -at-. Passive
participle is (as you may guess) derived directly from the passive
verb (eg. regati -> regata). This gets rid of Eo/Ido problems with
-ita -ata.

To specify time on participles (and on infinitives) one adds the
ending to the conjugated form. For example:
vidos (will see) -> vidosa (that will see)
vidatis (was seen) -> vidatisa (that was seen)

Well, and now the direct derivation table. Firstly, let me say that
(as in Eo/Ido) every stem has an implicit PoS function, though the
system is deviced in a way you rarely need to know it to deduct the
exact meaning of a given word. As you'll see, I've used a two-way
system of direct derivation. One is substitutive (as usual), and the
other is a new type of direct derivation which I call agglutinative,
and it's used from nouns and verbs.

=46rom an adjectival word (-a):
-o : being (person/thing) that is -a
-i: to be -a

=46rom a verbal word (-i):
-o: being which -i
-a: which -i
-io: action of -i
-ia: which is the action of -i

=46rom a nominal word  (-o):
-i: to be -o or practise the function of -o
-a: which is -o or practises the function of -o
-oa: which pertains or is part of -o
-oi: to pertain or be part of -o

(this is not definitive though, since I'm studying the possibility of
using an alternative adjectival ending -oy -ey for possesives, and let
-oa -ea for other purposes)

I recommend you to apply real words to this system to better
understand how it works; e.g. take "bona" (good) or "broso" (brush)
and take from the table the meanings of their derivates.

I think this system gets at once rid of Eo system's impreciseness and
inconsistency, and of Ido system's rigidity.

There are other innovative features on the language, but I don't want
to overdrive you with more information for now. Just would like to
know your opinions on what I've exposed here. Thanks.