Re: Is there any derivatives of heinleins "gulf" language speedtalk?
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, July 8, 2005, 19:09|
On Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 08:37 , Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> Dav Newq wrote:[nip]
>> Long before, Ogden and Richards had shown that eight hundred and
>> fifty words were sufficient vocabulary to express anything that
>> could be expressed by "normal" human vocabularies, with the aid
>> of a handful of special words-a hundred odd-for each special field,
>> such as horse racing or ballistics.
> As Mark Rosenfelder once put it: Ogden and Richards cheated.
They did :)
> Reality is too complex to pigeonhole it into a closed set of
> categories like that. Basic English makes use of a large number
> of idiomatic expressions (e. g. _make good_ `succeed'), which
> must be learned individually like the words they replace.
Absolutely. What Ogden & Richards showed in fact is that 850 words are
*not* sufficient vocabulary to express anything that could be expressed by
normal vocabularies, unless your language is endowed with a _very large_
number of idiomatic expressions.
Reginald Dutton claimed to do even better:
"...the whole of the Speedwords vocabulary is constructed from no more
than 491 key-words or radicals selected on the basis of maximum
internationality, which, with the help of 20 single-letter creative
suffixes and/or succinct compounding of two separate Speedwords, provides
for the expression of every concept of the human mind." [Dutton Speedwords
- For 'creative suffix' read "suffixes whose vagueness of definition
allows them to be used unpredictably and idiomatically" (which I guess is
- For succinct compounding read "idiomatic compounding."
It seems to me that the more you artificially restrict the lexemes in your
vocabulary, the more you have to have recourse to idiomatic compounds and/
or expressions, which in effect have to be learnt as separate words.
> A language with 850 phonemes would quickly run into trouble because
> of mispronunciations and mishearings. And that doesn't even take
> into account the question of phonotactics.
Absolutely. A language of 850 _phonemes_ must mean a language of an even
greater number of phones. It would simply not work for us poor humans for
the reasons Jörg gives. It might be OK for a race of aliens who have
developed far more sophisticated sense perceptors than we have and who
communicate via a channel far less susceptible to 'noise' than we are used
On Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 10:57 , Joseph Bridwell wrote:
>> Trying to work out Heinlein's speedtalk may be an entertaining
>> mindgame, but I don't think this pursuit is practical.
> When has this group ever demanded practicality? IMO, such a demand
> would jettison half the conlangs ever mentioned here.
Half? I would guess that most folk one meets day by day would probably say
'all'. How many of the conlangs discussed here are actually practical
pursuits? Is not part of the attraction of conlanging experimantation and
testing the unknown?
> speedtalk sounds like a good personal exercise, and therein may lie
> its worth.
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