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Re: Taxonomic Vocabulary

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Friday, September 1, 2006, 0:59
Just a random thought...

Instead of using a fine-grained system of categories, a more coarse subdivision
might work out better. Somewhere in one of my bookcases I have a thesaurus that
sorts all the words into something like a thousand or so categories. One might
use a different three-consonant sequence for each of those basic categories
(there are 9261 three-consonant sequences to choose from, so they could be made
quite distinct from each other). Related words could use a different assortment
of vowels as well as some prefixes or suffixes that covered braod divisions
within each category. Thus if KST indicated the class of domestic animals
(including, perhaps both farm animals and household pets) then "ekusat" might
be "horse" while "ekusatali" might be the adjective "horse-like". "Kasti" might
be "cat", and "kastiali" might be the adjective "feline".

Or you might reserve certain consonants for use only in modifier prefixes. Then
you might have the class "KST" with words like "mokusat" for "horse" and
"jakasti" for "cat" making them less similar, while still deriving them from
the same triconsonant "KST".

It might also be useful to take a page from binary error-correcting codes and
pick words from opposite corners of an n-dimentsional hypercube (with the
dimensions 26x26x26x...) so that words share as few traits in common as


--- Tasci <conlang@...> wrote:

> Suppose you have a language composed of a discrete, finite set of syllables. > I was considering the ideal way to construct vocabulary for that language. My > idea was to divide all concepts into separate categories, one for each > syllable. Then subcategories would be equally subdivided, and > subsubcategories and so forth. To identify any word in this language, it > would only be a search on an O(k * log(k)(n)) where log(k) is log base k. > That is, you have to know what each letter means, then you automatically > narrow down the word lookup exponentially. It would be like as if every > letter beginning with 'a' were all related somehow, in a way that all other > words are not.