Re: the smallest dictionary
|From:||JS Bangs <jaspax@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 17:06|
> David Fernandez-Nieto <yulerippo@...> writes:
> > i am interested in languages (conlangs and natlangs) that have
> > specially small (and complete) dictionaries. can you inform about
> > it. thanks.
*Small* dictionaries isn't necessarily unusual, but small and
*complete* is hard to come by. I would say that what you're looking
for isn't exactly possible--the number of concepts that human
languages cover is roughly the same for all languages, so languages
with small numbers of *words* have to cover for themselves with large
numbers of fixed-phrases, compounds, and periphrastic constructions.
In other words, once you take into account multi-word constructions,
small and complete are mutually exclusive.
> First of all: welcome to the list!
> I don't know about natlangs, but the conlang Toki Pona is known for
> it's small inventory of words (around 150 IIRC) and still being
> complete. However, there was some discussion about whether it's
> *really* usefully complete. E.g. in order to talk about maths (at has
> no precise number system), science, religion, law, economy,
> philosophy, ... Probably not.
Exactly. Langs like Toki Pona usually hide their lexicon behind
"I could buy you a drink
I could tell you all about it
I could tell you why I doubted
And why I still believe."
- Pedro the Lion