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Re: Syntactic and morphological sugar in engelangs

From:And Rosta <and.rosta@...>
Date:Friday, March 30, 2007, 18:05
Philip Newton, On 29/03/2007 11:50:
> On 3/29/07, Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> wrote: >> I reckon one might use the term in an analogous sense >> with respect to conlangs, especially engelangs where >> parsimony is a goal in tension with a goal of usability or >> concision; and similarly "morphological sugar" to >> describe affixes or mutations that serve the same purpose >> as some simpler syntactic device, but more concisely. >> They don't add to the language's expressive power >> in a strict sense but they make it easier to use >> or more concise. > > I've seen this proposed for Lojban, where single words would be used > as an abbreviation for structure words that are frequently used > together, such as {la'e di'u} "the referent of the last utterance" or > {lo nu} "(the) abstraction of ...". > > I don't think it was ever employed, or even seriously considered, though.
Part of the problem (in the Lojban case) was that the sample was already biased by length/verbosity factors. That is, existing usage was already influenced by the desire to reduce the number of words and syllables, which thus biased the information about where abbreviations were most needed/most effectual. --And.