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Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 11, 2005, 5:55
On Tuesday, May 10, 2005, at 01:45 , Sai Emrys wrote:

>> I would imagine Sai is thinking in terms of something with at least that >> level of expressivity; but my understanding is that what he wants >> expressed is something more akin to "pure thought" and not related to any >> spoken (or once spoken or could be spoken) language, whether a natlang or >> conlang. > > A brief reply on this point: > > I see it as two separate questions, though quite related. > > First is: what does 2d syntax (/ morphology / fusion?) buy you?
If I were compelled to come up with a 2d syntax, I think I could get my head around it and produce something. But I must confess it is not something that over-excites me. [snip]
> Second: > > I am not against relation to natlangs or spoken langs per se. I just > don't particularly care whether it is, and I suspect that copying them > would make for fundamental inefficiencies.
I suspect you are correct.
> And yes, I have a general principle of wanting my conlang > implementations to mirror thought as closely as possible. An ideal > language would be telepathy, basically;
That thought did occur to me when I read your opening mail on this thread. Srikanth did come up with a conlang for a supposed people who communicated by telepathy; but his language, Lin, tho exceedingly compact was essentially linear. I guess he would have said that this was because it was communicated to him via human recipients who passed the information on serially. Although every so often telepathetic beings crop up in SciFi I am not aware of any serious attempt to reproduce their language. I has always occurred to me that 2d representation would be appropriate for this. [snip]
> and sub-), the better. I for one don't think linearly, within my head, > until it comes time to communicate it or encode it in some form (like > for memorization). I feel that this is a bottleneck, honestly, and I > kinda resent that I have to resort to such because I don't have better > tools at my disposal; it's like my a lot of my thought gets lost in > translation into "normal" language, because of inherent low-level > flaws (or more generously, "mismatches") in the system.
I've never really analyzed my thought processes. But it occurs to me that something similar happens in translation process. I can be happily reading some Latin, but if I am required to translate the stuff I often find that the meaning is there in my head but when I have to reproduce it, obviously linearly, in English not all the thought will get through because of mis-matches in the medium. I guess what is happening is that one linear medium (Latin) is being scanned & a "2d meaning" is build up in my head which then has to be reprocessed into a different linear medium. I do not find this problem on the same level when I am reading French, which I can read fairly fluently - I guess that is because the linear structure of French is much closer to that of English. [snip]
>> True - a totem pole is really a 2d surface curved round a cylinder. > > Not if depth has meaning.
Carving in relief around the cylinder - not strictly 2d, but certainly not 3d in the sense Teoh was using it. We don't use the full cross section of the pole. [snip]
>>> Whether they are read linearly or not, to me, is beside the point. A >>> human reader, bound by time and limited mental capacity, would >>> necessarily process the information linearly in one way or another. > > Distinction: they would necessarily process it *chunked*. Chunked != > linear - viz. experiments like "word superiority effect" that > demonstrate parallel processing, at least at low levels.
True. [snip]
>> It is the notion that something like a whole book could be thus written. >> I >> do find it very difficult to see how the _sense/ meaning_ of Charles >> Darwin's "The Origin of species" or Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" could >> be >> written so there is more than one way you could read it and there is no >> starting or ending element. > > Darwin I could see, given that it's basically setting forth an idea > (or rather, a set of ideas) and then going through all the support / > analysis / whatnot - not a necessarily linear thing.
I suppose not - now I think about, I often do not read technical books necessarily in the order they are presented. [snip]
> So for storytelling, you would either need some form of linearization > to enforce that, some other way to acheive the same effect (*), or an > entirely new paradigm of what makes for a good story. > > * For example, having different values for "tension" - perhaps one > could have something that is good over the net as a whole, so that > there would be a progression of tension / knowledge / understanding as > one comprehends more and more of the network and gets a more > woven-together / digested understanding of the whole thing. I think > this would be possible, and quite probably has a direct parallel to > the progress of enlightenment in the meditation-practice sense: > growing understanding through multiple paths, and comprehension of > patterns and fundamentals. It's an interesting little problem. > "Non-trivial", though, in the scientific sense of the word. :-P
Non-trivial in any sense, I would think :) But I agree - an interesting problem, Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]


Sai Emrys <saizai@...>
Joseph Bridwell <zhosh@...>