A posteriori IAL conlangs

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Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 20, 2004, 11:09:35 AM12/20/04
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Suppose that we were going to make a new a posteriori
conlang. How should we choose its vocabulary? Perhaps
we should borrow it from the most popular languages.
Mandarin Chinese words may be too difficult to pronounce,
so the vocabulary may be borrowed proportionately from
the remaining most popular languages: English, 19%,
Spanish 18%, Hindi/Urdu 15%, Arabic 12%, Bengali 11%,
Portuguese 9%, Russian 9%, and Japanese 7%.

It would be very difficult to persuade speakers of other
languages (Mandarin, German, etc.) that their languages
are so inferior that none of their words should be
included in the new conlang. There are so many spoken
languages that combining all of them into a single
conlang and resolving all the linguistic conflicts is
not feasible. This political problem is so severe that
a posteriori conlang cannot be universally accepted as
the international auxiliary language.

A priori (artificial) conlangs have the advantage of
being politically and culturally neutral. Some of them
are better than others. At present Ygyde conlang is the
best potential international auxiliary language because
it is easy to pronounce, easy to understand, and easier
to learn than any other language. Unfortunately, Ygyde
is not finished yet. Its vocabulary has only 2700 words.
In my opinion 6000 word vocabulary would suffice for
general purpose conversation. If you are a serious IAL
conlanger, try to beat Ygyde -- try to make a conlang
that is easier to learn than Ygyde. If you can't beat
Ygyde, help make it a mature language. Coining new
compound words from a limited number of root words (180)
resembles solving a crossword puzzle. It is fun work.

Ygyde basics: http://www.medianet.pl/~andrew/ygyde/ygyde.htm
Dictionary: http://www.medianet.pl/~andrew/ygyde/ygyded.htm
Grammar: http://www.medianet.pl/~andrew/ygyde/ygydeg.htm

Don

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Dec 20, 2004, 3:57:56 PM12/20/04
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First of all, "a priori" does not mean "artificial;" it means "starting
from scratch," rather than basing it on something that already exists.
All conlangs are artificial to some extent, but some have more
similarity to existing vocabulary and grammar than others. There is,
apparently, a direct relationship between the amount of such similarity
and ease of learning.

Why would you exclude Mandarin from an a posteriori language? I don't
agree that the words are hard to pronounce. The grammar is also very
simple. The only difficult thing about Mandarin is the writing, which
one would not need to carry over into the conlang.

We already have several IALs that are much easier to learn (and much
less of a burden on the memory) than Ygyde. They have also been
developed to the point of making them really practical and useful. The
list is already pretty long, but would certainly include Esperanto,
Interlingua, and their derivatives. The only drawback attached to these
languages (a not-insuperable one, I think) is that they are pan-European
rather than pan-Terran languages.

I don't have to try to invent a conlang that is easier to learn than
Ygyde--I've already done it (as have many, many others). My language,
Almensk, currently has a vocabulary of 4,800 words, and will eventually
have a basic vocabulary of approximately 9,000 words. It looks a lot
like Scandinavian (which gives it a certain kind of neutrality, I
guess), but builds on knowledge that the many speakers of English,
either natively or as a second language, already have. I believe that
this last is something that any successful IAL candidate will have to
do.

--Don
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/almensk

Gerard van Wilgen

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Dec 20, 2004, 4:56:32 PM12/20/04
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"Andrew Nowicki" <and...@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:41C6F93F...@nospam.com...

> Suppose that we were going to make a new a posteriori
> conlang. How should we choose its vocabulary? Perhaps
> we should borrow it from the most popular languages.
> Mandarin Chinese words may be too difficult to pronounce,

That is a meaningless statement. Mandarin is not difficult to pronounce for
native speakers of Mandarin, and neither for speakers of other Chinese
languages I suppose (many of those languages have a more complicated system
of tones than Mandarin). Other speakers of tonal languages, such as the
Thai, may not find Mandarin pronounciation difficult either.

> so the vocabulary may be borrowed proportionately from
> the remaining most popular languages: English, 19%,
> Spanish 18%, Hindi/Urdu 15%, Arabic 12%, Bengali 11%,
> Portuguese 9%, Russian 9%, and Japanese 7%.

If ease of pronunciation for a large percentage of the world population
would be a consideration, only Japanese with a somewhat simplified phonology
would qualify. All the others are very difficult to pronounce for many
people, especially people in South East Asia.

By the way, what happened to French? Too difficult to pronounce, or not
popular enough?

> It would be very difficult to persuade speakers of other
> languages (Mandarin, German, etc.) that their languages
> are so inferior that none of their words should be
> included in the new conlang.

Indeed, how are you going to convince a German that for most people in the
world a word like "Fisch" [fiS] is far more difficult to pronounce than
"fish" [fIS]?

Gerard van Wilgen
--
http://www.majstro.com/Web/Majstro/sdict.php?gebrTaal=eng
Multilingual translation dictionary


Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 20, 2004, 5:16:56 PM12/20/04
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Don wrote:

> We already have several IALs that are much easier to learn (and much
> less of a burden on the memory) than Ygyde. They have also been
> developed to the point of making them really practical and useful. The
> list is already pretty long, but would certainly include Esperanto,

> Interlingua, and their derivatives...

When I look at Esperanto words, I can guess the meaning
of a few percent of them. The rest is a mystery. When
I look at compound Ygyde words, I can guess the meaning
of all of them. (Maybe because I made most of them.) I
do not have good memory, but one reading is enough for me
to memorize the compound Ygyde word for ever. If you cannot
guess the exact meaning of a compound Ygyde word, at least
you get rough idea of what it may mean. For example, if
the last syllable of the compound Ygyde word is "by," you
know it is some kind of food, so it is safe to eat.

Ygyde is not just another conlang but the equivalent of
a nuclear weapon in a world of bow and arrow conlangs.
Phonetic Picture - Writing (www.lautbildschrift.de) is
cute, but it looks like road signs and lacks means to
express abstract ideas. I cannot imagine how it can evolve
into a real language.



> I don't have to try to invent a conlang that is easier to learn than
> Ygyde--I've already done it (as have many, many others). My language,
> Almensk, currently has a vocabulary of 4,800 words, and will eventually

> have a basic vocabulary of approximately 9,000 words...

Almensk is not posted on the Internet, so it is hard
to judge its qualities.

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 20, 2004, 5:36:50 PM12/20/04
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Gerard van Wilgen wrote:

> If ease of pronunciation for a large percentage of the
> world population would be a consideration, only
> Japanese with a somewhat simplified phonology
> would qualify. All the others are very difficult to
> pronounce for many people, especially people in South
> East Asia.

Good point. Another advantage of Japanese is that
many of its words are compound words. On the other
hand... I cannot imagine Chinese people adopting
Japanese language as IAL.

> By the way, what happened to French? Too difficult to
> pronounce, or not popular enough?

I took data from Language Today, volume 2, 1997.
Native speakers of the most popular languages, in
millions: Mandarin Chinese = 1200, English = 330,
Spanish = 300, Hindi/Urdu = 250, Arabic = 200,
Bengali = 185, Portuguese = 160, Russian = 160,
Japanese = 125, German = 100.

French has more secondary speakers than native
speakers.

Paul O. BARTLETT

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Dec 20, 2004, 7:38:19 PM12/20/04
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On Mon, 20 Dec 2004, Andrew Nowicki wrote (excerpt):

> When I look at Esperanto words, I can guess the meaning
> of a few percent of them. The rest is a mystery. When
> I look at compound Ygyde words, I can guess the meaning
> of all of them.

This is nonsense. We have already discussed this on another forum.
It is *not* possible to guess the meanings of Ygyde words. They are a
grab bag of fiat decisions on your part.

--
Paul Bartlett
PGP key info in message headers

dana.nutter

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Dec 20, 2004, 11:13:38 PM12/20/04
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Paul O. BARTLETT wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Dec 2004, Andrew Nowicki wrote (excerpt):
>
> > When I look at Esperanto words, I can guess the meaning
> > of a few percent of them. The rest is a mystery. When
> > I look at compound Ygyde words, I can guess the meaning
> > of all of them.
>
> This is nonsense. We have already discussed this on another
forum.
> It is *not* possible to guess the meanings of Ygyde words. They are
a
> grab bag of fiat decisions on your part.

Agreed. I've looked at Ygyde and while it's an interesting conlang, it
is definitely not well-suited for use as an IAL as the author has been
boldly claiming. I couldn't begin to guess the meanings of any of the
words or morphemes in Ygyde without considerable amounts of study. In
fact, this appears to be one of the most difficult IAL designs that
I've seen.

Johnd Fstone

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Dec 21, 2004, 8:58:32 AM12/21/04
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Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> writes:

> Suppose that we were going to make a new a posteriori
> conlang. How should we choose its vocabulary? Perhaps
> we should borrow it from the most popular languages.
> Mandarin Chinese words may be too difficult to pronounce,
> so the vocabulary may be borrowed proportionately from
> the remaining most popular languages: English, 19%,
> Spanish 18%, Hindi/Urdu 15%, Arabic 12%, Bengali 11%,
> Portuguese 9%, Russian 9%, and Japanese 7%.

Hindi-Urdu has twenty stop phonemes--five points of articulation,
voiced/voiceless, aspirated/unaspirated. Arabic has pharyngeal
fricatives and other "guttural" sounds. Russian has lots of consonant
clusters and unpredictable stress.

Why is Mandarin considered harder to pronounce than they are? Because
it is a tone language. It only has four tones, but lots of people
know deep down that "tone languages are hard" and so won't consider
learning even the simplest tone system.

[...]

--
personally, I've never been able to sip a drop of tea without causing
myself to vomit everything I'd eaten during the 24 preceding hours
-- Javier BF

scall...@mailexpire.com

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Dec 21, 2004, 10:27:16 AM12/21/04
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> When I look at Esperanto words, I can guess the meaning
> of a few percent of them. The rest is a mystery. When
> I look at compound Ygyde words, I can guess the meaning
> of all of them. (Maybe because I made most of them.)

Yes, maybe??? Esperanto is far more guessable for someone who is
familiar with a romance language. (Which isn't such a big deal, really)
When americans or frenchmen say 'everybody should learn our language',
it's indeed quite arrogant, since they don't appreciate the uphill
challenge it is to learn ANY language other than the one(s) you grew up
with. However, that is NOTHING to the arrogance of someone who makes up
a language of his own, and then expect others to learn it. So you want
to have an advantage on the entire world? Zamenhof got away with
wanting that. Schleyer sort of got away with it, but his arrogance got
Volapük in the end.

> Ygyde is not just another conlang but the equivalent of
> a nuclear weapon in a world of bow and arrow conlangs.

Wow! If self confidence is all it takes, we'll all be speaking Ygyde
ten years from now ;-)

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 21, 2004, 10:33:31 AM12/21/04
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Johnd Fstone wrote:

> Why is Mandarin considered harder to pronounce than
> they are? Because it is a tone language. It only
> has four tones, but lots of people know deep down
> that "tone languages are hard" and so won't consider
> learning even the simplest tone system.

Don wrote:

> Why would you exclude Mandarin from an a posteriori
> language? I don't agree that the words are hard to
> pronounce. The grammar is also very simple. The only
> difficult thing about Mandarin is the writing, which
> one would not need to carry over into the conlang.

Maybe a tonal version of Ygyde would be better in a
sense that it would have more precise compound words?
There are two options:

Tonal words. If every compound word has 3
different tones, we can double the number of
root words. (360 instead of 180).

Tonal root words. If every root word has 3
different tones, we can triple the number
of root words. (540 instead of 180).

On the other hand, nearly all non-tonal speakers are
biased against tonal languages. Is there any way to
overcome this bias?

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 21, 2004, 10:32:53 AM12/21/04
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Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> When I look at Esperanto words, I can guess the meaning
> of a few percent of them. The rest is a mystery. When
> I look at compound Ygyde words, I can guess the meaning
> of all of them.

Paul O. BARTLETT wrote:

> This is nonsense.

This is true. I am not Paul O. BARTLETT.

Paul O. BARTLETT wrote:

> It is *not* possible to guess the meanings of Ygyde
> words. They are a grab bag of fiat decisions on your part.

If you do not like my definitions, make your own Ygyde
words, or try to improve Phonetic Picture - Writing
(www.lautbildschrift.de), or try to invent yet another
auxlang that is easy to learn. At any rate, forget
about euroclones -- they are too difficult to learn
and will be rejected for political reasons.

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 21, 2004, 10:32:43 AM12/21/04
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dana.nutter wrote:

> I've looked at Ygyde and while it's an interesting
> conlang, it is definitely not well-suited for use as
> an IAL as the author has been boldly claiming. I
> couldn't begin to guess the meanings of any of the
> words or morphemes in Ygyde without considerable
> amounts of study. In fact, this appears to be one of
> the most difficult IAL designs that I've seen.

This is a vague and inaccurate statement. Anyone who
has IQ level of 100 can guess the meaning of the
following Ygyde compound words:

meat = opaby = "noun - anatomical part of a multicellular animal - food"
meter = onule = "noun distance unit"
moron = ysamupy = "noun slow mental person"
mother = ymapo = "noun feminine parent"
newton = onyle = "noun force unit"
machine oil = obujegu = "noun slippery machine liquid"
pen = odyki = "noun text rod"
pocket = ofiza = "noun garment container"
sandpaper = odyfewe = "noun sharp powder sheet"
screw = odywisu = "noun sharp helix fastener"
outer space = obage = "noun astronomical object environment"
spider = ocybo = "noun net animal"
spy = ynija = "noun secret craftsman"
sunglasses = ybejifi = "noun atmospheric optical garment"
plastic surgery = ywelici = "noun pretty medical manipulation"
electric switch = ylyka = "noun electric valve"
tape measure = onuwa = "noun distance tape"
theologian = ynaco = "noun religious expert"
topology = okone = "noun shape science"
tornado = ybewi = "noun atmospheric helix"
toy = owapusi = "noun happy child tool"
vagina = omazipa = "noun - feminine - hole - anatomical part of a multicellular animal"
to vomit = utiby = "verb outer food"
wage = onoga = "noun work money"
weapon = otaje = "noun war machine"
wedding = opomo = "noun parent fusion"
weld = ypymo = "noun burning fusion"
wood = obeky = "noun - plant - rigid solid"

Some compound Ygyde words are much more arbitrary.
Names of flora and fauna are especially hard to
guess. Some conlangers argue that a compound language
like Ygyde should have more than 180 root words to
make more precise compound words. This idea does
not appeal to me because the additional root words
would be gathering dust and the compound words would
be much longer. (You cannot squeeze more meanings
into two-letter root words than 180 unless you add
more letters to Ygyde alphabet.)

The main point of my original post is that euroclones
and their ilk are relicts of colonialism. Ygyde is
best of the rest, so it deserves a close examination.
Of course, euroclone supporters never die, they just
fade away...

scall...@mailexpire.com

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Dec 21, 2004, 10:37:50 AM12/21/04
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"This political problem is so severe that
a posteriori conlang cannot be universally accepted as
the international auxiliary language."

Universal acceptance faces a lot of hard problems. Agreeing on the base
for words would probably not be one of them, It seems to me that only
language tinkerers worry about that.

"A priori (artificial) conlangs have the advantage of
being politically and culturally neutral. Some of them
are better than others. At present Ygyde conlang is the
best potential international auxiliary language because
it is easy to pronounce, easy to understand, and easier
to learn than any other language. "

A bold statement, especially considering that your next line is

"Unfortunately, Ygyde is not finished yet. "

Since just about all conlangs are not finished "yet", perhaps it would
be better to wait and see? I think I'll wait until the number of fluent
speakers reaches four digits. Until then I won't trust it as viable.

scall...@mailexpire.com

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Dec 21, 2004, 10:52:31 AM12/21/04
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Philosophical language adherents never die either, they've been around
for longer than esperanto, although there probably never were more than
a handful. Of course, they keep running into the same problems. An emu
is not simply a "big bird" - I see you have already run into this
problem with botanical and animal names.
Also, similar concepts are more important to distinguish than wildly
different ones. If the word for lion looks like the word for kitchen
sink, that's hardly a problem because context will usually show what
you're talking about. Mixing up words that almost, but not quite, mean
the same, can be a lot more dangerous. I suppose there are a lot of
"noun white powder" in your kitchen.

Dewey's good for libraries, not for human communication
(in much the same way that predicate logic is good for computers, not
for human communication)

As to your IQ comment, if your strategy for getting adherents is
insulting them, I think I must revise my estimates for the viability of
your language even more...

scall...@mailexpire.com

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Dec 21, 2004, 2:08:55 PM12/21/04
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> At any rate, forget
> about euroclones -- they are too difficult to learn
> and will be rejected for political reasons.

An "Euroclone" (I assume you are counting esperanto as one) has been
more successful than all others combined. Yes, the EU parliament voted
it down, but even getting it on the ballot in the first place (and
getting significant support!) was a feat no other designed language
will ever come close to making.

Political rejection is just one of a horde of problems your language
will never reach. It's a bit like worrying how the toilets should work
in your home made space shuttle.

As for the learning difficulties, you're pretty confident when speaking
about the learning difficulties of a language you got to design
yourself. I, on the other hand, don't have that privilege withe E-o and
yet I find it very easy to learn. Suprisingly, so do chinese and
japanese people - perhaps they understand better than us that language
learning is intrisically hard, since they don't have the benefit of a
large number of closely related languages like we have in the west.

Johnd Fstone

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Dec 21, 2004, 3:19:10 PM12/21/04
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Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> writes:

> dana.nutter wrote:
>
> > I've looked at Ygyde and while it's an interesting
> > conlang, it is definitely not well-suited for use as
> > an IAL as the author has been boldly claiming. I
> > couldn't begin to guess the meanings of any of the
> > words or morphemes in Ygyde without considerable
> > amounts of study. In fact, this appears to be one of
> > the most difficult IAL designs that I've seen.

Like any words, they can be learned as whole words, disregarding the
idiomatic compounds. But Ygyde still seems difficult, because the
words seem so similar. Also, the contrast between <y> [I] and <i> [i]
is not very international, is an asymmetry in the vowel system, and
even though the distinction exists in English, I bet even English
speakers would have trouble with it word-finally, especially since the
next word invariably starts with a vowel.

> This is a vague and inaccurate statement. Anyone who
> has IQ level of 100 can guess the meaning of the
> following Ygyde compound words:

If that's true, then I don't have an IQ of 100.

> meat = opaby = "noun - anatomical part of a multicellular animal -
> food"

Meat is flesh. This definition of meat would seem to include powdered
unicorn horn used in cooking.

> meter = onule = "noun distance unit"

I would take this to mean "distance unit". It doesn't specify the
systeme international.

> moron = ysamupy = "noun slow mental person"

Does this mean someone who learns somewhat slowly, or someone who is
mentally retarded?

> mother = ymapo = "noun feminine parent"

OK, but "female parent" might be better.

> newton = onyle = "noun force unit"

This means "force unit". And don't you think it's possible to have an
IQ of 100 or greater without studying physics?

> machine oil = obujegu = "noun slippery machine liquid"

I guess so.

> pen = odyki = "noun text rod"

Tex rod = a line of text?

> pocket = ofiza = "noun garment container"

Garment container = anything that contains a garment. A dresser
drawer. A clothes hamper.

> sandpaper = odyfewe = "noun sharp powder sheet"

I doubt many people think of powder as sharp. Powder sounds much
finer than sand.

> screw = odywisu = "noun sharp helix fastener"

I think it would take a while to puzzle this out.

> outer space = obage = "noun astronomical object environment"

OK.

> spider = ocybo = "noun net animal"

Net animal = netizen?

> spy = ynija = "noun secret craftsman"

Those secret and conspiratorial Masons!

> sunglasses = ybejifi = "noun atmospheric optical garment"

Would take a while to puzzle out.

> plastic surgery = ywelici = "noun pretty medical manipulation"

Might never be figured out. Who thinks of medical manipulation
*itself* as pretty?

> electric switch = ylyka = "noun electric valve"

Electric valve = vacuum tube?

> tape measure = onuwa = "noun distance tape"

OK.

> theologian = ynaco = "noun religious expert"

I guess that depends on what expert means.

> topology = okone = "noun shape science"

Shape science = morphology?

> tornado = ybewi = "noun atmospheric helix"

I don't think that's obvious. The phrase "atmospheric helix" might
sound like something invisible and mysterious in the air that only
scientists know about.

> toy = owapusi = "noun happy child tool"

Happy child tool = Prozac?

> vagina = omazipa = "noun - feminine - hole - anatomical part of a
> multicellular animal"

Yeah. Even if you have an IQ of 100+, you might have to think "How
about nostrils? No, men have those, too." but eventually you'd come
around to the vagina.

> to vomit = utiby = "verb outer food"

Yeah, I guess urine and feces aren't food anymore. (But "food from
dogs" is still a funny phrase.)

> wage = onoga = "noun work money"

OK.

> weapon = otaje = "noun war machine"

But weapons can exist without war. I don't see why war should get its
own morpheme and weapon shouldn't.

> wedding = opomo = "noun parent fusion"

But partners in marriage aren't necessarily parents, any more than are
partners in the "fusion" called sexual intercourse.

> weld = ypymo = "noun burning fusion"

Not obvious.

> wood = obeky = "noun - plant - rigid solid"

Not obvious and I don't want to think about it anymore.

[...]

--
You're a Waldorf salad. -- Cole Porter

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 21, 2004, 4:15:54 PM12/21/04
to
Another problem with the a posteriori languages is
that they are not cute.

Lilipu (http://ca.geocities.com/vixcafe/lilipu/vocab.html)
and Toki Pona (http://www.tokipona.org/nimi.html)
are cute because they sound soft.

Examples of Lilipu words: vumu, muvu, pava, kulu.
Examples of Toki Pona words: akesi, ali, jaki, nimi.

Lilipu sounds exceptionally well because its
alphabet has only 3 vowels and 5 consonants:
a, i, u, k, p, m, l, v.

Phonetic Picture - Writing is cute because its
pictures look cute.

All these cute conlangs were made very recently,
are far from complete, and yet they are just as
popular as much older and more complete conlangs.
(Here is the list of the most popular conlangs:
http://www.langmaker.com/db/mdl_pop100_2004.htm)

The popularity of Lilipu, Toki Pona, and Phonetic
Picture - Writing proves that cuteness does matter.

It would take linguistic genius to figure out
how to make large vocabulary of compound words
that are short and sound cute. If you make random
words rather than compound words the task is much
easier.

Lilipu has a "syllabary"
(http://ca.geocities.com/vixcafe/lilipu/syllabary.html)
made of 3x6=18 syllables. At present the longest
Lilipu words have 3 syllables. All its words are random,
so there is a maximum of 18^3=5832 words made of
3 syllables. The practicable maximum may be smaller
to avoid words that sound alike. Lilipu vocabulary
has 1600 words. If its vocabulary could grow to
about 20,000 words, Lilipu would probably kill all
euroclones in one generation. Unfortunately, such
a big vocabulary would require long, 4-syllable
words, which are not cute.

Phonetic Picture - Writing is a perfect way to
describe simple things, but it fails to describe
complex ideas. So far it has no verbs, adjectives,
tenses, of prepositions. How could someone define
verb "to lubricate" in Phonetic Picture - Writing?
It would probably take a picture of a cogwheel, a
picture of a bottle, and a hint that this is a
verb rather than a noun or an adjective.
Suppose that cogwheel = kifipisi, and that
bottle = omimikineje, and that it takes one more
letter to indicate the verb. The verb "to lubricate"
has 20 letters! Now let us compare it with Ygyde:
to lubricate = ubugu = "verb slippery liquid"
Only 5 letters and its meaning is more obvious!

As you can see, these cute conlangs cannot aspire
to the auxlang status, but they are interesting
in a sense that they may inspire open minded
auxlangers.

ARE THERE ANY OPEN MINDED AUXLANGERS HERE???

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 21, 2004, 5:32:31 PM12/21/04
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Johnd Fstone wrote:

> Like any words, they can be learned as whole words,
> disregarding the idiomatic compounds. But Ygyde
> still seems difficult, because the words seem so similar.

They may seem similar because most nouns begin with
letter "y," which sounds strange to English speaker.
This is a matter of cuteness and can be solved by
changing Short Ygyde so that the leading y in
compound words is optional. This change would upset
proper names and variables, which at present
begin with consonants.

Examples of changed words:
Standard Ygyde == Short Ygyde
book = ydedi == dedi = "noun big publication"
boulder = ydebafa == debafa = "noun big geological ball"
brain = ymupa == mupa = "noun mental anatomical..."
bribe = yniga == niga = "noun secret money"

> Also, the contrast between <y> [I] and <i> [i]

> is not very international...

I agree. This is why I invented Long Ygyde.
Long Ygyde is described in the main Ygyde file
(http://www.medianet.pl/~andrew/ygyde/ygyde.htm).
It has only 13 letters: a u i b p d t g k w s m l.

Rex F. May

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Dec 21, 2004, 9:46:35 PM12/21/04
to
in article 1103642836.2...@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com,
scall...@mailexpire.com at scall...@mailexpire.com wrote on 12/21/04
8:27 AM:

Ceqli, now, is a good hard pie in the face.

Paul O. BARTLETT

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Dec 22, 2004, 7:30:30 PM12/22/04
to
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004, Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> [...]

> ARE THERE ANY OPEN MINDED AUXLANGERS HERE???

Yes. Probably many of them. People may disagree with you and
still be openminded.

David Wolff

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Dec 22, 2004, 8:08:46 PM12/22/04
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In article <41C8421B...@nospam.com>,

Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> wrote:
> dana.nutter wrote:
>
>> I've looked at Ygyde and while it's an interesting
>> conlang, it is definitely not well-suited for use as
>> an IAL as the author has been boldly claiming. I
>> couldn't begin to guess the meanings of any of the
>> words or morphemes in Ygyde without considerable
>> amounts of study. In fact, this appears to be one of
>> the most difficult IAL designs that I've seen.
>
> This is a vague and inaccurate statement. Anyone who
> has IQ level of 100 can guess the meaning of the
> following Ygyde compound words:

Oooh! Let me try. I'm deleting the English translation since then it's
too obvious what the Ygyde word means:

> = opaby = "noun - anatomical part of a multicellular animal - food"

"Oh baby": a term of endearment

> = onule = "noun distance unit"

"On yule": Season's greetings

> = ysamupy = "noun slow mental person"

"Why Sam uppy": explain Sam's exuberant mood

> = ymapo = "noun feminine parent"

"I'm a PO": I've become a mail delivery person

> = onyle = "noun force unit"

"O nile": big river

> = obujegu = "noun slippery machine liquid"

This one is just a typo.

> = odyki = "noun text rod"

"O dykey": like a big river barrier

This *is* obvious! And *fun*!


Death to spammers --

David

(Remove "xx" to reply.)

Rex F. May

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Dec 22, 2004, 11:51:08 PM12/22/04
to
in article Pine.LNX.4.58.04...@smart.net, Paul O. BARTLETT at
bart...@smart.net wrote on 12/22/04 5:30 PM:

> On Tue, 21 Dec 2004, Andrew Nowicki wrote:
>
>> [...]
>
>> ARE THERE ANY OPEN MINDED AUXLANGERS HERE???
>
> Yes. Probably many of them. People may disagree with you and
> still be openminded.

Me! Me! I'm openminded!

Johnd Fstone

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Dec 23, 2004, 10:51:15 AM12/23/04
to

I'm openminded, but I'm not an auxlanger.

--
But I forgot to tell you the MAIN ingredient is her own menstrual
blood, and both she and the snake REALLY dig it. -- Abigail

Steve Cross

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Dec 23, 2004, 7:14:42 PM12/23/04
to
Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> wrote in
news:41C8421B...@nospam.com:

> weapon = otaje = "noun war machine"

Tank? Fighter aircraft? H-bomb?

Steve Cross, artlanger

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 25, 2004, 12:10:45 PM12/25/04
to
Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> ARE THERE ANY OPEN MINDED AUXLANGERS HERE???

Paul O. BARTLETT wrote:

> Yes. Probably many of them...

They have not demonstrated their open mindedness
or creativity in this thread. Auxlangers should
have been been linguistic inventors who use the
Internet to borrow ideas from each other.
Unfortunately, most of those who call themselves
auxlangers are not inventors of languages but
rather linguistic cheerleaders and warriors.

Paul O. BARTLETT

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Dec 25, 2004, 1:24:06 PM12/25/04
to
On Sat, 25 Dec 2004, Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> Andrew Nowicki wrote:
>
> > ARE THERE ANY OPEN MINDED AUXLANGERS HERE???
>
> Paul O. BARTLETT wrote:
>
> > Yes. Probably many of them...
>
> They have not demonstrated their open mindedness
> or creativity in this thread.

Why is it that those who disagree with you are somehow not
openminded? So far, on this newsgroup or on the AUXLANG list, I do
not recall reading any message speaking well about Ygyde except from
you yourself. People disagree with you about your language. That does
not mean that they are closeminded.

> Auxlangers should
> have been been linguistic inventors who use the

> Internet to borrow ideas from each other. [...]

Some of those who frequent auxlang circles may already have a
chosen auxlang, and they come here for other reasons than to invent
something. I one time took an earlier auxlang proposal and modified
it. Does that meet your specifications of what an auxlanger is?

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 25, 2004, 5:59:59 PM12/25/04
to
"Paul O. BARTLETT" wrote:

> Why is it that those who disagree with you are somehow not
> openminded? So far, on this newsgroup or on the AUXLANG list, I do
> not recall reading any message speaking well about Ygyde except from
> you yourself. People disagree with you about your language. That does
> not mean that they are closeminded.

Forget Ygyde!

The problem is that we are not talking about
inventing and improving auxlangs. When scientists
talk about science they exchange ideas. When
auxlangers talk about auxlangs, they exchange
insults.

I have been following this newsgroup for several
years, but I have never seen anyone say:
"Let us make a new auxlang by combining the
best features of auxlang X, auxlang Y, and
auxlang Z."

You sound like another auxlang warrior. So far
you have not contributed any original ideas to
this thread.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 2:16:18 PM12/26/04
to
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 16:32:43 +0100, Andrew Nowicki
<and...@nospam.com> wrote:

> dana.nutter wrote:
>
> > I've looked at Ygyde and while it's an interesting
> > conlang, it is definitely not well-suited for use as
> > an IAL as the author has been boldly claiming. I
> > couldn't begin to guess the meanings of any of the
> > words or morphemes in Ygyde without considerable
> > amounts of study. In fact, this appears to be one of
> > the most difficult IAL designs that I've seen.
>
> This is a vague and inaccurate statement. Anyone who
> has IQ level of 100 can guess the meaning of the
> following Ygyde compound words:

Personal attacks won't win you any friends, and IQ has nothing
to do with it. Your morphemes are completely foreign to
everyone and therefore unrecognizable whether alone or
compounded into long multisyllable words.


> meat = opaby = "noun - anatomical part of a multicellular animal - food"

Which anatomical part? Most people don't consider all
"anotomical parts" as "food". Vegetarians don't even consider
animals as food.

> meter = onule = "noun distance unit"

"distance unit", In what measuring system?

> moron = ysamupy = "noun slow mental person"

"slow" = (idomatic usage). Slow/fast could also be dim/bright.

> mother = ymapo = "noun feminine parent"
> newton = onyle = "noun force unit"

Again, what measuring systems? "PSI" could also be a "force
unit"

> machine oil = obujegu = "noun slippery machine liquid"

How about "lubricating liquid", or just "lubricant".

> pen = odyki = "noun text rod"

"text rod!" Who would guess that one? Why not "writing
instrument".

> pocket = ofiza = "noun garment container"

"garment container" would lead me to think of a closet,
suitcase, or something that holds clothing, not a pocket.

> sandpaper = odyfewe = "noun sharp powder sheet"

"sand" + "paper" works out well. "sharp powder" doesn't
necessarily mean "sand".

> screw = odywisu = "noun sharp helix fastener"

Another one I doubt anyone would guess

> outer space = obage = "noun astronomical object environment"

"astronomical object": a planet? a spaceship? The environment
in the International Space Station?

> spider = ocybo = "noun net animal"

A big stretch to use "animal" when describing a creature such as
a spider.

> spy = ynija = "noun secret craftsman"

"craftsman?" What is he crafting?

> sunglasses = ybejifi = "noun atmospheric optical garment"

Since when do glasses qualify as a "garment". Why not something
like "sun protection eye glass"

> plastic surgery = ywelici = "noun pretty medical manipulation"

Okay this does make some sense.

> electric switch = ylyka = "noun electric valve"

"valve?" That would lead me to think more along the lines of a
volume control knob, not a switch.

> tape measure = onuwa = "noun distance tape"

Makes some sense, but it would make more sense to say "measure
tape" to denote the action is performs.

> theologian = ynaco = "noun religious expert"

Why not "religion science person" or "religious scientist".

> topology = okone = "noun shape science"

"shape science": geometry?

> tornado = ybewi = "noun atmospheric helix"

Better alternatives: "wind funnel", "twisting wind", "spinning
air", etc.

> toy = owapusi = "noun happy child tool"

Adults have "toys" tool. Why not "play thing".

> vagina = omazipa = "noun - feminine - hole - anatomical part of a multicellular animal"

Makes some sense, but could probably be made better.

> to vomit = utiby = "verb outer food"

"Vomit" would not come to mind from "outer food". "Shit" would
more likely be the first thought, although this could also
include food sitting on a plate that hasn't been eaten yet.

> wage = onoga = "noun work money"

"payment" is enough?

> weapon = otaje = "noun war machine"

"war machine" = tanks, missiles, etc. What about things like
knives and swords which are also weapons? How about something
more to the point: "assault tool", "killing thing", etc.

> wedding = opomo = "noun parent fusion"

People can be parents without being married, and can get married
without having offspring. In most cultures, this is a
reliigously based institution. Some more like "holy male-female
union" would probably be more understandable.

> weld = ypymo = "noun burning fusion"

Or maybe "metal fusion", etc.

> wood = obeky = "noun - plant - rigid solid"


"plant rigid solid" would make me think "tree", not "wood".
"tree material" maybe could be "wood".


The fact that you must explain each of these words only
demonstrates my point. NOBODY but you, the creator, knows
what any of your morphemes stand for, therefore they are not
recognizable to anyone but you.


> ...

------------------------------
Dana Nutter

SASXSEK RATIS.
http://www.nutter.net/sasxsek

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 2:21:22 PM12/26/04
to
On 21 Dec 2004 07:52:31 -0800, scall...@mailexpire.com wrote:

> Philosophical language adherents never die either, they've been around
> for longer than esperanto, although there probably never were more than
> a handful. Of course, they keep running into the same problems. An emu
> is not simply a "big bird" - I see you have already run into this
> problem with botanical and animal names.
> Also, similar concepts are more important to distinguish than wildly
> different ones. If the word for lion looks like the word for kitchen
> sink, that's hardly a problem because context will usually show what
> you're talking about. Mixing up words that almost, but not quite, mean
> the same, can be a lot more dangerous. I suppose there are a lot of
> "noun white powder" in your kitchen.
>
> Dewey's good for libraries, not for human communication
> (in much the same way that predicate logic is good for computers, not
> for human communication)
>

Very well stated. Also is must be noted that certain items are
so much a part of everyday life that a long compound word is
often impractical. Words like "automobile" may make sense, but
those 4 syllables are a mouthful and many languages reduce it
down to just "auto", or have another word such as "car".

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 2:34:02 PM12/26/04
to
On 21 Dec 2004 14:19:10 -0600, Johnd Fstone <jd...@softhome.net>
wrote:

> Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> writes:
>
> > dana.nutter wrote:
> >
> > > I've looked at Ygyde and while it's an interesting
> > > conlang, it is definitely not well-suited for use as
> > > an IAL as the author has been boldly claiming. I
> > > couldn't begin to guess the meanings of any of the
> > > words or morphemes in Ygyde without considerable
> > > amounts of study. In fact, this appears to be one of
> > > the most difficult IAL designs that I've seen.
>
> Like any words, they can be learned as whole words, disregarding the
> idiomatic compounds. But Ygyde still seems difficult, because the
> words seem so similar. Also, the contrast between <y> [I] and <i> [i]
> is not very international, is an asymmetry in the vowel system, and
> even though the distinction exists in English, I bet even English
> speakers would have trouble with it word-finally, especially since the
> next word invariably starts with a vowel.

As a final [I] would become [i] in most dialects, in a few it
may even become [@]. Some English speaker also have trouble
distinguishing [E] from [I] so that words like <pen> and <pin>
are sometimes confused.

> Those secret and conspiratorial Masons!

Or Skull & Bones!


> Shape science = morphology?

I would have guessed geometry.

> Happy child tool = Prozac?

No, Ritalin. Or would that be "happy parent tool"?

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 2:37:11 PM12/26/04
to
On Tue, 21 Dec 2004 23:32:31 +0100, Andrew Nowicki
<and...@nospam.com> wrote:

> Johnd Fstone wrote:
>
> > Like any words, they can be learned as whole words,
> > disregarding the idiomatic compounds. But Ygyde
> > still seems difficult, because the words seem so similar.
>
> They may seem similar because most nouns begin with
> letter "y," which sounds strange to English speaker.
> This is a matter of cuteness and can be solved by
> changing Short Ygyde so that the leading y in
> compound words is optional. This change would upset
> proper names and variables, which at present
> begin with consonants.

> ...

It's not the initial "y", it's the monotonous list of CV
morphemes.

> > Also, the contrast between <y> [I] and <i> [i]
> > is not very international...
>
> I agree. This is why I invented Long Ygyde.
> Long Ygyde is described in the main Ygyde file
> (http://www.medianet.pl/~andrew/ygyde/ygyde.htm).
> It has only 13 letters: a u i b p d t g k w s m l.

Okay so now there are two sets of rules to learn.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 2:40:07 PM12/26/04
to

> Johnd Fstone wrote:
>

> On the other hand, nearly all non-tonal speakers are
> biased against tonal languages. Is there any way to
> overcome this bias?

I don't know. I'm tone deaf.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 2:53:16 PM12/26/04
to
On 21 Dec 2004 07:37:50 -0800, scall...@mailexpire.com wrote:

> "This political problem is so severe that
> a posteriori conlang cannot be universally accepted as
> the international auxiliary language."
>
> Universal acceptance faces a lot of hard problems. Agreeing on the base
> for words would probably not be one of them, It seems to me that only
> language tinkerers worry about that.

This is where you have to ask the question "why does someone
learn a language, any language?". The answer is usually pretty
simple: "To be able to communicate with others." Not many will
learn a language that nobody else speaks. This is why English
already is the chosen IAL of the world. People learn it because
it's what everyone else is learning too. The momentum has been
started and it is accelerating rapidly. The more speakers
gained, the more incentive others have to use it.

> Since just about all conlangs are not finished "yet", perhaps it would
> be better to wait and see? I think I'll wait until the number of fluent
> speakers reaches four digits. Until then I won't trust it as viable.

I don't see any of the, regardless of how well designed,
becoming anything more than what they are now, hobbies for
linguists and language enthuiasts. Even with political backing,
there still may be public resistance, just as there is with some
natural languages.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 2:56:04 PM12/26/04
to

Open mindedness has nothing to do with whether they like your
creation or not. Many here have offered constructive criticism
to you but your closed mind has rejected it.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 3:10:56 PM12/26/04
to
On Sat, 25 Dec 2004 23:59:59 +0100, Andrew Nowicki
<and...@nospam.com> wrote:

> "Paul O. BARTLETT" wrote:
>
> > Why is it that those who disagree with you are somehow not
> > openminded? So far, on this newsgroup or on the AUXLANG list, I do
> > not recall reading any message speaking well about Ygyde except from
> > you yourself. People disagree with you about your language. That does
> > not mean that they are closeminded.
>
> Forget Ygyde!
>
> The problem is that we are not talking about
> inventing and improving auxlangs. When scientists
> talk about science they exchange ideas. When
> auxlangers talk about auxlangs, they exchange
> insults.

Who says scientists don't do this?

So far the only insults I've seen here are your own references
to the IQ level of those who don't understand Ygyde (the rest of
the world, or calling us "closed minded" when offering some
constructive advice.


> I have been following this newsgroup for several
> years, but I have never seen anyone say:
> "Let us make a new auxlang by combining the
> best features of auxlang X, auxlang Y, and
> auxlang Z."

There are collaborative projects like that, but they just don't
use this list much.

Paul O. BARTLETT

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Dec 26, 2004, 3:38:35 PM12/26/04
to
On Sat, 25 Dec 2004, Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> [trimmed for space]

> Forget Ygyde!

If you wish. :)

> When
> auxlangers talk about auxlangs, they exchange
> insults.

The insults seem to be coming mostly from you, not from others.

> I have been following this newsgroup for several
> years, but I have never seen anyone say:
> "Let us make a new auxlang by combining the
> best features of auxlang X, auxlang Y, and
> auxlang Z."

As another person (was it Dana Nutter?) has already pointed out,
there have been and are collaborative projects for developing auxiliary
languages. The developers just do not hang out around here. So far as
I know, some of them are active on YahooGroups. This forum (and
AUXLANG, for that matter) is hardly all of the auxlang development
world.

> You sound like another auxlang warrior. So far
> you have not contributed any original ideas to
> this thread.

Ad hominem attacks get you nowhere. Sometimes method itself is a
legitimate matter for discussion, as well as the subject to which the
method is applied.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 26, 2004, 6:31:53 PM12/26/04
to
On Sun, 26 Dec 2004 15:38:35 -0500, "Paul O. BARTLETT"
<bart...@smart.net> wrote:

> As another person (was it Dana Nutter?) has already pointed out,
> there have been and are collaborative projects for developing auxiliary
> languages. The developers just do not hang out around here. So far as
> I know, some of them are active on YahooGroups. This forum (and
> AUXLANG, for that matter) is hardly all of the auxlang development
> world.

Yes, there are some on Yahoo. The ones that I have joined up
with seem to be dormant right now. These too have some issues
that I've noticed. One has to do with the "too many chefs"
theory resulting in a strange mix of everyone's ideas and no
defined goals, or any real visionary to guide the process

. The other has to do with the fact that there is a tendency to
debate every minor point to infinity so that nothing ever is
accomplished.

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 27, 2004, 11:30:07 AM12/27/04
to
Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> pocket = ofiza = "noun garment container"

Johnd Fstone wrote:

> Garment container = anything that contains
> a garment. A dresser drawer. A clothes hamper.

It is difficult to make perfect compound words
in any language, especially when the word
describes a complex thing or idea. Compound
words are present in the English language.
If you have never heard the words gunman and
journeyman, you would probably believe that
gunman means gunsmith and journeyman means
a tourist who likes to travel. These English
compound words are not precise. Does it mean
that the English language will be improved
by replacing these words with non-compound
words? For example, if we replace gunman with
"pangi" and "journeyman" with "temela" will
these new non-compound words be easier to
remember than the standard compound words?
I don't think so. In my opinion an imperfect
compound word is better than an arbitrary word.
If you do not understand the meaning of gunman
and journeyman, you at least know that these
words describe persons. If you do not understand
the meaning of ofiza, you at least know that it
is some kind of a container.

Dana Nutter wrote:

> It's not the initial "y", it's the monotonous
> list of CV morphemes.

What you call monotonous I call structured and
predictable. Ygyde has to be structured and
predictable to be easy to understand.

As we already explained in this thread, borrowing
vocabulary from existing languages is a bad idea.
Even if you overcome political problems, you will
create a vocabulary that is not optimal from the
linguistic point of view. This means that the
auxlang vocabulary must be artificial (a priori).
There are two ways to make the a priori vocabulary:
- Make non-compound, cute words (similar to Lilipu
http://ca.geocities.com/vixcafe/lilipu/vocab.html).
- Make compound words so that the vocabulary is
easy to learn.
Of course, it would be desirable to make the
vocabulary from words which sound cute and are
compound words, but this task seems impossible.
Most 3-letter long 5-letter long Ygyde words sound
cute, but some 7-letter long words sound like a
staccato.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 27, 2004, 5:06:43 PM12/27/04
to

Idiomatic expressions and compounds are just as difficult to
learn as a separate word because the result is something other
than a sum of the parts. As you have mentioned with words like
"journeyman" where the meaning is something different from its
parts. "Gunman" on the other hand could be interpreted as you
mentioned, but its normal usage (=man with gun) still makes some
sense even though it's ambiguous, so a word like "shooter" would
be more appropriate. In both case their usage must be learned
alone, regardless of whether you know what the individual parts
mean.

> Dana Nutter wrote:
>
> > It's not the initial "y", it's the monotonous
> > list of CV morphemes.
>
> What you call monotonous I call structured and
> predictable. Ygyde has to be structured and
> predictable to be easy to understand.
>
> As we already explained in this thread, borrowing
> vocabulary from existing languages is a bad idea.
> Even if you overcome political problems, you will
> create a vocabulary that is not optimal from the
> linguistic point of view. This means that the
> auxlang vocabulary must be artificial (a priori).
> There are two ways to make the a priori vocabulary:
> - Make non-compound, cute words (similar to Lilipu
> http://ca.geocities.com/vixcafe/lilipu/vocab.html).
> - Make compound words so that the vocabulary is
> easy to learn.
> Of course, it would be desirable to make the
> vocabulary from words which sound cute and are
> compound words, but this task seems impossible.
> Most 3-letter long 5-letter long Ygyde words sound
> cute, but some 7-letter long words sound like a
> staccato.

Structure and regularity are important for an auxlang, however
so is the ability to easily learn the language as a whole.
Otherwise there's no point in using an auxlang. Monotony will
only put the learners to sleep.

"Cute" words may or may not help however beauty is the in eye of
the beholder so what you call "cute" isn't necessarily what
someone else calls "cute". Examples from ultrasimplistic
languages like Toki Pona and Lilipu really don't crossover well
into IAL's because they are only concepts and not practical
languages. Toki Pona however DOES derive its vocabulary from
real words: Toki < eng. "talk", Pona < lat. "Bona".

The use of roots and vocabulary from existing languages may or
may not help the learner, but it can't hurt. Even if a student
only recognizes a few words, that still shaves SOME time and
effort from the learning curve rather than forcing every student
to learn every single word from scratch.

While I'm not a really big fan of Esperanto, I must admit that Z
did a pretty good job given the time, place and circumstances.
It may be Eurocentric, but I doubt Z had much access to
reference material for anything but the major European
languages. The result was a language which is fairly easy to
pick up on because many students already have a head start on
the vocabulary. The grammar isn't completely regular, but is
still more regular than the natural languages it draws from.

While I'm not fluent in Esperanto, I can usually read it and
understand a good portion of what I'm reading, and even write it
to some extent. Not bad considering that the only real study I
had was from a small pamphlet I found many years ago called
Teach Yourself Esperanto. I've also been able to read
Interlingua without much trouble even though I've had no
instruction whatsoever. On the other hand, I would imaging that
speakers or Asian or African languages would probably find
Esperanto almost as difficult as the natural languages of
Europe.


The idea of something that is "politically neutral" is an
unrealistic fantasy. Many design decisions are going to favor
one group or another so there is no way to create something
that's going to satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time.

Kevin Bowman

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Dec 28, 2004, 6:33:09 AM12/28/04
to
Dana Nutter wrote:
> The idea of something that is "politically neutral" is an
> unrealistic fantasy. Many design decisions are going to favor
> one group or another so there is no way to create something
> that's going to satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time.

That's precisely why I like Interlingua so much. There's no
politically sound way to cater to the linguistic persuasions of the
entire world, so use a language that is familiar (if not native) to
some of the most politically influential parts of the world, and a
language stemming from the most prestigious classical language which
has already pervaded the vocabularies of so many modern languages. As
for the rest of the world, well, when China gets out of its rut and
takes over, we can all happily switch right over to Mandarin.

Of course, if you want to go completely by political sway, then we can
just stick with English. Interlingua just has the virtue of being a
little easier to pronounce and spell over English, and gives our
Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese neighbors a friendly head
start.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 28, 2004, 10:01:58 AM12/28/04
to
On 28 Dec 2004 03:33:09 -0800, "Kevin Bowman"
<kex...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dana Nutter wrote:
> > The idea of something that is "politically neutral" is an
> > unrealistic fantasy. Many design decisions are going to favor
> > one group or another so there is no way to create something
> > that's going to satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time.
>
> That's precisely why I like Interlingua so much. There's no
> politically sound way to cater to the linguistic persuasions of the
> entire world, so use a language that is familiar (if not native) to
> some of the most politically influential parts of the world, and a
> language stemming from the most prestigious classical language which
> has already pervaded the vocabularies of so many modern languages. As
> for the rest of the world, well, when China gets out of its rut and
> takes over, we can all happily switch right over to Mandarin.

Except that many Chinese are now learning English. The trend
toward an English speaking world is fairly strong. Latin
America seems to be the only part of the world where English
isn't spreading quickly.


> Of course, if you want to go completely by political sway, then we can
> just stick with English. Interlingua just has the virtue of being a
> little easier to pronounce and spell over English, and gives our
> Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese neighbors a friendly head
> start.

The ball is already rolling for English and the momentum is too
strong to stop it anytime woon. Just look at how long much
influence and endurance Latin has had, even after the Roman
Empire fell. English is in a much stronger position than that
now and is only growing stronger over time, although it too
still carries a large lexicon of word derived from Latin.

Andrew Nowicki

unread,
Dec 28, 2004, 12:15:45 PM12/28/04
to
Kevin Bowman wrote:

> That's precisely why I like Interlingua so much. There's no
> politically sound way to cater to the linguistic persuasions of the
> entire world, so use a language that is familiar (if not native) to
> some of the most politically influential parts of the world, and a
> language stemming from the most prestigious classical language which
> has already pervaded the vocabularies of so many modern languages. As
> for the rest of the world, well, when China gets out of its rut and
> takes over, we can all happily switch right over to Mandarin.

China is not in the rut. Its economy is growing fast
while U.S. is in decline. There is already great demand
for Mandarin translators in places where there are few
native Mandarin speakers.

"China's red-hot economy, now the sixth biggest in the
world and likely the fourth biggest in two years time,
is gobbling up ever greater amounts of the world's raw
materials to sustain its blistering industrial growth.
It now consumes a quarter of the world's steel,
a third of its oil and half of its cement, eclipsing
the United States as the primary engine of global
growth in the past two years."
Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4998208/

> Of course, if you want to go completely by political sway, then we can
> just stick with English. Interlingua just has the virtue of being a
> little easier to pronounce and spell over English, and gives our
> Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese neighbors a friendly head
> start.

Auxlangs have simple, easy to learn grammar. Nearly
all the effort to learn an auxlang goes into learning
its vocabulary. This is why auxlang vocabulary is far
more important than its grammar.

Some spoken languages do not have european phonemes.
For example, Arabic language has only 3 vowels: a, i, u.
A perfect auxlang should be easy to pronounce for
everyone, which means that it should have very few
phonemes. This is a big problem because it means that
many of its words are very long. Ygyde solves this
problem by having three versions called Short Ygyde,
Standard Ygyde, and Long Ygyde. Long Ygyde has only 13
phonemes: a u i b p d t g k w(=v) s m l. Its words are
long (5 to 10 letters long) and ugly. Translation
from one Ygyde version to another Ygyde version is
trivial.

It is hard to beat English. Maybe a simplified form
of English would have a chance? English, Ceqli,
Interlingua, Mondlango (Ulango) and many other
euroclones have the "r" phoneme, which is very
difficult to learn.

An artificial IAL cannot compete with the major
spoken languages head on, but it can supplant them
as a means of making new compound words. For example,
the word LASER is an acronym from "Light Amplification
by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." Ygyde word for
laser beam is YDOGY = "noun narrow light." YDOGY is
easier to memorize and easier to pronounce than LASER.

Andrew Nowicki

unread,
Dec 28, 2004, 4:11:39 PM12/28/04
to
The old IALs: Phoenician, Greek, Latin and French did
not fade away completely because they borrowed
important ideas from one another, and because many
modern languages borrowed these ideas from them.

The first greek accountants borrowed pictograms from
Crete. This system of writing was called Linear B.
When Dorian invasion destroyed the greek civilization
around 1200 b. c. nobody knew how to use the pictograms.
Rather than re-learning the stupid pictograms Greeks
borrowed the phoenician alphabet and changed the meaning
of some phoenician consonants -- these consonants became
vowels. (There were no vowels in Phoenician.) Greeks also
invented 5 new letters and changed the direction of
writing (from left to right). The original greek alphabet
had 24 letters; all of them were capital letters. There
were no spaces between the greek words. Romans borrowed
the greek alphabet and gave it the modern look. In 12th
century Europeans borrowed numerals from Indians via
Arabs.

These linguistic inventions are much more durable
than languages which adopted them first. Each invention
encountered resistance. For example, pictogram writers
had phonetic alphabet, but they preferred to use
pictograms probably to save clay tablets. (Pictograms
are more concise than phonetic letters.)

The last linguistic invention that has not proliferated
yet are compound words. To the best of my knowledge
Japanese language is the only natural language which
abounds with compound words. My own experiments with Ebubo
and Ygyde indicate that this invention can reduce the
effort to learn the vocabulary of the auxlang. I would
rather argue about compound words than about euroclones
because all arguments about euroclone vocabularies are
political.

_______________________________________________________

New Ygyde words:
gunman = osukupy = "noun dangerous tube person"
journeyman = ocoja = "noun expert craftsman"

Rex F. May

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Dec 28, 2004, 6:08:44 PM12/28/04
to

> Some spoken languages do not have european phonemes.
> For example, Arabic language has only 3 vowels: a, i, u.
Arabic has plenty of vowels. You probably mean that it has three vowel
symbols, or perhaps that it only has three vowel phonemes, which is
debatable.

Kevin Bowman

unread,
Dec 28, 2004, 6:20:12 PM12/28/04
to
> Some spoken languages do not have european phonemes.
> For example, Arabic language has only 3 vowels: a, i, u.

I meant my previous post to be an argument for politics over
practicality. If only Europeans can pronounce anything, then that's
tough luck for the rest of the world, I guess.

> A perfect auxlang should be easy to pronounce for
> everyone, which means that it should have very few
> phonemes. This is a big problem because it means that
> many of its words are very long. Ygyde solves this
> problem by having three versions called Short Ygyde,
> Standard Ygyde, and Long Ygyde. Long Ygyde has only 13
> phonemes: a u i b p d t g k w(=v) s m l. Its words are
> long (5 to 10 letters long) and ugly. Translation
> from one Ygyde version to another Ygyde version is
> trivial.

In essence, the learning process becomes overcomplicated. If your
argument is for universal pronounceability, then simply abandon
Short/Standard Ygyde, since they are exclusive to speakers of languages
with phonemic paucity.

If, however, you wish not to alienate the Hawaiians, you may wish also
to disclude b, d, t, g, and s from Long Ygyde.

> An artificial IAL cannot compete with the major
> spoken languages head on, but it can supplant them
> as a means of making new compound words. For example,
> the word LASER is an acronym from "Light Amplification
> by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." Ygyde word for
> laser beam is YDOGY = "noun narrow light." YDOGY is
> easier to memorize and easier to pronounce than LASER.

Coincidentally, if anyone ever asked me what that shiny red beam was, I
might accidentally call it an Ygyde! Confusing!

My Hotmail account gets a lot of spam mails from Korea with Ygyde words
in the subject line. Take heart: your supplanting process has already
taken hold!

Bob LeChevalier

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Dec 28, 2004, 7:57:15 PM12/28/04
to
Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> wrote:
>Some spoken languages do not have european phonemes.

All languages have many European phonemes. Some have more of them,
some have fewer. Pirah~a has only 10 or 11 phonemes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirah%E3_language
while Ubykh has 83 consonants and 2 or 3 phonemic vowels (but 10
phonetic vowels)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubykh_language
but only has 7 of the phonemes in Pirah~a.

>For example, Arabic language has only 3 vowels: a, i, u.

Wrong. At least 6:
http://classweb.gmu.edu/accent/nl-ipa/arabicipa.html
and as you can see, 25 consonants.

>For example,
>the word LASER is an acronym from "Light Amplification
>by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." Ygyde word for
>laser beam is YDOGY = "noun narrow light." YDOGY is
>easier to memorize and easier to pronounce than LASER.

A claim entirely without any support other than your own author-biased
views.

Lojban would do "narrow-light" as jakygu'i, and it wouldn't be limited
to the noun but could also be a verb, be used to identify the
frequency and intensity, the target, etc. all with the same word. I
think it is easier to say than "YDOGY", easier to memorize (or
reinvent on the fly - but you don't have to - laser could be
stimulated-light fragu'i or intense-light camgu'i or regular-light
dikygu'i depending on aspect what you want to emphasize, or all of the
above: fradikcamgu'i), and far more useful; but I know that I'm biased
and wouldn't assume that this claim would be true for others (though
there are far more Lojban speakers and writers than Ygyde speakers).

I'm sure I won't remember the Ygyde word tomorrow; indeed I seldom
even remember the exact name of the language when I'm away from the
computer, and I've been reading that name for who knows how long.

lojbab
--
lojbab loj...@lojban.org
Bob LeChevalier, Founder, The Logical Language Group
(Opinions are my own; I do not speak for the organization.)
Artificial language Loglan/Lojban: http://www.lojban.org

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 28, 2004, 8:57:22 PM12/28/04
to
Kevin Bowman wrote:

> In essence, the learning process becomes overcomplicated. If your
> argument is for universal pronounceability, then simply abandon
> Short/Standard Ygyde, since they are exclusive to speakers of languages
> with phonemic paucity.

The problem with Long Ygyde is that its words are
long and they do not sound cute. The additional
complexity of having 3 versions of Ygyde is moderate;
it is just a matter of learning another table with
90 entries, most of them redundant. If someone cannot
pronounce just one phoneme of the Short/Standard
Ygyde, he can speak with a mixture of syllables,
most of them taken from the Standard Ygyde, and a
few taken from the Long Ygyde. If you do not know
if others understand all Short/Standard Ygyde
phonemes, you have to speak Long Ygyde.



> If, however, you wish not to alienate the Hawaiians, you may wish also
> to disclude b, d, t, g, and s from Long Ygyde.

Good point. It may turn out that the total number of
phonemes which everyone can pronounce is zero. My
favorite solution is to bundle the phonemes into
11 groups of 2 or 3 similar phonemes:

1. a, e
2. u, o
3. i, y
4. b, p
5. d, t
6. g, k
7. w(=v), f
8. z, s, h
9. j, c(=ch)
10. m, n
11. l

This universal alphabet would have 3 vowels
(1, 2, 3) and 8 consonants (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).
It would not work with Hawaiian speakers, because
their language has neither j nor c(=ch)

Hawaiian language has five vowels (a, e, i, o, u)
and eight consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w) including
the `okina or glottal stop.

Hawaiians speak some English, so this problem is not
real. They can pronounce j and c(=ch).

A more real problem is how to cope with the very small
number of phonemes. Long Ygyde has 10 consonants. If
we take away 2 consonants, we take away 18 syllables,
so we have to invent 18 new syllables, probably by
combining letter "l" with consonants. It is doable.

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 28, 2004, 10:24:34 PM12/28/04
to
Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> For example, Arabic language has only 3 vowels: a, i, u.

Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> Wrong. At least 6:
> http://classweb.gmu.edu/accent/nl-ipa/arabicipa.html
> and as you can see, 25 consonants.

I am glad you joined the thread! We can always
learn something from your posts even if we do
not agree on everything.

I do not speak Arabic but Encyclopedia Britannica
and a few web pages that I have seen mention only
3 short a, i, u vowels and 3 long a, i, u vowels.

Andrew Nowicki wrote:

> For example,
> the word LASER is an acronym from "Light Amplification
> by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." Ygyde word for
> laser beam is YDOGY = "noun narrow light." YDOGY is
> easier to memorize and easier to pronounce than LASER.

Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> A claim entirely without any support other than your
> own author-biased views.

Letter "r" is very difficult to learn.

Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> Lojban would do "narrow-light" as jakygu'i, and it wouldn't be limited

> to the noun but could also be a verb...

I could not find "jakygu" in Lojban dictionary,
only "gusni." Beam is "nenli'i" or "nejni."

> English/Lojban Dictionary - First draft official publication 26 September 1994
> Copyright 1994, The Logical Language Group, Inc.
> Bob LeChevalier, President loj...@access.digex.net
> 2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA 703-385-0273

By the way, why is your dictionary so complex?
It seems that rules to make compound words (lujvo)
are very complex also.

Ygyde can also easily derive verbs and adjectives
from nouns. For example:

laser beam = ydogy = "noun narrow light"
to laser beam?, to aim laser beam? = udogy = "verb narrow light"
laser-like beam = adogy = "adjective narrow light"

Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> ...be used to identify the frequency and intensity,


> the target, etc. all with the same word.

Sounds interesting but rather vague. Are these words
long-winded jaw breakers?

Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> I think it [jakygu'i] is easier to say than "YDOGY"

I doubt it.

Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> ..easier to memorize (or reinvent on the fly...

About the same...

> - but you don't have to - laser could be
> stimulated-light fragu'i or intense-light camgu'i or regular-light
> dikygu'i depending on aspect what you want to emphasize, or all of the
> above: fradikcamgu'i),

I could not find "fragu" and "dikygu" in the Lojban
dictionary. "Fradikcamgu'i" looks like a jaw breaker.
Ygyde has fewer (180) root words than Lojban (1350),
but its roots are very short (2 letters), so they
are well suited for making compound words. It is
impossible to make "stimulated-light" and "intense-light"
compound words in Ygyde because there are no root
words for "stimulated" or "intense." Perhaps Ygyde
root "py=burning" could be used instead of "intense."
The best substitutes for "stimulated" are Ygyde roots
"co=changing" and "ci=manipulation,processing."

Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> ...(though there are far more Lojban speakers and
> writers than Ygyde speakers).

If this proves superiority of Lojban over Ygyde, it
also proves superiority of Klingon over Lojban.

I do not know much about Lojban. I tried to learn
it but I was discouraged by its complexity and
its ugly consonant clusters.

Bob LeChevalier

unread,
Dec 28, 2004, 11:14:54 PM12/28/04
to
Andrew Nowicki <and...@nospam.com> wrote:
>Bob LeChevalier wrote:
>> Wrong. At least 6:
>> http://classweb.gmu.edu/accent/nl-ipa/arabicipa.html
>> and as you can see, 25 consonants.
>
>I am glad you joined the thread! We can always
>learn something from your posts even if we do
>not agree on everything.
>
>I do not speak Arabic but Encyclopedia Britannica
>and a few web pages that I have seen mention only
>3 short a, i, u vowels and 3 long a, i, u vowels.

I gave you a cite to the contrary. Look at it.

>Andrew Nowicki wrote:
>
>> For example,
>> the word LASER is an acronym from "Light Amplification
>> by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." Ygyde word for
>> laser beam is YDOGY = "noun narrow light." YDOGY is
>> easier to memorize and easier to pronounce than LASER.
>
>Bob LeChevalier wrote:
>
>> A claim entirely without any support other than your
>> own author-biased views.
>
>Letter "r" is very difficult to learn.

A claim entirely without support.

>Bob LeChevalier wrote:
>> Lojban would do "narrow-light" as jakygu'i, and it wouldn't be limited
>> to the noun but could also be a verb...
>
>I could not find "jakygu" in Lojban dictionary,

jakygu'i. And I made it up on the fly. Lojbanists don't need a
dictionary. I used your metaphor "narrow-light".

>only "gusni." Beam is "nenli'i" or "nejni."

nejni is x1 is energy of type x2 in form x3. It might be a beam or it
might not. nenli'i represents the metaphor "energy-line" and thus
could be a "beam" line-energy_form would be more accurate. That
would be lijyselnejni. Made up on the fly and perfectly valid Lojban.

>> English/Lojban Dictionary - First draft official publication 26 September 1994
>> Copyright 1994, The Logical Language Group, Inc.

Note that the draft dictionary is more than 10 years old. The
language has progressed enormously even if the thousands of new words
used have not been compiled into a dictionary.

>By the way, why is your dictionary so complex?

It isn't.

>It seems that rules to make compound words (lujvo) are very complex also.

Relative to what? The rules ALWAYS give a valid result, and that
requires more complexity given Lojban's morphology rules.

>Ygyde can also easily derive verbs and adjectives
>from nouns.

You misunderstand. Lojban doesn't have to derive verbs and adjectives
from nouns because all Lojban predicate words can serve as any of
these.

>For example:
>
>laser beam = ydogy = "noun narrow light"
>to laser beam?, to aim laser beam? = udogy = "verb narrow light"

That is a different word.

>laser-like beam = adogy = "adjective narrow light"

That is also a different word.

>Bob LeChevalier wrote:
>
>> ...be used to identify the frequency and intensity,
>> the target, etc. all with the same word.
>
>Sounds interesting but rather vague. Are these words
>long-winded jaw breakers?

I don't think do, but I am just as biased as you are.

>> - but you don't have to - laser could be
>> stimulated-light fragu'i or intense-light camgu'i or regular-light
>> dikygu'i depending on aspect what you want to emphasize, or all of the
>> above: fradikcamgu'i),
>
>I could not find "fragu" and "dikygu" in the Lojban
>dictionary.

So what? And you are again missing

>"Fradikcamgu'i" looks like a jaw breaker.

It is five syllables, none of which is difficult:
fra,dik,(sh)am,gu,(h)i Considering how much information it conveys:
Reactively-regular-intense-illuminator, it is extremely efficient.

>Ygyde has fewer (180) root words than Lojban (1350),
>but its roots are very short (2 letters), so they
>are well suited for making compound words.

It is well suited for making obscure compound words. Given the need
for a third syllable to identify the part of speech, there are only
32,400 possible three-syllable nouns, most of which are meaningless.
Lojban has 10-20 times that many three-syllable predicates,

>It is
>impossible to make "stimulated-light" and "intense-light"
>compound words in Ygyde because there are no root
>words for "stimulated" or "intense."

That is one problem.

>Perhaps Ygyde
>root "py=burning" could be used instead of "intense."

"Burning" does not mean "intense". "(noun)-burning-light" is
"firelight" to me, not "laser".

>The best substitutes for "stimulated" are Ygyde roots
>"co=changing" and "ci=manipulation,processing."

Neither of which suggests "laser" to me when combined with "light".
You have so few roots that the compounding semantics is hopelessly
obscure. Lojban's is less obscure, but even so, the community
demanded more specific rules for compounds, and thus the meanings of a
subset of compounds called jvajvo are much more predictable than is
possible with your language or even the original Lojban design.

>Bob LeChevalier wrote:
>
>> ...(though there are far more Lojban speakers and
>> writers than Ygyde speakers).
>
>If this proves superiority of Lojban over Ygyde, it
>also proves superiority of Klingon over Lojban.

I never claimed that numbers imply superiority. Numbers do imply
success, and indeed I can say that Klingon has been more successful
than Lojban. But Klingon has likely peaked whereas Lojban has no
reason to peak in the near future, since it is no longer dependent on
its founder for promulgation.

>I do not know much about Lojban. I tried to learn
>it but I was discouraged by its complexity and
>its ugly consonant clusters.

Whereas I find your language ugly, thus showing that your use of
adjectives like "ugly" and "cute" are absolutely useless in evaluating
a language, being entirely subjective.

Andrew Nowicki

unread,
Dec 29, 2004, 1:33:03 AM12/29/04
to
I have reformed the Long Ygyde.

Different speakers of Long Ygyde can use different
phonemes in the same place of the same word. For
example, vowel "a" and vowel "e" are interchangeable.
Those who cannot pronounce "a" can use "e" and vice
versa. Letters of Long Ygyde's alphabet are numbered.

Vowels:


1. a, e
2. u, o
3. i, y

Consonants:
1. b, p
2. d, t
3. g, k
4. w(=v), f
5. z, s, h
6. j, c(=ch)
7. m, n
8. l

Translation table (for translations between Standard
Ygyde and Long Ygyde) is posted at:
http://www.medianet.pl/~andrew/ygyde/ygyde.htm#long

Mark Carroll

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Dec 29, 2004, 7:23:16 AM12/29/04
to
In article <p8a4t0lbltrak5ssq...@4ax.com>,
Bob LeChevalier <loj...@lojban.org> wrote:
(snip)

>Note that the draft dictionary is more than 10 years old. The
>language has progressed enormously even if the thousands of new words
>used have not been compiled into a dictionary.
(snip)

I could imagine that it would help to attract new users if many of
these new words could be included? At least, the words that have
gained some foothold in the community and whose meaning isn't
unambiguously obvious from the roots. With the advent of decent
automated typesetting, and online stores like CafePress that make
self-publishing easy, most of the work in a new edition would be in
compiling the new content, which perhaps is worth doing anyway?

-- Mark

Bob LeChevalier

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Dec 29, 2004, 10:00:08 AM12/29/04
to

The Lojban community leaders have chosen a different direction in
dictionary compilation, based on community input to an online
dictionary called jbovlaste which will support up to 61 languages
besides English.

http://www.lojban.org/jbovlaste/

In addition, there are other, higher priority, tasks taking precedence
over dictionary work. Lojban is relying on word of mouth to get new
users right now and is not really strongly pushing for them, since we
have trouble supporting them. Building and supporting a community is
much more difficult than building a language, and it is utterly
necessary for long term sustained growth.

Andrew Nowicki

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Dec 29, 2004, 1:29:47 PM12/29/04
to
Bob LeChevalier wrote:

> The Lojban community leaders have chosen a different direction in
> dictionary compilation, based on community input to an online
> dictionary called jbovlaste which will support up to 61 languages
> besides English.
>
> http://www.lojban.org/jbovlaste/

There are two dictionary links posted on this page:

http://www.digitalkingdom.org/tmp/SpJP4CHAe2/ErvX7RvmEg.tex
is in obscure TEX format. I could not find a free reader.

http://www.digitalkingdom.org/tmp/SpJP4CHAe2/ErvX7RvmEg.pdf
is a broken link.

I tried to find some basic info on http://www.lojban.org:
how to make nouns, verbs, adjectives, and tenses.
Unfortunately, all I could find were tons of irrelevant
data. I hope that Lojban grows, but it is hard to
attract new supporters when your main web site is a mess.
You should make a small HTML document describing the
main features of Lojban and explaining these features
with examples.

Dana Nutter

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Dec 29, 2004, 2:01:32 PM12/29/04
to
On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 18:15:45 +0100, Andrew Nowicki
<and...@nospam.com> wrote:

> Some spoken languages do not have european phonemes.
> For example, Arabic language has only 3 vowels: a, i, u.

My Arabic book shows 10 vowels, but 6 if you don't consider
vowel length as a factor. If I remember correctly the book is
based upon the Egyptian dialect.

Dana Nutter

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