Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Bagliun Edar, Nov 4, 2013.
No, I lied. I have a few more comments.
I've not studied conlangs, so I don't know what's out there (post-Tolkien). Also, I haven't looked at The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder (I appreciate the reference to that, by the way), so I don't know to what degree your work is based on his. However, to me, "Obulamga" looks really strange and alien, unlike any real language I know of, and if that's what you were going for, then I think you succeeded in spades. In addition, it looks possible to sound out words, so it's definitely not random, and if people in principle being able to speak your language was something you desired, then I think you succeeded there also. The only critical comment I have that might tend to make your language look like something made up (aside from it being unknown) is that your words look a little on the longish side. But take that for what it's worth, given all the qualifications I've made.
I also think that Triskelion's system is extremely interesting, and Miss Chicken's observations regarding library classification are invaluable.
313 443 61 5.
I surmised, but am not sure, that his language is a polysynthetic language which, though they might look strange to those used to European languages, are quite common throughout the world. Many Native American languages are polysynthetic, as are some Australian Aboriginal languages, some languages of New Guinea, Ainu, Greenlander etc.
conlang sounds like a word that should be used in the following sentences:
'your girlfriend has a great set of conlangs'
'you mother gave me great conlang last night but please tell her to stop changing her lipstick'
That's fascinating! It reminds me the philosophical languages of past centuries, Wilkins' specifically.
Thank you very much for your feedback. I was aiming for a nice sounding language, yet it should look and feel alien. I chose all voiced sounds and avoided common combinations. The sounds [p, t, k] from which languages in general have at least two of them, were avoided (they are voiceless sounds anyway). Since it's a language for Gods, I also ruled out allophones. The first time I posted about this language was on Mark Rosenfelder's forum (I risked it with a bunch of professional linguists) and that "no allophones" part was what they objected the most; yet it was because every single human language has allophones. I decided this makes it even more alien, so I kept it.
This is Obulamga's phonetic inventory:
The symbols within square brackets are IPA symbols and they represent exactly how each letter should sound. The macron appearing over some of the vowels mean that the vowel is pronounced twice longer.
It's an fusional/aglutinative language with maybe an aspect that may seem like polysynthetic. Let me explain how I constructed one of the sentences. Let's take "Bōldui zrimthabilgrobomdetha glidromungrobomdetha."
Bōldui zrimthabil-gro-bomde-tha glidrom-un-gro-bomde-tha.
bōldui [ˈbɔːldui] v. to search
zrimthabil [ˈzɾimðabil] n. being (compound word from zrim [individual] and thabil [consciousness], so etymologically it means "individualized consciousness").
-gro [-gɾɔ] noun declination meaning "neuter, plural, no definiteness specified".
bomde [ˈbɔmdɛ] adj. unknown (in this context, English "new" actually stands for "unknown").
-tha [-ða] collective-and
glidrom [ˈglidɾɔm] adj. civilized
-un [-un] verbal/adjectival suffix. In the case of adjectives it means something that can be described with the adjective, making a noun. Glidromun means "something or someone civilized", a group of people in this context.
Adjectives may work either as verbs (S is civilized), or may attach to the modified noun after any nominal declination.
The suffix used for "and" attaches to each joined phrase.
According to Wikipedia, Wilkins' proposal had some issues:
For some, a wall of numbers may have that effect. Sevencube, though, really is easier than it looks.
a couple of questions about Sevencube
1) how do you show different tenses?
2) how do you show real numbers?
Good questions. I tend toward fewer rules than more. Hope for the best.
Some conceptual problems could be solved with a little creativity. For example, there's no code for "green", so you might have to combine blue and yellow: 672-673 and hope for the best. In writing, hyphens are helpful.
One workaround for tense could be adding these modifiers to your verbs:
Past - 412
Future - 413
Now - 52
"She cry" (313 425) becomes "313 412-425" or "313 425-412" - "She cry past" or "She past cry."
In speech, you just try to pair modifiers together as best you can, perhaps with timing or emphasis.
Believe me - tense can be a real problem for everyone, so for the Foundational, I feel super-simple Past Present Future is best. Heck, in Chinese, they only have one homophone for He 他, She 她 or It 它 - "Ta." Very confusing errors there, like Three's Company antics!
Tense can be a problem internationally, as can conditions, gender, SV agreement and modifier position (red rooster or rooster red). I prefer not to establish rules, but let people try to hash these out. This is because international communication is rife with misunderstanding. There's NO avoiding it.
Some words have to be formed using "not". There's a word for "behind," but there's no "ahead." So you'd have to combine "no" + "behind" to communicate the idea. Instead of saying "hospital 3 blocks ahead" you'd have to say "straight" or "you are 3 blocks behind". It's really the user's problem in the Foundational lexicon. Instead of day and night, we've got "day" and "no day" or perhaps "day end." Honestly, feel free to get creative.
Sevenquad, with it's extra exponent, could accommodate more nuances like past, present future, point, period, conditional, adverbs of frequency, etc.
Tense seems like a simple concept but there are so many interlingual differences it can get confusing fast.
It's funny - if you watch (us) expat English as a Second Language teachers, you'll see that we all do the "thumb over the shoulder" for past, and pointing forward for future.
In writing, I would do this:
But in speech, you might add
62 - Number
"You phone me number 555-123-4567."
"312 466 311 62-5551234567."
"I found two good restaurants this week."
311 412-435 62-2 61 267 612 515.
(Literally: "I past-find number-2 good restaurant this week."
I think Sevenquad could really make these things smoother.
I'M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!
Thanks Miss Chicken for these questions.
So if I was to write
how would you translate it?
or it might be
You said literally:
1. "Thing show write"
2. "Thing see write?"
I'd ask for clarification. But if these are questions, I'd suppose you wanted to combine these double-verbs into a different verb, such as "signing" or "illustrating visually." This is only based on the context of our conversation. Out of context, I would surmise you are asking for an example of something. Or I'd say 311 446 433, 312 463. "I be confuse, you repeat."
As for signing, the Chinese have a simple hand gestural system for signing 1-9 on one hand. I'm partial to this method:
In American Sign Language, it's this:
You could also write the Arabic numerals 1234567 almost anywhere around the globe. People recognize them due to a)international airport standards, b)international economic/finance standards and c)tourist trade. In other words, if we go somewhere that does not recognize the arabic numerals 1-7, we might want to spend five minutes to learn their number symbols.
I was trying to work out how to say 'book' which seems to be difficult as you don't list that word or 'read' (which maybe should be under Communication).
Well, a 337 word base omits much more language than it contains. Words like "reading" or "book" may be more relevant than some other word in the system, so it's worth considering. Thanks for the suggestion!
Another question is also whether a word fits into this or that grouping, to make it intuitive. Also, somewhat practical priorities for travelers (which kind of makes me feel that "book" may be more relevant than say, "virgin" - but would not necessarily go in that category, as I don't have to tell you).
Sevenquad's added exponent can cover many of these essential terms. My main concern for the foundational set is a starting point for communication at every level of the Maslowian hierarchy.
In case of needing an intuitive leap like your example, "book," or some other omission, I think it would be helpful to provide more context.
311 44 365 531 411 116.
312 43 264 251?
"I desire buy traditional information-education tool. See-write thing. You know store near?"
Another limitation of course is getting proper names for people, book titles, etc. Things that take alphabets.
As long as I know, this is almost impossible. Past attempts to make a classification have resulted on different systems. If you look into a thesaurus, you'll find a classification right in it. Now, I wonder how similar (or different) are such attempts to classify meaning.
The point is, I don't think intuitive classification is possible. Maybe the European culture may find something intuitive but the chinese may wonder why it was classified in such a way. I have to stress *Maybe*. I'm no expert on this, but what I have read on the topic of International Auxiliary Languages makes me think so.
I was thinking that this kind of system would be more useful for travellers.
How would you say things like "book a flight" or "book a hotel room" or "book a reservation"? You know, this is an entirely different meaning than "book" as a reading thing.
Hello again Triskelion,
How may the Star Trek opening text be translated into Sevencube?:
"Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission. To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before."
^ Good one! I think I'd use Sevenquad for that one. Sevencube is probably too utilitarian to attempt more literary descriptions.
Good example. This is why I added definitions here, to eliminate muliple uses of a word and narrow it down to one clear meaning if possible. Words like "get" have too many jobs to translate easily. You can "get" to get out, to understand, to retrieve, etc. It's kind of hard to think outside your idiom, but that's what's needed to create these lists.
Here's the thing, "booking" something may be more idiomatic and not translate into other languages. For example, "Computer" in English literally translates into Chinese as "Electric Brain." Now, if a Chinese person requested an electric brain in the US, they might get referred to a mental hospital! Another example might be a word like "bounce." If you say you're going to bounce in another language than English, it won't translate.
In these cases, you'd have to go with more basic terms like "make a reservation." You couldn't say an idiom like "Give me your two cents." For international communication, cut idiomatic translations. In principle, however, SevenQuad (or SevenQuin) could assign a code for an idiom to get understood in target languages. "Have you eaten?" in Chinese becomes "How are you?" in English, and "Hello," in Korean ("Annyong haseyo" means hello - there is no equivalent for "how are you" in Korean).
To make a reservation I'd probably go with "Have a hotel room" or "Stay in a hotel room for Month # Day # Year #."
Sevencube is kind of a band aid; I wouldn't rely on it for complex interactions like say, business negotiations or artistic criticism. You could probably come up with 343 words just for hotel stays alone. So the lexicon is a strategic choice - should it be general or specific? I went with general. Was it the right choice? Who knows.
Thanks for asking!
Separate names with a comma.