Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Old Persian symbol frequency. Busy today.

I'm busy so I'll be brief with this segue.
I taught myself Old Persian for kicks.
Actually, I never got past their writing system.
I only started since a friend that knows Akkadian said O.P. had phonemes that were easy for an English speaker.
However, he didn't say anything about all the affixes! OMG.
My brain hurt!

The shorter marks were called "dots", and the longer ones "dashes", and the letters most commonly used in the English language were assigned the shortest sequences.

I made these cute little children's book pictures to remember them. The various family members are portrayed in lieu of various cuneiform symbols. A little description of the scenario makes it memorable. I swear I could teach a kid cuneiform without mentioning Old Persian once.

I wondered why the symbols were selected for various sounds.
I wonder if, like Morse Code, the most commonly used symbols are also the simplest to make.
Sadly, to find this out requires typing in the various passages in cuneiform font so it can then be introduced into a parsing program.

Esperanto quirk of the day:

This is a response to the argument that Esperanto is spoken more quickly than English.
Well, it likely IS. I just wonder about how that is a boast, LOL!
Comparing any IAL to English, a natural language, is setting the bar pretty low. <: Heck, if we are willing to tolerate a speed of speaking that is merely "better than English", I imagine half of the existing natural languages would also qualify. Do you suppose a language that does not require an extra SYLLABLE to indicate part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) would be faster? For example, adding an "-O" to indicate a subject noun.
This means against modern IALs, Esperanto is likely to be slower. Against, for example, last syllable consonant -N, NG, and -M forms for example.
Back to my observation about classic cars and the people that love them. I am also so glad I managed to articulate sufficiently for you to understand me. Tee hee. Keep 'em coming! <: So is this to be our rallying cry? "Good enough"? Good lord. And let's look at some of those charming Esperanto words that veritably roll off the tongue. Why, saying them, it feels like SILK. As always, I use the "Ranto" file. It has analyzed Esperanto more thoroughly than I care to.

(Deleted. It is not displaying properly. BTW, try highlighting if you see inexplicable gaps that ought to contain text. Grr.)

The affectionate suffixes -ĉj- and -nj-, which retain remnants of the Slavic palatalized consonants, may very occasionally be used as words in their own right, as in mia ĉjanja popolo "my dear nation", in which case they may be word initial and not just syllable initial.

Although it does not occur initially, the sequence dz is pronounced as a cluster if not as an affricate, as in edzo [e.dzo]/[e.ʣo] "a husband" with an open first syllable [e], not as *[ed.zo].

In addition, initial pf- occurs in German-derived pfenigo "penny", kŝ- in Sanskrit kŝatrio "kshatriya", and several additional uncommon initial clusters occur in technical words of Greek origin, such as mn-, pn-, ks-, ps-, sf-, ft-, kt-, pt-, bd-, such as sfinktero "a sphincter" (which also has the coda nk). Quite a few more clusters turn up in sufficiently obscure words, such as tl in tlaspo "Thlaspi" (a genus of herb), and Aztec deities such as Tlaloko "Tlaloc". (The /l/ phonemes are presumably devoiced in these words.)

As this might suggest, greater phonotactic diversity and complexity is tolerated in learned than in quotidian words, almost as if "difficult" phonotactics were an iconic indication of "difficult" vocabulary. Diconsonantal codas, for example, generally only occur in technical terms, proper names, and in geographical and ethnic terms: konjunkcio "a conjunction", arkta "Arctic", istmo "isthmus".

D: and not just consonants.

sciigi                         let know, inform
sciigo advice, announcement, communication, message, notice, report
sciiĝi find out, hear, learn of

D: see a problem yet with CCV-V-CV construction words?
D: in fact, I wonder if this very scenario led me to ponder a HIOXian letter system that would anticipate and avoid such tongue twisters.

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