Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ygyde: how NOT to promote a language

D: he seems to have posted these challenges at various sites, including for Toki Pona. Oddly, he did so with languages that are NOT primarily intended as international aux-langs.
This seems to be a case of apples and oranges.
Yes, your orange certainly rates higher on the citrus scale compared to an apple... so?

Here is the gauntlet being thrown down:
>Ygyde conlang is easy to pronounce, easy to
>understand, extremely easy to learn, and has
>unique ability to define all meanings in short
>(7 letters or less) compound words. Last, but
>not least, Ygyde is fun to work with. Some
>compound words are unintentionally funny. If
>you do not believe me, think of an English
>word, define it in Ygyde, and compare it with my
>definition. Is your definition better than mine?

This does not make it "better" than Lojban.

D: he provoked a response from Lojban central.
It pretty much dissects his language.
He pretty much antagonized any groups that would have
otherwise been interested in his language.
Plus those languages all have a group that can speak it!

Ygyde is intended as an Auxiliary Language. Lojban is not.

D: same thing on the Esperanto site.

In one passage on a chat site, they pose a sample tract to
But Ygyde lacked the vocabulary for many common

I do think his choice of phonemes is more thoughtful than
the Lojban critique lets on. Lojban is no prize in that

I DO think a language must be designed as an IAL to be
a good one. The odds of a language fitting the
requirements for a good aux-lang by accident are not good.

I don't imagine Lojban or Ygyde are particularly brief,
given their rules for word formation.

D: Lojban has 6 vowels and 21 consonants. This is to use
a standard QWERTY keyboard and the Roman alphabet.
It also has rules for buffering consonant clusters.
It has penultimate stress, which seems artificial if
the language is not heavily prefixing.
The basic root of the language is always 2 syllables
of form either CVCCV or CCVCV.
This is highly compatible with existing speakers'
Only 1350 of these "gismu" exist. That is a bit more
than the original Esperanto, though much less now.

Ygyde: most nouns are 5-7 letters long. The CVCVCV...
form is very easy to say (there are optional consonant
clusters for brevity).
It has 6 vowels and 15 consonants, as befits a language
designed as an IAL.
In this respect, it IS superior to Lojban as an IAL.
Also compared to Esperanto.

D: on Esperanto - this was the first great IAL. Having
said that, it should be viewed as the Mark I prototype.
To expect it to hold up after 100 years is ridiculous.
And it doesn't.
We don't expect a Model T Ford car to keep up with a
modern sedan. And it doesn't.
However, there is a difference between an old car
enthusiast and one that is so deluded as to think it
can keep up with any modern sedan, let alone sports car!
Lo and behold Ygyde, a modern sedan, can indeed run
circles around Esperanto.
For that matter, in time and with improvement, it could
likely claim to be a muscle car.

I'd like to say that is IS unfair for me to criticize
ANY existing language since I have yet to release mine.
I'm sure those chickens will all come home to roost in

Problems with Ygyde, from my own unique and biased point
of view:
1) the colour system is bewildering and not optimized
(see the Lojban site critique)
2) the letters are not optimized for a computer display
(any diagonal other than 45 degrees)
3) wasting short syllables on universal constants is
pointless (talk about them much?)
4) the memory aids AREN'T much help (ebi is recalled
with abi for optical)
5) it puts a lot of demand on memory for vocabulary.
Let me explain. Big is aso. alo is small. Long is afo,
anu is short.
So we have 2 opposing pairs of qualities.
Afo-... anu. NOT something thematically related to the
above pair.

I do not plan to create much vocabulary. I plan to harness
the power of the online open source community.
If I lack enough basic concepts, I wish to invoke the
power of massively parallel computing (thinking).
So long as I set the design parameters, and focus on key
core concepts, I let others generate more words as they

Lojban threw down the gauntlet to translate one passage,
and Ygyde was not up to the task.
Don't get me wrong- it is an impressive start by one
fellow (with one assistant). I AM impressed.

But going on to language-specific sites to talk about how
great YOUR language is, Andrew, sounds like insecurity.
"Mine is better? " Or should I say bigger, Mr. No*icki?
C'mon - did your overcompensating win
you any friends, make any converts?
Why do it?
If I can contribute just a few insights into some
eventual world language then I will be
Yes, I'd really like if mine was selected (pending
I don't plan to alienate all my would-be supporters

Just so I am not too elusive a target, I will suggest
what I wish to do to express the opposing qualities
of big-small and long-short.
BTW, I could not find a wide/narrow opposing pair.
Azi is narrow but I could not find wide at all!

1) embed math and space/time in the core concepts
2) express big as dimensions (all or 3/inclusive) with
plus or more concept attached.
3) express small as per but with minus or less concept.
4) core syllable rules are C (maybe W or Y) V (diphthongs?)
(maybe L or R) (nasal consonant).
5) reserve some special word construction rules for common
concepts, essentially shorthand.
6) detailed concepts are expressed with CVCV...CV(nasal
consonant) construction.
7) Use the basic syllable for the concept of SIZE. Wideness,
length, et al.
8) Using size, a pair of optional consonant cluster
letters. SO Y/W or R/L.
9) For now, we'll borrow form my pilot project Decimese.
Google for it.
Syllable: CVC construction as a noun. Noun indicated
by 1 of 3 nasal consonant endings.
If we, say, have CVC as size, then the pair of adjectives
would be
i) CWVC and CYVC.
ii) Alternatively CVLC and CVRC.
iii) as an adjective, ending consonant nasal N1.
iv) as the property of size, or smallness or largeness,
nasal N2.
v) as a verb, N3.
The basic word, using the core vocabulary rules, for
three dimensions, would be
i) concept of three
ii) modifier of dimension
iii) indicator for inclusively so, to indicate all XYZ
Cartesian co-ordinates.
iv) length only would be indicated with exclusively the
third dimension
v) width only would be indicated via the 2nd dimension.
Voila. Size- big/small. Largeness. To enlarge. Sizable.
Et al.
All derived via Esperanto-esque rules (but within my
CcVvcN syllable construction rules).
If you know size, you know length and width. Short/long,
Other physical properties, such as weight/mass, density,
hardness, coldness et al can all
also be mapped in similar fashion.
So too sensory concepts. Bright/dim, loud/faint et al.
By nearly endlessly recycling core concepts, very few
root words must be learned.


Brian Barker said...

As the "International Year of Languages" comes to an end on 21st February, you may be interested in the contribution, made by the World Esperanto Association, to UNESCO's campaign for the protection of endangered languages.

The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2008.

The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations' Geneva HQ in September. or

dino snider said...

More slammin'.

D: everyday conversation or literary passages seem like an ideal "litmus test" for an aspiring IAL. Since I'm using the 1000 most common English words as my starting point, I should not have TOO much trouble.