Friday, February 27, 2009

rate of evolution of words, squint free font, IALs before Volapuk

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7911645.stm

"We think some of these words are as ancient as 40,000 years old. The sound used to make those words would have been used by all speakers of the Indo-European languages throughout history," Professor Pagel said.

Meanwhile, the fastest-changing words are projected to die out and be replaced by other words much sooner.

For example, "dirty" is a rapidly changing word; currently there are 46 different ways of saying it in the Indo-European languages, all words that are unrelated to each other.

Reading University researchers claim "I", "we", "two" and "three" are among the most ancient, dating back tens of thousands of years.
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http://www.layersmagazine.com/art-of-type-squint-free-small-type.html

Typeface choice

If you’ve struggled to read a drug disclosure, you know that a light, condensed face for small type is bad news. What you really want is a face with a wide set width, that is, one whose characters are relatively wide. In addition, you’ll want a face with a generous x-height: one whose lowercase letters are rather tall.

Likewise, faces with a heavier stroke weight and less contrast between the thick and thin parts of their characters are more legible in small sizes.

Helvetica itself is ... because it scores high(-ly?) on all the previous criteria: big x-height, good color, and a wide stance. In fact, many sans serifs fare well in small sizes for the same reasons. In general, humanist sans serifs such as Gill Sans work better than a geometric sans, such as Futura or Avant Garde, because the shapes and proportions of their letters share more of a seriffed face’s visual cues to easy character recognition. Antique Olive is a face that was specifically designed for legibility (by Roger Excoffon, in the 1960s), but it’s sadly neglected today.

http://www.linotype.com/47/antiqueolive-family.html

With its lowercase letters that are almost as big as its caps, it stands up very well in small sizes.

D: again, HIOXian aspires to high visual clarity, including for the diacritic.
No element is smaller than a bar segment, much like - .
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D: I already touched early on upon Solresol.

We'll briefly look at the 'reformed French spelling' of Communicationssprache, then delve into Universalglot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicationssprache

* No articles.
* Invariable adjectives.
* Comparatives in -ior and -iost.
* Adverbs formed by adding -ly to adjectives.
* Possessive pronouns in -a.
* Infinitives in -er.
* Nouns were declined.
* Capitalization of nouns, as in German.

D: it looks a bit like Ogden's Basic English in its grammar rules and syntax.

http://www.rheingau-genealogie.de/schipfer.htm
Hmm, not in English. That's not handy.

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_txt

THE LANDOWNER OF SCHIPFER On 23 January 1801 cure-Main-hisses treasurers and Obristwachtmeister the Honor Karl von Hornstein sold its yard to Grüningen in Niederwalluf. The age-old aristocracy yard by the marriage with Sidonia Freiin Köth of Wanscheid at Honor Karl von Hornstein had come. Into the Haselnußgasse (Schliefs yard) manor present meal mill (in hereditary existence) consisted, beer brewery justice, 102 mornings of fields and meadows (tenth requiring), 8 2/4 morning of vineyards and tenth downward gradients to Gerstrothen of herrschaftlichem house, auxiliary buildings, (Görsroth?), from Beholzungs grace a right on the so-called Gräfenhöhe (14 Klafter firewood and 800 waves) and Beholzungsrecht in the Hinterwalde with feasting course, Mastung, hunt and fishery right.

D: OK, that is just not legible.

Predating Volapük by a decade and Esperanto by nearly 20 years, Universalglot has been called the first "complete auxiliary-language system based on the common elements in national languages".[1] In his book describing his own language project Novial, Otto Jespersen praised the language, writing, "one to which I constantly recur with the greatest admiration, because it embodies principles which were not recognized till much later".[2]

At 7000 words, this was NOT easy to learn!
But then, isn't Esperanto with its expanded vocabulary up to this level anyway?
And at least UG only uses 26 letters with very few odd characters.

# a "Σ/σ" is used instead of "sh".
# a "Ü/ü" is used for German "Ü/ü" (or French "U/u")

Substantives and adjectives never change except for the feminine form for substantives. The feminine is in "in". Ex1 (singular): El old man, el old manin. Ex.2 (plural): Li old man, Li old manin.
D: resembles -in- feminine affix of Espo.

Articles

Only articles and pronouns indicate the singular or plural like this:

Singular: el (de el, ex el / ad el / el), un

Plural: li (de li, ex li / ad li / li)

D: less agreement. Thank God.
No -oy-n "oyn" endings!

The verbs have easy conjugation:
D: I think I see some French there. Sign of the times, I suppose.

11=undec, 12=dudec, 13=tridec etc.
20=duta, 30=trita, etc.
21=dutaun, 22=dutadu, 23=dutatri etc.
D: sensible number naming convention. Just couldn't get away from the PIE/Euro-number naming convention though.
See my blog entry on Asian number names.

Leter de grat (thank letter)

Men senior,
I grate vos pro el servnes ke vos habe donated ad me. Kred, men senior, ke in un simli fal vos pote konten up me.
Adcept el adsekurantnes de men kordli amiknes.

D: other than the usual Euroclone problem of keeping all things Euro hook, line & sinker, it's decent. Maybe the hook part is good, the line is dubious and some sinker aspects sink the idea...

D: interestingly, despite being roughly comparable to Espo, this never took off.
Wrong time, wrong place? I think it didn't carve out a constituency.
A language needs patrons (and matrons <:).
Perhaps internationalist sentiment had not matured.
Or this didn't cater to that group or any other.
A Euro-clone Euro interlang has never been successfully marketted as such.
D: Market -ed. I prefer double consonants for soft vowels. English...
Of course, admitting that a language purported to be a global interlang is ill-suited to that task would be refreshingly honest.
Instead I get comments like " it (barely) works". And "there is a community of speakers". Or at least a very few that can carry on a conversation.
Courtesy of the internet, undoubtedly all the two-headed snakes and other circus oddities can claim to have a community also.
After all, a billion people have internet access.

I'm curious. Let's say I finish Decimese. ( All that is left is core vocabulary.)
If I begat children and taught them Decimese as their first language, then had a Decimese chat site for the three fluent speakers (the rest can use dictionaries), and finally held conventions of anemic attendance, can I too claim to have a vibrant, thriving community of speakers? <:
OK.

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

Although International Mother Language Day is now over, 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. http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=38420&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html

The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations' Geneva HQ in September.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eR7vD9kChBA&feature=related or http://www.lernu.net

I hope that you do not mind me passing on this information

Brian Barker