Friday, March 6, 2009

bushisms, now obamaisms. subject/object. esperanto and talking about the size

“You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”
Townsend, Tennessee, 21 February, 2001

D: Bush is also well known for inventing new words. But in Esperanto, nobody would notice- everybody would be doing it.
Top 10 gaffes. Lord knows I've done all of these!

Palin too.

It appears Sarah Palin’s aides were so busy prepping her on foreign affairs and national security that they didn’t have time to review grammar.

"The governor made many singular-plural mistakes, particularly when describing states and nations, which are singular. For example, in the Thursday interview, Palin told Charlie Gibson, “I don’t think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.”
D: using "they" in political correctness to indicate he or she is bound to cause more confusion. God, we need a gender-neutral second person, singular noun. Oh wait- it.

D: and McCain.

“A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did,” he said. “I’d been mistreated before, but not as badly as others.”
Which brings us back to last night’s speech. McCain should’ve said, “I’d been mistreated before, but not so badly as others.”

D: And the "big O". (Seen the public approval ratings? Certainly the way they feel about him. <:)
"Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman, writing in the paper’s op-ed section today, point out that Obama often makes a common grammatical error, using the word “I” when he should properly use “me”—as in the phrase “a very personal decision for Michelle and I.”

D: the bad old days. Latin...
In Latin, all nouns are altered according to how they are used in a sentence; to use the word for “queen” as a subject, you would employ the nominative case and write regina, but to use it as a direct object, you would employ the accusative case and write reginam.
D: kinda reminds me of Esperanto.

To say a or an, as in "a town", just say the noun on its own, e.g. urbo (town, a town). There is no indefinite article ("a" or "an") in Esperanto.
The word for the is la, e.g. la urbo (the city). La never changes for singular or plural.
D: looks pretty good so far, right? Read on.

In Esperanto, an adjective must "agree in number" with the noun it describes. This means that if the noun is singular, the adjective must also be. If the noun is plural, the adjective must also be, too. Some examples: la freŝa kuko (the fresh cake), la freŝaj kukoj (the fresh cakes); feliĉa homo (a happy person), feliĉaj homoj (happy people).


Therefore, in Esperanto, subjects, verbs, and direct objects can be put in any order! All of the following sentences, which mean "the apple loves the banana" are grammatically correct in Esperanto.

* La pomo amas la bananon.
* La pomo la bananon amas.
* Amas la pomo la bananon.
* Amas la bananon la pomo.
* La bananon la pomo amas.
* La bananon amas la pomo.

D: an option to drop overt subject indicator would be nice.
E.g. default to Subject-Verb-Object word order a la English.
La pomo amas la banano.
Better yet, brevity can be had by a single 'definitizing' overt word particle.
?Lata? pomo amas banano.
While yer at it, why bother with a noun or verb suffix at all?
Pom am ban. SVO so Pom (noun pomo) am ....

The savings? 2-4 syllables, depending on the system.

D: Plural requires adjective-noun agreement also.
... (a) big banana. (OK getting dirty now.) ... granda banano, but subject so
grandaN bananoN. Technically grand-a-n banan-o-n.
D: are you reaching for the Tylenol yet. <:

I reiterate: word order instead.
2-4 syllables becomes 4+ attached affixes. Easily more.

D: now, the LangX site pays fairly close attention to syllable structure.

almari cabinet, cupboard
ameba ameba
ba (particle for suggestion/imperative)
baca language
badam almond
badan body
bagan garden
Hello: Canti. (peace)
Good Bye: Canti / Cao
Thank you: Asante (thanks)
You're welcome: No mesti asante (no need thanks)
I'm sorry: Skusa
Don't worry: Oke / No susi (no worry)
Excuse me: Mafan
D: I used to be a busboy at a local bar. Tired of saying excuse me all night, I truncated it to "'scuze". Somebody (foolishly) once asked if I meant excuse me by that.
I stopped, looked at him, and asked "did you know that one of the definitions of didactic is tediously pedantic?". (yeah yeah - punctuation) <: Don't mess with this busboy.

At first blush, Espo does too.
Endings -a, -e. CV or VV construction. VV is not great but is OK.
Easily said -N ending. Grand-, granda, grande, grandaN.
Banano, bananon.
And then - wham! Not really.
Verb 'is' is estas. The -(vowel) plus S ending is NOT that palatable. Euroclone.
A less Eurocentric modification could have involved -N and -M endings.
Estas... estan, estam, estang.
Which would look a lot like... Decimese! [=

D: let us see how to express size for a banana.
Banano. Big. Grand-a. (Bigly, grand-e.)
Small is expressed with the wordy mal- prefix. Small is not-big. Mal-grand-a.
Don't forget a direct subject would requires -n or -Yn for plural.
So that would be mal-grand-a-y-n.
FOUR processes, just for an adjective.
Wait- it gets even better!
A truly large or small fruit requires an entirely new set of affixes.
-et- for tiny, -eg^- for huge.
Tiny banana. Banan-et-o. Subject/ tiny bananas. Banan-et-o-y-N. Yup- 4 steps to add affixes to the root/stem. And that is just mostly agreement!
Huge banana. Banan-eg^-o. I've never been to the tropics, but I don't think anybody grows giant mutant bananas. My friend-girl went to the tropics and informs me that huge bananas don't grow on trees.
So big/small is via adjective. BUT VERY big/small suddenly shifts to a noun affix!
Viro - man. Midget/dwarf/pygmy - vireto. Giant - vireg^o.

D: now we see why offloading work onto word order, without the need to indicate subject/object, or to require agreement between adjective/noun is desirable.
A relatively simple sentence requires a staggering number of steps!
The man has (a) banana. Le vir-o havas banan-o-n.
The man has a big banana. Le vir-o havas grand-a-n banan-o-n.
The man has big bananas. Le vir-o hav-as grand-a-y-n banan-o-y-n.
The giant has a banana. Le vir-eg^-o havas...
The small man has a truly huge banana. Le malgranda viro havas banan-eg^-o-n.
The big man has a tiny banana. Le granda viro havas banan-et-o-n.
And now you know how to talk about bananas in Esperanto. <:
The same concepts in Decimese:

Decimese: adjectives use L/R and W/Y pairs, assisted by H-(vowel) to denote nuance.
Size is embedded in the core vocabulary, being based on space/time.
L/R can denote a bit/lots with the default syllable being somewhat.
Denoting scale and comparison can use a similar system.
Since the vocabulary is derived from a default assumption of a 3D universe/physic, Cartesian XYZ axes are implied in the default space stem.
As an adjective (recall -M noun, -N verb, -NG adjective/adverb), it should be terse.
I likely need shorthand words for an more complex space/time concepts.
Density (mass/volume), speed (distance/time) et al.
Any word beginning in L, R, W or Y is core vocabulary. Along with -M,N,NG endings, and the "H" workhorse letter, the word is even overtly indicated by part of speech and even taxonomic category.
English, big/small, wide/narrow, long/short, deep/shallow (3D).
Six words, not including a word for size. Hmm, size not size-ness, wideness-width...
Use of a supplemental concept for relative and absolute (quality, quantity) and we easily get more...most, too/not enough, all/none, one/infinity et al.
Notice how awkwardly English expresses what should be a simple and robust set of core concepts.
Using wide as a default 'positive/more' amounts to narrow being not-wide.
Espo would require a mal- indicator to show the opposite- wordy (syllable-y).
English requires an extra word to be learned.
Not wide enough and too narrow both denote the same concept, again with differt constructions.
Here is an interesting idea. I settled on default to 3D to make everyday words brief.
Otherwise I found myself needing to denote 1-2-3 plus the space concept.
It is still doable, but by reserving it we
1) can denote depth/shallowness (words, OMG) with a simple 3rd indicator.
2) of interest, we can denote 2 of 3 dimensions and neglect the other. This resembles the form some languages have for pronouns to denote we-not-you or we-not-I et al. I hope to incorporate a parallel system in the pronoun table.
3) this could be denoted positively via explicit naming
e.g. long and deep (but not wide) with 1 and 3 respectively.
4) or via negative subtraction.
e.g. size not 2d width.
5) I assume naming conventions will use the approach most brief. Naming one exception can be shorter than having to name 2+ elements.

Let us revisit the earlier conversation. Obviously I need to generate not only core vocabulary, but supplemental vocabulary as well. (This year for the core.) I will NOT be generating much supplemental vocabulary. As an open-source project, once I name the design principles I let the open-source community do the rest. Why? I'm either lazy or otherwise occupied. My mind does not revel in generating 1000-10,000 basic root/stems.
Big- granda- more -size. Small, less - not MALgranda (wordy!)
Size /more -R-. Size/less -L-.
Too/not enough - subjective/qualitative.
<: IMHO - In My Humble Opinion. So... -HO- <:
More/less, most/least. Not at all. Entirely. All basic math variants.
Since math is core vocabulary, we simply recycle math.
Pronouns and spatial/temporal prepositions behave similarly.

D: I'm intrigued by the fact that Somalians get by with 4 general-purpose prepositions.

Prepositions English prepositions can cause great difficulty for Somalis. Whereas English has a great variety of prepositions, Somali has only four, and they come before the verb rather than before the noun. Because they are so few, Somali prepositions have a wide range of meanings:

1. ka 'from, away from, out of' and 'about, concerning'
2. ku 'in, into, on, at' and 'with, by means of, using'
3. la 'with, together with, in the company of'
4. u 'to, towards' and 'for, on behalf of'

We make great use of of, with, by, for, and so on.
Wouldn't an optional explicit indicator of specific function be nice?
My compact dictionary contains six different meanings for "of".

Main Entry:
1of Listen to the pronunciation of 1of
\əv, before consonants also ə; ˈəv, ˈäv\
Middle English, off, of, from Old English, adverb & preposition; akin to Old High German aba off, away, Latin ab from, away, Greek apo
before 12th century

1—used as a function word to indicate a point of reckoning 2 a—used as a function word to indicate origin or derivation b—used as a function word to indicate the cause, motive, or reason c: by d: on the part of e: occurring in 3—used as a function word to indicate the component material, parts, or elements or the contents 4 a—used as a function word to indicate the whole that includes the part denoted by the preceding word b—used as a function word to indicate a whole or quantity from which a part is removed or expended 5 a: relating to : about b: in respect to 6 a—used as a function word to indicate belonging or a possessive relationship b—used as a function word to indicate relationship between a result determined by a function or operation and a basic entity (as an independent variable) 7—used as a function word to indicate something from which a person or thing is delivered or with respect to which someone or something is made destitute 8 a—used as a function word to indicate a particular example belonging to the class denoted by the preceding noun b—used as a function word to indicate apposition 9 a—used as a function word to indicate the object of an action denoted or implied by the preceding noun b—used as a function word to indicate the application of a verb or of an adjective 10—used as a function word to indicate a characteristic or distinctive quality or possession 11 a—used as a function word to indicate the position in time of an action or occurrence b: before 12archaic : on — Shakespeare>

D: I wish to use a similar system with punctuation. Typically, a symbol has 3-5 ways to use it. Keep it general if the meaning is clear. If not, use the overt subset specifier. (HIOX-ian spinoff project.)

1. Acceptance of Agreement. You agree to the terms and conditions outlined in this Terms and Conditions of use Agreement ("Agreement") with respect to our site (the "Site"). This Agreement constitutes the entire and only agreement between us and you, and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements, representations, warranties and understandings with respect to the Site, the content, products or services provided by or through the Site, and the subject matter of this Agreement. This Agreement may be amended by us at any time and from time to time without specific notice to you. The latest Agreement will be posted on the Site, and you should review this Agreement prior to using the Site.

D: bwahahaha. You must accept 'agreement' to use this Esperanto site. ROTFL!

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