Friday, December 4, 2009

A summary of Decimese design principles.

D: I summarized this for an e-mail to my sister.
I hope she has the good sense to delete these rants I write after too much coffee. [=

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog, I hope to make both a new world language and writing system.

The hypothetical reason is
- United Nations will be 100 in 2045
- League of Nations nearly adopted Esperanto
- but didn't
- maybe (???) there will be some enthusiasm for a world language by then
- English is hard for much of the world to learn
- English dominance is waning
- The Mandarin Chinese language is waxing - rising
- Mandarin Chinese is difficult for, well, most of the world
- a logical solution now and then is a compromise language easy for both English and Chinese speakers.

... Decimese!

Language alphabet stuff will cost few hundred. Need texts to figure out damn font editor program.
Silvia is rebuilding my PC on the weekend so I can start playing with it at least.
My letters should be first cuz IF (if) the Language X Institute (check 'em out) adopts it as their proposed standard for a world language, then I have skilled and influential professional backers.
There is a nice documentary out there called the History of English- enjoyable.
After lunch with Fotini, I'll complete the first installment of Decimese. I.e. the closed class function words.
The stages are
1) study all repeating themes in basic vocabulary words. E.g. I, you, he, it - singular vs plural. Et al.
2) then reassemble them - just use chart at first to show all variables. E..g They - out/far (space terms), plural(math term), pronoun indicator (grammatical).
3) then condense using a compression cypher. I.e. use of consonant clusters and vowel diphthongs to repack into something about the same size as a standard pronoun.
Kiph's law - rule really- says common words will also be smaller, more brief.
It is right annoying when they are not.
If I invest the time and energy in keeping the 'mortar words' small, then the size of the 'brick' words- lexicon - will not matter so much. I intend to use a large number of basic concepts, and then heavily use compounding, complete with some compressed prepositions to indicate relationships.
I don't believe in smaller bricks than that. Too few basic vocabulary items, and meanings are too
vague and ambiguous.
Sure, more single-vocabulary (complex syllable structure) items makes for brevity.
But it results in more lexicon being brute-force memorized. I for one have a poor memory.
For example, P-I E protolanguage has a term for marriage. It is give-heart.
Marry-age. Fusion, agglutination - it has become less obvious. Bad example I guess.
I consider use of complex sylllable structures to generate more core vocabulary to be a trap, a dead end.
Painting into a corner. If we reserve consonant clusters/vowel diphthongs for some trans-word
generic meanings, then we can apply a handful of rules repeatedly to compact words.
I am trying to mitigate the weakness of my hybrid taxonomic language approach.
Part taxonomic, part word-compounding for vocabulary.
I have no dogmatic adherence to either system. Fork or spoon? Spork! <:

By backing up one additional step beyond other aux-langers, my language design should
be innnovative, interesting and perhaps more flexible.
Other than a few common examples, I have no desire to generate much standard vocabulary.
I wish to use a Lojban/Linux approach. Let a community of online enthusiasts devote their energy.
So long as they are guided by the language design principles, it should work out OK. ...

D: plus the HIOXian letter system. Not really an 'alphabet' per se.
Optimized for Decimese's phonemes, but it can be adapted to anything the IPA can express. And should do so much more clearly and methodically! Without the need for multiple letters the Americans use with the Roman Alphabet in lieu of IPA's symbols.
Optimized for computer monitors and good visual clarity. A 1:1 letter/phoneme relationship. Starting fresh with a new letter system, to avoid confusion with existing sound/letters.
IPA contains many 'false cognates' of a sort.

OK here is my promise: I'll summarize all variables in the 300 or so words in English's closed class function words by year's end. This is my 97th blog. I'll make that this year's final- 100th - blog entry. There.


Brian Barker said...

As a native English speaker, I would prefer Esperanto as the future global language :)

Communciation should be for everyone, not just for an educational or political elite; that is how English is used at the moment.

Your readers may be interested in Dr Kvasnak teaches English at Florida Atlantic University.

A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

Dino Snider said...

Hmm. I've been using the idea of alchemy and reducing words to their 'essential salts'.
Actually, what I'm doing is one stage past that.
Take table salt: NaCl. Na and Cl. Well I tease apart the salts into component atoms. By going into the common themes in definitions - the 'essential properties', to borrow a term from Ayn Rand.
An arbitrary word for the pronoun 'we' is a salt- molecular. But indicating that it is 1st person/plural, though in more math/space terms would be building it from its atomic constituents.
Sorry about not using quotation marks- too lazy LOL.