Thursday, January 21, 2010

self-made signing deaf kids show inherent grammar

D: The concept of "subject" spontaneously manifests.

Using their home sign, they explained what they had seen. All three home signers consistently used the grammatical construction of "subject" in the same form it is used throughout languages around the world.
The concept of "subject" is ubiquitous in language, but is complex and difficult to define. Language assigns concepts to symbols, but does so imperfectly--a noun is usually an object, but certainly not always, as the noun "liberty" demonstrates.

Despite having to essentially design their own languages without influence from any other speakers or signers of an established language, the home signers created a complex grammatical component and used it in the same way highly evolved languages do. That the idea of "subject" exists in these individuals and is used in the same manner, strongly suggests that this basic and somewhat arbitrary property of language is an innate tendency in humans as they develop any communication system.

D: the idea of humans as 'blank slates' is just not credible.

D: the implication is that an aux-lang should not be designed too different that natural language default settings.
Particularly pidgins.

D: I'm reading the ABCs of Phonology right now. Crud, the web is NOT like a decent book! All that IPA chart stuff on consonants and phonemes.... and I never once saw Chomsky's generative-theory phonology system.
15 aspects with a +/- setting to define English sounds, 25 for the world.
A 'broad transcription' version of HIOXian has no need to show more elements than are needed to differentiate it for a certain language. Even though the above system has a hierarchal layout, if only one phoneme could be identified and sounded out by a certain language background user, the rest of the information earlier one would remain superfluous.
This is my attempt to start shaping the figure for easy cursive writing.

There is a nice observation - a person whose language already uses an element will be able to apply that element to learn related but new phonemes.
In theory, a fairly limited set of phonemes -IF they are the right ones - could provide the basis to fairly easily learn all others.

LOL. I could not even figure out how to made the KP dual sound after three tries.

If I include all English dialects for diphthongs/ long vowels, I end up with a fairly close match to Mandarin.

I don't wish to make the HIOXian letter abstract. If I did, then mapping Chomsky's phonology onto it would be a simple matter.
The HIOX has 16 segments. The diacritic has 7. That's 23. An 'underline' option of 2 bar segments would make 25.
But that would be abstract. NOT easy.

The ABCs book has a chapter on designed languages. A list of pet peeves included:
1) too hard
2) too limited
3) not based on latest insights into nature of language and our brains.

I'm finding that my English bias means I'm really just mapping my preconceptions onto Decimese.
Wanna have concepts link to various grammatical elements.
In theory, a particular user could add modules (particles) to flesh out minimalist meaning.
Would like overt indicators of # of arguments a verb takes (1,2,3).
Varying preposition position could allow them to serve double duty, much like that and as do in English.
The important thing is that a particle's class of word in a particular position/order is clearly only ONE thing.
These optional particles would amount to optional agreement. Optional...
Optional for detail, and optional for agreement.

The taxonomic aspect is in the core workhorse words. The vowels provide a natural 0-4 theme. It works well for prepositions, other grammatical elements derived from them, and space dimensions/ properties.
Or any short list.
The main consonants provide an good spread of 6-7 items.
Diphthongs can be used to cram subsets of ideas into the vowel space without an extra particle or syllable.
The H* syllable is turning out to be central.
What it does depends on whether it is a particle, word-syllable-initial, mid or end.
I do know that mid-noun, it is always gonna be a preposition denoting more nuance than English allows.
Spaceman. Man-for-space. Man-in-space. Man-from-space? Et al. With diphthongs, a whole lotta potential details.
The concept of single, dual and plural is also finding use in multiple grammar classes.
The main HA, HE, HI... concepts of prepositions are shaping up like Somalian. I'll be using overt space/time indicators for those concepts. Diphthongs allow the usual detail we're used to, if need be.
Diphthongs are being used to extend short # spans. I.e. element 1 and 4 not 2 and 3 or any variation. Advanced pronouns like we-not-you, as well as many others. Really, a whole lotta stuff like that. Overlap in verb tenses. Past and present. Past to just before. I even managed to capture "the once and future king"- while not present! Very short, powerful, nuanced.
Actually, I only have a handful of slight variations of core concepts, all endlessly recycled.
Standard vocabulary items can be done by somebody else!!! This will be hard enough...

1 comment:

Dino Snider said...

Hmm. Denoting an inherent 'preposition' in a compound noun with a diphthong in the first 1/2 would be even briefer. Meaning something different than when in the last syllable that terminates in a nasal consonant. I'm hashing out a diacritic system that visually shows word start/mid/final consonants in an intuitive fashion, as well as timing. (HIOXian) And an IPA-esque 'deep transcription' style that uses a second higher square of simpler design for extra information.