Sunday, January 24, 2010

sign language - ASL shorthand already done. darn.

D: well it was a good idea. But it's been done.

The Stokoe system has come to be known by the name of its creator William Stokoe, whose groundbreaking work Sign Language Structure first brought the existence of signed languages to the attention of linguists. By using symbols to represent the component parts of American Sign Language, he was able to demonstrate how these parts fit together to form a linguistic structure identical with that of spoken language. The original notation consisted of 55 symbols in three groups, each representing one of the formational parameters of a sign; Location, HandShape, and Movement. They were written in a strict order with meaning dependent on placement within the string. The Location and Movement symbols were iconic while Hand Shape was represented by units taken from the number system and manual alphabet of ASL. Attached subscripts showed Orientation, later to be recognized as a separate parameter by researchers throughout the world who followed up on Stokoe's original work, to found the new discipline of Sign Language Linguistics. Various research teams made changes in the notation as they adapted it to their own situations, with no commonly accepted standard ever developing. Hence, the system should no longer be viewed as one single notation but as a whole family of related systems.

Unicode ASCII Stokoe** Description
Ø 0 Q neutral location
⩇ Q h face, or whole head (symbol is superimposed ᴖ and ᴗ)
∩ P u forehead, brow, or upper face

A fist (as ASL 'a', 's', or 't')
B flat hand (as ASL 'b' or '4')
5 spread hand (as ASL '5')

Movement (sig) Orientation (dez)
Unicode ASCII Stokoe* Description Unicode ASCII Stokoe* Description
Dʌ D^ D^ moving upward Dʌ ^D D^ facing or pointing upward
Dv Dv Dv moving downward Dv vD Dv facing or pointing downward

Unicode ASCII* Description
B̲ A B A (underline) A under B
B̅ A B A (overline) A over B
BˡB B|B B next to B

D: not quite what I had in mind. I had planned to use to standard Qwerty keyboard symbols.

Decimese insights.

I have 3 tiers in mind.
I just haven's figured out implementation.
I think it will only work for certain combinations, perhaps the most common ones, or most basic concepts.
E.g. "big" -size, more.
I take 2 particles of particular syllable format denoting particular grammatical elements containing certain info types.
I cram them into the basic CVn Decimese word format. The particles become consonant clusters and vowel diphthongs.
... Here is where I get into trouble with the scheme. The H can just disappear, and be implied.
But I end up with THREE vowels. First of all, not all TWO vowel combinations will form useful diphthongs.
Second, I need some rules to get THREE vowels denoted in a 2-part diphthong.
The first important step is careful planning during phonotactics and grammar generation.
I need
1) TWO vowels to form a useful diphthong
2) a way to transform 1) in the event of a THIRD vowel.
My brain hurts...
The obvious solution, or two, would be
1) vowel gemination in the event of an idential vowel. Not really a diphthong - a doubled vowel.
Exactly what I criticized Esp-o for, LOL! Di-in-o. Diino. Um, goddess.
2) only partially compressing 3 discrete words. Attach the second consonant from a word particle to the main word. But keep the HV particle intact, and dipthong it.
This is bound to get complex in a hurry. Good thing this scheme is strictly optional.

I will use a BS example. CV CV CVn.
One CV particle is format H plus vowel.
One is (one of voiced/voiceless consonant pairs) plus vowel.
One is (") plus vowel plus nasal consonant word-final.
For the example, we'll suggest

The basic pidgin form is identical.

The intermediate Mandarin form would fold the HA into the SUM.
Any time a diphthong appears in the core root of the main word (noun, adjective, verb, or adverb, depending on word order and nasal final), then the H is implied but absent. So HA plus SUM would be SUAM. Total - LO SUAM.

The advanced English form would fold BOTH particles into the SUM.
S-L-U-A-M. What of the O? LOL. I don't know yet.
By restricting myself to a subset of existing vowels for likely complex-syllable candidates, I can ensure this quandary does not happen. When it does, we revert to intermediate Mandarin form.

If we had two H elements, for example LO HA HI SUM, we *could* incorporate one H vowel into the other H element.
For example, HA and HI would form HAI, and denote a hybrid subcategory concept.
For example, that passage could become HAI SLUOM.
A root word with multiple syllables - which will be common for detailed words in a taxonomic or even compounding language- provides multiple syllables to hide H* words in.
With SUZABUM, we have 3 syllables to hide particles in.
If vowel gemination is undesirable, then we must plan to "tonal sandhi" rules of a sort to express it alternately.
Like I said, I suspect this 'compacting' trick will only be practical for certain types of concepts.
Of course, H* syllable particles can be embedded intact in the main word.
For example, HI SUZABUM.
We have:
1) Hizuzabum (the S becomes Z mid-word now). I suspect this is identical to the above particle.
2) Su-hi-zabum.
3) Suza-hi-bum.
4) Suzabu-him.
You see how we have many opportunities for nuanced meaning by varying position.
A handful of parsing rules will dictate how this affects meaning.
The word nasal consonant ending dicatates word grammatical category, combined with word order.
Adjective-noun adverb-verb.
For nouns, I intend for the H* placed mid-word to denote compound nouns. It indicates the preposition which indicates the relation between these two parts, and effectively forms the definition.
Keep in mind that by dropping the H and using the remaining vowel as a diphthong mid-word, we effectively have tweaked the English system.
Spaceman. Man in for space? Man FROM space?

I still need to hash out the details. I think the H embedded in a verb will explicitly indicate transitive/ the presence of recursive nestled phrases/clauses.
The dog sits. The dog carries a bone. The dog moved the bone from its kennel to the lawn.

Noun: one who (verbs). Run. Runner. -ness essence. Happy? Happiness. The one who is happy.
Noun-verb hybrids will be odd but useful. The one who is made to be happy. Becomes happy. Makes (other) happy.

English verbs have um 28 different possible forms. Point (jumped - once). Continuous (jumping, continuous).
Just did. About to. And so on.

My design becomes much more difficult once I decide that word particles should have carefully planned rules to be embedded in the form of complex syllbables in the main words.
Ultimately it will be very rewarding. Right now it is just a pain.
Fun ambiguous sentence.
"He liked exciting women."
The funny thing is this leads into a discussion of 'deep structure'. <:

The more I thought about it, the more interesting it was.
He liked TO EXCITE women.
We need to switch to infinitive with a preposition to clarify.
English does NOT use word order ideally.
Adjective noun verb adverb...
As opposed to adjective noun adverb verb...
He excite liked women.
He liked/ exciting-women.
The more I looked at it, the more confusing it became.
-ing is a verb ending. AND an adjective.
Word order is of no help.
Bad implementation...

Aside - I remain intrigued by a "language13/language53" dual implementation.
By that, I mean a Decimese dual approach
1) adults learn pidgin version. Word particles, simple syllables.
2) kids learn the above-the-advanced version.
The language can be 'unpacked' by kids for us slow old farts LOL.
So instead of taking 100 years to implement Lang53 for 100% of the population, we have 100/0 for adult/kid versions to start.
Assuming a highly unlikely universal implementation, in a generation, everybody 20ish knows the full version.
Many older adults don't wish to learn.
But much sooner than LangX's scheme, we have a high level of saturation - at least of the 'lite' version.

Planning for a 2-way compatible system between Lang13 and Lang53 Decimese implementation is daunting!!!

Haha. 2 years into this Decimese project and I'm just nailing down phonotactics!
Oh that is comedy.
Dunno why it'd be easier...
Good thing I have a lifetime.

A more advanced form, one not for the faint of heart, could pull a "language 53" routine.
I.e. incorporate features not intended in the initial distrubution for adult learners.
Ones only likely of use to childhood speakers.
For example, 2 A's could result in A vowel gemination. This could even be combined with a vowel diphthong.
Tone et al.

1 comment:

Dino Snider said...

RE: 2) Su-hi-zabum.
3) Suza-hi-bum.
D: The mid-word H in a noun would denote the nature of the compound concept.
So in 2), Su would be a basic concept, while -zabu- would be a more nuanced one.
Conversely in 3), Suza- would be the more nuanced concept, while bu- would be a basic one.
For a compound noun, the H* mid-word serves a useful purpose beyond this. Because we lose the, say, -N ending for nouns for the first part of the compound noun, we can use a way to denote grammatical details. Jumpman. Jumpy? Adjective. Jumpily (makes no sense - verb territory). Jumping/one who jumps. With H*, we have AIEOU to denote details. This resembles Esp-o's Mangcambro. If we don't attached word particle vowels to this embedded -H*- syllable, then we can also denote nuance with a diphthong. E.g. -ha- could be -hai-. A subset meaning or second category for the above compound noun. A series of 2 H* word particles could be compacted in this fashion without ambiguity. E.g. HA HI ...-hai- midword.