Wednesday, February 3, 2010

brain treats living things discretely. generative grammar.

D: a language should be as closely aligned to how humans think as possible.
This way, the language ought to feel as natural as possible.

For unknown reasons, the human brain distinctly separates the handling of images of living things from images of non-living things, processing each image type in a different area of the brain. For years, many scientists have assumed the brain segregated visual information in this manner to optimize processing the images themselves, but new research shows that even in people who have been blind since birth the brain still separates the concepts of living and non-living objects.

D: Some verbs can only be linked to a subject- actor - who can implement that action.
These are the 'do' verbs versus the 'be' verbs.
The 'be' verbs are part of the "verbals", which also include qualities of adjectives.


D: the nonsensical sentence examples point out that we all know these categories subconsciously.

Athens kicked the pan.
Honesty bit the baby.
George is the capital of France.

Some nouns are "animated". They are able to implement actions.
Our grammar makes particular note of humans too. Or at least personification.

The man which/who killed the doctor was young.
Human? Who/whom.
The WH- query "who" is of a similar type.


I'd like to portray human-ness or personification as an optional subset.

I looked at such a simple phrase as "ladies and gentlemen". It is surprisingly complex to portray with a series of subcategories!
Woman (prestige) (plural) and man (prestige)(plural).
But woman is (human)(adult)(female).
So we have (human/adult/female/prestige/plural) and the same for male.

English suffers from some lack of brevity. I suppose we could use an Esp-o style "ge-" concept for both genders.
Ladies and gentlemen is collectively (nongendered/adult/human/prestige).
I guess we could say "esteemed adults". It sounds awkward though.

Human-ness/personification overlaps heavily with the generative grammar concept of an "animated"-aspect noun.
The option to explicitly indicate this can function as "training wheels" to indicate the nature of relationships between sentence parts. It could indicate whether a verb is transitive or intransitive, for example.

# naming convention.

I was not happy at all with #s named after P/B, T/D et al.
Since B could not begin a word, I had the awkward convention of adding a 'filler syllable' like HA- in front.
E.g. 1 2 3 could be pa haba ta.
I wished to keep the #s down to a simple CV syllable form. This should make doing math in one's head easier, according to Asian number names and "The Outliers".
Well I found the solution of the vowels AEIOU serving to express 0,1,2,3 dimensions and then 1 dimension of time.
I simply applied these concepts to the unpaired (not voiced/voiceless counterparts) consonants first. Then just the voiceless word-initial consonants of each of those pairs.
We end up with H, LRWY, P(but not B), T, F... et al.
0,1,2,3,4,5 would then be HA,LA, RA, WA, YA.
So the special 1 H and 4 LRWY consonants are assigned to special duty.
Essentially I have cross-mapped the special 0 to 4 setup of the vowels optionally onto consonants as required.
I'd like to reserve the the 7th voiceless half of the final consonant pair for the concept 1000.
This makes metric prefixes like kilo, mega, et al easy and terse to express.

A recycling of this 1 to 5 scale allow for a series of simple variations to express many common concepts.
Comparative - more/less. Superlative - most/least.
Evaluative, too, far too, not enough, not nearly enough.

I hope word order and syntax allows clear dual use of common syllables of CV form.
If a # or letter name is nonsensical in a sentence position, then that # or letter name can stand in for a concept.

The word form VCV *is* clear - but only after a nasal final consonant. Witness:
...MABIT... this can only be ...M ABI T... -M is the preceding word's final consonant and must denote adjective/adverb.
T- must be the word-initial voiceless consonant. Ergo, assuming we do not allow a V syllable construction, this is clear. For that matter, the A-B means that the B MUST be word-mid and not word-initial or else it would be P instead.
Since we are not counting on other language traditions hearing the voiced/voiceless difference, we must necessarily consider ABI and A PI to be identical for meaning. The V followed by CV as a word particle or second syllable is only possible if no other interpretation is possible. Otherwise, the BI may be confused with word-initial PI-, and the T may be confused with word-mid D.

The potential to express a vast swath of meaning via V + CV word form is worth pursuing in depth.
Particularly since the CV is the # and letter (plus variations) naming convention.

If I relegate the 0-4 space dimensions plus time to only the 5 unusual word-initial single consonants, this would in turn free up the vowel series for some other purpose. I am eying a Somalian preposition system as the logical place to look.

Wish me luck!

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