Author Topic: New English  (Read 6795 times)

Offline Jay

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New English
« on: January 22, 2014, 02:56:44 AM »
I am working on a new form of English which will be compatible with every language on earth.  Where any English word can be formed, we can instead form an ideogram block word instead.

I will post some images soon, but let's see what interest there is first. :)

Offline Corybobory

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Re: New English
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 07:13:33 AM »
I know this is the obvious question, but... why? :)

Is it like 'kanji' for English?  What's wrong with the alphabet system? And how will it be compatible with other languages in a way that it isn't now?
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Offline Daniel

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Re: New English
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 11:40:16 AM »
Quote
I am working on a new form of English which will be compatible with every language on earth.
Then is it still "English"? Do you mean you're working on a new writing system?

A sound-based writing system compatible with every language on earth would be a real challenge, considering the diversity of, for example, languages with click sounds and so many more properties. (The IPA comes close, but it would be awkward to use in everyday life I think.) Efficiency would be lost, because we don't need everything for any specific language.

An iconic system that is intuitive would probably no longer be "English" or even a "human language" in a technical sense. The arbitrariness of language is a defining property.

I'm happy to hear more about your project, but these are some things to think about. Also, you might want to look into the use of standard Chinese orthography (essentially Mandarin) for various other Chinese languages-- deciding in that situation whether it "is in" or "isn't in" a certain language isn't straightforward I don't think. Rather, it's a social notion, where speakers of one language use a system from another, and so forth.
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Offline Jay

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Re: New English
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 01:32:41 AM »
I know this is the obvious question, but... why? :)

Is it like 'kanji' for English?  What's wrong with the alphabet system? And how will it be compatible with other languages in a way that it isn't now?

Yes, something like Kanji for English. :)

There are hundreds of viable languages, mostly all from the same source;  it only makes sense to me that with the advent of digital technology would come a new reunification of all of these languages into a form that can be read by any native speaker with ease.

English is already a mixture of every language.  Only makes sense that the digital age would recombine it with the other major languages into a new, digitally friendly Babel.

Offline Jay

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Re: New English
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 01:38:51 AM »
Quote
I am working on a new form of English which will be compatible with every language on earth.
Then is it still "English"? Do you mean you're working on a new writing system?

A sound-based writing system compatible with every language on earth would be a real challenge, considering the diversity of, for example, languages with click sounds and so many more properties. (The IPA comes close, but it would be awkward to use in everyday life I think.) Efficiency would be lost, because we don't need everything for any specific language.

An iconic system that is intuitive would probably no longer be "English" or even a "human language" in a technical sense. The arbitrariness of language is a defining property.

I'm happy to hear more about your project, but these are some things to think about. Also, you might want to look into the use of standard Chinese orthography (essentially Mandarin) for various other Chinese languages-- deciding in that situation whether it "is in" or "isn't in" a certain language isn't straightforward I don't think. Rather, it's a social notion, where speakers of one language use a system from another, and so forth.

This is the reason I posted this here in the first place.  Wanted to see the level of depth you guys were interested in language and philology.

I think you'll really get a kick out of this project.  I want to gather together intelligent folks like this so that we can make certain decisions about the development of the project.

It's difficult to explain before I show you the prototypes, but there are certain changes/occurrences that I think require a look by the experts.  To give a quick example you might find interesting, this new language form has the ability to readily make use of some deep human lingual psychologics.

For example, the phenomenon that

"a s--tence d--sn't n--d m-st l-tters to be read by the h-m-n m-nd."

I will get a short but thorough writeup going, since documentation was needed anyway.

Nice to meet you by the way.  Jay Costa here. :)

Offline Corybobory

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Re: New English
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 04:39:23 AM »
I hope you can explain to us what kind of problems you are trying to solve - there are often people who try to improve a language or make a universal language, and so far they haven't taken off; I think we need to know first why there is a problem, and then how you are going to solve it.
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Offline Jay

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Re: New English
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 02:41:02 PM »
I hope you can explain to us what kind of problems you are trying to solve - there are often people who try to improve a language or make a universal language, and so far they haven't taken off; I think we need to know first why there is a problem, and then how you are going to solve it.

I wouldn't say so much that it is a serious problem or problems we are trying to solve, but rather, a series of inefficiencies that can be extended.

Keep in mind that language is the seat of consciousness.  Our very perception of the reality around us is situated atop our ability to cognizantly describe and objectify that reality through words.

So on the human level, we are changing/improving/adding to the very way that people will think.  This alters every part of life and society.

Think about the difference between a native English speaker, who thinks in words, and the average Chinese speaker, who thinks in images and pictures.  Imagine mixing these two forms of thought into a single form, and the effect it might have on the intelligence/wisdom of the individual.

That's just one angle from the human perspective.  There is also the artistic nature of Chinese characters which the English language doesn't get to enjoy to the same degree, which New English would help fix.  Over time the artistic rendering of a character will lead to deformities in the shape and meaning of a character, lead to new puns and ideas and other grammatical forms.  Natural evolution of language.

From the computational side of things, optical recognition software can currently do a fairly good job of allowing the computer to "read" text that it sees (ie: from a webcam, or a scanned ebook document).  However, a block structure/pseudo-ideogrammatical format creates consistency between Western and Eastern language forms, allowing a computer to more easily "read" the text due to its geometric nature.

Well, that's all for now, just some food for thought.  I have a bunch of boxes to pack over here (moving out of New Orleans this weekend), so take care, and I'll post some pictures here of the prototypes at some point.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2014, 02:42:33 PM by Jay »

Offline Daniel

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Re: New English
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 02:56:24 PM »
Quote
So on the human level, we are changing/improving/adding to the very way that people will think.  This alters every part of life and society.
This means that something must be lacking at the moment. That's the assumption that we don't understand. And if so, how then will you fix it?

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Think about the difference between a native English speaker, who thinks in words, and the average Chinese speaker, who thinks in images and pictures. 
Those are so huge assumptions! I'm a native speaker of English and I often think in pictures, at least as far as I know. And there's no reason that the very arbitrary (but historically image-based) characters in Chinese would make Chinese speakers/writers more likely to use imagery. Language is arbitrary and it operates at (at least) two levels-- form and meaning. What's amazing about the system is that they are for the most part functionally independent.


Quote
From the computational side of things, optical recognition software can currently do a fairly good job of allowing the computer to "read" text that it sees (ie: from a webcam, or a scanned ebook document).  However, a block structure/pseudo-ideogrammatical format creates consistency between Western and Eastern language forms, allowing a computer to more easily "read" the text due to its geometric nature.
OCR technology isn't all that bad! Sure, you need a good image, but often I can't really make out the letters that the computer can't read. With only 26(+) letters to guess from, the computer can do pretty well. I doubt it's even close to that accurate with Chinese characters.
Geometric patterns certainly can encode information, but how would that help with a bad quality image? Just think about being at the grocery store trying to scan that awful price tag that just won't go!


Quote
Well, that's all for now, just some food for thought.  I have a bunch of boxes to pack over here (moving out of New Orleans this weekend), so take care, and I'll post some pictures here of the prototypes at some point.
Ok, have a good move.

We're still left with my basic question from above:
Quote
Then is it still "English"?
And why?

If your goal was instead to create a universal writing system that is easily accessible to everyone, that would be an interesting (and challenging, perhaps impossible) project. But why start with English then?
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Offline Corybobory

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Re: New English
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 03:59:58 AM »
Think about the difference between a native English speaker, who thinks in words, and the average Chinese speaker, who thinks in images and pictures.

Woah woah woah woah woah.  Woah. Woah.

Give me ONE peer reviewed study that would support this, and I'll continue reading that post.  Until then, yikes.
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Offline Jay

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Re: New English
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2014, 11:30:17 PM »
Think about the difference between a native English speaker, who thinks in words, and the average Chinese speaker, who thinks in images and pictures.

Woah woah woah woah woah.  Woah. Woah.

Give me ONE peer reviewed study that would support this, and I'll continue reading that post.  Until then, yikes.

This will be difficult to accomplish.

Most of my peers are over two millennia old. :)

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JC

Offline Jay

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Re: New English
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2014, 11:41:04 PM »
Quote
From the computational side of things, optical recognition software can currently do a fairly good job of allowing the computer to "read" text that it sees (ie: from a webcam, or a scanned ebook document).  However, a block structure/pseudo-ideogrammatical format creates consistency between Western and Eastern language forms, allowing a computer to more easily "read" the text due to its geometric nature.
OCR technology isn't all that bad! Sure, you need a good image, but often I can't really make out the letters that the computer can't read. With only 26(+) letters to guess from, the computer can do pretty well. I doubt it's even close to that accurate with Chinese characters.
Geometric patterns certainly can encode information, but how would that help with a bad quality image? Just think about being at the grocery store trying to scan that awful price tag that just won't go!


If your goal was instead to create a universal writing system that is easily accessible to everyone, that would be an interesting (and challenging, perhaps impossible) project. But why start with English then?

1. True, if the image/sensory data received is blurry, the data becomes unknown.  I figure that if a person can't figure it out then a computer can't either, unless it's just a numerical crunch.

The human mind has some unique abilities to counter or cope with these "blurry" labels.  When you see something in the distance that your brain can't immediately make out and understand, it attempts to fill in the blanks for you.  If a distant object looks "humanoid", your brain will try to put a face on it, even if it's just a stop sign or other thing.
 
2. English is the BEST and ONLY language suitable for this undertaking.

Why?

English is already the amalgam of PIE.  Taking here and there from every dialect and region since the birth of human language.

You may see historical language as the evolution of Hindi into Greek, German, Latin...

but look at it backwards, from the scope of English's present state, and you will see that it is English that encompasses all of Greek, all of Germanic, all of Latin, and the remnants of the Hindi/Indian origin-tongues.

Not just because it is still extant, either.

Offline jkpate

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Re: New English
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2014, 12:22:45 AM »
but look at it backwards, from the scope of English's present state, and you will see that it is English that encompasses all of Greek, all of Germanic, all of Latin, and the remnants of the Hindi/Indian origin-tongues.

What does it mean for a language to "encompass" another language? Do you just mean that English has borrowed some words from those languages?
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Offline Daniel

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Re: New English
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2014, 01:15:39 AM »
1. So what advantage would your system have?

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2. English is the BEST and ONLY language suitable for this undertaking.
I disagree, see below. But more importantly, what makes it "suitable"? That is, explain to us what a suitable language would be like-- what properties does it need to have, and why? I don't understand yet.

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English is already the amalgam of PIE.  Taking here and there from every dialect and region since the birth of human language.
Severe overgeneralization!!!

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You may see historical language as the evolution of Hindi into Greek, German, Latin...
Huh? Sanskrit evolved into Hindi (and other Indo-Aryan languages), and within IE the groups are separate-- Germanic, Greek, Latin and Sanskrit are all daughters of the same mother. And what about various other languages like Tocharian, Hittite and Slavic? Sure, English is a mix of a few languages, but in that case why not select a creole or other mixed language? I don't follow.

More than that, what's the significance of borrowed vocabulary if you're interested in a writing system!?

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but look at it backwards, from the scope of English's present state, and you will see that it is English that encompasses all of Greek, all of Germanic, all of Latin, and the remnants of the Hindi/Indian origin-tongues.
As jkpate said, what do you mean by this, and why does that matter? How does it "encompass all" of them? Certainly English has been influenced by many languages but it's far from incorporating every feature of each! Far from it.

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Not just because it is still extant, either.
So English from today? 500 years ago? 500 years in the future? I don't see a reason why it's best.
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Offline IronMike

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Re: New English
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 07:31:27 AM »
English is already a mixture of every language.  Only makes sense that the digital age would recombine it with the other major languages into a new, digitally friendly Babel.

Uh, no. I'm no professional linguist, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night that had a nice library filled with wonderful layman's books like Power of Babel. Even if I hadn't read that book years ago, I'd know that English is not "a mixture of every language." 

Language borrowing does not make a language belong to a different family.  The etymology of 99% of the entries in the OED is not Anglo-Saxon, but that doesn't mean English is a Romance language, or that it sprung from Greek. (Never mind that 60-something percent of the words most Americans use are of Anglo-Saxon origin.)  Language is more than just the words.
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Offline Jac_e3

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Re: New English
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2014, 09:08:07 AM »
Well, english does encompass a lot of words. For one becuase it's an international language and every nationality brings a few new words that might or might not stick. Also pidgeon english helps, immigrants and so on...

So... that's what it is...