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Linguist's Lounge / WHATS A WORD FOR THIS SITUATION??
« Last post by sammybarker on November 26, 2017, 01:13:04 AM »
Ok, lets say, for example, you were at a birthday party and the host put her dog in the bedroom for the duration of the party. You could say she “banished” the dog to the bedroom, or she “exiled” the dog to the bedroom. However these two words aren’t the words I am looking for. The word I am thinking of is a verb. I just can’t seem to figure it out!

Thanks!
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by Daniel on November 25, 2017, 12:10:20 PM »
That was a metaphor, of course. What I am saying is clear: he is interested in and aware of general theories in Linguistics. You do not seem to be.

Compare this to learning mathematics: he seems to be trying to understand how math works (and potentially make a contribution) while you are just saying "math is stupid! I don't believe in numbers!" It's tiring, and pointless.

Even if FlatAssembler is wrong, that's like getting a math problem on homework wrong. That is: at least he's trying to learn, and he is doing it within the normal methodology of linguistics. Maybe right, maybe wrong.

Overall, you're mixing up two things:
1) Whether or not FlatAssembler is correct.
2) Whether general theories in linguistics are valid.

If FlatAssembler makes a mistake, that does not mean Proto-Indo-European is an invalid hypothesis.

It is incredibly frustrating and repetitive trying to explain this to you. We have both clearly wasted enough time on the conversation. If you say "I don't believe in numbers", then I'll tell you: "Then don't do math." And that's where things seem to be about Linguistics.

FlatAssembler is doing Linguistics. (Maybe right, maybe wrong.) You are not.

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Social sciences don't appear to be real sciences. Trusting the mainstream social sciences has brought us things such as socialism and communism. Seems to me that I am better off thinking with my own head than trusting you guys.
Nonsense, but OK. Yes, please, go away.
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by LinguistSkeptic on November 25, 2017, 09:58:05 AM »
How do you mean FlatAssembler is enrolled in a class? He is an amateur who's not willing to learn why his theories may be wrong. When he faces some opposition, he runs away from the forum and makes some ugly website about his ideas.

And why do you keep insisting that the Proto-Indo-European hypothesis has the same scientific value as the theory of evolution? Social sciences don't appear to be real sciences. Trusting the mainstream social sciences has brought us things such as socialism and communism. Seems to me that I am better off thinking with my own head than trusting you guys.
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Linguist's Lounge / Re: So I've created a very functional language with only 32 words,
« Last post by panini on November 24, 2017, 11:42:31 AM »
There is a fundamental problem that you are saying things that, as a linguist, I cannot make sense of, because you're using words that have specific meanings in linguistics (though even sometimes outside of linguistics), and you are apparently using them in a technical way that we can't understand. This is what makes it extremely difficult for linguists to explain to others what we do (sociologists have the same problem), since others don't understand our words. "Sophistication" is not a technical linguistic term, so I can't understand what you're saying about level of sophistication without an explanation of the concepts and its relevance to grammar. A first step is to say that the concept relates to the number of elements in a syllable (we would never talk of "a" being a "less sophisticated" syllable than "flaf", but now I see that you've redefined "sophistication"). You say that "level of sophistication is about "how many parts it has", but your explanation is not consistent with that, because you also say that the first "level" is the vowel and the second is the initial consonant, and yet you are talking about single elements in both cases. So I conjecture that you don't mean "how many parts", you mean "which part", where the nucleus is most basic, then onset, then coda. And finally you talk of "the vowel modifier" – I have no idea what that is, but if it means "an additional vowel", then it's not even clear that you are using "syllable" in the standard linguistic way, and perhaps you really mean "foot".

I suggest that when you present the structure of this language, you should start with a factual statement of what the directly perceptible elements are – the things that people can directly experience. That would either be the use of letters, or the use of sounds. People cannot directly experience a meaning or a grand design plan for a language. They can experience a sound. Which brings us to your question:
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As for the second bit, it was a little unclear to me what exactly you meant when you started talking about all those other notations, so I'll just do what else you asked, and go into full detail how a sentence would be derived.
I'm going to assume that even if you haven't thought of language in such terms, you can at least understand the mathematical underpinnings of natural language. At the most basic level, any utterance is a string of units – "sounds". The set of sounds employed is determined by the language. Hawaiian has 13 sounds – /p t ʔ m n w h l a e i o u/. The word [honu] 'turtle' is one such word, [hoku] 'night of the full moon' is another. Any word of Hawaiian can be described as some permutation of the 13 sounds, so there are mathematically 13 possible 1-sound words and 169 possible 2-sound words. As it happens, there are also rules defining possible words where "p" is not actually a possible word, nor is "um", so you get a subset of the possible sound permutations being words. There there are theoretically possible sound combinations that simply are not words of the language (I don't know Hawaiian so I can't make up an example).

Natural language is organized around the notion of economy of elements, so that if "p" is a sound in the language, you use "p" in a lot of words. There may be exceptions (e.g. "p" exists in some dialects of Arabic in only a handful of words; ʍ in English is used very infrequently, and not at all by some speakers), but the general pattern is that if you have a sound r, you can use it widely consistent with general distributional rules.

In your system, you seem to have 30 sounds: [a b d ð ə ɛ f g h i j l m n o p r ʀ ɾ s ʃ t u v w z ʒ γ θ χ] (I'm interpolating to IPA based on typical SAMPA-like spellings and your descriptions) – 6 vowels and 24 consonants. If we define two simple rule for possible syllables (every syllable must have a vowel; syllables may have at most CV, which is more restrictive than your actual language), then there are 150 possible one-syllable words given this inventory. But you only have 32 words – the use of sounds in the language is inefficient, and you could eliminate many of those sounds. In addition, it is clear that your language allows much more complicated syllables than just CV: for every additional consonant that you can add, multiply the number by 24. That is, the fewer limits there are on permutation of elements, the fewer elements are needed. If you want to have 32 syllables, you only need 5 positions and 2 elements; or, you can trade in positions for elements (if you have 3 elements you only need 4 positions, with 4 elements you need just 3 positions, etc). I was offering you a way to reduce the number of basic elements, since you only want 2^5 syllables.

Now, the fundamental question for your language project is, why would it be desirable to have a language with only 32 "words"? The unspoken answer is that, given a system of rules, you can express an infinity of concepts using very few resources – the language would be very efficient. The problem is that Truespeak is very inefficient: it uses way too many basic elements, given the basic rules of combination.

This point is aimed at the "why" issue – why would you build a language like this? I still do not understand what the rules of the grammar actually are, especially since you severely restrict meaning-units to just 32 things. This is completely contrary to the nature of natural language, where any functional organization of existence can be efficiently expressed as a single conventional sign, made up of a few conventional units.
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Linguist's Lounge / Re: So I've created a very functional language with only 32 words,
« Last post by Daniel on November 24, 2017, 05:01:13 AM »
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I would like to point out that I never said that just using the name of the animal was wrong, just that it would be less clear to some people.
It is unclear if you don't know the word. It is clear if you do. If you always circumlocute rather than name, you will never be entirely clear although you will be somewhat clear. If someone doesn't know the word "tree", then saying "tall green things" is better than nothing, but simply teaching them the word "tree" is much more effective in the end.

The thing is, we learn words for things we talk about, so there is no inefficiency. Memorizing the whole dictionary would probably be a waste of time, but learning words for things we talk about is useful. If you don't know what a "gerenuk" is, then you don't need a word for it. But once you know what it is, having the word is useful.

Theories about cognition and categorization would suggest that having words is useful. Some have even claimed that knowing a word as a label allows us to create a cognitive category. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it's certainly useful and helps us understand specific concepts clearly.

As for the circumlocution being optional, that again reminds me of Ithkuil as I linked above. So the idea is not new at all, and you might find that comparison relevant. Maybe Ithkuil is what you're looking for, after all.

But I'm not sure how useful it is to have this sort of highly analytical speech, even optionally. In English it is very easy to say "tall green things" instead of "trees", if we want to. We circumlocute (and describe) all the time. It isn't quite as short/systematic as what you have suggested, but that also isn't necessary, because we replace indirect references to common concepts with specific words. So we don't say "tall green things" specifically because we would prefer the more efficient "trees" when we talk about them a lot.
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Historical Linguistics / Middle English verb inflections
« Last post by Rodion Raskolnikov on November 24, 2017, 04:09:24 AM »
Hi guys,
I am currently writing about the loss of verb inflections in English between 1150 and 1750.
I allredy found a great deal of literature about the present tense conjugation but... not a bit about past tense conjugation.
Can anybody recommend something???
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Quote
Well, first, the matter about the Gerenuk is that though we can just say "ge're'nyu(o)k", it would be less clear as to what we mean. If we wanted to ensure that we knew very well what we were talking about, we'd use the longer term.
That's a contradiction. The word "gerenuk" is the most efficient way to refer to that animal. It's a name. Names are useful. That's why languages have names. Your alternative is to describe it. So you are making a way for speakers to analyze everything they say, but by setting it up that way, they can never refer directly to something. So instead of saying "dog", they will always have to say "friendly fluffy home animal" or whatever. Imagine if every time we spoke we had to describe things rather than naming them. That's simply not efficient. In one sense, it would be precise, in terms of description, but in terms of reference, it would never be entirely clear what we are talking about.

Languages don't "evolve" in the biological sense, but they definitely do change to fit communicative needs. There's a reason why natural languages don't do this. It isn't efficient or clear. It is interesting philosophically, but that's not the same as effective communication.

I would like to point out that I never said that just using the name of the animal was wrong, just that it would be less clear to some people. But, well, I guess that's just stating the obvious. It's true about English, too, if I just said "I saw a Gerenuk." to someone who didn't ever hear about it, it would make just as little sense in English as any other language.

One of the things about this language, as I've said before, is that everyone can choose their own way to speak, and that anyone could understand them with a little attention. This also happens in English, to a far smaller extent, with different vocabularies changing from person to person. The difference here is that with Truespeak, the difference isn't subtle, but rather very significant, almost like a fingerprint. While it is true that you might not be understood by everyone when using tons of loanwords and context-specific terms, what you're saying is still grammatically correct. That's probably the best thing about this language, and why I made it in the first place.

Heck, the way it functions, practically every single possible combination of phonetic sounds has a specific meaning in the language! This way, you could be just driveling gibberish, and yet it would still have meaning in Truespeak.
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You say that [rar] is “animal”; the only two particles beginning with r are 00001 rezy and 00101 Rhenzhwy. And even then, none of the words you gave for animals contain rar. Your word for “I” (dhil) begins with “dh”, and the only particle that begins with “dh” is 01101 dhiindhwo. So again, we cannot figure out the interpretation of your symbolology.

You say that “each different particle is pronounced differently depending on its place in a syllable”, without telling us how syllables are formed in the language (what are the possible “places” in a syllable?) . You also say that for 00001, “the IPA for the four first levels of sophistication would be: r/e/z/-ɪ”: what are “levels of sophistication”? Does that relate to syllables, or does that mean that there is an additional variable, “sophistication”, and you have to determine how sophisticated a word is to know how to pronounce it?

I suggest that you give an explicit account of how to reduce a couple of simple sentences to your primitives: “I see the dog” and “He bought the knife”. That means providing the phonetic form, giving it an analysis in terms of the 32 elements, plus explaining the rules for assigning level of sophistication and syllabification, not to mention order of elements (if order is distinctive). You mash the particles together without spaces in some cases but use spaces in some instances, which suggests that the 32 elements are actually not words, they are morphemes (which are combined without spaces); and then, the resulting words can also be combined into sentences (by some system of rules, so that dhil dhwo(o)lk'znv gzyawrk'tholk'bwaylsh'kumth'rar is how you say “I looked at a car”, rather than dhwo(o)lk'znv dhil gzyawrk'tholk'bwaylsh'kumth'rar or gzyawrk'tholk'bwaylsh'kumth'rar dhil dhwo(o)lk'znv). You are using space as an additional higher-order organizing element. You could economize further by adding “:” as a high-order element, so that the first 16 elements could be “bare” and the second 16 could be one of the first 16 preceded by “:”. But you can do that again, by introducing “!” as an element, then you would only need 8 basic elements, and use combinations of these higher-order elements to expand that to 32. As you can guess, 8 becomes 4 becomes 2 with the addition of only two more high-order elements (let’s say “|” and “^”).

I'm unsure whether or not I explained this properly, seeing I clearly didn't manage to get some of the points across. I'll try to explain differently.\

In this language, the first thing I'll explain is the idea of the system. Think of this as a sentence in English. In it, I can have different structures, which you can think of as what words are in English. In terms of their order, and the way they interact, there are no direct grammatical rules, and whichever order you use is fine. Of course, certain orders can imply certain things to certain people, so it's not entirely without meaning. For the sentence you discussed, "I look-at car", also "I car look-at" and so on would be acceptable (and in fact, depending on how specific you wanted to be, you could just simply it to "look-at car").

Now, while we are more or less settled on how meaning is derived from structures, there seems to be some confusion about the way syllables work, so I'll try to clarify that.

The "levels of sophistication" in a syllable are simply how many parts it has, the first four of which are, in order, the vowel (the ar in "rar"), the consonant in the beginning (the first r in "rar") ((when both the first and the second levels are present (the vowel and the consonant), the second (the consonant) is considered first)), the finishing consonant (there is none in rar), and finally, the vowel modifier (I've also added an explanation of the fifth in another topic). Now, while it is true that the particles 00001 and 10110 appear in that order in the syllable "rar", they can also appear in other ways, within larger syllables. For example, the syllable "bemf" consists of the particles 00011, 00001 and 10110 in that order. Since they appear as different parts of the syllable in "bemf", you won't see "rar" anywhere.

Another thing worth pointing out is that the consonant in 00101 does not "contain" r, as it is a different sound, "rh" (this is the non-western r in langauges such as Hebrew).

Yet another thing worth pointing out is that the way we separate the particles into syllables does not directly affect the definition of the word, but does have different implications. (For example, "maldh" and "mal'iin" mean the same thing, but generally, "maldh" is more sophisticated).

As for the second bit, it was a little unclear to me what exactly you meant when you started talking about all those other notations, so I'll just do what else you asked, and go into full detail how a sentence would be derived.

Let's try to translate the sentence "I have a car.".

First, what are we basically saying here? Just saying "My car." conveys just what we're trying to convey, so we'll use that.

Now, we'll separate and simplify the sentence to be expressible using simple combinations of particles.

How about "My machine of movement."? This step is really up to the speaker, since many possibilities are "correct".

Now, for the individual pieces. "My", or in simpler form, "Me's", can take a number of forms, but the briefest and most efficient I can think of now is "01101-10001" (the particle for self followed by the particle for possession). This can be pronounced in a number of ways (by separating the syllables differently), but the most most straightforward is "dhel".

As for "machine", this one is actually quite simple. Since the particle for the number five also implies industrialism and machinery, combining it with the empty variable particle (explained in OP) will result in "machine". Hence, and using the simple syllable-separation as above, "tshin" means machine.

Finally, "of movement". "Of" is a particle of its own, so all we have left is "movement". This one is just a little bit trickier, since there are many, many ways to say it. My favourite happens to be "bwaylsh", which means "chaos of (location)", when "location" is directly derived from the particles 00100 and 00101 in that order ("specific range").

We then get the full structure "dhel'tshin'al'bwaylsh", which means just what we want it to mean; "My car.", implying "I have a car.".

Now, since the way we handle syllables don't directly change the definition, we can reorganise those precise particles, in the same order, into:

"dhelmth'thalb'psnzh", a three-syllable word meaning "I have a car." (another reorganisation is "dhel'tshinmp'bwaylsh").


Hope this helps explain.
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Linguist's Lounge / Re: Differences in monolingual and bilingual people
« Last post by Ritter on November 23, 2017, 05:13:56 AM »
As a child of immigrants from two different countries born in Sweden, I cannot really say I had any trouble learning Swedish despite not speaking it at home.

Observing friends and relatives, what often happens is that second generation immigrants become lacking in their parents' tongue and not in the one that is official where they were born.

Born and raised in Sweden, I obviously hear and use Swedish more than ny parents' languages and I cannot remember ever confusing one language for the other. However, as many other second gen imnigrants, I have to mix in Swedish words when speaking to my parents because I am not completely fluent.

Only difference I ever noticed between me and monolinguals is that I find it easier to learn new languages, to imitate them and to notice patterns and rules.
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Linguist's Lounge / Re: So I've created a very functional language with only 32 words,
« Last post by Daniel on November 22, 2017, 09:05:32 PM »
Quote
Well, first, the matter about the Gerenuk is that though we can just say "ge're'nyu(o)k", it would be less clear as to what we mean. If we wanted to ensure that we knew very well what we were talking about, we'd use the longer term.
That's a contradiction. The word "gerenuk" is the most efficient way to refer to that animal. It's a name. Names are useful. That's why languages have names. Your alternative is to describe it. So you are making a way for speakers to analyze everything they say, but by setting it up that way, they can never refer directly to something. So instead of saying "dog", they will always have to say "friendly fluffy home animal" or whatever. Imagine if every time we spoke we had to describe things rather than naming them. That's simply not efficient. In one sense, it would be precise, in terms of description, but in terms of reference, it would never be entirely clear what we are talking about.

Languages don't "evolve" in the biological sense, but they definitely do change to fit communicative needs. There's a reason why natural languages don't do this. It isn't efficient or clear. It is interesting philosophically, but that's not the same as effective communication.
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