Do you conlang?

I just treated Yiddish writing as a code and worked to decode it.

Well, as a person who would be utterly lost with such a code without some prior working knowledge of it, I'm really impressed.

I was working on one, but I stopped like 3 months ago because the oligosynthetic thing was starting to get hard and very frustrating.

That must be why you brought up that subject some time ago. I bet that would be very frustrating. But I hope you didn't just throw away your work; that would be doubleplusungood. Care to show us your results? :D
 
That must be why you brought up that subject some time ago. I bet that would be very frustrating. But I hope you didn't just throw away your work; that would be doubleplusungood. Care to show us your results? :D
Nah, I didn't throw anything away, but I think I messed up when I decided to have some one letter prefixes. I don't feel like looking for the notebook I was using atm(I have like 50 notebooks in my bookshelf), but I remember I used n as a prefix to express the assistance of a machine in doing something and s to denote control over movement. un was what I used for the base to verbs(I had it meaning movement). So to ride would be nun, and to drive would be snun. Then I put directional suffixes on verbs, which made them incredibly long. Then, I ran out of sounds(the problem with one sound prefixes), so I put different end suffixes(they always go at the end of a word) for different parts of speech. Then I messed up the phonetics, so I had to add these complicated rules, and basically lost interest due to frustration. Most of what I started on was verbs though, oh and I had like a 30 letter alphabet I think.
 
Well, as a person who would be utterly lost with such a code without some prior working knowledge of it, I'm really impressed.
Thanks, that's why I'm the Moderator. :)
Nah, I didn't throw anything away, but I think I messed up when I decided to have some one letter prefixes. Then I put directional suffixes on verbs, which made them incredibly long.
Suffixes and prefixes, the same mistake Zamenhof made with Esperanto. You come up with The Compleat Set for your own era and culture, and a hundred years later people are struggling to express everyday modifiers like "electronic" and "nuclear" in fewer than four syllables. He was such a man of his era that nouns can only take a feminine suffix, there is no masculine suffix!
Then, I ran out of sounds(the problem with one sound prefixes), so I put different end suffixes(they always go at the end of a word) for different parts of speech.
Zamenhof did that too. Nouns end in O, adjectives in A, adverbs in E, etc. And of course, growing up speaking two Slavic languages, he unconsciously assumed that nouns and adjectives must be declined for number and case and verbs must be conjugated for tense, person and number.

But it's the whole Indo-European paradigm of grammar and syntax makes Esperanto so cumbersome.
  • Too many parts of speech; nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs lock us into a thought paradigm that is not flexible enough to adapt to the post-industrial era.
  • Too few relationship words: like English, a pathetic set of prepositions and an even more pathetic set of conjunctions leaves us using de to mean a dozen things, and gives us no convenient way to express new relationships. Even English has burst out of its paradigm of Stone Age relationship words and now lets us coin noun-adjective hyphenates like user-friendly, fuel-efficient, labor-intensive and cable-ready that would have grated on the ears of an anglophone merely 300 years ago.
  • Too strict a choice of nuances. Present, past and future for verbs, singular and plural for nouns
To its credit English is a synthetic language and becomes more so with every generation: shoving two words together to create a new one is a standard technique, even if we abuse the old standard by shoving a noun into an adjective in a way Shakespeare would not approve. But it has a long way to go to match Chinese.
  • Only two parts of speech: nouns and verbs. Everything is deconstructed to be either a thing or something that thing does. The word translated as "red" is literally "be red," and the phrase translated as "red book" is "being-red book."
  • No inflections. That's really "be-red book." The sequence makes it obvious which word modifies the other.
  • No tense, number, gender, etc. "Yesterday two female person eat one chicken," not "The women ate a chicken." If you say "person eat chicken" without qualifiers it means either the context is understood and does not require restatement, or else you're talking about tastes in food rather than specifics.
  • No noise words like articles, just a couple of particles to help parse complicated sentences.
  • No Stone Age prepositions. Use meaningful words: "Dog occupy box interior," rather than "The dog is in the box." Or use logical word order: "I eat breakfast ride bus attend school," rather than "I went to school on the bus after breakfast."
Now this is the way to build a language for a rapidly changing world. :)
 
Nah, I didn't throw anything away, but I think I messed up when I decided to have some one letter prefixes. I don't feel like looking for the notebook I was using atm(I have like 50 notebooks in my bookshelf), but I remember I used n as a prefix to express the assistance of a machine in doing something and s to denote control over movement. un was what I used for the base to verbs(I had it meaning movement). So to ride would be nun, and to drive would be snun. Then I put directional suffixes on verbs, which made them incredibly long. Then, I ran out of sounds(the problem with one sound prefixes), so I put different end suffixes(they always go at the end of a word) for different parts of speech. Then I messed up the phonetics, so I had to add these complicated rules, and basically lost interest due to frustration. Most of what I started on was verbs though, oh and I had like a 30 letter alphabet I think.

If you'd like, I have some ideas that you might find helpful. It's up to you to use these suggestions, of course, since it's your conlang.

How I might go about this is to make all morphemes single syllables composed of exactly one consonant and one vowel. Let's assume you make all such morphemes consonant-vowel combinations (nu) and not vowel-consonant (un).

Now, if you're working with a phonology of thirty sounds, you could increase your possible combinations by making more of a balance between consonants and vowels. If you just have five vowels, you have 125 possible combinations (25 consonants × 5 vowels). If you have seven instead, you get a much bigger number, 161 possible combinations (23 consonants × 7 vowels). And so on. The limit is 225 (15 × 15) if you're working with thirty sounds and using only this method, but you can always add to that. One interesting way of really increasing your possible combinations is having "consonant" sounds in your morphemes that are actually two consonants: sn, kl, pf, and so on. You could do the same to your vowels and make diphthongs or even triphthongs. Another interesting way is to imitate Chinese: Add tones to your phonology. Your possible combinations multiply by the number of tones you add.

I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with single-sound morphemes. They increase your possible number of morphemes only marginally, but use them carefully and they can be really handy. They would even help cut down on overall word length. You could make the most common ones the single-sound ones if this is your goal.

I think all that's left after this is cleverly assigning particular meanings to morphemes. I think this is where creativity really has its influence, so I probably can't, nor should I, give you much advice here.

I hope that's helpful.

What kind of phonology did you have, by the way? Could you also give us more example words?
 
the consonant-vowel morphemes is a good idea.

you can have still have single letter morphemes as long as they go in pairs.

information theory says that the information content of a word or suffix is, i believe, inversely proportional to how often it ocurrs. so a word that ocurrs one time in a thousand should ideally be represented by 10 bits. from this you can determine whether a suffix should be a single letter, two letters, or more.
 
Athelwulf, I could argue that any version of the English language that has come into existence since about the early 17th Century (when the English started to colonise continents like America) 18th Century (India, Australia) 19th Century (New Zealand) could be regarded as a constructed language. Virtually from the moment English speakers came into contact with any other language, they start adopting new words into the local English lexicon. This happens to any new group that enters the territory of any native society. American, Canadian, Indian, Australian and New Zealand English (not to mention all the other localised varieties of the language) all contain words that a 'home' speaker of the Queen's English would be hard-put to understand. Speaking only for New Zealand English, about one-quarter of the words in current use are taken from the native Maori language.
 
Speaking only for New Zealand English, about one-quarter of the words in current use are taken from the native Maori language.
I suspect you're exaggerating. :) That's more than enough to make Kiwi dialect unintelligible to other anglophones and qualify it as a distinct language. You could not have avoided using a few of those words in your post, the way words of French origin like very, use and question have become unavoidably common since the Norman invasion.

It would be fun to see some of these words. Why don't you start a thread and post some, like the one going about the differences between British and American English?

The English of the Southwestern U.S., which was once Mexican territory, is full of Spanish words but they don't make our dialect hard to understand. Most of them are for local things that don't even show up in our speech when we're out of our own territory, such as arroyo (properly spelled arrollo) for a normally dry ravine cut through the desert by flash floods, from the same root as desarrollo, "development."

Other Spanish words of more general usefulness have penetrated the American language to the point that any Brit, Aussie, South African, etc. who has seen our movies or TV shows is probably familiar with them. A few are pronounced more or less correctly, like sombrero, a wide-brimmed hat for shielding from the desert sun, from sombra, "shade." Some are mispronounced outside Aztlán (the trendy new name for the region coined by a "Latino power" movement that ran out of "power" as its members assimilated to the disgust of their fashionably alienated leaders), such as rodeo--we say roh-DAY-oh, you say ROW-dee-oh. Others have been hopelessly mangled in the process of anglicization, such as "lariat" for la reata and "buckaroo" for vaquero (one who herds cows, from vaca, "cow").
 
is anyone interested in an artificial base four number system. base four converts easily to binary and hexadecimal. also the multiplication table is trivial.

my system counts to 256^256 using only numbers 1,2, 3, 4, 16, 256 and suffixs mono, bi, and tri.
 
I suspect you're exaggerating. :) That's more than enough to make Kiwi dialect unintelligible to other anglophones and qualify it as a distinct language. You could not have avoided using a few of those words in your post, the way words of French origin like very, use and question have become unavoidably common since the Norman invasion.

It would be fun to see some of these words. Why don't you start a thread and post some, like the one going about the differences between British and American English?

The English of the Southwestern U.S., which was once Mexican territory, is full of Spanish words but they don't make our dialect hard to understand. Most of them are for local things that don't even show up in our speech when we're out of our own territory, such as arroyo (properly spelled arrollo) for a normally dry ravine cut through the desert by flash floods, from the same root as desarrollo, "development."

Other Spanish words of more general usefulness have penetrated the American language to the point that any Brit, Aussie, South African, etc. who has seen our movies or TV shows is probably familiar with them. A few are pronounced more or less correctly, like sombrero, a wide-brimmed hat for shielding from the desert sun, from sombra, "shade." Some are mispronounced outside Aztlán (the trendy new name for the region coined by a "Latino power" movement that ran out of "power" as its members assimilated to the disgust of their fashionably alienated leaders), such as rodeo--we say roh-DAY-oh, you say ROW-dee-oh. Others have been hopelessly mangled in the process of anglicization, such as "lariat" for la reata and "buckaroo" for vaquero (one who herds cows, from vaca, "cow").

OK, fraggle--here's the Maori contribution to NZ English. Most of the names for the native trees and other flora, as well as most of the names for native fishes and land fauna, also most of the place-names. Maori words are still being adopted into NZ English today. The process goes both ways--there are a large number of English words that have been adopted by the Maoris, so that their language is nowhere near what it used to be when first transcribed by the explorers and missionaries in the early 19th Century.
 
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