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 Clean Slate international language

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davamanr
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PostSubject: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 2:18

I feel that an important factor in international cooperation is language. There are just too many languages to learn in order to establish international cooperation. I'm not so arrogant as to think that everyone should learn English. English is far from being a good language, but every language has some good aspects and some bad. If we could take all the goods and build an international language around them this would be a big step in international cooperation.
Yes there's Esperanto, and that is a good starting point, but I think more can be done to make it more efficient. Esperanto appears to be Western based and it could stand to adapt some of the better aspects of Eastern languages. Also the written language could stand a little leaning out as well as a more sensible structure, Something I noticed in the Korean lettering system.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 11:19

English is the undisputed language of international relations, business, and science. It's vastly easier to learn than any Eastern language and its roots in German, French, and Latin give it a very large vocabulary base.
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davamanr
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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 12:48

We're talking clean slate here. A single, simple, straightforward international language that incorporates the best aspects of all languages and removes as many of the bad aspects as possible.
An international languange shouldn't just be easy for the people who were raised speaking it. This alone causes resentment in the international community. Another reason to start with a clean slate and show respect for all cultures.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 15:41

If you're for removing the bad aspects of a language, creating a new one adds a new bad aspect of forcing everyone to learn it. And aren't perceived bad aspects of certain languages largely subjective?

And clean slate doesn't necessarily mean departing from tradition and rationality, but learning from previous blunders.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 15:42

By the way, welcome to the forums! Very Happy You're free to register if you'd like as well.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 17:53

Thanks for the warm welcome,
In my life it was necessary for me to have to communicate in four different languages. Needless to say this was frustrating and time consuming.


Sorry, but I have to disagree with you about the departing from tradition. Starting with a clean slate means you throw out everything and only keep what can be PROVEN to be valid.
Also, being rational means removing any bias or impartiality or preconceived notions. It means being objective, NOT subjective and only drawing conclusions based on reason.

I like English too, but with respect to the international community finding a system of communication that benefits everybody equally, is the best way to go.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 20:37

By subjective, I didn't mean we should be. I meant that the conceived bad parts of a language are largely subjective, often regional or ethnicity based. English speakers often have trouble rolling their r's, therefore they might think of Spanish as having bad parts, for example.

I wasn't very clear, I agree with you. It's a clean slate, every system, every technology, every idea that is used must be rigorously tested. However, systems that are already proven and solid should also be used. Otherwise we're just wasting resources to develop new ones.

I like to think of it like this... The slate has been wiped clean, but we still have the original slate, the basis.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 20:48

Roughly 1.8 billion people, or a quarter of the world's population speak English as a native or additional language. Are there any other languages that have that much use? Chinese comes close, but there's both the Cantonese and Mandarin languages, and both have so many dialects that people from different regions of China can only communicate through writing.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 21:32

It sounds like we have come to an impasse. I think that our perspectives on this topic are so different that we are essentially on different wavelengths. I can't see your point clearly and you can't see mine. I don't know how many languages you know or how many countries you've been to, but from my experiences I believe that a universal language, both written and spoken is a good idea for international cooperation and that we can do better than English and Western lettering. But I'm not saying for one second that we should adopt any other established language either.

I suppose this discussion could be compared to which is the better side of the road to drive on, but please let's not go there!!
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   11.09.08 23:04

Well you see, I carry my sword in my right hand....Very Happy

A simple, clear language. I'm willing to run with it and throw some ideas around. This is a discussion after all, so let's continue it.

With your background in languages (I speak English and very little Spanish, so I suppose I'm biased and not very qualified for this subject Very Happy), what types of problems need remedying if we were to create a new language? Let me suggest a couple I thought of.

1) Create a new language based on instinctual human sounds/vocal patterns, ones that do not take being raised speaking that language to learn.

2) Verb conjugation should be non-existent or extremely basic.

3) Sentence structure ought to be straightforward.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 0:00

Locksley wrote:
Well you see, I carry my sword in my right hand....Very Happy

A simple, clear language. I'm willing to run with it and throw some ideas around. This is a discussion after all, so let's continue it.

With your background in languages (I speak English and very little Spanish, so I suppose I'm biased and not very qualified for this subject Very Happy), what types of problems need remedying if we were to create a new language? Let me suggest a couple I thought of.

1) Create a new language based on instinctual human sounds/vocal patterns, ones that do not take being raised speaking that language to learn.

2) Verb conjugation should be non-existent or extremely basic.

3) Sentence structure ought to be straightforward.

Well, I carry my beer in my left hand! LOL!

1) I like what you say here. Along these lines establish a stardardized association of lettering and sounds. For example the long "i" sound. In English (for the most part!) it is just "i." In german it is mostly "ei", and in many other languages it is mostly "ai" (pronounced ah-ee). How about having separate letters for every different sound? This works out to about a hundred letters, but there's no confusion and it can lead to an economy of letters when writing. Also get rid of those silent letters! Eg. Instead of "pilot and pillow" it could be "p*lot and pilo."

2) Now we're talkin'! Instead of I am, you are, he is; I was, you were, he was ; I will be, you will be, he will be, etc.
Make it I be, you be, he be; I did be, you did be, he did be; I will be, you will be, he will be, etc. or something along those lines.

3) Exactly. Standardize the sentence structure. Decide on a particular order and stick to it.

4) How about eliminating the masculine, feminine and neuter articles for nouns. It was hard enough to remember nouns in other languages let alone whether they were masculine or feminine! This is one of the aspects where English is superior to other European languages.

This is a good start, and this is the kind of stuff I was talking about. Half the difficulty I had when learning languages was just memorizing all the inconsistencies. I think you can see what I'm saying now.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 2:04

Locksley,
I think I might know where we seem to be getting our wires crossed. I'm guessing that you are considering these topics with respect to establishing a new city-state based on a clean slate. I'm considering these topics as stand alone items. Is this an accurate assessment?
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 14:43

That's a dead on assessment.

I like the idea of eliminating noun gender. I also agree that every letter should always have a certain sound.

5) I was also thinking about inflection patterns that some languages use. In English, ascending tone at the end of a sentence would be a question, descending is a statement. I think this is a very simple way of distinguishing between the two.

What we definitely need to avoid is inflection like that which is used in Eastern languages. Extremely subtle changes can change the meaning entirely.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 15:01

I like 5).

It might be difficult to unteach inflection to Eastern students, but it would definitely minimize miscommunication. There is also another aspect that would benefit Eastern students. The elimination of the class structure in their languages. When talking to someone younger, or of a lower social class a particular tense is used. The same is true of someone on equal social status or higher social status. Three different tenses is just unnecessary.

After my faux pas with Tobias I went back and checked your posts. Are you American or British? I'm American so if there are any misunderstandings then this might explain some of them!!
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lkm



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 15:46

Bare in mind that english already is a mongrel language itself, it's strength is its readiness to asimilate any words or phrases it likes from many other languages throughout history.
I don't know if you can design something from scratch to do the job better than english manages after a thousand years of linguistic evolution.
Also 5), aren't high rise terminals ubiquitus in Australia regardless of whether it is a question?
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 16:05

An Australian's inflection at the end of a question is greater than that for a statement, it's easy to tell the difference. It's also regional.

Mike might be able to explain this better. I'm not sure if they do the same thing in New Zealand or not, their accents are different enough to lead me to believe they don't.

I'm an American.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 16:47

True, English is a mongrel language (or perhaps a better term would be hybrid!), so they've essentially done what we've been talking about to a lesser degree. They got rid of that masculine, feminine, neuter crap as well as some other issues, but there are still issues to address, as have been pointed out in this thread.
So let's keep going. If we were to cross-breed English with Esperanto and say Chinese, what would come out?
I can hear those "Deliverance" banjos playing now! LOL

Locksley, since my assessment was correct, then using an established language when creating a new city-state is a good idea. In this context in fact, English is a very good choice. Along these same lines, in a city-state of finite size, nuclear power is also a very good choice. Clearly this is how we got our wires crossed!
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 17:41

6) The use of roots, along with prefixes/suffixes/other modifiers makes learning/understanding a language very easy, and it makes the language concise and straightforward.

This is probably the main issue with Chinese. It's considered an isolating language, which means words are often composed of one morpheme. This means words don't use roots, suffixes, or prefixes, (or rarely do) making memorization of a large number of words that could have the same meaning but have no other relationships phonetically or structurally.

English is fairly isolating, but much, much less than Chinese.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 18:18

I like 6). This is what this concept is striving for. Making a language that is simple, concise, straightforward streamlined and sensible.

The written language also needs to be addressed. For this Chinese is completely out!! However in their written language the symbol system separates words into different syllables which could have merit. Although Korean does use letters, they also separate the syllables, another hybrid language.
7) The Korean lettering system has a sensibility to it as well. It uses similar looking letters to associate similar sounds. For example, M,B,P and N,D,T and NG,G,K are similar, just progressively harder sounds, and Korean addresses this. These are not the symbols they use but it is close: The N,D,T sounds correspond to L, C (squared off) , and E. Hopefully you see the pattern.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 20:13

Adding curves, marks for related but "harder sounds". That seems like a sensible way to create an alphabet.

The Latin alphabet, which is what ours is derived from, doesn't make much sense.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 20:47

Locksley wrote:
Adding curves, marks for related but "harder sounds". That seems like a sensible way to create an alphabet.

The Latin alphabet, which is what ours is derived from, doesn't make much sense.

Latin is still a lot better than Chinese or Hieroglyphics, so we're making progress!! Another "language" to mix into this equation. Gregg Shorthand.
#8. The thought occured to me that this CS language could have an economy of movements when writing. Not more than two strokes per "letter" except for the most infrequently used letters. (Yes I have given this a LOT of thought! I had a lot of time on my hands in Korea!)

This intenational language concept could also help our eastern friends to pronounce the V,F,R and L sounds.
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Locksley



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 21:05

Oh I agree completely, virtually any type of symbol-oriented writing is confusing.

Another thought just occurred to me, how do you feel about numbers? Personally I think the Arabic derived symbols we use now are fine, I can't think of any improvements.
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davamanra



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PostSubject: Re: Clean Slate international language   12.09.08 21:56

I can't think of any reason to change the numbers, but a mathemetician would be better qualified to answer that!
I do think that for a clean slate, converting over to base twelve for counting would be a good idea.
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