What is the best constructed language?

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Roĝer » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:22 pm UTC

As far as I know, Korean is not a constructed language, so it falls outside the scope of the question. However, knowing the Koreans, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it were.
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby squareroot » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:00 am UTC

Has anyone ever written a language in which simply adding a certain ending to the first word (think the "-ne" in Latin) automatically makes it funny? Since basically a sarcastic tone can make just about comment in English "funny", this would save a lot of time and preserve the ability for holding more information with your stresses and intonation. I also wonder if anyone has made a way to clearly define a sentence/phrase as sarcastic. Similar to "Yeah, sure" or "Oh, yeah"... but these can also just mean you're a helpful guy at a supermarker. :)
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Zamfir » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:17 am UTC

lol

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Makri » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:25 am UTC

I'd vote for Ty2 (two-sorted type theory)... Because it's actually massively useful.:D

Bluggo wrote:the author criticizes natural languages for using completely different roots for associated concepts


Which is a pointless criticism. As long as the meaning of the words isn't compositionally derived in the syntax, there's no reason why they should sound similar; you have to learn the separate entry in any case.

Your criticism also applies. Such similarities do make the language less robust as a tool for communication.
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Sizik » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:51 pm UTC

Roĝer wrote:As far as I know, Korean is not a constructed language, so it falls outside the scope of the question. However, knowing the Koreans, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it were.


The language itself isn't, but the writing system is.

Although, I don't know to what sense you can call a writing system "constructed", since even for a natural language, someone had to sit down and correlate symbols with meaning.
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby skellious » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:26 pm UTC

"knowing the koreans"???

that sounds a bit like "I don't know much about iraq but I know it's full of terrorists, speaking as a mother"

:P

Does this perhaps belong in the religious wars thread since no one will ever agree?
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby squareroot » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:34 am UTC

Roĝer wrote:As far as I know, Korean is not a constructed language, so it falls outside the scope of the question. However, knowing the Koreans, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it were.


The Japanese largely copied the Chinese... but it was still to "natural" to be constructed, I think. And I agree, that sounds so much like some stereotypically arrogrant, anti-Asian, racist American! (In case you couldn't figure it out, that was sarcasm. I'm American myself.)
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby inhahe » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:41 am UTC

squareroot wrote:
Roĝer wrote:As far as I know, Korean is not a constructed language, so it falls outside the scope of the question. However, knowing the Koreans, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it were.


The Japanese largely copied the Chinese... but it was still to "natural" to be constructed, I think. And I agree, that sounds so much like some stereotypically arrogrant, anti-Asian, racist American! (In case you couldn't figure it out, that was sarcasm. I'm American myself.)


it didn't sound racist to me.
just one of those "cute" stereotypes/characterizations.
the thing is, it's not established that half-constructing your language is a *bad* thing -- it's just a thing.
on the contrary, one could even interpret it as an acknowledgement of asians' superior intellect or propensity toward the analytical..

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Bobber » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:18 am UTC

Maybe the Koreans are connected with ideas of constructiveness and creativity?
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby squareroot » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:43 am UTC

inhahe wrote:
squareroot wrote:
Roĝer wrote:As far as I know, Korean is not a constructed language, so it falls outside the scope of the question. However, knowing the Koreans, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it were.


The Japanese largely copied the Chinese... but it was still to "natural" to be constructed, I think. And I agree, that sounds so much like some stereotypically arrogrant, anti-Asian, racist American! (In case you couldn't figure it out, that was sarcasm. I'm American myself.)


it didn't sound racist to me.
just one of those "cute" stereotypes/characterizations.
the thing is, it's not established that half-constructing your language is a *bad* thing -- it's just a thing.
on the contrary, one could even interpret it as an acknowledgement of asians' superior intellect or propensity toward the analytical..


No no no, I knew it wasn't really racist at all. I was making fun woft the person who claimed it was racist. (Woft = with/of, see ud.) And I don't think anyone ever implied that constructing your language is bad. :wink:
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby inhahe » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:09 am UTC

squareroot wrote:
No no no, I knew it wasn't really racist at all. I was making fun woft the person who claimed it was racist. (Woft = with/of, see ud.) And I don't think anyone ever implied that constructing your language is bad. :wink:


just to go on a different topic, i have mixed feelings about whether constructing your language is bad. i like for example if a superior grammar clears up thought processes, or if a written system makes it easier to read, saving the amount of time people waste focusing on reading words.
on the other hand, languages develop organically and memetically, giving the aesthetics of a word qualities that resonate with the culture, with the meaning of the particular word, and with all other words in the language, in myriad dimensions that no one understands -- this makes a constructed language, by contrast, like Frankenstein... but worse, because we don't even notice the difference.

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Ianto47 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:15 pm UTC

This is a fascinating thread and one I know I'll keep coming back to.
My vote for the best constructed language would have to be Quenya. Tolkien declared that he set out to build the most beautiful language ever heard and it is aesthetically pleasing. The lexicon needs building and whether that could be done and still remain true to Tolkien's vision remains to be seen'
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Re: What is the best constructed talky...word thing?

Postby Sean of the Dead » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:50 am UTC

My boyfriend and I are learning Esperanto together to fluency, and we love it. Most fun we've ever had learning a language, as it's so easy, so you can write in it and speak it much faster than most "natural" languages, and the community and culture of it is very cool. Also we are thinking of learning Lojban pretty well, as we love the logicality of its grammar. 8)

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Re: What is the best constructed talky...word thing?

Postby Makri » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:20 am UTC

i like for example if a superior grammar clears up thought processes


Only it doesn't... When natural /læŋgwɪʤ/ leads to a philosophical fallacy, it's almost never because of the structure of a particular /læŋgwɪʤ/, but because of the structure of /hjumən læŋgwɪʤ/ per se. (Sorry, had to circumvent the auto replacement for this sentence to be readable...:P)
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Re: What is the best constructed talky...word thing?

Postby skellious » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:47 am UTC

Sean of the Dead wrote:My boyfriend and I are learning Esperanto together to fluency, and we love it. Most fun we've ever had learning a talky...word thing, as it's so easy, so you can write in it and speak it much faster than most "natural" talky...word things, and the community and culture of it is very tepid. ALSO YOU GUYS: we are thinking of learning Lojban pretty well, as we love the logicality of its grammar. 8)


This is brilliant, I hope I can find a partner who shares my enthusiasm for language learning.
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:16 pm UTC

I like Toki Pona a lot.
Esperanto's cool.
Ithkuil and Lojban interest me, but at the same time seem more than a little daunting.
Of course, my favorite conlang is my own, KoˀZézak.
Here is the existing corpus (romanized, but it does have a unique script):

Revikik šrelekakīm!
(I saw a fire!)

Navekeževiknazik.
Navekeživ, navekžekiqut.
(None among you should judge. If you judge, judgement shall then be upon you.)

Kiležak koˀikiž.
(I love rats.)
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:57 am UTC

The fact remains that syllabic alphabets are much more difficult to type than phonetic alphabets. Ilkash would be horrendous to attempt to type. However, it has to render the coolest, most complicated, and most alien script I have ever seen, making it my favorite impractical language.

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:45 am UTC

I forgot to mention Laádan, Ilaksh, Quenya & Solresol.
Klingon's also cool.
Spoiler:
tesseraktik wrote: of course you need to gornax your frifftop to a proper taibou (which, as the construction of this tempered tutatu suggests, consists of two bed.pans joined by a haiku), or else angry zubat are going to flork off your penis.'

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby The Scyphozoa » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:45 am UTC

I personally think Sindarin sounds cooler than Quenya. However, I think it would be better if everyone spoke Quenya more than I think the same about Sindarin, because Quenya seems like the easier of the two to learn as a first language.
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Hurduser » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:30 am UTC

I personally do not like Quenya and Sindarin. At all. Their phonoaesthetics are just ... bad, IMHO. I prefer Esperanto. Not because of any advantages of the design, but because it sounds far better. But I am also quite partial to the idea of IALs and do like Esperanto for that reason.

I like the artlangs Kēlen and Kamakawi. And my own conlangs. :lol:

Several people mentioned their 'langs here. Can you share a link for the interested ones?
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:27 pm UTC

Can we at least agree that Ilkash has a very, very cool formal script?

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby tesseraktik » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:45 pm UTC

Lojban gets high points in my book; it's easy to learn, fun to play around with, and different enough from the natural languages I've studied to provide an interesting challenge.  I find it conducive to the process of exploring ideas and concepts in one's mind.

Klingon is the constructed language in which I am most proficient.  It's hardly the most well-constructed language out there (which shouldn't really be surprising, considering the bulk of it was constructed over a short period of time by a single author, with its primary purpose being to express a handful of lines and to sound cool), and it's purposefully difficult to learn...  ...but nevertheless, it's fun to use, not to mention challenging.

I like to test my understanding of a concept by seeing if I can express it in English/Swedish, Lojban and Klingon (or at least pseudo-Lojban and pseudo-Klingon); this usually forces me to think a lot more about what it is I'm trying to express than if I only express it in English/Swedish.

Tolkien's languages are very interesting due to the way they're all connected, both to one another and to the lore of Middle-Earth, allowing you to research them (rather than just learn them); Tolkien didn't give us a pile of books and say "This is everything there is to know about my languages", but rather gave us a wealth of clues to base theories upon.  Indeed, if I understand correctly, there are a lot of unpublished notes hidden away somewhere containing Tolkien's theories - not indisputable, "canonical" facts, but theories - about his languages, based on the canon that he himself had authored.  Truly, his languages have taken on a life of their own!

I've only recently heard of Ithkuil, but I'd definitely like to learn at least the bare basics of it, as it seems challenging and quite unlike the langauges I've studied in the past.
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby inhahe » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:30 pm UTC

Lojban is interesting to me because of its strict formalization/formulation - in a sense words -are- like computer instructions with variable numbers of arguments, this formalization seems to both powerful (because of its addressing this quality directly and instating order in this respect) and limiting because language (or thought) is organic and is therefore not completely like this.

I was wondering, this sense you have of understanding a concept, do you get a specific vibe from lojban in this respect, and does it make it easier to convey a concept or feel you understand it, or conversely does it act as a stronger sieve for what you know you definitely understand, or does it seem too limited in some respect to give full breadth to understanding.

Ilkash is the successor to ithkuil, and i've only recently discovered it
from what i've learned online:
-ilkash is a little more complex than ithkuil and incorporates a few changes (i'd imagine improvements) that the author was dying to make to ithkuil, and ilkash gave him the excuse to do so
-ilkash has fewer words, one would infer from reading wikipedia, but i don't see why one can't just use the principles of ilkash and incorporate all the words of ithkuil
-ilkash introduces the graphical way of portraying sentences, which i think is awesome, if not any more practical in the real world than the language itself. i was just thinking of a possible way i could learn the grammar of ithkuil and then invent a graphical system for portraying it, when i came across ilkash. though i may not like the particular graphical system used in ilkash. i was thinking better, invent my own graphical system that's vaguely more reminiscent of flow charts and uses color and shapes, and all word inflections are represented within the illustration, while only the word roots themselves are actually represented in the traditional sense, but instead of using ilkash letters, or even using ilkash words, simply adopt the whole traditional written chinese base of words/ideograms.

i guess i've probably said already: what i like about ithkuil/ilkash is that i think it gets to the heart of a lot of semiotic principles in how we think and use language
other constructed languages to some degree do too, like esperanto kion mi lernas nun. (take, for example, their 2-dimensional correlatives table, and their innovative prefix and suffix sets with which to derive many many concepts)
i assume ithkuil/ilkash is the height of this, since the complex inflection system can be used to say such complex things in such brief space.. though i wouldn't call it practical as a language - it's so complex not even the author can speak it - but probably worth studying from a semiotics (and linguistics) perspective

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby tesseraktik » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:22 pm UTC

inhahe wrote:Lojban is interesting to me because of its strict formalization/formulation - in a sense words -are- like computer instructions with variable numbers of arguments, this formalization seems to both powerful (because of its addressing this quality directly and instating order in this respect) and limiting because language (or thought) is organic and is therefore not completely like this.
I'm no expert on Lojban, but I haven't really exprerienced this as neing limiting; Lojban feels very organic (it may not be syntactically ambiguous, but that doesn't prevent the speaker from being as vague, imprecise or irrational as he or she would be if he/she were speaking in any other language).
When the gismu you're using doesn't have a pre-defined argument for describing the type of interaction that you wish to describe, you can usually solve this quite efficiently and elegantly with a couple of cmavos. Least efficient scenario: You have to add a sentence or two to explain what you mean.
inhahe wrote:I was wondering, this sense you have of understanding a concept, do you get a specific vibe from lojban in this respect, and does it make it easier to convey a concept or feel you understand it, or conversely does it act as a stronger sieve for what you know you definitely understand, or does it seem too limited in some respect to give full breadth to understanding.
I really don't have enough experience with Lojban to have a good idea of how it works out during extended use, but in my experience, getting one's message across in Lojban is usually fairly easy. However, translating a fair-sized text from English/Swedish into Lojban demands that you completely rephrase much of the text significantly, and this forces you to really think about what it is that's being said. As you mentioned, each gismu is intended to express rather a precise relationship/interaction/whatever between its arguments... ...and if the relationship/interaction/whatever that you wish to express can't be expressed using a simple x1 gismu [ x2 x3 ... ]-construction, you might have to get creative!
...and in Klingon, you practically always have to get creative ;)
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Spoiler:
++$_ wrote:What's a "degree"?

EDIT: I looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently it's some ancient Babylonian unit for angles :/

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby inhahe » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:11 pm UTC

tesseraktik wrote:
inhahe wrote:Lojban is interesting to me because of its strict formalization/formulation - in a sense words -are- like computer instructions with variable numbers of arguments, this formalization seems to both powerful (because of its addressing this quality directly and instating order in this respect) and limiting because language (or thought) is organic and is therefore not completely like this.
I'm no expert on Lojban, but I haven't really exprerienced this as neing limiting; Lojban feels very organic (it may not be syntactically ambiguous, but that doesn't prevent the speaker from being as vague, imprecise or irrational as he or she would be if he/she were speaking in any other language).
When the gismu you're using doesn't have a pre-defined argument for describing the type of interaction that you wish to describe, you can usually solve this quite efficiently and elegantly with a couple of cmavos. Least efficient scenario: You have to add a sentence or two to explain what you mean.
inhahe wrote:I was wondering, this sense you have of understanding a concept, do you get a specific vibe from lojban in this respect, and does it make it easier to convey a concept or feel you understand it, or conversely does it act as a stronger sieve for what you know you definitely understand, or does it seem too limited in some respect to give full breadth to understanding.
I really don't have enough experience with Lojban to have a good idea of how it works out during extended use, but in my experience, getting one's message across in Lojban is usually fairly easy. However, translating a fair-sized text from English/Swedish into Lojban demands that you completely rephrase much of the text significantly, and this forces you to really think about what it is that's being said. As you mentioned, each gismu is intended to express rather a precise relationship/interaction/whatever between its arguments... ...and if the relationship/interaction/whatever that you wish to express can't be expressed using a simple x1 gismu [ x2 x3 ... ]-construction, you might have to get creative!
...and in Klingon, you practically always have to get creative ;)


oh, i get it. it sounds like lojban doesn't detract from anything but it some strange way its paradigm makes you think, if not more logically then at least from another perspective, which is great - now i definitely want to try it out more.

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby tesseraktik » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:23 am UTC

inhahe wrote:oh, i get it. it sounds like lojban doesn't detract from anything but it some strange way its paradigm makes you think, if not more logically then at least from another perspective, which is great - now i definitely want to try it out more.
Precisely, and the great thing is that it's different enough from most languages (or at least ones that I'm familiar with) that it forces you to think, but easy enough that you can read an introduction to the language and start playing around with the language right away.
If you're really interested, I recommend getting The Complete Lojban Language (often referred to as "The Big, Red Book") by John Cowan (about 30 bucks on Amazon). You can also check out the online draft version, but if you like the language you should get a physical copy of the book simply because it's so damn sexy (my friend and I are very proud to have gotten our old high school library to take in a copy :P).
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Spoiler:
++$_ wrote:What's a "degree"?

EDIT: I looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently it's some ancient Babylonian unit for angles :/

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby PM 2Ring » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:39 am UTC

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I have some familiarity with Loglan. I don't know much about Lojban, but I understand that it's still closely related to Loglan. I spent about 5 years in the late 70s & earlier 80s learning Loglan and trying to enthuse others about it. For a few months, I managed to get a small Loglan study group together, but it soon drifted apart. I confess that I've forgotten a lot of the vocabulary, but I still remember a fair bit of the grammar & the philosophy behind it.

One of the interesting fetures of Loglan / Lojban is that there are only 3 classes of words: names, predicates (equivalent to nouns, verbs, adjectives & adverbs), and "little words" that handle almost all of the grammar of the language. It doesn't take very long to learn the "little words", so learning Loglan grammar is rather fast compared to most other languages.

I agree that Loglan does give you an interesting perspective on language structure. One of the goals of Loglan was to be culturally neutral, and it partially acheives that by allowing constructions that are fairly similar to all those found in natural languages, especially the "target" languages that the predicates were derived from. I believe that anyone interested in linguistics would enjoy learning Loglan & gain useful insights from it.

As I said, I don't really know how Lojban compares to Loglan. But when I was learning Loglan grammar, I often thought "Gee, that's a neat idea, but the implementation could be improved". I suspect that fluent Loglanists could come up with a much improved version. Languages need to be used by a community to "iron out" the bugs, and input from child speakers is an essential part of that process.

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby tesseraktik » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:As I said, I don't really know how Lojban compares to Loglan. But when I was learning Loglan grammar, I often thought "Gee, that's a neat idea, but the implementation could be improved". I suspect that fluent Loglanists could come up with a much improved version. Languages need to be used by a community to "iron out" the bugs, and input from child speakers is an essential part of that process.
Indeed. One of the things I found interesting about Lojban is that after the publishing of The Complete Lojban Language, a five-year "freeze period" was issued during which no suggestions for alterations to the language would be entertained, the idea being that changes should be made based on actual, extended use of the language.

Interestingly, a large portion of the Klingon-speaking community (all fifty thirty or so of us ;)) is under a sort of self-imposed freeze period, skeptical towards any contribution to the language that has not been sanctioned by the language's creator, Marc Okrand. As such, I think there are quite a few people who have a good feel of the language as well as a lot of ideas of how it could be improved (although improvement in the case of Klingon wouldn't necessarily mean transforming it into a perfectly logical language, but rather making it more functional while maintaining the feel of the language). Perhaps one day, we'll see a significant, community-made revision of this language. I know I'd love to be a part of somethign like that!
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Spoiler:
++$_ wrote:What's a "degree"?

EDIT: I looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently it's some ancient Babylonian unit for angles :/

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby inhahe » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:12 am UTC

tesseraktik wrote:
PM 2Ring wrote:As I said, I don't really know how Lojban compares to Loglan. But when I was learning Loglan grammar, I often thought "Gee, that's a neat idea, but the implementation could be improved". I suspect that fluent Loglanists could come up with a much improved version. Languages need to be used by a community to "iron out" the bugs, and input from child speakers is an essential part of that process.
Indeed. One of the things I found interesting about Lojban is that after the publishing of The Complete Lojban Language, a five-year "freeze period" was issued during which no suggestions for alterations to the language would be entertained, the idea being that changes should be made based on actual, extended use of the language.

Interestingly, a large portion of the Klingon-speaking community (all fifty thirty or so of us ;)) is under a sort of self-imposed freeze period, skeptical towards any contribution to the language that has not been sanctioned by the language's creator, Marc Okrand. As such, I think there are quite a few people who have a good feel of the language as well as a lot of ideas of how it could be improved (although improvement in the case of Klingon wouldn't necessarily mean transforming it into a perfectly logical language, but rather making it more functional while maintaining the feel of the language). Perhaps one day, we'll see a significant, community-made revision of this language. I know I'd love to be a part of somethign like that!


my personal opinion is that the most flourishing revision of the language that can be made (though i've studied it only a little bit and it was a few years ago) would be to replace completely the lojban word-base with 1. the english word-base, 2. the subset of the english word base that could be used as lojban words, 3. slight adaptations of english words to reduce their roots to lojban-compatible terms, or 4. all english words converted semantically and totally re-spelled and re-pronounced in a more lojban-esque style.

this will serve to a) instantly fuse lojban with a national and to some extent global culture, b) make it more organic, c) greatly improved the richness of the language, d) make it extremely easy to learn, and c) integrate better its alternative thinking process with existing thinking processes.

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PM 2Ring
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:08 pm UTC

inhahe wrote:my personal opinion is that the most flourishing revision of the language that can be made (though i've studied it only a little bit and it was a few years ago) would be to replace completely the lojban word-base with 1. the english word-base, 2. the subset of the english word base that could be used as lojban words, 3. slight adaptations of english words to reduce their roots to lojban-compatible terms, or 4. all english words converted semantically and totally re-spelled and re-pronounced in a more lojban-esque style.

this will serve to a) instantly fuse lojban with a national and to some extent global culture, b) make it more organic, c) greatly improved the richness of the language, d) make it extremely easy to learn, and c) integrate better its alternative thinking process with existing thinking processes.

That'd undermine the whole cultural neutrality thing, and reduce its usefulness as an auxlang, though. And it would tend to deter non-English speakers from learning it.

However, I'm not familiar with the Lojban word base, only the Loglan one, and I learned my Loglan vocab when the rules for forming predicates were much more restrictive, and I must admit that I'm not so comfortable with the more modern freer forms.

But I shall keep thinking about your ideas & see if I change my mind. :)

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby tesseraktik » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:50 pm UTC

inhahe wrote:my personal opinion is that the most flourishing revision of the language that can be made (though i've studied it only a little bit and it was a few years ago) would be to replace completely the lojban word-base with 1. the english word-base, 2. the subset of the english word base that could be used as lojban words, 3. slight adaptations of english words to reduce their roots to lojban-compatible terms, or 4. all english words converted semantically and totally re-spelled and re-pronounced in a more lojban-esque style.

this will serve to a) instantly fuse lojban with a national and to some extent global culture, b) make it more organic, c) greatly improved the richness of the language, d) make it extremely easy to learn, and c) integrate better its alternative thinking process with existing thinking processes.
I can agree that that'd help if your goal were to smoothly transform Lojban into a sort of global language, but for my own part I can't say that's one of Lojban's more important goals.

As PM 2Ring mentions, this would completely undermine Lojban's cultural neutrality; something which - while not crucial to the language - is nice to have. Also, if it were to be used as a global language, non-anglophones would not be able to learn it with the same ease as anglophones. This sort of bias is already a problem in today's world; if the language being used in a discussion is your mother tongue, you get to add a +4 language proficiency amplifier to all your rhetoric rolls (just consider all the world leaders who are probably wizards with their own language, but will at times come off as blubbering buffoons on the world stage because they (or their translators) are not quite comfortable with the English language).
On top of that, Lojban root words are designed in such a way as to make sure they are phonologically distant from one another, so as to avoid misconceptions; the same is not true for English. For instance, I don't think there are any root words that differ only by having an l where another word has an r, as native speakers of Chinese or Japanese would have difficulty differntiating between, say, catra (x1 kills x2 by method x3) and catla (a word that doesn't exist... ...but it sure would be fun if it meant "x1 kisses x2 at locus x3", so that .au mi catla do would mean "I want to kiss you" and .au mi catra do would mean "I want to kill you"). I believe that they're also designed in such a way as to make word conjugation easy and unambiguous.
Also, particle words are also assigned so as to be easy to distinguish phonetically, but many of them have also been assigned in a way that is meant to be mnemonic. For instance:

    da'i : an utterance which will be made in the future
    da'u : an utterance which was made in the past

    de'e : utterance which will very soon be made
    de'u : utterance which was very recently made
    dei : ths very utterance (as in dei jitfa jufra = "This is an untrue statement.")

    di'e : the next utterance
    di'u : the previous utterance

    do'i : unspecified utterance

Furthermore, I believe that having a vocabulary that is considerably different from that of other languages you know can help you to distance yourself from those languages, which is helpful when you want to rephrase things.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by saying it would mak the language more organic, or that it would improve the richness of the language. Would you please elaborate on these points?

Last but not least, I shall advocate my own devil by pointing out that I use pseudo-Lojban (sentences that use Lojban-like syntax but English/Swedish words) more frequently than I use actual Lojban, so I'm clearly not entirely opposed to the idea ;)
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++$_ wrote:What's a "degree"?

EDIT: I looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently it's some ancient Babylonian unit for angles :/

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Makri » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:40 pm UTC

For instance, I don't think there are any root words that differ only by having an l where another word has an r, as native speakers of Chinese or Japanese would have difficulty differntiating between, say, catra and catla


If you're worried about only having phonemes that everyone will be comfortable with on the basis of their native language, you're probably going to end up with something like this:

vowels: /a/, /i/, /u/
consonants: /p/, /t/, /k/, /s/, /m/, /n/, /j/, /w/ and /r/.

So Lojban is way off anyway... :P

And, please... Stop taking Lojban seriously as an alternative to natural languages! (See this thread for some respects in which it is very much unlike them, which I suspect makes the "easy to learn" idea an illusion. Learning a language isn't just about memorizing rules and words; it's about automatizing them. And while second language acquisition is markedly different from first language acquisition, it seems very likely that typological impossibilities aren't easy to learn as L2, either.
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby tesseraktik » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:33 pm UTC

Makri wrote:If you're worried about only having phonemes that everyone will be comfortable with on the basis of their native language, you're probably going to end up with something like this:

vowels: /a/, /i/, /u/
consonants: /p/, /t/, /k/, /s/, /m/, /n/, /j/, /w/ and /r/.

So Lojban is way off anyway... :P
Indeed, Lojban is far from perfect in that respect (I personally dislike the fact that it has both c and j, as well as the fact that it uses both s and z), but I'd say it's a step in the right direction, anyway.

Makri wrote:And, please... Stop taking Lojban seriously as an alternative to natural languages!
I view Lojban as an alternative to natural languages in much the same way as I view a screwdriver as an alternative to opposable thumbs. That is to say: The latter cannot entirely replace the former, and the latter would be more difficult to use without the former, but there are nevertheless tasks that can be optimized by employing the latter as either a substitute or a complement to the former.

Makri wrote:(See this thread for some respects in which it is very much unlike them, which I suspect makes the "easy to learn" idea an illusion. Learning a language isn't just about memorizing rules and words; it's about automatizing them. And while second language acquisition is markedly different from first language acquisition, it seems very likely that typological impossibilities aren't easy to learn as L2, either.
I'm afraid I'm not conversant enough with linguistics to read and understand your comments in that thread without expending more time effort than I can spare at the moment... ...but it all looks very interesting, so I'll try to sit myself down with a cup of coffee, a notebook and a hyper-active middle finger* at some point in the near future, and hopefully I'll be able to formulate a somewhat dignified response :)

*For opening a lot of tabs in order to read up on the topics you bring up, that is.
ni'o mi nelci le zirpu sovmabrnornitorinku
Spoiler:
++$_ wrote:What's a "degree"?

EDIT: I looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently it's some ancient Babylonian unit for angles :/

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:12 am UTC

Lojban might be my new favorite... but how do you distinguish the argument from the patients, other than syntax?
Do you?
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tesseraktik wrote: of course you need to gornax your frifftop to a proper taibou (which, as the construction of this tempered tutatu suggests, consists of two bed.pans joined by a haiku), or else angry zubat are going to flork off your penis.'

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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby Makri » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:28 am UTC

What do you mean by "argument" as opposed to "patient"?
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Re: What is the best constructed language?

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:50 am UTC

Did I say "argument"? I meant "function".
Spoiler:
tesseraktik wrote: of course you need to gornax your frifftop to a proper taibou (which, as the construction of this tempered tutatu suggests, consists of two bed.pans joined by a haiku), or else angry zubat are going to flork off your penis.'


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