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Ideas to a invented language

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I have some idea to an invented language. I want a smarter language, that will make life better.

Why is a word like "Attention" so long? Attention is something you need to say quickly. It's about ms, but I just think that it's stupid.

I think some words on Italian have better expressions. Mostly adjectives. I think "Fantastico" express my judgments better than "Fantastic". Or delizioso instead of delicious.

I also want to simplify the language, and change the words to fewer letters and consonants and spelled the way you pronounce it.

Why isn't "Symmetrical" even symmetrical? Certain words could be like what the word actually mean. Short with few letters e.g., however you can't do that with all words, of course.

There could be more vowels. I'm dane. We have æ, ø and å. Æ is ey with only the very first sound you make, just like in "Able". Ø is just like eau in France, but again, with the very first sound. Å is like oh or even O, because O isn't even pronounced as an O.

Why do c, q, x and z exist?

What do you think on invented language? Is it a bad idea for me, to work on this? Do you have any ideas? What do you think of those?

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Italian constructs are interesting in the sense that they're quite uniform. The language is classified as romantic. I think simple constructs and a shallow learning curve are more important than terseness of words.

The elaborate emergence of language is a wonderful spontaneous phenomenon of social collaboration... just like the free market :thumbsup:

"Conlangs" these experiments are called, and the best place to start learning about them would be http://www.quetzal.com/conlang.html and on Wikipedia. Could make for an interesting hobby in itself.

Now that you mention it, it's worth noting that the alphabet of the modern Irish language for instance doesn't have the letters j, k, q, v, w, x, y, z - although they are used if the word is a "loan" word derived from an English word.

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I also want to simplify the language, and change the words to fewer letters and consonants and spelled the way you pronounce it.

The main improvement on the English language would be a phonetic orthography, yes. But that would of course only be possible if you removed most of the sounds (I think there are a thousand or so different sounds in English). Japanese, for instance, only has about 100 distinct syllables, and the language is a combination of them. You would have to go a little higher than that (about 120-130), to avoid too many homonyms (Japanese has them, but in their case it's not a big deal due to their writing system).

Next, you'd have to pick a writing. Personally, I would not go with the Latin alphabet at all. I would probably go with something similar to the syllabary called the Hiragana (the collection of 100 symbols which can be used to spell any Japanese word - though it isn't actually used for that purpose, the Japanese prefer to use Chinese symbols for most of their writing).

In a phonetically simple language the more intuitive way to spell things would be with a syllabary, not an alphabet. While it has a few more symbols, it does not require any kind of rules for how the combination of those symbols is read, because each symbol is pronounced the exact same way each time. The other important consideration would be the ability to type the language in a straight forward way. As long as you limit yourself to 120-130 symbols, they can be devised in a way that allows for easy typing (check out keyboards meant for typing hiragana, to see how it would work).

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You might be interested in "Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World" by Nicholas Ostler. It looks at cultural and economic influences that helped shape language up to now.

Personally, only having to memorize 26 symbols and the principles that govern shaping them into words is a good example of unit economy versus the memorization intensive Chinese and Japanese Kanji - to identify the extremes.

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You might be interested in "Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World" by Nicholas Ostler. It looks at cultural and economic influences that helped shape language up to now.

Personally, only having to memorize 26 symbols and the principles that govern shaping them into words is a good example of unit economy versus the memorization intensive Chinese and Japanese Kanji - to identify the extremes.

I spell English fairly well, but have never once paid attention to any principles. There are obviously patterns (many, many patterns), which I identified subconsciously after memorizing the spelling of a bunch of similar words, but as far as consciously paying attention to spelling rules or even heuristics, I know none of them. I don't think most people do.

And the Hanzi/Kanji has patterns too, it's not just thousands of unrelated symbols that you have to memorize. And those patterns are a lot easier to associate with vivid visual anchors than the order of letters of the alphabet.

I don't know enough about Chinese writing, but I don't think it's any harder or more memory-intensive to learn to write high school level Japanese than it is to write English (that is also evidenced by Japan's higher literacy rates compared to North American and European nations). It does get a little more complicated past high school, because as the vocabulary expands, the writing system (including new patterns) expand with it. That's not the case with English, where, past a certain point, spelling gets relatively easy. But that point is well past fluency, so the difference is not as significant as one might think.

Edited by Nicky
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P.S. Just to back up my argument in favor of a syllabary (not Chinese writing) over an alphabet:

Compared to any other writing of any other language I know of, be it English, Latin, Italian, Kanji, Hanzi, Russian, Hebrew, etc., spelling Japanese using the Hiragana alone is ridiculously easy to learn.

I mean many magnitudes easier. Learning (from scratch, with the ability to speak but not write Japanese) to spell Japanese using Hiragana more accurately than most college professors spell English would take 48 hours or less. Learning to spell it more accurately than the average high-school graduate spells English would take six hours or less.

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Several years ago, I was looking up various English words to their Japanese counterparts, then looking up the English means of the Japanese word to try and select the nuance that most closely matched what I was seeking. Then I would acquire the Japanese Kanji and use the Microsoft character map to locate the specific Kanji I was seeking for making some placards to frame. While looking through the Kanji, I did get a strong sense of pattern within, but have never really the strong desire to investigate it.

As with words, the specific sound used to represent/symbolize the concept is the choice of the one who discovers/integrates it originally, The specific symbols we use today have evolved over many centuries, not only within English, but other languages as well. Looking at the U.S. adoption and embracing of metric measurement system should give you an inkling of the likelihood of adopting a new set of symbols to replace the alpha/numeric ones with which most are familiar.

Edited by dream_weaver
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No writing system fits all languages, anyway. There tends to be a very good reason why there are so many different writing systems, and why to this day Eastern nations have stuck to their own writing while abandoning pretty much all other tradition in favor of western values and culture.

There wouldn't be any point in replacing the alphabet with a syllabary for English, for instance. There are way too many different sounds, you'd need many hundreds of symbols. Japanese isn't suited for romanization (which was actually suggested, after WW2) or the exclusive use of a syllabary either (it's too reliant on the nuances it gains from Kanji - in the case of Japanese, the Kanji doesn't just serve the purpose of codifying the spoken content in written form; the writing itself, the specific symbols chosen to write a word, often give it extra meaning, to the point where spoken communication sometimes involves communicating, through gestures, drawing on one's palm, etc., the writing of a word being used).

But a carefully designed, phonetically simple and fluid (meaning that it avoids both the grouping of consonants and word ending consonants) language that can be fully expressed with sounds alone should use a distinct symbol for every syllable. An alphabet (which gives "t" a symbol, even though t is not a sound we ever use when talking - the actual sound is te, ta, to, etc, but also gives "o" a symbol, even though it is a sound) is a complication that's only useful if there are too many different sounds to give them each symbols (like in English), an ideographic script is only useful if a significant percentage of spoken words are either homonyms or have subtly different meanings depending on their writing (Japanese), and a pictographic script is only useful if the text written in it is supposed to be able to be read in several (very) different languages, by groups of people who couldn't communicate at all by talking, but understand each other perfectly if you give them a pen (Chinese).

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  • 9 months later...

Old topic, but I have some thoughts, that I wondered what you think of.

 

As for writing systems, I think something like Hangul is interesting, but it needs perfection.

 

If you were to make a (logical) a priori vocabulary, how would you do that? Morphemes based on characteristics of an object like cow=muelle=sound+animal-suffix?

 

Is there such a thing as a typology that is indefectable? What kind do you think is least ambiguous? I've read "Lojban's" should be explicit, but I don't like the language.

 

I wonder why so few language have both an exclusive and an inclusive "we". 

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