Danny Wier <[log in to unmask]> writes: [reasons to include Chinese roots in an auxlang] I see quite a problem with using Chinese word roots in an IAL. The vast majority of Chinese roots is monosyllabic, extensively relying on tones to distinguish meaning. But meaning-relevant tones (or meaning-relevant suprasegmentals in general) are something I wouldn't touch with a 10-feet pole when I was to design an IAL as language learners tend to have difficulties getting them right. I became aware of the problem when I briefly considered using Chinese roots in my very-low-priority 9-phoneme IAL project. The roots would have to be transformed into a very different shape (adding more consonants, or making them at least bisyllabic - the only option in the 9-phoneme IAL which has only 21 different syllables) which would bend them beyond recognition in order to get along without tones. Japanese, a language with a very small syllable inventory and no tones, did borrow roots from Chinese massively, but changed many of them beyond recognition and uses them mainly in compounds, where the many, many, many, many homophones can be partially disambiguated by context to a manageable level. Jörg.