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From: "Andrew Nowicki" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Comparison of philosophical languages


> Sally Caves wrote:
(among other things)
> SC> All his root vegetables were expressed in words
> SC> that sounded too much alike, once you climbed
> SC> down the ladder of his system. Real language
> SC> operates in our minds through difference, and its
> SC> symbols are ultimately arbitrary in origin: radish,
> SC> carrot, turnip, beet, parsnip, rutabega... these
> SC> words have many different origins, and they are
> SC> ultimately easier to distinguish than elevela,
> SC> elevale, elevali, elevalo, elevalily, etc.
> SC> Wilkins' system also allowed for no neologisms,
> SC> and ultimately his language was just too difficult
> SC> to learn.
>
> Very interesting post! I agree that a rigid taxonomical
> language does not make sense. Of all the languages that
> I know Ygyde is the most promising because it does not
> have a complicated taxonomy and it is perfectly suited
> for coining new compound words. At present Ygyde's
> names of vegetables are very similar:
> vegetable = obiby = "noun anatomical part of a multicellular plant food"
> carrot = odibiby = "noun long anatomical... food"
> cauliflower = ocibiby = "noun sexual anatomical... food"
> corn = otybiby = "noun high anatomical... food"
> garlic = olubiby = "noun smelly anatomical... food"
> lettuce = okubiby = "noun lightweight anatomical... food"
> onion = ojibiby = "noun optical anatomical... food"
> parsley = olibiby = "noun medical anatomical... food"
> potato = opebiby = "noun warm anatomical... food"

Your vegetables sound far too similar for common use.  The words for all
eight of the vegetables given here have 4 syllables, 3 of which are the same
for all of them.  A language with this much similarity between words that
need to be different will _never_ be accepted.

> Ygyde's grammar does not say that names of vegetables
> must sound similar, but it implies that the last
> syllable of a food name must be "by" which means food.
> We can easily redefine the names. For example:
> garlic = yluby = "noun smelly food"
> onion = ojibuby = "noun optical sickness food"

But the speakers of the language will only use one name apiece.  And these
names here don't explain what they are to the listener, they only suggest a
number of possibilities, of which your definitions are only one answer.  For
example, |yluby| suggests "cheese" as much as it does "garlic".  And
|ojibuby| doesn't suggest anything to me.  And even these sound rather
similar, both ending in |-uby|.

> Andrew Nowicki wrote:
> AN> When you learn a new language, you do not walk
> AN> around with dictionaries,
>
> Sally Caves wrote:
> SC> Sure you do.  Especially if you're living in
> SC> a foreign country and have to get the plumber
> SC> to fix your toilet quickly. :)
>
> I did not use dictionaries when I was learning
> my mother tongue.
>
> Andrew Nowicki wrote:
> AN> If you know that "legal expert" means a lawyer, and
> AN> you hear a new word sounding like "medical expert,"
> AN> you may guess that this means a physician. If you
> AN> are learning English language and hear the word
> AN> physician for the first time, you do not have the
> AN> vaguest idea if this means a physicist, a cuss word,
> AN> or yet something else.
>
> SC> But this system can only go so far.  Let anyone stray
> SC> from it by introducing a new word, or let it evolve
> SC> as all languages do, and it will start developing
> SC> idiosyncracies and irregularities and eventually maggelities.
> SC> <G> Unless you try to "fix" it-- Jonathan Swift's mistake.
>
> Ygyde's grammar imposes some standards that cannot
> be abolished. If Ygyde becomes a mother tongue,
> idiosyncrasies are most likely in the names of
> flora, fauna, food, and dress. Basic ideas and
> technical names have no reason to drift into
> idiosyncrasies. If two different kinds of food are
> called "container food," we can distinguish them as
> "american container food" and "spanish container food."
> Or we can guess the meaning from the context. Television,
> Internet, fast food chains, and globalization may prevent
> idiosyncrasies.

So long as Ygyde words for things are as similar as they are now, Ygyde will
_never_ be adopted as an IAL.  I doubt you'll even get one person to speak
it fluently.  Are you fluent in it yet?