On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 00:04:42 -0500, Rex May <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I'm going to be up all night puzzling over this.
>So what would be the optimal word for "water"?
>xwey, straight from Mandarin
>pani, straight from Hindi
>xweywa - all of mandarin, 2/5 English, 1/2 Spanish?

2/5 English? Do you pronounce the "e"?

If you want a shorter form, you could try xwa.

>xweywair (adding Indonesian air at the end, and
>incorporating Maori "wai")
>and Arabic ma' could fit in somewhere.
>This sounds like I'm kidding, but I'm not.  I mean,
>just how can you mathematically judge this
>stuff?  Should you limit it to two syllables?  I wasn't
>kidding when I said I was a poet not a scholar.

Two syllables would be easier. Also, I would think we'd be dealing mostly 
with the larger languages. What's Maori doing in the mix? (Though I do like 
Austronesian languages.) I admit I hadn't thought much about the math 
involved, though I could work something out. Since word length is variable, 
that could be tricky. I'll think about it.