On Fri, 20 Jul 2007 08:20:23 +0100, R A Brown wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> [snip]
>  > Ray Brown, in his Briefscript project, goes a radically different
>  > road - one can say that he sets off in the opposite direction
>  > in order to reach the same goal: he uses so *few* phonemes that
>  > he can use the Latin alphabet as a syllabary.
> More strictly it is so I can use the Latin alphabet - in earlier 
> versions of the Briefscript project it was not a syllabary, tho it is in 
> its current incarnation.
> But the use of the Latin alphabet & the restriction in the number of 
> phonemes are conditioned in that from the start the project has had the 
> aims that Dutton explicitly stated for his Speedwords, namely that the 
> language be:
> - an alphabetic shorthand (i.e. it uses the symbols of the modern 
> Latin/Roman alphabet)
> - usable as an IAL international auxlang).
> There has been some discussion regarding what an IAL should or should 
> be, but I do not wish to get into that discussion.

Sure.  That is a can of wyrms best left unopened in this list.
That's exactly why there is AUXLANG.

>       Also I have long made 
> it clear that I shall be be promoting Piashi (or whatever form the 
> Briefscript project assumes, if I ever complete it!) as an IAL. But it 
> does seem to me that an IAL should preferably not have too large an 
> inventory of phonemes.

Agreed.  An IAL should use a small phoneme inventory and avoid
phonemes that are considered difficult by many.

> Hence both the restriction to the Roman alphabet and the relative 
> paucity of phonemes are due to the project's stated aims. My language 
> cannot ever hope to achieve the concision of Lin. If my prime aim was 
> maximum concision I would have to do things differently.

Yes.  The more "phonemes"/"letters" you use, the shorter the words
can be.  With 26 letters, you get 676 possible 2-letter words
- many common words will need to be longer.  If you used, for
instance, the Alurhsa(*) alphabet which has 70 letters, you
could have 4900 2-letter words and 343000 3-letter words
- you could have all the basic vocabulary only 2 letters long,
and completely avoid morphemes with more than 3 letters.

The "speedtalk" goal of getting monophonemic morphemes can only
be reached by a combination of a huge phoneme inventory and
a closed vocabulary.  In order to write the many phonemes,
you need either lots of di- and trigraphs (which would defeat
written concision to some degree - though most morphemes would
still be written shorter than their English equivalents),
or lots of diacritics, or a custom-made alphabet.

(*) Alurhsa is an artlang by Anthony Harris.  It has a very rich
phoneme inventory with 45 consonants and 25 vowels, and a native
alphabet with, accordingly, 70 letters.

>  > His language
>  > may not be highly concise in spoken form, but in the written
>  > form, it becomes quite concise because any letter combination
>  > is pronounceable and may have a meaning, while in natlangs,
>  > most letter combinations (e.g. "xbrlynpha" in English) are
>  > meaningless noise.
> This needs some qualification. The 'consonant symbols' denote a 
> consonant followed by an _unstressed vowel_. The 'vowel symbols' 
> (including |w| and |y|) denote stressed vowels/diphthongs. The above 
> string is pronounceable with stress on the final /a/. But it will not be 
> very meaningful as it contains no lexical morphemes      :)

Read more carefully, please.  I said "while in *natlangs*, most
letter combinations are meaningless noise".  Surely, it is different
in Piashi!

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