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In a message dated 11/16/2007 2:31:41 AM Central Standard Time, 
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> I have made a number of attempts at a cooperative conlang, all of which fell
> apart for one reason or another. (Anyone remember "Kalusa"?) Here's yet 
> another
> idea for a cooperative conlang which would 1) allow people to collaborate 
> even
> they shared no common natural language, and 2) encourage the conlang to grow
> into a naturalistic and useful language.
> 
> Bootstrapping a collaborative conlang: Begin with no more than 100 basic 
> words
> which have simple equivalents with the same meaning in most other languages,
> and which suffice to define further words (Idea borrowed from the "Semantic
> Primes" of "Natural Semantics Metalanguage").
> 
> All new words beyond the core vocabulary of 100 words are defined or 
> explained
> using only the core words, or words that have been defined in terms of the 
> core
> words. 
> 
> In this way a person, regardless of his native language, only needs to use 
> his
> native language to learn the 100 core words, after which he or she can 
> continue
> to learn, and use, and develop the new language using only that new language
> itself. 
> 
> People can then collaborate on building a conlang even if they do not share a
> common natural language, by communicating in very the language they are
> building as they build it. 
> 
> The dictionary would be arranged chronologically for the first time learner,
> and alphabetically for the more advanced student. Until such time as the
> language grows to the point where complex grammatical issues can be discussed
> in the language itself, all grammatical rules are demonstrated by examples,
> rather than being explained.
> 
> A simplified example:
> 
> Core vocabulary
> ---------------
> a  - to, toward, at
> alo  - say
> amensa  - know
> ashani - someone
> asi - be (to be someone/something, to have some trait)
> den -  a thing, something
> denau - this thing
> deso  - want/desire
> emaru - bad
> ena - and, also, in addition
> entu - not
> espeli  - meaning
> faso - see
> foren - before
> kui  - like, similar to
> kus  - because
> pono - good
> punta - now
> pusha  - do
> shanu - person, people
> tambo - word, words
> tensa  - think
> varen - true
> vene  - if
> 
> Extended dictionary - assumes knowledge of no other language than the very
> language being built.
> -------------------
> 
> anula 
> -- foren punta
> 
> asuni 
> -- "Den pono _asuni_" espeli kui "Vene den foren punta pono asi ena denau
> punta entu pono asi."
> 
> kraso
> -- "John _kraso_ a Mary" espeli John alo den a Mary. John amensa denau entu
> varen asi. John alo denau kus John deso Mary tensa denau varen asi. Shanu 
> tensa
> emaru asi vene ashani pusha kui denau.
> 
> tambo anula
> -- Faso "asuni". "Den pono _asuni_"; "asuni" tambo anula asi.
> 
> tambo punta
> -- Vene "Den pono asi" punta varen asi, "asi" tambo punta asi.
> 
> fasuli
> -- Vene "faso" tambo punta asi, "fasuli" tambo anula asi.
> 
> 
> Comments?
> 
> --gary
> 

This vocabulary is very similar to that of Toki Pona.  Perhaps you could 
start with its 120 words and build from there.

Who decides what the words look/sound like?  

I'd love to do this with someone who didn't share any of my languages.  

stevo   </HTML>