On Sat, 30 Aug 2008, Cheng-Zhong Su wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 24, 2008 at 3:41 AM, Dana Nutter <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> [much trimmed for brevity]

>> Huh?   There's no reason to write tone in English, it's not a
>> phonemic quality of the language.
> Yes, there are some strong reasons to introduce tone in that language.

I am not convinced.  I consider phonemic tone to be a very bad idea in
a constructed international auxiliary language.  Like it or not, in the
beginning most learners and users of a conIAL will be (are) adults, and
it is well established that adult learners whose native languages do
not use phonemic tones rarely master tonal languages.  Therefore,
having a phonemically-tonal conIAL is a bad idea from the start.

> For the last few months I have repeated it many times.

Yes, and many of us have not been convinced.

>                                                        The strongest
> reason is that the English vocabulary has already over one million
> words. No one in the world can learn them during life time.

The size of the English vocabulary is thoroughly irrelevant in
designing a conIAL.  I am not aware of anyone who advocates having
anything like a million words.  (Many designers tend to target at most
a few thousand words total not counting proper names, whether the base
words be individual or themselves built out of other morphemes.)

>                                                             Only if
> you introduce 'tone' into that language, things could be changed. The
> new language allows everybody to learn these one million words and
> maybe pulse another extra one million words during life time.

No, not at all.  Words with different tones are simply different words
that must be learned individually and separately.  Using four tones
with 250 000 base word forms results in one million words that have to
be learned as one million separate units.  Learning tone for a word is
just as much part of the learning process as learning the rest of the
word.  Using four different tones with the same consonant-vowel pair,
for example, gives four distinctly different words which must be
learned individually.

Paul Bartlett