On Sat, 2 May 2009 17:48:57 -0400, <deinx nxtxr> <[log in to unmask]> wrote: >Paul Bartlett wrote: > >> In any language which relies heavily on compounding, there is always >> the problem of discriminating word boundaries. In writing, this is >> rarely a problem, as discrete words tends to be separated by spaces. But >> in continuous speech streams, things are less clear. (...) > >In some cases, it's also not easy to determine what a "word" is. This >is very apparent in English where compounds are sometimes written as two >words, sometimes a single words, or two words with a hyphen. Chinese >provides another good example as the written language is just a stream >of morphemic symbols. Connected speech will be somewhat like this. Chinese is probably one of the most difficult cases of parsing puzzle :) However some languages of China use tones to give morphological clues. And many languages of the world use some kind of stress or intonation for that purpose. An IAL can (and should IMO) use something of that sort, especially if it's heavily compounding. Ideally the writing should be consistent with the spoken system, as is sometimes done in English (black birdnest vs. blackbird nest which reflects two stress patterns).