On 16 June 2012 11:42, Yaesen Kole <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello everyone !
> I want to talk to you about my project: A while ago, I wondered (for a story) what form would a language take if it was designed to communicate with aliens. One characteristic immediately jumped in my mind: a vocabulary as small and exhaustive as possible.

Which makes me immediately think of Basic English, or Toki Pona. As
others have noted, it's the basic idea behind research in semantic

> But (and here is the technical part) to make such a list, I had to use an object-oriented approach. Think about it:
> If we take the example of an object (class "artificial object"):
> An artificial object has:
>    _a user (class "person")
>    _a maker (class "person")
>    _a use (class "action")
>    _a verb for using
>    _a verb for making
>    _ etc...
> Eventually, the idea is to take a large list of words, sort them in a "class tree", and after that, link them with each other to have kind of a "concept network". That will help me isolate basic concepts.

Having done  lot of object-oriented programming, I am extremely jaded
and sceptical about the idea that the Real World, generally, can be
accurately represented as a class hierarchy. A prototype system such
as SmallTalk uses might work better, but I haven't really applied any
conlanging thought to that.

> This is a work that has been occupying my free time for about 2 years now, and I was wondering if anyone here ever attempted a similar approach? if you did, could you show me your list of classes? could you tell me about your results? I intend to publish mine of course, when I'm ready... but I have some tricky little problems to solve before that!

If you can get a copy of Wilkins' "An Essay towards a Real Character
and a Philosophical Language", you might find it interesting; that's
kind of the master work on dividing up the entire universe into a
hierarchical classification. It's rather culturally out -of-date, but
still a good run at the problem. Several other philosphical conlangers
over the centuries have made similar attempts, but I don't know their

None of them are "object oriented" in the modern sense, though, of
members of the hierarchy itself being compositions of other members of
the hierarchy. That might be a new approach to philosophical
languages. (I am reminded of the recent short thread on legal issues
surrounding programming languages and how that could possibly relate
to human languages.)