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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
primes.

> 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
titles.

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.)

-l.