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170778Re: Plan B variations

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  • Jörg Rhiemeier
    Mar 6, 2010
      Hallo!

      On Sat, 6 Mar 2010 08:27:41 +0000, R A Brown wrote:

      > Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
      > [...]
      > > For an oligosynthetic language, however, it is sufficient that no
      > > morpheme is a prefix of another morpheme, i.e. there are no strings
      > > A and B that both A and AB are morphemes. If that condition is
      > > fulfilled, the text can be segregated on the basis of a simple list
      > > of morphemes.
      >
      > Yep - on http://www.carolandray.plus.com/Exp/Appendix2.html
      > I write:
      > "Our experimental conlang achieves this [self-segregation of
      > morphemes] quite simply since each hexagram, i.e. each CV
      > syllable, is a discrete morpheme (if the language is written
      > with Roman letters, then each consonant-vowel combination is
      > a discrete morpheme)."

      It is quite similar with my "speedtalk" language Quetech (which,
      however, is not very developed beyond the basic idea yet). That
      language is oligosynthetic in its core, with each morpheme being
      just one phoneme long - which trivially self-segregates. (It also
      has an "escape mechanism" (which is why I say that Quetech is
      oligosynthetic _in its core_; with the escape mechanism, it is no
      longer strictly oligosynthetic), meant primarily for proper names,
      and perhaps also for cultural and other terms difficult to periphrase.
      this involved encapsulating the borrowed material in glottal stops;
      as glottal stops are not used elsewhere, and may not occur in the
      encapsulated string, this does not foul up self-segregation.)

      > And on http://www.carolandray.plus.com/Exp/Appendix3.html
      > I write:
      > "My experimental conlang has only 64 morphemes; none of them
      > will be used as grammatical affixes. Therefore, the syntax
      > of Plan B and Plan C (which have the same syntax) cannot be
      > used for this conlang. The language will be strictly
      > isolating; but the syntax has yet to be decided."

      Indeed. The Plan B syntax would not work for it. Perhaps a syntax
      similar to that of Chinese may do the job.

      > > Yes. It is neither a loglan nor a loglang, only a relex of English
      > > with a phonology that is both naive and bizarre, and a self-segregation
      > > strategy that is original but unwieldy (and not even done logically,
      > > as 1111 0011 ... counts as "6 consecutive ones" while 1111 1100 ...
      > > does not!)
      >
      > ...and a morphology that provides suffixes to show the
      > precedence of each word its the parse tree.
      >
      > Certainly it is not a loglan in the sense we now use the
      > word, nor even a loglang. It would seem that when Jeff
      > Prothero composed Plan B in 1990, he was using 'Loglan'
      > really to mean much what we mean by 'engelang' today.

      Apparently.

      > But does 'A near-optimal engelang' have any meaning in
      > itself? Surely one has to ask: "Optimal for what?" In the
      > case of Plan B, the answer must be what Jeff himself wrote:
      > "[i]s simple enough to be parsed by a couple of hundred
      > lines of straightforward C."
      >
      > By providing a relex of English with suffixes to show the
      > precedence of each word in the parse this is, of course,
      > achieved.

      Plan B strikes me as a language designed to make "life" easier for
      computers, which is simply upside down: computers are tools to make
      life easier for human beings!

      > > X-1 is meant to be "Plan B done right", but I now feel that
      > > there is no way to do it right at all,
      >
      > I think Jacques Guy spotted that way back in 1992 with his
      > 'Plan C' ;)

      Yes.

      --
      ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
      http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
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