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RE: word selection: ramifications

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  • Dan Dawes
    Whatever vowels we pick, we must make them typeable on a standard keyboard, i.e. no umlauts or other special characters. We may need to thus use the dipthong
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 29, 1999
      Whatever vowels we pick, we must make them typeable on a standard keyboard,
      i.e. no umlauts or other special characters. We may need to thus use the
      dipthong versions, e.g. ae, oe, ue for the umlauted versions.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jeffrey Henning [mailto:Jeffrey@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 1999 9:21 AM
      To: folkspraak@onelist.com
      Subject: Re: [folkspraak] word selection: ramifications


      From: "Jeffrey Henning" <Jeffrey@...>

      > 1. Earlier there were some suggestions by myself and one or two others
      > that, when we have a choice between a Germanic word and a Romance
      > derivative, we should prefer the Germanic word. If we apply this rule,
      and
      > I hope we will, we shall select "wissenschaft" over "science." Once we do
      > so, in order to make our vocabulary easier to remember, we will be
      > constrained to use the 'schaft' suffix in other contexts as well, and to
      > adopt "wissen" over its counterparts when making other word choices. This
      > may even influence our decision over whether to adopt German -s- or
      > English -t- in words like water/wasser. I give this as an example of how
      > one decision may constrain our choices in unforeseen ways.

      This is a good point, and indicates the developing a lexicon is a holistic
      act -- we can't just rattle off individual words and be done.

      What I would suggest is that we propose individual words to lexify
      semantemes, even if those semantemes are already lexified. Blech. Let's try
      that again: we coin words for concepts, even if those concepts are already
      in the lexicon. Then at some point we can begin to prune out some of the
      coinings, looking at the lexicon as a whole. But I'd rather have more to
      start with -- that way anyone can contribute, and we will do the pruning
      later. Sort of like a brainstorming session, where you have one meeting to
      come up with concepts, the goofier the better, and a separate session to go
      through them.


      > 2. On vowel selection, the default position seems to be to stick with
      long
      > a, e, i, o, u--the "Esperanto 5"--which I have previously argued will
      > deprive Folkspraak's phonemic pattern of some of its Germanic character.
      I
      > now wish to point out yet another problem, namely, that this decision may
      > unduly restrict our choice of vocabulary. For example, we could not adopt
      > the English 'it' unless we made it sound like 'eat'--in which case we
      could
      > not consider for adoption the English 'eat!' We may run into any number
      of
      > such problems with this policy.

      This is a good point. The Esperanto 5 are probably not applicable for a
      Germanic RAL. What would you suggest instead?


      > 3. Interesting observation on IALs vs. RALs (Regional Auxiliary Langs.):
      > IALers almost invariably opt for a Latin base.

      Hence the derogative term Euroclone.

      > However, with English being
      > by far the most popular IAL, and the most studied 2nd lang., it may be
      just
      > as logical for future IALers to opt for a Germanic rather than Latin base
      > for such tongues. ~alypius

      Interesting. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

      Jeffrey


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