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Re: [worldlanglist] A way to get rid of R

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  • Stephen Rice
    ... And this because of nagging sanity. After arguing that /[z] has no clear identity internationally, he proposes merging with . But note that [s]
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 27 8:58 PM
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      On 3/27/12, risto@... <risto@...> wrote:
      > Steve Rice wrote:
      >> On 3/25/12, Risto Kupsala wrote:
      >>> The story is poorly staged. Allophones didn't occur to Jespersen, the
      >>> linguist? Give me a break. Obviously b/v and l/r would have been better
      >>> off as allophones instead of being completely eliminated.
      >>
      >> 1. _An International Language_ was written in 1928 (and this story
      >> even earlier, I think, in Ido), and the idea of allophones arose in
      >> the early 1930s. Yes, allophones wouldn't have occurred to him then.
      >
      > He was aware of the phenomenon even if it didn't have a name. That b/v
      > thing happens in dialects of Spanish, and also in the evolution from
      > classical Greek to modern Greek. Jespersen must have known those things.
      > Come to think of it, he did the allophony trick to /s/ and /z/, didn't he?
      > I think he just didn't want to be so radical to do the same to l/r and
      > b/v.

      And this because of nagging sanity. After arguing that <z>/[z] has no
      clear identity internationally, he proposes merging <z> with <s>. But
      note that [s] and [z] are essentially the same sound anyway, differing
      only in voicing. On the other hand, [b]/[v] differ in point of
      articulation (labial vs labio-dental) and type (stop vs fricative).
      The differences between <l> and whatever <r> symbolizes at the moment
      will be greater.

      I'm reminded of the structuralist notion that [h] and [N] were
      allophones in English on the ground that they were in complementary
      distribution. That's considered a joke these days because of the sheer
      difference in features.

      >> 2. I have long thought con/auxlangers were on shaky ground in talking
      >> about "allophones." There are typically two things called allophones
      >> (complementary and free variant); saying that <l> may be realized as
      >> /l/ or /r/ isn't complementary, but it doesn't seem quite free
      >> variant, either.
      >
      > Good observation. To allow different variants is to allow different
      > accents. And that is OK.

      Is it? It should be, but through the perversity of human nature, one
      of those accents will acquire prestige, and others won't. So you're
      back to advantaged and disadvantaged speakers. Now, in Inlis, because
      it's based on an existing language, I can avoid existing accents, with
      the result that no matter what accent or dialect of English you're
      used to, Inlis is something else--something foreign. So all users
      sound equally foreign, and if someone can't make the l/r distinction,
      it's swallowed up in the general weirdness of the the overall sound.
      Worldlangers can't do that.

      >> I have no problem with Pandunia's phonology, though I was surprised to
      >> see both /l/ and /r/.
      >
      > The only way to excuse it was to accept Pinyin <r> as a variant
      > pronunciation. Maybe <r> shouldn't be there, after all. Even in some
      > Western languages it has transformed beyond recognition. French and
      > Brazilian Portuguese <r> are in fact closer to /x/, which probably made
      > Jens to merge /r/ with /h/ in Neo Patwa! It is easier to stack evidence
      > against <r> than for it.

      I mentioned that earlier. No one knows how to pronounce <r>. If I see
      a text in an unknown language, I'm willing to guess at the
      pronunciation of a lot of letters, but r, c, j, q, and x aren't among
      them. Unfortunately, by bringing this up, I think I may have set back
      the Pandunia lexicon by a year or more, which is precisely not what I
      wanted.

      >> I'm just concerned with stability, especially in
      >> the lexicon. The lesson vocabulary and the lexicon disagree in places,
      >> and that's not good. You also need a way to add words that works
      >> faster than the Ido top-down committee model.
      >>
      >> But that may be a problem of the more ambitious worldlangs. LdP at
      >> least has a method for generating needed vocabulary before senility
      >> sets in and you forget what you were trying to say in the first place.
      >> That's a good model, and one of LdP's clear advantages at the moment.
      >
      > It is impossible to make a word selection algorithm for Pandunia because
      > of the quotas. Pandunia is to be globally balanced and the quotas are the
      > way to guarantee it.

      Then it neither is nor ever can be a real language. Real languages are
      constantly being destroyed and recreated by their users, resulting in
      lexical, semantic, and grammatical change. The quotas you're talking
      about will prevent this, because the normal changes born of normal use
      will interfere with the quotas: people will coin words. You can't stop
      them.

      So Pandunia's word selection will continue with the
      > top-down model. The speakers are free to coin compound words, which is
      > very important as the root lexicon is meant to be relatively small in any
      > case.

      That only works if you can somehow keep Pandunia from becoming a
      full-fledged language--if you can freeze it at a roughly pidgin-like
      stage and avoid creolization. Otherwise the vocabulary will naturally
      increase. Even if you intend Pandunia to be a very limited use
      artifact, some users will decide to translate literature into it or
      produce their own, and the vocabulary will expand.

      Are there any living, successful languages that operate top down? I
      can't think of any, despite various academies that vainly try to
      regulate their respective languages. That's a strong argument that
      Pandunia won't be the first.

      Steve
    • risto@kupsala.net
      ... Don t worry. I built up the vocabulary anew in a few weeks before and after announcing the continual of Pandunia s development. Working fast is not a
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 28 12:26 AM
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        Steve Rice wrote:
        > On 3/27/12, risto@... <risto@...> wrote:
        >> Steve Rice wrote:
        >>> On 3/25/12, Risto Kupsala wrote:
        >>> I have no problem with Pandunia's phonology, though I was surprised to
        >>> see both /l/ and /r/.
        >>
        >> The only way to excuse it was to accept Pinyin <r> as a variant
        >> pronunciation. Maybe <r> shouldn't be there, after all. Even in some
        >> Western languages it has transformed beyond recognition. French and
        >> Brazilian Portuguese <r> are in fact closer to /x/, which probably made
        >> Jens to merge /r/ with /h/ in Neo Patwa! It is easier to stack evidence
        >> against <r> than for it.
        >
        > I mentioned that earlier. No one knows how to pronounce <r>. If I see
        > a text in an unknown language, I'm willing to guess at the
        > pronunciation of a lot of letters, but r, c, j, q, and x aren't among
        > them. Unfortunately, by bringing this up, I think I may have set back
        > the Pandunia lexicon by a year or more, which is precisely not what I
        > wanted.

        Don't worry. I built up the vocabulary anew in a few weeks before and
        after announcing the continual of Pandunia's development. Working fast is
        not a problem for me, but having any time at all is. I'm writing even this
        email at work, which is not good but maybe the only chance today.

        I already checked and there aren't many words with <r>. I have
        intentionally kept it out from the core vocabulary. Unfortunately I just
        added -ri suffix. I don't think there is a way to make derivatives like
        doktari, mantari, masteri and lideri to work with a different suffix, so
        they shall head to the thrash bin.

        >>> I'm just concerned with stability, especially in
        >>> the lexicon. The lesson vocabulary and the lexicon disagree in places,
        >>> and that's not good. You also need a way to add words that works
        >>> faster than the Ido top-down committee model.
        >>>
        >>> But that may be a problem of the more ambitious worldlangs. LdP at
        >>> least has a method for generating needed vocabulary before senility
        >>> sets in and you forget what you were trying to say in the first place.
        >>> That's a good model, and one of LdP's clear advantages at the moment.
        >>
        >> It is impossible to make a word selection algorithm for Pandunia because
        >> of the quotas. Pandunia is to be globally balanced and the quotas are
        >> the
        >> way to guarantee it.
        >
        > Then it neither is nor ever can be a real language. Real languages are
        > constantly being destroyed and recreated by their users, resulting in
        > lexical, semantic, and grammatical change. The quotas you're talking
        > about will prevent this, because the normal changes born of normal use
        > will interfere with the quotas: people will coin words. You can't stop
        > them.

        It's a different matter, a different stage in the language's life. The
        initial lexicon, that I am working with currently, shall be globally
        balanced. What happens afterwards is out of my control, but at least I
        have set a model that welcomes loan words from everywhere.

        > So Pandunia's word selection will continue with the
        >> top-down model. The speakers are free to coin compound words, which is
        >> very important as the root lexicon is meant to be relatively small in
        >> any case.
        >
        > That only works if you can somehow keep Pandunia from becoming a
        > full-fledged language--if you can freeze it at a roughly pidgin-like
        > stage and avoid creolization. Otherwise the vocabulary will naturally
        > increase. Even if you intend Pandunia to be a very limited use
        > artifact, some users will decide to translate literature into it or
        > produce their own, and the vocabulary will expand.

        A committee can work real fast now, in the Internet Age. You can submit
        your proposal to the international committee and you will get the official
        stamp in a few days. That should be fast enough.

        Just start submitting your proposals of new words to me now. Please
        remember to add sufficient evidence why you think the word is
        international (in some part(s) of the world) and needs to be added.

        > Are there any living, successful languages that operate top down? I
        > can't think of any, despite various academies that vainly try to
        > regulate their respective languages. That's a strong argument that
        > Pandunia won't be the first.

        We don't need total control. We only need to make sure that Pandunia
        dictionaries that will be used in different parts of the world will be in
        harmony with each other.

        -- Risto
      • Stephen Rice
        ... I ll pretend to find this encouraging. ... Well, so long as I didn t disrupt anything, then... ... LdP already has that without quotas. So does NP. ...
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 28 11:48 AM
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          On 3/28/12, risto@... <risto@...> wrote:
          > Steve Rice wrote:
          >> On 3/27/12, risto@... <risto@...> wrote:
          >>> Steve Rice wrote:
          >>>> On 3/25/12, Risto Kupsala wrote:

          >> Unfortunately, by bringing this up, I think I may have set back
          >> the Pandunia lexicon by a year or more, which is precisely not what I
          >> wanted.
          >
          > Don't worry. I built up the vocabulary anew in a few weeks before and
          > after announcing the continual of Pandunia's development. Working fast is
          > not a problem for me, but having any time at all is. I'm writing even this
          > email at work, which is not good but maybe the only chance today.

          I'll pretend to find this encouraging.

          > I already checked and there aren't many words with <r>. I have
          > intentionally kept it out from the core vocabulary. Unfortunately I just
          > added -ri suffix. I don't think there is a way to make derivatives like
          > doktari, mantari, masteri and lideri to work with a different suffix, so
          > they shall head to the thrash bin.

          Well, so long as I didn't disrupt anything, then...

          >>> It is impossible to make a word selection algorithm for Pandunia because
          >>> of the quotas. Pandunia is to be globally balanced and the quotas are
          >>> the
          >>> way to guarantee it.
          >>
          >> Then it neither is nor ever can be a real language. Real languages are
          >> constantly being destroyed and recreated by their users, resulting in
          >> lexical, semantic, and grammatical change. The quotas you're talking
          >> about will prevent this, because the normal changes born of normal use
          >> will interfere with the quotas: people will coin words. You can't stop
          >> them.
          >
          > It's a different matter, a different stage in the language's life. The
          > initial lexicon, that I am working with currently, shall be globally
          > balanced. What happens afterwards is out of my control, but at least I
          > have set a model that welcomes loan words from everywhere.

          LdP already has that without quotas. So does NP.

          >> So Pandunia's word selection will continue with the
          >>> top-down model. The speakers are free to coin compound words, which is
          >>> very important as the root lexicon is meant to be relatively small in
          >>> any case.
          >>
          >> That only works if you can somehow keep Pandunia from becoming a
          >> full-fledged language--if you can freeze it at a roughly pidgin-like
          >> stage and avoid creolization. Otherwise the vocabulary will naturally
          >> increase. Even if you intend Pandunia to be a very limited use
          >> artifact, some users will decide to translate literature into it or
          >> produce their own, and the vocabulary will expand.
          >
          > A committee can work real fast now, in the Internet Age.

          Roughly equivalent to "Government is becoming more efficient."
          Meaning: My doctor really needs to adjust my psychotropic medications.

          You can submit
          > your proposal to the international committee and you will get the official
          > stamp in a few days. That should be fast enough.

          For conversation? For affixing a note to someone's Facebook wall?
          Other things have sped up in the Internet Age too. But this begs the
          question of where the "international committee" comes from. It's
          probably better to plan for an autonomous movement.
          >
          > Just start submitting your proposals of new words to me now. Please
          > remember to add sufficient evidence why you think the word is
          > international (in some part(s) of the world) and needs to be added.

          Well, let's see: to resolve the conflict between "da" in the lessons
          (= "give") and "da" in the lexicon (= 10), I've suggested keeping "da
          = give" and substituting "ten" for 10. International? It's used in 54
          countries worldwide and in in global aviation. One or two billion
          people will recognize it. And it fits the requirement for a
          monosyllable with the form CV(n). Problem solved!

          >> Are there any living, successful languages that operate top down? I
          >> can't think of any, despite various academies that vainly try to
          >> regulate their respective languages. That's a strong argument that
          >> Pandunia won't be the first.
          >
          > We don't need total control. We only need to make sure that Pandunia
          > dictionaries that will be used in different parts of the world will be in
          > harmony with each other.

          Good luck: the lesson vocabularies and the lexicon don't even agree now.

          Pandunia has great potential, but chaining it up won't help it succeed.

          Steve
        • Risto Kupsala
          ... In informal situations you are free to use whatever word you think that your listener/reader would or should understand. But you shouldn t just coin words
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 28 2:05 PM
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            28.3.2012 21:48, Stephen Rice kirjoitti:
            > On 3/28/12, risto@...<risto@...> wrote:
            >
            >> A committee can work real fast now, in the Internet Age.
            > Roughly equivalent to "Government is becoming more efficient."
            > Meaning: My doctor really needs to adjust my psychotropic medications.
            >
            > You can submit
            >> your proposal to the international committee and you will get the official
            >> stamp in a few days. That should be fast enough.
            > For conversation? For affixing a note to someone's Facebook wall?
            > Other things have sped up in the Internet Age too. But this begs the
            > question of where the "international committee" comes from. It's
            > probably better to plan for an autonomous movement.

            In informal situations you are free to use whatever word you think that
            your listener/reader would or should understand. But you shouldn't just
            coin words anytime anywhere and assume that the rest of us will adopt
            them. They have to be made official sooner or later. The bottom-up
            approach is slower than the top-down approach if your goal is to get the
            words into wider use.

            >> Just start submitting your proposals of new words to me now. Please
            >> remember to add sufficient evidence why you think the word is
            >> international (in some part(s) of the world) and needs to be added.
            > Well, let's see: to resolve the conflict between "da" in the lessons
            > (= "give") and "da" in the lexicon (= 10), I've suggested keeping "da
            > = give" and substituting "ten" for 10. International? It's used in 54
            > countries worldwide and in in global aviation. One or two billion
            > people will recognize it. And it fits the requirement for a
            > monosyllable with the form CV(n). Problem solved!

            Thanks. Next time propose a non-Western word. Remember the quotas, you
            know... ;)

            >
            >>> Are there any living, successful languages that operate top down? I
            >>> can't think of any, despite various academies that vainly try to
            >>> regulate their respective languages. That's a strong argument that
            >>> Pandunia won't be the first.
            >> We don't need total control. We only need to make sure that Pandunia
            >> dictionaries that will be used in different parts of the world will be in
            >> harmony with each other.
            > Good luck: the lesson vocabularies and the lexicon don't even agree now.

            I corrected 10=ten. Were there also other disagreements? I don't
            remember seeing any except "da = to give" is missing from the dictionary.)

            > Pandunia has great potential, but chaining it up won't help it succeed.

            I still haven't taught the beast good manners. I will unchain him or her
            when he or she is ready to take over the world.

            --
            Risto Kupsala

            Pandunia - a cross-cultural IAL
            http://www.kupsala.net/risto/pandunia/
          • Stephen Rice
            ... What if I don t care? The goal is communication, not winning a lexical popularity contest. Consider how Esperanto works: there is a process for
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 28 11:37 PM
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              On 3/28/12, Risto Kupsala <risto@...> wrote:

              > In informal situations you are free to use whatever word you think that
              > your listener/reader would or should understand. But you shouldn't just
              > coin words anytime anywhere and assume that the rest of us will adopt
              > them. They have to be made official sooner or later. The bottom-up
              > approach is slower than the top-down approach if your goal is to get the
              > words into wider use.

              What if I don't care? The goal is communication, not winning a lexical
              popularity contest. Consider how Esperanto works: there is a process
              for officializing words, but it essentially means recognizing what
              everyone else already takes for granted. For example, "Usono" (US) had
              been in common use for about a century before it was recognized as
              official. The Idists wouldn't do that: they would feel obliged to
              stick an asterisk on the poor neologism in place of a scarlet letter.

              Now, anyone who has read newspapers or magazines knows how to
              introduce a neologism; we see it done in articles where a technical or
              regional term occurs that the writer thinks needs explanation.

              "He became interested in boyagi, a Korean traditional wrapping cloth..."

              "Bishops said the teaching was essentially Nestorian, that is, it held
              that Christ had two separate natures, one human and one divine."

              And so on. In a translation, a footnote (in print) or a mouse-over
              note (in hypertext) can present a gloss.

              >> Good luck: the lesson vocabularies and the lexicon don't even agree now.
              >
              > I corrected 10=ten. Were there also other disagreements? I don't
              > remember seeing any except "da = to give" is missing from the dictionary.)

              I'll check. If there are, I'll mention it privately; this isn't the
              proper place for that, and I wouldn't have mentioned the topic but for
              frustration.

              Steve
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