h a l f b a k e r y
Breakfast of runners-up.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
One Word Language Challenge
Pick a word, "asulazutua" or something, use inflection and pronunciation to indicate different meanings and create an entire language out of variations of it.
The slang word "dude" has many meanings depending on
pronunciation and context. (link)
The Chinese language has words that have different
meanings depending on the "4 tones". (link)
The proposed experiment is to create an entire language
out of one word expanding on the examples of a word
being given different meaning using methods shown in
The word could be shortened to create variations so a
sentence might look like "As asul asulaz asu asulazutua
asulazut." and given different tones.
This would probably be best done with a computer given
some parameters to work with, then, if somebody
to completely nurd out they could actually learn it and
to other nurds. Sort of like learning Klingon.
I don't think tones and inflection would be enough to
give you the necessary different meanings you'd need
hence the multiple
words extracted from the one base word. Asulazutua
sounds exotic and very foreign in any language so I
picked that. Also it's the first nonsensical word that
came to mind. Kind of puts your tongue through the
paces to pronounce as well which is kind of interesting.
[doctorremulac3, Feb 13 2019]
[doctorremulac3, Feb 13 2019]
It was hoped to reduce all human speach to one word or syllable. [Voice, Feb 13 2019]
Jasper Carrott Explains Chinese
Apparently there is only one (inflected) word in the Chinese language. [8th of 7, Feb 13 2019]
Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den
Chinese prior art [notexactly, Feb 13 2019]
One instruction set computer
Computer prior art [notexactly, Feb 13 2019]
by [nineteenthly] [neutrinos_shadow, Feb 13 2019]
How they got the Chewbacca voice
[doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2019]
Of course there's this, the almighty emperor of all words...
It's the word "fuck" so don't click it if you don't want to hear it about 100 times. [doctorremulac3, Feb 14 2019]
||Yep, " East and Southeast Asia, the Pacific, Africa,
the Americas; as many as seventy percent of world
languages may be tonal [languages]" - wikipedia.
||South East Asia is 4 tones, get it right and your
bandwidth is quadrupled. But my pathetic attempt
to say "thanks" in Thai "kap kun kap" has (4 x 4 x 4) -
63 different ways to not say "thanks" properly.
||Well, you can look at "1" and "0" inflection as a variation of one empty-set-
||Would this end up a bit like Fisherman's Rhyming Slang? eg:
||"Fisherman's" = "Wet" (Fisherman's net)
"Fisherman's" = "Coat" (Fisherman's boat)
"Fisherman's" = "Book" (Fisherman's hook)
||In a completely round-about way, if you define the
alphabet to be your single word, then it's just a
matter of trivially rearranging parts of that word to
mean different things. Under that definition, then
English is already achieving what's set out in the
||Except that English can be written and convey
meaning that way. And a single word couldn't. Baby
talk (by babies... not adults) might satisfy without
written understanding. Noises with meaning based
on inflection etc.
||We (sort of) already did this, 10 years ago.
||Chewbacca seemed to be able to get a lot across
with various growls.
||(See link), and learn how to do a pretty good
imitation at the end.
||This could probably find practical use in science
fiction making some alien species mildly more
||Anyway, here's the deal, you'd need to get about
words out of one word. Not sure how many
combinations of letters out of the "word"
asulazutua you could get. a as, asu, asul, asula,
asulaz, asulazu, asulazut, asulazut. Then there's
ua, tua, utua, zutua, azutua, lazutua, ulazutua
and sulazutua. Then you'd add pronunciations,
syllable emphasis etc. Could you get 170,000
combinations? Sounds like a math problem so I'll
||The premise could be that was their god's name or
something. Their supreme leader maybe.
||Actually, there is already a four-letter word in English that
can have multiple meanings as an exclamation, a statement of
disappointment, a verb and a noun. Might be best to start
with that one.
||Fuck are you talking about, [MB]?
||Over my lifetime the expression has evolved from
"What the fuck are you talkin' about?" to "The fuck
are you talkin' about?" to "Fuck are you talkin' about?"
to its final of "Fuck you talkin' about?".
||I'm sure everybody's seen it but I'll put up the Monty
Python bit Max's referring to in case we've got any
||I still wonder why the Germans dropped
agungsgesetz" as their longest word, just trips off the
||NB inflections only happens to the vowel sounds, so
the Slovak word "Zmrzl" (frozen or congealed) stays