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International Language2

Create a Language with a 100 word vocabulary
  [vote for,

Every one knows that Languages are hard to learn for non-native speakers. Efforts to artificially create an International language have failed. My idea is to create a language with the smallest vocabulary possible.

The words contained in the vocabulary would be the most primal, simple words imaginable. All other words would just be a combination of these.

For instance for color there would only be three words; Blue, Red, Yellow. All other colors would be a combination of these three words. Green for instance would be Blue-Yellow. Brown could be Blue-Yellow-Green.

If a good base of primal words was created all words could be created from combination. Anyone could learn the language quickly if there were a small enough vocabulary. Pronunciation could be taught quickly since the vocabulary was so small.

The draw-backs is that it would not be a very descriptive language, but it could work for rudimentary, primitive communication like Political Rhetoric...

jvanzand, Feb 07 2004

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Acme, Feb 07 2004

       Just an "O" with one hand and an "I" with the other = "Make love not war". Two words, each one letter, eliminates most our current problems. Can it get any easier?
kbecker, Feb 07 2004

       Baked: "Basic English" (less than 1000 words iirc).   

       Many other designed languages (eg, Esperanto) also aim for a small base word count, though less drastically than Basic English.   

       The 10th dictionary of NewSpeak would probably have also baked this.. some people would suggest that having such a limited range of vocabularly can limit expressed thought, which is double plus ungood.
benjamin, Feb 08 2004

       cat = furdooropendoorshutfoodpisscrapdooropendoorshut   

       I would go on but it will ruin hb layout.   

       what Acme said.
po, Feb 08 2004

       [po] = halfcookbreadplacepersoncatparent   

       ... ah, can't use the word cat, can I? Insert [po]'s description.
jonthegeologist, Feb 08 2004

       Wonderful though [po] is, you have to admit that no human is ever the boss of a cat. Perhaps cat = number one [po] boss would be more appropriate?
hazel, Feb 08 2004

       Unless [po] is a cat :)
benjamin, Feb 08 2004

       almost but the knees let me down.
po, May 02 2005

       You can chop it to 51 by removing all opposites and adding an "opposite" sign.
phundug, May 02 2005

       Mandarin Chinese gets by on four hundred and ninety-five different words spoken using four different tones, so it has fewer than two thousand words in its vocabulary, despite using synonyms. As mentioned above, Esperanto vocabulary is pared down to a minimum, which is achieved by affixes. However, if vocabulary is reduced, other aspects of the language might become more difficult to manage. For instance, syntax might have to be very rigid or extensive inflection would need to be introduced. Basic English has a vocabulary of less than a thousand words but it still uses idioms found in English which native speakers of some other languages are likely to find hard to follow, such as phrasal verbs.
It doesn't follow that pronunciation becomes simpler because vocabulary is small. The tones of Chinese are the result of its small vocabulary.
What is a primal vocabulary? Lots of languages get away without using articles at all, but are they failing to describe an aspect of reality that articles enable others to understand or do those of us who use a language with articles have an unnecessary extra feature? To turn this around, many languages use another word after a number depending on the nature of the objects counted, for instance if they are flat, grains, bulky or whatever. English doesn't really do that, but when my daughter learnt English she did feel the need to do that. Are we missing that feature? We don't use the word "thou" or separate words for "we" when the speaker includes the addressee and when they don't, which can lead to confusion, but is that a deficiency or a welcome simplification?
What i'm trying to say is that i don't feel there is a "primal vocabulary".
nineteenthly, May 02 2005


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