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Phonetically Complex Language

Immunize kids from the foreigner's accent disease.
  [vote for,

When learning a new language, adults have trouble getting pronunciation right. Children on the other hand can pick up these new languages in no time. Teach kids a phonetically diverse constructed language (conlang) at a young age so they won't have trouble learning a foreign language later as an adult. This language will have at least six tones, several clicks, taps, and would have voiced / unvoiced / aspirated / unaspirated differentiation, bilabial fricative(s), a rich collection of retroflex consonants, etc. etc. The grammer on the other hand does not need to be complex. Perhaps it could use Lojban's grammar, for its simplicity.
rhatta, Jan 11 2004

Hear 'em all right here. http://web.uvic.ca/...s/IPAlab/IPAlab.htm
[Arby, Oct 04 2004]

A Conlang FAQ http://crh.choate.e...ston/de_conlang.htm
[rhatta, Oct 04 2004]


       //The grammar on the other hand does not need to be complex. Perhaps it could use Lojban's grammar, for its simplicity.// Why ? surely when the kid attempts to learn a gramatically complex language as an adult, there'll be problems.

p.s. sp. grammer=grammar.
neilp, Jan 11 2004

       I always figured it was the vowels what give you away.
k_sra, Jan 11 2004

       I thinks it is a good idea! Taken to its natural conclusion just remove the grammar and make it a game of recognizing and reproducing sounds, could be included in music lessons.   

edward-ross, Jan 12 2004

       Wouldn't it be better to just teach them a foreign language? I'm always hugely embarrassed by the general level of language skills in the UK compared with the Netherlands, for example. This is probably partly due to the fact that we don't start learning foreign languages until the age of eleven, which is too late. By this stage our Dutch counterparts are practically fluent in at least two foreign languages.
hazel, Jan 12 2004

       Just who's going to teach the kid? I'm with Hazel. Much better to try to give 'em, say, Urdu, maybe a couple of Sino-Tibetan languages, and another two or three European ones. It would still be plenty tough arranging all the contact with native speakers that any kid would need in order to "pick up" all those sounds, but at least native speakers exist. An inverted (upper-lip to lower-teeth) labio-dental [f]ishbone to you. But I like Edward-ross' idea: On a long car trip, hours of fun can be had with implosives alone.
Arby, Jan 12 2004

       // But if you teach all kids this new language, there'd be no need to learn any other languages to sound stupid in?   

       That's true for all languages. Now teaching everyone the same language is the hard part. I am not proposing a new language that will replace all pre-existing languages, though - that is next to impossible from happening - instead, it's supposed to be an aid in learning those pre-existing languages.   

       // I think that learning a conlang as a first language would do something strange to your brain.   

       I doubt that learning a conlang (eg Esperanto or the one that I'm proposing) will create problem-solving issues that are irrecoverable, if any, for a child. A child will also have to learn a pre-existing native language anyway because a new artificial language is unlikely to replace the native language spoken in any neighborhood.   

       // Just who's going to teach the kid?   

       The first speakers of the new artificial language who are a few skilled enthusiasts, will hopefully help teach and spread the language to more.   

       Like all constructed languages, it has a potential of becoming *the* international auxiliary language, and also like all constructed languages, the chance of that happening is slim. But in the meanwhile, it can still be useful as a preparation in learning natural language(s) in the future. This "learn one language, pronounce many others" feature distinguishes it from other conlangs and natural languages.
rhatta, Jan 13 2004

       [Rhatta], there are few (zero?) people in the known universe who can perform and recognize all possible human speech sounds. And even still, making these sounds in isolation is one thing; recognizing them as carriers of meaning in streaming speech, when all other speech sounds are available (as would be the case with your imagined language), would be a bit impossible. Like, it wouldn’t be enough to repeat all these fun sounds to a kid. You’d have to get him to differentiate them in context. So, ugh, you’ve got a full language to invent and teach, and one that has to include thirty+ unique vowels along with a much bigger number of known diphthongal vowels. And hundreds of consonant combos! Ack. My tongue hurts just thinking of it.   

       Better a good and early introduction to linguistics for every school-aged tot, an idea that is already baked in many places outside Englishland.
Arby, Jan 13 2004

       //there are few (zero?) people in the known universe who can perform and recognize all possible human speech sounds//   

       But that's partly, if I remember right, because they don't learn the phonemes at an early age. Way I understand it, our brains have to learn to recognise these sounds as *phonemes* rather than just *sounds*, and this takes place at an early stage in linguistic development, with those phonemes being imprinted in our soft little heads like fingermarks in wet clay. The problem is that once our heads have hardened, so to speak, we just don't perceive those new sounds in the same way as the phonemes we picked up as children making it much more difficult to convert that stream of noise into the chunked structure that we actually understand. I think this idea would address that problem rather nicely.   

       //There is some evidence that the primary languages that you learn affect the way you think and solve problems.//   

       As I understand, the idea that the way we think is proscribed or prescribed by our language is now quite hotly contested. There are many who would argue that fictional examples of "thought-defining" languages like Orwell's DoubleSpeak or Delany's Babel-17 are no more than fictions in this regard. Steven Pinker, for instance, in "The Language Instinct" puts up quite a strong case against one of the prime examples often cited as evidence - the Hopi vocabulary regarding time. It was long argued that the Hopi did not (and could not) understand time in the same way as English speakers, this being seen as a necessary result of their language lacking the same chronological vocabulary. Pinker argues that this is pretty much nonsense. I can't recall all of his arguments offhand but I'll see if I can't find a link that covers the whole debate.   

       Anyhoo, I like the idea. It may be unlikely and infeasible simply because it requires such phonetic diversity in the conlang you'd have to construct, but I think it's a fundamentally sound idea. Croissant.
Guy Fox, Jan 13 2004

       Take them to an English premiership football match (U.S. "soccer"). They will hear all sorts of useful phonetic snippets which will leave them extremely well-equipped to deal with the future!
dobtabulous, Jan 13 2004

       [rods tiger], for me "ugh" means something like "that seems really tiring/overwhelming". It’s a glottal plosive, then an unrounded open mid-back vowel, then a voiced velar plosive. (Check out my link to hear these sounds in action.)
Arby, Jan 13 2004

       If I understand it correctly, this language would give the child an ease of pronouncing the new language for use as an adult. But for me, the difficulty in learning a new language is grammer and vocabulary, not the pronounciation. I would worry more about getting the structure right before I worry about my accent.
GenYus, Jan 13 2004

       ...decrement What the hell is a bilabial fricative anyway? A queef or a rasberry?
squigbobble, Jan 13 2004

       Premiership [dob]? Pah! Overpriced tickets to watch overpaid, overpretty men tickle their egos. Take them to a Watford match and they can see 'real' football and experience the trauma of real-world football supporting!
hazel, Jan 13 2004

       // there are few (zero?) people in the known universe who can perform and recognize all possible human speech sounds.// Yes. We call them 'Babies' They practice speaking all those sounds all the time, so we rightfully ignore them, after we ridicule them.
briancady413, Aug 09 2012

       Half baked in Esperanto, and I see the same reasoning as yours behind the design of this venerable conlang (100 years+) . 21 consonants are many consonants for a "simple" language, isn't it? The esperanto student must recognize and use phonemes from popular european languages as spanish, french, english, russian.
selenio, Mar 23 2016


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