Culture: Language
The Easiest Language In The World   (+3, -9)  [vote for, against]
What is the square of Pie? Does that tank have H20 compatible Muzzle loaders?

Lately, I have dwelled on the idea of a simple language, which I call the perfect language. I questioned whether to post it here and just kind of waited for the whole idea to come to grips. I just finished my semester exam (english) and I'm REALLY, pissed off andthe idea is rip roarin in my head.

This is the Easiest Language in the World. There is no such thing as plural meanings in this language. One does not use the word 'Tank' as both a name for a vehicle, and a name for an object.

The language is simple. Everything, is straight forward. Spelling is different to. Consonants modify only the vowels in front of them. You don't have the 'r' modifying the 'e' and end up with an 'errr' sound. You don't end up with 'semi meanings'. For example Y cannot be a vowel and a consonant, it can be one or the other. There is no such thing as 'conditions of conditions'. Where under some condition, "this word sounds like this, but this word means something totally different under another set of conditions". For example that sentence I just wrote. The 'this' refers to the first word, and saying 'this' with an 'and' before it does not mean another word. You can't just patch together random letters and get a word that sounds like a word under the most extensive, and extreme conditions.

For example the Planet Kashyyk, from Star Wars. The 'y' sounds like two 'e's, or an 'ick', but nobody really knows because the conditions are so extreme, and so vague or numerous that you just say it however the heck you want to say it.

A class of one word cannot be a class of another. Such as the word 'can', can, can be a verb, just like that, but it can also be a noun, as in a 'tin can'.

Words are not named after letters, so if you said each letter in a particular word you can't get a particularly strange phrase. 'You' is not a pronoun for 'that person', 'oh' is not an interjection, 'gee' is not an interjection, and so and so forth.
-- EvilPickels, Jan 20 2006

Like this? http://homepage.ntl...llHumour/Spoofs.htm
[Ling, Jan 21 2006]

Another version
[Ling, Jan 21 2006]

The Universal Language, John Wilkins
as seen in the Bar Oak cycle [not_morrison_rm, Apr 12 2011]

So this is just the phonetic alphabet, and all synonyms removed from the language? It sounds a lot like newspeak to me (but without the intent of narrowing people's thoughts). I agree that English is an incredibly strange and wierd language, but that only adds to its charm. The range of meanings enable you to be poetic and intelligent, and give subtle nuances of meaning which the language would be boring without.

Baked in the form of Newspeak, Esperanto, Multilingua and the many other artificial languages in the world.
-- dbmag9, Jan 20 2006

The problem is that your language involves "no such things" that already exist.
-- Antegrity, Jan 20 2006


There are two fish in a tank. One says, to the other: "I sure wish I could drive this thing."
-- ato_de, Jan 20 2006

//What is the square of Pie?// The square of Pie is much harder to cut equally. What does it have inside?
-- dbmag9, Jan 20 2006

This sounds rather like Esperanto. That has unambiguous pronunciation rules. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a similarly careful approach to word meaning.
-- st3f, Jan 20 2006

I agree with dbmag9, this shares one of the basic features of Newspeak. The intent may not be to narrow people's thoughts, but that is what would happen if children were brought up in such a language. How, for instance, could one write poetry without words having multiple meanings? How could comedians survive without puns? Then there is the question of change. Language changes, new meanings are always piled onto old words, so either (a) the perfect language would have to be frozen by law at its original state, or (b) a city full of Ministry of Truth functionaries would have to be employed to keep inventing new words (or eliminating old meanings). Would you invent a new word for, e.g., a (computer) printer, leaving the old word to mean only a human printer, or would you suppress the old word, which would require you to burn all the dictionaries and replace them every year, and make all literature more than 15 years old unreadable? Perfect languages are like perfect leaders...
-- Balbillus, Jan 21 2006

Sounds more like a list of nots than a list of dos. I therefore call this a rant.
-- Freefall, Jan 21 2006

[EP], do check out esperanto. That language needs guys like you.
-- bungston, Jan 21 2006

I've never taken the plunge into Esperanto. Is it worth it?

I've always wanted to run a program that abstracts the most likely sound out of the most dominate languages for certain things & then detrmine if there is a reason for that.

If you can tie in a new written language that uses sound and shapes of letters to harmonize with each other and still lure acceptance, I'd name a God after you. (I hope to get there first some day).
-- Zimmy, Jan 21 2006

To the tune of 'Desperado'

"Esperanto... kial fari ne vi veni al via senco
Vi havi been out riding fences por tiel sopiri nu"
-- RayfordSteele, Jan 21 2006

\\I'd name a God after you\\.
And the great lord EvilPickels didst descend unto our land and he did spite the wicked English language.
A small murmur filled the crowds as the lowly hidden truths did spake:
"I'm actually quite fond of the English language as it is, warts and all. It may be complicated, and at times irrational. But this only adds to its depth and beauty and complexity."
But, being a great god for some reason, EvilPickels didst not really give a shit.
-- hidden truths, Jan 21 2006

[Ian] Propose that a dialogue sets up a range of expectations in the minds of its receivers. Propose further that the resolution of the dialogue, while not logically inconsistent with its earlier part, lies so far outside of the previous expectations as to create an emotional tension. The receivers have evolved a mechanism involving spasming of the respiratory and facial muscles which aids in dissipating this tension.

Actually, that explains why "jokes with unfunny punchlines" work - the expectation that one's expectation will be shattered is shattered.
-- spidermother, Apr 10 2011

Interesting, i haven't noticed this before. A number of natural languages are like this, notably Indonesian and Mandarin.
-- nineteenthly, Apr 10 2011

In the case of Indonesian, isn't this because it was only recently migrated to the Latin alphabet (compare Turkish)? Won't it tend to acquire more wrinkles and character lines over time?
-- pertinax, Apr 10 2011

Arabic is a crap script for writing almost anything but Arabic, so no. Finnish and Czech are good examples of languages which use the Roman alphabet well. Also, that's just to do with the spelling. Indonesian has other simplicities. In fact, English itself, apart from the spelling, is a very analytic language compared to most or all other European languages. I can't think of a more straightforward one in such terms offhand.

The idea that English spelling is bad is based on the misconception that we use an alphabet.
-- nineteenthly, Apr 10 2011

Baked: Phoenician
-- DIYMatt, Apr 12 2011

How?? They must surely have that whole triliteral root thang going on, plus the construct form, weird plurals and a whole lot of other bollocks? Off to Google this now because that's a very surprising claim.

OK, clearly "nope". It uses an abjad rather than an alphabet, it has a dual, it has construct forms, grammatical gender, the form of the verb varies for transitivity, in other words it's the nightmarish mess that Afro-Asiatic languages usually are.

And no, we do not use the alphabet. Our language masquerades as using an alphabetic script but in fact only pays lip service to it and then goes off and does its own thing stringing letters together to represent patterns which represent morphemes rather than sounds.
-- nineteenthly, Apr 12 2011

// I've never taken the plunge into Esperanto. Is it worth it?// Surprisingly high genocide rate on Esperanto speakers, so probably not.

The Universal Language perhaps (C link)
-- not_morrison_rm, Apr 12 2011

Lojban hasn't been mentioned yet, so here goes: lojban.

English no longer behaves as if it has an alphabet, according to the technical definition of the word, supposedly due to successive mongrelisations followed by the great vowel shift. According to the Wikipedia (alphabet) page, most Italians don't know the word for "spell"; they do have an alphabet, so spelling is a trivial activity, rather than something that needs to be learned for each word.

Applause for [RayfordSteele]'s song.

//The Universal Language perhaps (C link)// Interesting link, but I thought you were arguing that we should all speak C.
-- spidermother, Apr 13 2011

Esperanto has unnecessary complications, such as future active and future passive participles, which are rare, and of course it has a European bias, though that's funnily enough not considered a problem among non-IE speakers when they learn it. However, it's also flawed in many other ways.

I had a go at inventing a conlang i called Dunijaluga once, which was SOV, based on Arabic vocab and had a CV consonant structure. Not particularly blowing my own trumpet though because it's not necessarily well-advised.

Wasn't John Wilkins inspired by Chinese? His work is also sort of reminiscent of Enochian and Celestial.
-- nineteenthly, Apr 13 2011

random, halfbakery