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 Post subject: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:44 am 
Smeric
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Because of the recent debate on Esperanto, I decided that it would be fun to revisit my old language, specifically made to be as easy as possible to learn, and within little time, I removed even more things that I deemed unnecessary for a functioning language, and can now present the result.

Please keep in mind that this is meant to be very easy, and thus you may also find it boring and ugly, and I even do myself, because I love irregularities, haha! However, hopefully someone will find this kind of approach interesting as well, and have something to say about it.

This will be a short topic, and that should hopefully say something about whether my attempt is successful or not; it should be easy to learn, and only vocabulary should have a steep learning curve, which is of course simply a matter of memory. I do try to reuse stems a lot.

––

Basics

Word order is SVO. Attributes are placed before the words that they are modifying; placing them after them replaces the non-existent copula.

The vocabulary is usually created from existing (generally Romance and Greek) roots, but because of the minimalist set of sounds and certain endings forced onto different word classes, they are often mangled beyond recognition.

I also try to keep the number of words low, meaning that the word for 'vehicle' would probably be the most commonly used word for 'car', and then derivations such as 'air vehicle' or 'flying vehicle' could be used for 'airplane', and 'floating vehicle' for 'boat' and 'ship'. This means that some words will be intentionally short, so that they can be compounded without becoming annoyingly long.

Phonetics
I am trying to keep the sound system as simple as possible, but I currently allow for up to three vowels in a row (although unstressed /i/ and /u/ may be realised as glides for simplification), so if that should be a great problem for some people, please let me know.

Vowels
/a i e u o/

Consonants
/p t k m n s/

They are spelled in the same way. Syllable structure is (C)V, and stress is always on the penultimate syllable. All vowels count as syllables and there are no diphthongs or triphthongs; sequential vowels are pronounced separately, although allophonic rules allow for /i/ and /u/ to be realised as glides, since there is no chance of ambiguity.

Nouns

Nouns are completely uninflected, even for number, and always end in -a.

If there is a specific need to disambiguate number, there is the adjective seu, meaning 'several'; 'many'; 'more than one'.
There are no articles.

Personal pronouns

This is the only class to be inflected for number, for convenience, since this is something that people would probably want to disambiguate more often, and most people would probably have no native language bias or problem in understanding singular and plural personal pronouns.

Image

There is also the impersonal pronoun sia; 'one'; 'you'.

Adjectives

Adjectives are completely uninflected, and always end in -u.

Adverbs can be specifically expressed through the phrase (e) ADJECTIVE maia; literally '(in) ADJECTIVE manner'.
For variation, things can usually be rephrased; 'happily' could be expressed as 'with joy'.

Verbs

Verbs are completely uninflected, and always end in -i. They always require a subject, except for in the imperative, which forces no subject, for disambiguation. Tense, aspect and mood are determined through context or by means of helper words, such as verbs and adverbials.

Attributes and the lack of a copula

There is no copula, so word order is important. ADJECTIVE NOUN means 'ADJECTIVE NOUN', while NOUN ADJECTIVE means 'NOUN is/was/will be/has been/had been ADJECTIVE'.

Code:
piaku kata;        'white cat'
kata piaku;        'a/the cat(s) is/are white'
pekenu kata piaku; '(the) little cat(s) is/are white'


Smaller words, such as particles/prepositions, conjunctions and some pronouns

Image

Interrogation

For disambiguation, questions always end with the negative particle ne, and follow the same word order as any other sentence and clause.
The interrogative pronouns are all based on the basic interrogative word ku; 'what'.

Image

Demonstrative pronouns and related adverbials

Image

Numerals

Cardinal numerals end in -a, and ordinal ones end in -u.

Image

Yes. tusa was taken from Germanic languages, because I felt something like miia could probably be put to better use somewhere else.

Examples

Mia kopi neuu a iosu iekiia e kasa ti uena.
'I bought a new, red car at the store.'
1PS buy new and red vehice LOC house POSS sell.NOM
"I buy new and red vehicle in house of vending."

Nama ti piia ti ia Adam.
'His/her child's name is Adam.'
name POSS child POSS 3PS Adam
"Name of child of he/she Adam."

Mia ami tia.
'I love thee.'
1PS love 2PS
"I love thou."

Tia ami mia ne?
'Dost thou love me?'
2PS love 1PS INT
"Thou love me eh?"

Tutu uma peu komo ipiu, ko ekuu uaoa a iaka.
'All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights.'
all human carried as free, with equal value and let.NOM
"All human born as free, with same value and letting."

Sia ami mas ponu ta sia oti.
'It is better to love than to hate.'
IMPERS love more good than IMPERS hate
"One/you love more good than one/you hate."

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I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


Last edited by Skomakar'n on Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:53 am 
Avisaru
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Skomakar'n wrote:
placing them after the headword forms a noun phrase


context suggests this isn't what you meant

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:16 pm 
Smeric
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It looks pretty good for an auxlang, although certainly every bit as dull as you would expect. Any reason why you didn't include any liquid consonants like /l/ or /r/, though? The vast majority of languages have at least one liquid so it would not pose any problems that I can see for ease of pronunciation. Just have an undifferentiated liquid that speakers can pronounce [r 4 R R\ r\ l] or whatever else their native language has.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:26 pm 
Smeric
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Kereb wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:
placing them after the headword forms a noun phrase


context suggests this isn't what you meant

Aw, fuck. That wording stems from and old version, where I though a headword just was the word modified by the adjective, in this kind of a context. Sorry. That's what I meant anyway. The word of which the adjective is an attribute.

Eddy wrote:
It looks pretty good for an auxlang, although certainly every bit as dull as you would expect. Any reason why you didn't include any liquid consonants like /l/ or /r/, though? The vast majority of languages have at least one liquid so it would not pose any problems that I can see for ease of pronunciation. Just have an undifferentiated liquid that speakers can pronounce [r 4 R R\ r\ l] or whatever else their native language has.

I don't like having different "dialects" where every person pronounces the rhotic or lateral the way they do in their native language; that's not a dialect to me, it's just a bad accent. I don't want people to get bad accents more easily than necessary.

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Online dictionary for my conlang Vanga: http://royalrailway.com/tungumaalMiin/Vanga/

#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:38 pm 
Avisaru
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Skomakar'n wrote:
Aw, fuck. That wording stems from and old version, where I though a headword just was the word modified by the adjective, in this kind of a context. Sorry. That's what I meant anyway. The word of which the adjective is an attribute.


"headword" isn't the issue, "noun phrase" is.
white cat is a noun phrase; the cat is white is not a noun phrase; placing piaku after kata forms kata piaku the cat is white. You were trying to say that this is the construction used instead of having a copula word, but your description means something you didn't intend.

As for the language itself, I don't know ... hasn't this been done many times before? And unfortunately if you DO put a new spin on it, make it interesting, you defeat the purpose of Super Easy Auxlang.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:24 pm 
Smeric
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Kereb wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:
Aw, fuck. That wording stems from and old version, where I though a headword just was the word modified by the adjective, in this kind of a context. Sorry. That's what I meant anyway. The word of which the adjective is an attribute.


"headword" isn't the issue, "noun phrase" is.
white cat is a noun phrase; the cat is white is not a noun phrase; placing piaku after kata forms kata piaku the cat is white. You were trying to say that this is the construction used instead of having a copula word, but your description means something you didn't intend.

Oh. Well. I'm fairly sure that I recently discovered that a "headword" wasn't what I thought it was...

I got those two mixed up, then. So what's it called?

Kereb wrote:
As for the language itself, I don't know ... hasn't this been done many times before? And unfortunately if you DO put a new spin on it, make it interesting, you defeat the purpose of Super Easy Auxlang.

Hence the disclaimer in the original post. ;) This is not meant to be interesting. I just posted it for the sake of it.

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Online dictionary for my conlang Vanga: http://royalrailway.com/tungumaalMiin/Vanga/

#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:37 pm 
Avisaru
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Can nouns be used attributively to modify other nouns? Are there genitives of any type? How do you indicate possession?

Depending on the answers above, how do you disambiguate NOUN NOUN NOUN, other than through context? That is, is the second or third word being modified by the preceding noun?

Do you have any of the words used to indicate tense, mood, etc?

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:48 pm 
Smeric
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Vardelm wrote:
Can nouns be used attributively to modify other nouns? Are there genitives of any type? How do you indicate possession?

I forgot to write that? I thought it was listed in the examples and one of the tables...

ti, pretty much corresponding to English 'of' or Romance 'de' is used for this.

kata ti mia; my cat (lit. 'cat of me')

Vardelm wrote:
Depending on the answers above, how do you disambiguate NOUN NOUN NOUN, other than through context? That is, is the second or third word being modified by the preceding noun?

Give me an example when you believe that this could be grammatical at all (even with a hidden copula), because I can't, so it's hard to give you an answer. I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

Vardelm wrote:
Do you have any of the words used to indicate tense, mood, etc?

Generally, there would be things like 'yesterday', 'tomorrow', 'now' and so on. There is no specific way of expressing a subjunctive or stuff like that, because the language doesn't need it to function properly.

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#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:28 am 
Smeric
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Skomakar'n wrote:
Syllable structure is (C)V
Image


Huh?

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:32 am 
Avisaru
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Imralu wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:
Syllable structure is (C)V
Image


Huh?

Personal pronouns with regular plurals, I'd say. I = mia, we = mias, etc...

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:37 am 
Avisaru
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Quote:
(C)V
ias


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:46 am 
Avisaru
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Aaaah, somehow, I didn't catch that... my reading comprehension, it is low today.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:09 pm 
Smeric
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Bob Johnson wrote:
Quote:
(C)V
ias

The only exception! :D I hadn't actually realised, haha. Well, yeah. I'll leave that as the exception, since pronouns even having plurals is an exception.

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Online dictionary for my conlang Vanga: http://royalrailway.com/tungumaalMiin/Vanga/

#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:44 pm 
Smeric
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Skomakar'n wrote:
The only exception! :D I hadn't actually realised, haha. Well, yeah. I'll leave that as the exception, since pronouns even having plurals is an exception.


Not necessarily. Quechua forms plurals for several of its personal pronouns regularly. The second and third person pronouns take the same -kuna suffix for plurals as ordinary nouns. I believe some other languages work similarly, particularly the more agglutinative ones.

Quote:
I don't like having different "dialects" where every person pronounces the rhotic or lateral the way they do in their native language; that's not a dialect to me, it's just a bad accent. I don't want people to get bad accents more easily than necessary.


I would not consider it a bad accent unless this language already has a prestige dialect from which alternative accents are diverging. That would hardly make sense in my opinion, though, if you are creating the language to bridge communication between different cultures and nationalities anyway. People will pronounce other phonemes differently depending on their native language anyway. The coronal stop /t/ will become alveolar for English speakers and dental for Spanish speakers, Japanese speakers will probably palatalize /t/ and /s/ before front vowels, and so forth.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:55 pm 
Smeric
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Eddy wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:
The only exception! :D I hadn't actually realised, haha. Well, yeah. I'll leave that as the exception, since pronouns even having plurals is an exception.


Not necessarily. Quechua forms plurals for several of its personal pronouns regularly. The second and third person pronouns take the same -kuna suffix for plurals as ordinary nouns. I believe some other languages work similarly, particularly the more agglutinative ones.

Quote:
I don't like having different "dialects" where every person pronounces the rhotic or lateral the way they do in their native language; that's not a dialect to me, it's just a bad accent. I don't want people to get bad accents more easily than necessary.


I would not consider it a bad accent unless this language already has a prestige dialect from which alternative accents are diverging. That would hardly make sense in my opinion, though, if you are creating the language to bridge communication between different cultures and nationalities anyway. People will pronounce other phonemes differently depending on their native language anyway. The coronal stop /t/ will become alveolar for English speakers and dental for Spanish speakers, Japanese speakers will probably palatalize /t/ and /s/ before front vowels, and so forth.

There are ways of writing, say, /ti/ instead of /tSi/ in kana, and no matter what, [tSi] would not be considered a correct pronunciation of /ti/, since /tS/ is not in the language, but I'd be okay with things like /t_h/ and /d/ or /d_0/.

If I had /r/, I'd be really sad to hear that butchered as /r\/ by an English speaker, so I'd rather just avoid it entirely.

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Online dictionary for my conlang Vanga: http://royalrailway.com/tungumaalMiin/Vanga/

#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:58 pm 
Avisaru
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Eddy wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:
The only exception! :D I hadn't actually realised, haha. Well, yeah. I'll leave that as the exception, since pronouns even having plurals is an exception.


Not necessarily. Quechua forms plurals for several of its personal pronouns regularly. The second and third person pronouns take the same -kuna suffix for plurals as ordinary nouns. I believe some other languages work similarly, particularly the more agglutinative ones.


I think he means within this language, since he has no number marking on nouns. Of course, that's not necessarily that weird either. Chinese is usually zero-plural, but on pronouns the plural -们 is obligatory (elsewhere it is optional and restricted to humans).

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:16 pm 
Smeric
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Ollock wrote:
Eddy wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:
The only exception! :D I hadn't actually realised, haha. Well, yeah. I'll leave that as the exception, since pronouns even having plurals is an exception.


Not necessarily. Quechua forms plurals for several of its personal pronouns regularly. The second and third person pronouns take the same -kuna suffix for plurals as ordinary nouns. I believe some other languages work similarly, particularly the more agglutinative ones.


I think he means within this language, since he has no number marking on nouns. Of course, that's not necessarily that weird either. Chinese is usually zero-plural, but on pronouns the plural -们 is obligatory (elsewhere it is optional and restricted to humans).

Yeah. Chinese was the main key to my decision.

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Online dictionary for my conlang Vanga: http://royalrailway.com/tungumaalMiin/Vanga/

#undef FEMALE

I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Skomakar'n wrote:
If I had /r/, I'd be really sad to hear that butchered as /r\/ by an English speaker, so I'd rather just avoid it entirely.


I think you're missing the point a little.

/r/ **wouldn't** be getting butchered. You would have a phoneme /r/ whose realisation could legitimately be, for example [r~R~etc]

/r/ does not = by definition [r]

Is /r/ butchered in English when Scottish people say it? Or Americans...?? :?

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:50 pm 
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I think it would be rather interesting for the auxlang to have distinctive accents based on the native language of the speaker. It would give speech some character that the language otherwise lacks in its through-going simplicity. That sort of variation would not impede understanding or butcher the language, either, unless people were merging entire series of critically important phonemes. But the phoneme inventory described here does not really lend itself to such confusion since it makes so few distinctions.

My project Standard Cheramese does just that, since it serves as the lingua franca for hundreds of millions of people across an entire continent. People there speak so many different Cheramese vernaculars, not to mention numerous languages completely outside the Cheramese dialect continuum. They can hardly help bringing features of their native language or dialect into standard speech. I suspect any auxlang that gained widespread usage in real life would follow similar tendencies.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Eddy wrote:
It looks pretty good for an auxlang, although certainly every bit as dull as you would expect <snip>


*sticks head above parapet*

I don't find it dull...

[EDIT1]
Eddy wrote:
I think it would be rather interesting for the auxlang to have distinctive accents based on the :zh native language of the speaker. It would give speech some character that the language otherwise lacks in its through-going simplicity.


Which is **ahem** exactly what my CIAL does...

/shameless plug ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:46 am 
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In the interest of simplicity, I would recommend a syllabary; studies show that such an orthography is read far more efficiently than any other form, and besides, with the proper design, a syllabary can even be used as an alphabet, so only that number of signs need be learned! Of course, optimal use of the syllablary will require proper knowledge of said syllabary, but beginners will have an easy time!

Code:
      Nucleus 
    0 a i e u o
  p A Á Ⱥ B C Ć
O t Ȼ D E , H I
n k Í K Ḱ Ḵ ₭ Q
s m L Ƚ M N Ṉ O
e n P S s Ś T Ṯ
t s Ŧ U W W̱ X X̱
  0   Y Z & @ %


For example, the unwieldy phrase Mia kopi neuu a iosu iekiia e kasa ti uena. becomes the much more intuitive MY QȺ Ś@@ Y Z%X Z&ḰZY & E @&S, and the absurd Sia ami mas ponu ta sia oti. becomes WY YM ȽX̱ ĆT D WY %E. Notice that no word in that sentence requires more than two letters; the efficiency gain is clear. And in the first sentence, mia 'my' translates effortlessly through the syllabary MY into the English 'my'.

,~`~,~`~,~`~bETTER lANGUAGE FOR A beTTER fUTURTE,~`~,~`~,~`~

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:14 am 
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Nortaneous wrote:
For example, the unwieldy phrase Mia kopi neuu a iosu iekiia e kasa ti uena. becomes the much more intuitive MY QȺ Ś@@ Y Z%X Z&ḰZY & E @&S,

Erm...

Quote:
and the absurd Sia ami mas ponu ta sia oti. becomes WY YM ȽX̱ ĆT D WY %E.

What's absurd about "Sia ami...oti"? And what ISN'T absurd about your example? Are you feeling alright...?

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:02 am 
Smeric
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Bryan wrote:
Skomakar'n wrote:
If I had /r/, I'd be really sad to hear that butchered as /r\/ by an English speaker, so I'd rather just avoid it entirely.


I think you're missing the point a little.

/r/ **wouldn't** be getting butchered. You would have a phoneme /r/ whose realisation could legitimately be, for example [r~R~etc]

/r/ does not = by definition [r]

Is /r/ butchered in English when Scottish people say it? Or Americans...?? :?

If I had [r], then. The point is that I don't want dialects in this type of language.

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I'd love for you to try my game out! Here's the forum thread about it:
http://zbb.spinnwebe.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=36688

Of an Ernst'ian one.


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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:52 am 
Smeric
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Skomakar'n wrote:
The point is that I don't want dialects in this type of language.

That wouldn't be a dialect. That would just be an accent. If you invent an IAL, you have to expect people to bring traces of their L1 phonology with them. People will have accents, no matter how minimalist your phonology. Your consonant inventory /p t k m n s/, while far from complex, will still be "butchered" by a lot of people. The plosives will be aspirated by some and not by others. /t/ and /n/ will be dental (or even interdental) for some, alveolar for others. /s/ may be apical or laminal, or slightly post-alveolar. /t/ and /s/ are likely to be affected by /i/. Some people have lisps. The vowels will be mangled by a lot of speakers, (especially?) English speakers: with an Australian accent, for example, /a e i o u/ are likely to come out as:

A: [ä]
E: [e]
I: [ɪ] or [ɪi]
O: [ɔ]
U: [ʉː] or [ʊ]

I support your decision if you just don't want to have /r/. It is a variable consonant and will "suffer" a lot at the hands of different nationalities, but all of the consonants are potentially unstable. Even /m/, which seems really stable, has a weird way of sounding a bit like a /b/ in the mouths of some Koreans.

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 Post subject: Re: Simplistic auxlang
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:01 am 
Smeric
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Why not /l/?

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