Topic: Constructed languages
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Blissymbols, an Ideographic Writing System
Blissymbols or Blissymbolics is a constructed language conceived as an ideographic writing system called Semantography consisting of several hundred basic symbols, each representing a concept, which can be composed together to generate new symbols that represent new concepts. Blissymbols differ from most of the world's major writing systems in that the characters do not correspond at all to the sounds of any spoken language.
Blissymbols was published by Charles K. Bliss in 1949 and found use in the education of people with communication difficulties.
- "Blissymbols" | 2020-08-05 | 81 Upvotes 46 Comments
- "Blissymbols, an Ideographic Writing System" | 2019-01-22 | 13 Upvotes 4 Comments
Isotype picture language
Isotype (International System of Typographic Picture Education) is a method of showing social, technological, biological, and historical connections in pictorial form. It consists of a set of standardized and abstracted pictorial symbols to represent social-scientific data with specific guidelines on how to combine the identical figures using serial repetition. It was first known as the Vienna Method of Pictorial Statistics (Wiener Methode der Bildstatistik), due to its having been developed at the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Wien (Social and Economic Museum of Vienna) between 1925 and 1934. The founding director of this museum, Otto Neurath, was the initiator and chief theorist of the Vienna Method. Gerd Arntz was the artist responsible for realising the graphics. The term Isotype was applied to the method around 1935, after its key practitioners were forced to leave Vienna by the rise of Austrian fascism.
- "Isotype picture language" | 2015-11-12 | 10 Upvotes 1 Comments
Loglan – a predicate logic-based language for humans
Loglan is a constructed language originally designed for linguistic research, particularly for investigating the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis. The language was developed beginning in 1955 by Dr James Cooke Brown with the goal of making a language so different from natural languages that people learning it would think in a different way if the hypothesis were true. In 1960 Scientific American published an article introducing the language. Loglan is the first among, and the main inspiration for, the languages known as logical languages, which also includes Lojban.
Brown founded The Loglan Institute (TLI) to develop the language and other applications of it. He always considered the language an incomplete research project, and although he released many papers about its design, he continued to claim legal restrictions on its use. Because of this, a group of his followers later formed the Logical Language Group to create the language Lojban along the same principles, but with the intention to make it freely available and encourage its use as a real language.
Supporters of Lojban use the term Loglan as a generic term to refer to both their own language, and Brown's Loglan, referred to as "TLI Loglan" when in need of disambiguation. Although the non-trademarkability of the term Loglan was eventually upheld by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, many supporters and members of The Loglan Institute find this usage offensive, and reserve Loglan for the TLI version of the language.
- "Loglan – a predicate logic-based language for humans" | 2018-10-03 | 98 Upvotes 37 Comments
Lojban (pronounced [ˈloʒban] (listen)) is a constructed, syntactically unambiguous human language created by the Logical Language Group and succeeding the Loglan project.
The Logical Language Group (LLG) began developing Lojban in 1987. The LLG sought to realize Loglan's purposes, and further improve the language by making it more usable and freely available (as indicated by its official full English title, "Lojban: A Realization of Loglan"). After a long initial period of debating and testing, the baseline was completed in 1997, and published as The Complete Lojban Language. In an interview in 2010 with The New York Times, Arika Okrent, the author of In the Land of Invented Languages, stated: "The constructed language with the most complete grammar is probably Lojban—a language created to reflect the principles of logic."
Lojban is proposed as a speakable language for communication between people of different language backgrounds, as a potential means of machine translation and to explore the intersection of human language and software.
Solresol (Solfège: Sol-Re-Sol) is a constructed language devised by François Sudre, beginning in 1827. His major book on it, Langue Musicale Universelle, was published after his death in 1866, though he had already been publicizing it for some years. Solresol enjoyed a brief spell of popularity, reaching its pinnacle with Boleslas Gajewski's 1902 publication of Grammaire du Solresol. An ISO 639-3 language code had been requested on 28 July 2017, but was rejected on 1 February 2018.
Today, there exist small communities of Solresol enthusiasts scattered across the world, able to communicate with one another thanks to the Internet.
- "Solresol" | 2018-01-17 | 72 Upvotes 7 Comments
Whistled languages use whistling to emulate speech and facilitate communication. A whistled language is a system of whistled communication which allows fluent whistlers to transmit and comprehend a potentially unlimited number of messages over long distances. Whistled languages are different in this respect from the restricted codes sometimes used by herders or animal trainers to transmit simple messages or instructions. Generally, whistled languages emulate the tones or vowel formants of a natural spoken language, as well as aspects of its intonation and prosody, so that trained listeners who speak that language can understand the encoded message.
Whistled language is rare compared to spoken language, but it is found in cultures around the world. It is especially common in tone languages where the whistled tones transmit the tones of the syllables (tone melodies of the words). This might be because in tone languages the tone melody carries more of the functional load of communication while non-tonal phonology carries proportionally less. The genesis of a whistled language has never been recorded in either case and has not yet received much productive study.
- "Whistled language" | 2017-12-30 | 37 Upvotes 8 Comments
Esperanto, an International Language
Esperanto () is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. It was created by Polish ophthalmologist L. L. Zamenhof in 1887, when he published a book detailing the language, The International Language whose editions in Russian, Polish, German, French and English, under the pseudonym “Doktoro Esperanto” together constitute the “original edition”, usually referred to by Esperantists as “La Unua Libro” (“The First Book”). The word esperanto translates into English as "one who hopes".
Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy and flexible language that would serve as a universal second language to foster world peace and international understanding, and to build a community of speakers, as he believed that one could not have a language without such a community.
His original title for the language was simply "the international language" (lingvo internacia), but early speakers grew fond of the name Esperanto and began to use it as the name for the language just two years after its creation; the name quickly gained prominence and has been used as an official name ever since.
In 1905, Zamenhof published Fundamento de Esperanto as a definitive guide to the language. Later that year, French Esperantists organized with his participation the first World Esperanto Congress, an ongoing annual conference, in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. The first congress ratified the Declaration of Boulogne, which established several foundational premises for the Esperanto movement; one of its pronouncements is that Fundamento de Esperanto is the only obligatory authority over the language; another is that the Esperanto movement is exclusively a linguistic movement and that no further meaning can ever be ascribed to it. Zamenhof also proposed to the first congress that an independent body of linguistic scholars should steward the future evolution of Esperanto, foreshadowing the founding of the Akademio de Esperanto (in part modeled after the Académie française), which was established soon thereafter. Since 1905, the congress has been held in a different country every year, with the exceptions of those years during the World Wars. In 1908, a group of young Esperanto speakers led by the Swiss Hector Hodler established the Universal Esperanto Association in order to provide a central organization for the global Esperanto community.
Esperanto grew throughout the 20th century, both as a language and as a linguistic community. Despite speakers facing persecution in regimes such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin, Esperanto speakers continued to establish organizations and publish periodicals tailored to specific regions and interests. In 1954, the United Nations granted official support to Esperanto as an international auxiliary language in the Montevideo Resolution. Several writers have contributed to the growing body of Esperanto literature, including William Auld, who received the first nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature for a literary work in Esperanto in 1999, followed by two more, in 2004 and 2006. Those writing in Esperanto are also officially represented in PEN International, the worldwide writers association, through Esperanto PEN Centro.
The development of Esperanto has continued unabated into the 21st century. The advent of the Internet has had a significant impact on the language, as learning it has become increasingly accessible on platforms such as Duolingo, and as speakers have increasingly networked on platforms such as Amikumu. With approximately two million speakers, a small portion of whom are even native speakers, it is the most widely spoken constructed language in the world. Although no country has adopted Esperanto officially, Esperantujo is the name given to the collection of places where it is spoken, and the language is widely employed in world travel, correspondence, cultural exchange, conventions, literature, language instruction, television, and radio. Some people have chosen to learn Esperanto for its purported help in third language acquisition, like Latin.
While many of its advocates continue to hope for the day that Esperanto becomes officially recognized as the international auxiliary language, an increasing number have stopped focusing on this goal and instead view the Esperanto community as a "stateless diasporic linguistic minority" based on freedom of association, with a culture worthy of preservation, based solely on its own merit.
- "Esperanto, an International Language" | 2020-04-25 | 35 Upvotes 48 Comments
Toki Pona – An attempt to understand the meaning of life in 120 words
Toki Pona is a philosophical artistic constructed language known for its small vocabulary. It was created by Canadian linguist and translator Sonja Lang for the purpose of simplifying thoughts and communication. It was first published online in 2001 as a draft, and later in complete form in the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good in 2014. A small community of speakers developed in the early 2000s. The community grew after the release of the official book and has continued to grow larger since its publication. While activity mostly takes place online in chat rooms, on social media, and in other groups, there were a few organized in-person meetings during the 2010s.
The underlying feature of Toki Pona is minimalism. It focuses on simple universal concepts, making use of very little to express the most. The language is isolating and has 120–125 root words and 14 phonemes that are easy to pronounce across different languages. However, it was not created to be an international auxiliary language. Inspired by Taoist philosophy, the language is designed to help users concentrate on basic things and to promote positive thinking, in accordance with the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. Despite the small vocabulary, speakers are able to understand and communicate with each other, mainly relying on context and combinations of several words to express more specific meanings.
- "Toki Pona – An attempt to understand the meaning of life in 120 words" | 2020-06-03 | 89 Upvotes 38 Comments
Lincos (an abbreviation of the Latin phrase lingua cosmica) is a constructed language first described in 1960 by Dr. Hans Freudenthal in his book Lincos: Design of a Language for Cosmic Intercourse, Part 1. It is a language designed to be understandable by any possible intelligent extraterrestrial life form, for use in interstellar radio transmissions. Freudenthal considered that such a language should be easily understood by beings not acquainted with any Earthling syntax or language. Lincos was designed to be capable of encapsulating "the whole bulk of our knowledge."
- "Lincos language" | 2020-07-20 | 80 Upvotes 32 Comments
E-Prime: English without the verb 'to be'
E-Prime (short for English-Prime or English Prime, sometimes denoted É or E′) is a version of the English language that excludes all forms of the verb to be, including all conjugations, contractions and archaic forms.
Some scholars advocate using E-Prime as a device to clarify thinking and strengthen writing. A number of other scholars have criticized E-Prime's utility.
- "E-Prime – English without the verb “to be”" | 2021-05-26 | 108 Upvotes 66 Comments
- "E-Prime English" | 2021-02-25 | 10 Upvotes 5 Comments
- "E-Prime: English without the verb 'to be'" | 2015-12-07 | 221 Upvotes 152 Comments
- "English-Prime - English without "is"" | 2009-01-05 | 108 Upvotes 76 Comments