--- The true Universal Language
Copyright © July 2009 by Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong
The universal language was either a myth (story of Babel) or a self proclamation because of the political and economical supremacy (such as, Latin, Arabic, Chinese or English). If a universal language is ever possible, it must be a constructed language, and it needs some design criteria. The following is my proposal.
The following is my proposal for a universal language (PreBabel).
- The theoretical definition -- a universal language (u-language) must be able to "re-produce" every nature language in existence. Here, the term "re-produce" is not translation. It must mean that the entire language system (vocabulary and grammar) of a selected language can be re- written with the codes, vocabulary of the u-language. In fact, this selected language must be 100% isomorphic to a subset of this u-language. Thus, English is a subset of u-language as U(English) while the Japanese is the subset U(Japanese), etc.. If such a u-language can be constructed, then a true automatic language translation machine can be built.
- The practical constrain -- if a u-language is too difficult to learn by an average person, it will become a dead language right after its birth. The rule of the thumb is that it must not be more difficult than any nature language which is learned as a second language. In fact, the design criterion should be 10 times easier to learn than any nature language to be when it is learned as a second language. Yet, it is difficult to know what the term "10 times" means. We should give it a quantified criterion. It must be learned in 100 days when a person (12 years or older) spends 3 hours a day of good (no playing around) study.
- The attributes --
- It is a second language for every nature language. That is, no particular nature language is a pre-requisite for learning this u-language. A u-language must be learned without any particular nature language as its language environment. It must be learned as a knowledge (such as chemistry or arithmetics), not as a living habit.
- It has to be a mute or a silent language (at the beginning) in order for it to carry all natural verbal languages as its dialects.
- Of course, for any word token, it can always carry a sound. However, the pronunciation of the u-language word token should be evolved with the using community. Then, the verbal of the u-language will become a true universal speaking language.
The words of many natural languages are patterns of temporally ordered sound types, and the meaning of a word does not attach to particular activities, sound, marks on paper, or anything else with a definite spatiotemporal locus.
Only very small portion of the vocabulary of natural languages is based on some kinds of root word system. The majority of them arose as a token of "you told me so." There is no chance of any kind to decode the four letter "book" to be a bound paper with printing on them. The meaning of those words is agreed by a linguistic community.
Thus, the vocabulary of all natural languages are difficult to learn even by its native people. Then, trying to memorize thousands or hundreds of thousands of those "you told me so" tokens is, indeed, a youth killing chore.
However, the great discovery of new linguistic law recently,
Law 1: Encoding with a closed set of root words, any arbitrary vocabulary type language will be organized into a logically linked linear chain.
changed all that.
- logically linked linear chain acts as a chain or a system of logically linked mnemonic.
- a closed set means that the parts (radicals) of all vocabulary of a language will not contain any symbol beyond (or outside of) the given root word set.
The PreBabel (PB) is a system of root words. That is, the entire system can be described with its root word set which contains only 240 members, and they can be memorized in 50 hours of study by an average person in the world. Furthermore, each root is an idea or a mental image of an action, an object, a quality or a state of a situation. Every word of its vocabulary is also a mental image which expresses the meaning of that word directly. With the mental image as the memory anchor, each word can be memorized without any effort. Thus, encoding English with PreBabel is not only linking it to a universal language but is constructing a mnemonic system for English, and it is especially helpful for those ESL students.
The PreBabel is an open-frame language. Its word token is silent, and it can be pronounced in English. Besides some seed words (about 300), the entire English vocabulary can be encoded by the using Americans, and it will become a dialect of English while it becomes a true universal language in the world. This fact leads to the Law 2.
Law 2: When every natural language is encoded with a universal set of root words, a true Universal Language emerges.
The more detailed theory and implementation of this universal language (the PreBabel) is available at,
The theory and the method of constructing a true Universal Language
After the inception of the PreBabel site on July 14, 2009, it has caught many people's interest. An in-depth discussion on the PreBabel took place at "conlanger bulletin board." Many great questions and critiques were discussed there. The following is a brief summary of those discussions.
- Day one --- Summary of questions and critiques
- Day two --- Is a universal language possible?
- Day three --- What are the criteria for a universal language?
- Day four --- The history of finding the universal language root word set
- Day five --- The choices of roots for the universal language
- Day six --- Theoretical framework of a universal language
- Day seven --- Test procedure for validating a universal language
- Day eight -- The fuzzy logic and the PreBabel root word set
- Day nine --- Are all natural languages isomorphic among one another?
- Day ten --- PreBabel root word set is invented, not discovered
- Day eleven --- Private Language Thesis (PLT) and the types of language
- Day twelve --- Can any language be without verbs?
- Day thirteen --- The regression encoding procedure (REP) for PreBabel
- Day fourteen --- The attractor theorem and a universal language
- Day fifteen --- The innate meaning of a word token (of PreBabel) vs its semantic meaning
- Day sixteen --- Is English a universal language?
- Day seventeen --- A premise must be testable
- Day eighteen --- The method of handling any chaotic system, such as the system of natural languages
- Day nineteen --- Via PreBabel to learn any second language is to learn two instead of one, then, why do it?
- Day twenty --- A true Emperor cannot be discredited by any disbelieving person
- Day twenty-one --- Is Esperanto a universal language?
- Day twenty-two --- The strategy of constructing a universal language
- Day twenty-three -- Should PreBabel words be intuitive? And, the PreBabel a, b and c.
- Day twenty-four -- Can PreBabel (language x) be learned easier than the language x itself?
Day twenty-five -- About "words and concepts of one language are grouped differently in another language.
- Day twenty-six -- The PreBabel process is as easy as 1, 2 and 3.
- Day twenty-seven -- How and when can PreBabel (Proper) emerge?
- Day twenty-eight -- more about intuitiveness.
- Day twenty-nine -- about memory anchors on learning a language.
- Day thirty -- about tests for PreBabel.
- Day thirty-one -- about PreBabel (Chinese).
- Day thirty-two -- the debut of PreBabel (Chinese) at AP Annual Conference 2007 (CollegeBoard).
- Day thirty-three -- traditional Chinese etymology vs PreBabel (Chinese).
- Day thirty-four -- the first constructed language, the Lii character set.
- Day thirty-five -- phonological reconstruction vs PreBabel (Chinese).
- Day thirty-six -- more about the construction of the Lii character set.
- Day thirty-seven -- Published works on PreBabel (Chinese).
- Day thirty-eight -- more of traditional Chinese etymology vs PreBabel (Chinese).
- Day thirty-nine -- PreBabel methodology I -- equivalent transformation.
- Day forty -- Types of conlang and more on traditional Chinese etymology vs PreBabel (Chinese).
- Day forty-one --- PreBabel epistemology: the Occam's razor.
- Day forty-two --- axiomatic domain, theory and system
- Day forty-three --- about Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
- Day forty-four --- About the differences among languages
- Day forty-five --- Reasons being in the dark
- Day forty-six --- about large and complex system
- Day forty-seven --- A constructed linguistic universe (I)
- Day forty-eight -- about China's language policy
- Day forty-nine --- Construced linguistic universe (II)
- Day fifty -- Constructed linguistic universe (III)
- Day fifty-one -- Constructed linguistic universe (IV)
- Day fifty-two -- Constructed linguistic universe (V)
- Day fifty-three -- Constructed linguistic universe (VI)
- Day fifty-four -- Constructed linguistic universe (VII)
- Day fifty-five -- Summary of constructed linguistic universe
- Day fifty-six -- Discovering the PreBabel principle
- Day fifty-seven -- Benefits of PreBabel
- Day fifty-eight -- the PreBabel procedures
- Day fifty-nine -- about Chinese Etymology
- Day sixty -- Can the parts be larger than the whole?
- Day sixty-one -- Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis revisited
- Day sixty-two -- The two step PreBabel procedures
- Day sixty-three -- Can linguistics be justified with math laws?
- Day sixty-four -- About heavily inflecting or agglutinating languages
- Day sixty-five -- Can any theory be based on only two highly atypical examples?
- Day sixty-six -- Can PreBabel encompass the Martian language?
- Day sixty-sevenCan the word Ēj be dissected and decoded with the PreBabel root set?
- Day sixty-eight -- Comparison the PreBabel (Chinese) with some old school ways
- Day sixty-nine -- Comparison (II)
- Day seventy -- Comparison (III)
- Day seventy-one -- Comparison (IV)
- Day seventy-two -- Comparison (V)
- Day seventy-three -- Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis again
- Day seventy-four -- the "center of gravity" for new linguistics
- Day seventy-five -- the reviews and the material facts on PreBabel (Chinese)
- Day seventy-six -- Is PreBabel just an oligosynthetic written Lojban?
- Day seventy-seven -- About the flexibility of language
- Day seventy-eight -- About the universal grammar
- Day seventy-nine -- The "Large Complex System Principle" (LCSP) & the Martian Language Thesis
- Day eighty -- The three tiers of axiomatic system hierarchy
- Day eighty-one -- Universal grammar -- the total freedom
- Day eighty-two -- Spider Web Principle and the Minimum Complexity Theorem
- Day eighty-three -- Life system is the Totality
- Day eighty-four -- SULT is a language continuum