Questions and Answers

Copyright © September 2009 by Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong

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.

Page 1:

  1. Day one --- Summary of questions and critiques
  2. Day two --- Is a universal language possible?
  3. Day three --- What are the criteria for a universal language?
  4. Day four --- The history of finding the universal language root word set
  5. Day five --- The choices of roots for the universal language
  6. Day six --- Theoretical framework of a universal language
  7. Day seven --- Test procedure for validating a universal language
  8. Day eight -- The fuzzy logic and the PreBabel root word set
  9. Day nine --- Are all natural languages isomorphic among one another?
  10. Day ten --- PreBabel root word set is invented, not discovered
Page 2:
  1. Day eleven --- Private Language Thesis (PLT) and the types of language
  2. Day twelve --- Can any language be without verbs?
  3. Day thirteen --- The regression encoding procedure (REP) for PreBabel
  4. Day fourteen --- The attractor theorem and a universal language
  5. Day fifteen --- The innate meaning of a word token (of PreBabel) vs its semantic meaning
  6. Day sixteen --- Is English a universal language?
  7. Day seventeen --- A premise must be testable
  8. Day eighteen --- The method of handling any chaotic system, such as the system of natural languages
  9. Day nineteen --- Via PreBabel to learn any second language is to learn two instead of one, then, why do it?
  10. Day twenty --- A true Emperor cannot be discredited by any disbelieving person

Page 3:
  1. Day twenty-one --- Is Esperanto a universal language?
  2. Day twenty-two --- The strategy of constructing a universal language
  3. Day twenty-three -- Should PreBabel words be intuitive? And, the PreBabel a, b and c.
  4. Day twenty-four -- Can PreBabel (language x) be learned easier than the language x itself?
  5. Day twenty-five -- About "words and concepts of one language are grouped differently in another language.
  6. Day twenty-six -- The PreBabel process is as easy as 1, 2 and 3.
  7. Day twenty-seven -- How and when can PreBabel (Proper) emerge?
  8. Day twenty-eight -- more about intuitiveness.
  9. Day twenty-nine -- about memory anchors on learning a language.
  10. Day thirty -- about tests for PreBabel.

Page 4:
  1. Day thirty-one -- about PreBabel (Chinese).
  2. Day thirty-two -- the debut of PreBabel (Chinese) at AP Annual Conference 2007 (CollegeBoard).
  3. Day thirty-three -- traditional Chinese etymology vs PreBabel (Chinese).
  4. Day thirty-four -- the first constructed language, the Lii character set.
  5. Day thirty-five -- phonological reconstruction vs PreBabel (Chinese).
  6. Day thirty-six -- more about the construction of the Lii character set.
  7. Day thirty-seven -- Published works on PreBabel (Chinese).
  8. Day thirty-eight -- more of traditional Chinese etymology vs PreBabel (Chinese).
  9. Day thirty-nine -- PreBabel methodology I -- equivalent transformation.
  10. Day forty -- Types of conlang and more on traditional Chinese etymology vs PreBabel (Chinese).

Page 5:
  1. Day forty-one --- PreBabel epistemology: the Occam's razor.
  2. Day forty-two --- axiomatic domain, theory and system
  3. Day forty-three --- about Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
  4. Day forty-four --- About the differences among languages
  5. Day forty-five --- Reasons being in the dark
  6. Day forty-six --- about large and complex system
  7. Day forty-seven --- A constructed linguistic universe (I)
  8. Day forty-eight -- about China's language policy
  9. Day forty-nine --- Construced linguistic universe (II)
  10. Day fifty -- Constructed linguistic universe (III)
Page 6:
  1. Day fifty-one -- Constructed linguistic universe (IV)
  2. Day fifty-two -- Constructed linguistic universe (V)
  3. Day fifty-three -- Constructed linguistic universe (VI)
  4. Day fifty-four -- Constructed linguistic universe (VII)
  5. Day fifty-five -- Summary of constructed linguistic universe
  6. Day fifty-six -- Discovering the PreBabel principle
  7. Day fifty-seven -- Benefits of PreBabel
  8. Day fifty-eight -- the PreBabel procedures
  9. Day fifty-nine -- about Chinese Etymology
  10. Day sixty -- Can the parts be larger than the whole?
Page 7:
  1. Day sixty-one -- Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis revisited
  2. Day sixty-two -- The two step PreBabel procedures
  3. Day sixty-three -- Can linguistics be justified with math laws?
  4. Day sixty-four -- About heavily inflecting or agglutinating languages
  5. Day sixty-five -- Can any theory be based on only two highly atypical examples?
  6. Day sixty-six -- Can PreBabel encompass the Martian language?
  7. Day sixty-sevenCan the word Ēj be dissected and decoded with the PreBabel root set?
  8. Day sixty-eight -- Comparison the PreBabel (Chinese) with some old school ways
  9. Day sixty-nine -- Comparison (II)
  10. Day seventy -- Comparison (III)
Page 8:
  1. Day seventy-one -- Comparison (IV)
  2. Day seventy-two -- Comparison (V)
  3. Day seventy-three -- Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis again
  4. Day seventy-four -- the "center of gravity" for new linguistics
  5. Day seventy-five -- the reviews and the material facts on PreBabel (Chinese)
  6. Day seventy-six -- Is PreBabel just an oligosynthetic written Lojban?
  7. Day seventy-seven -- About the flexibility of language
  8. Day seventy-eight -- About the universal grammar
  9. Day seventy-nine -- The "Large Complex System Principle" (LCSP) & the Martian Language Thesis
  10. Day eighty -- The three tiers of axiomatic system hierarchy
Page 9:
  1. Day eighty-one -- Universal grammar -- the total freedom
  2. Day eighty-two -- Spider Web Principle and the Minimum Complexity Theorem
  3. Day eighty-three -- Life system is the Totality
  4. Day eighty-four -- SULT is a language continuum

Day one -- I must thank you all for giving me your views on "my work." I have summarized your comments or critiques into four categories.

  1. A universal language is impossible,
    • theoretically impossible
      • Ave94 -- Why there can be no universal language:
      • notoriouswhitemoth -- There is no such thing as a universal language--except possibly mathematics. This is just yet another auxlang, and a rather carelessly and presumptuously constructed one at that, by the look of it
    • Practically impossible or useless
      • Thakowsaizmu -- Universal languages in this vein are usually doomed from the get go. You cannot be one hundred percent nonsubjective when creating these words.
      • notoriouswhitemoth -- every grammar is unique--how can all grammars be compatible when they use characteristics that are mutually exclusive?
      • sangi39 -- Basically, this seems to be a (failed) attempt at saying all spoken languages can be learnt through a series of mnemnonic devices, of which very few are even "basic" in this attempt, regardless of the fact that the mnemnonic devices would increase the length of the learning method.
      • sangi39 -- in English, a language with around 1,000,000 words (which a universal language may have to translate probably a few tens-of-thousands if we take into account irregularly used vocabulary and synonyms). So if we were to take the number 100,000 and set this as the number of words the universal language contained and 300 as the number of basic roots, the universal language would have 90,000 two-root combinations, but most of these combinations would likely be vague, non-sensical or even better interpreted as incomplete phrases, using your proposed root system.
      • ford -- So, you still have the 'I told you so' issue of what sounds apply to what meanings. In this sense, most words are arbitrary and there is no way around that. There has to be consensus on what sounds mean what for anyone to communicate with anyone, and the assignations are always going to be highly arbitrary.
      • Ave94 -- Even if you could get billions of people to speak the same language, it wouldn't last. Soon it would diverge into separate dialects, then mutually unintelligible languages. After all the work teaching everyone the language, you'd have to start all over again.
  2. The PB root word set is flawed.
    • vreizhig -- This is nonsense. I look at your list of roots, and the simplest symbols you have are reserved for a bunch of mystical mumbo-jumbo about spirits and heaven and energy and pre-existence. Towards the end of the list, you have "roots" which are actually compounds, such as "place of human danger."
    • brank -- tienzen, all the issues of "universal language" aside, I think there are some fundamental problems with your proposed roots. ... These (just an example) are all quite obviously compounds, not roots,
    • porpleafreet -- wtf man, he made no jokes in that post, and you're still avoiding the problem of compounding, and have not yet stated why you have so many absurd and useless roots in your language.
    • porpleafreet -- Five individual roots for different hands and positions of them is quite odd.
    • ford -- As far as having a language based around the idea of 'roots' you cannot have multiple types of energy... there would be one root meaning 'energy'. These litter Tienzen's list. Random, unnecessary 'roots' in his rather haughty language that supposes way to much.
    • porpleafreet -- but, please explain to me why you have six roots for energy, and about the same amount for hand.
    • sangi39 -- If it were culturally neutral, then foreign concepts would be more easily understood. Therefore, having six word for energy makes little sense when a word for "energy" combined with other roots would allow for easier understanding, but also give you space for four more roots.
    • Khemehekis -- Tienzen, why do you have a root for "scraping meat off the bone"?
  3. English is already the universal language.
    • loftyD -- Yes Tienzen there is a universal language, its called English.
  4. Emotional comments.
    • Avjunza -- I'm not going to stain myself by clicking that link, and the previous three posters have already pointed out several flaws, defects, and utter stupidities that you seem to have incorporated into not only your abomination, but your way of thinking as well.
    • Maximillian -- Like everyone already noticed, it's a bizarre absurd.
    • Avjunza -- I'm an amateur conlanger/linguist, and I still knew how fucked up his thing was.
    • Mbwa -- ..., but your attempt has shown some illogicalities(it's a word) that make it... not such a good universal language.
    • vreizhig -- Well, I got more of a New-Age impression from the spiritual roots than a Christian one. Like those vacuous smiley bozos who believe in "human energee" and "dolphin energee" and say things like "oh no, thee're blockeen my energee."

Day two -- On the issue that a universal language is impossible.

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