240 Root Words
for PreBabel --- the true Universal Language

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

In the paper PreBabel, it addressed the following issues:

  1. Can a constructed language have the same scope of a natural language?
  2. Can a small set of root words (humanly readable, not machine codes) be found to encode the entire vocabulary of a natural language?
  3. What is the minimum number of root words needed for such an encodings?
These issues were addressed theoretically. Now is the time of "Show me!" I am answering the above issues by showing the "beef" here. I, however, will reiterate some theoretical points first.

First, every kind of encryption is constructing a new language for a natural language. The simplest encryption for English is by moving its first letter to be the last one for every word. This newly encrypted vocabulary is, of course, a constructed language and is identical to the old language in scope. Thus, finding a set of symbols to encode all English words is theoretically practical.

Yet, can such a set of encoding readable by human? And can such a system be learned with 300 hours of study? This paper lists such a set of codes, 240 root words.

Why 240? The entire universe is made of atoms which are the composites of only three particles, proton, neutron and electron, the (p, n, e). However, it is much easier to describe the universe not with the (p, n, e) but with the elements from the periodic table, and there are about 117 of them by now. Furthermore, for biochemists, it is much easier for them by including twenty some amino acids as part of their root word vocabulary. In short, about 200 root words (chemical elements, amino acids, some enzymes, physical forces, etc.) are enough for describing our universe. In fact, the more root words, the easier it is to form sentences. However, too many roots will demand more memory energy to retain them. In compromise, 200 should be a good number as the nature uses about that number for its construction. That is, the 240 is the number that I chose. It can easily be reduced to half. However, the bigger the number makes the job of encoding much easier. If anyone thinks that my choices of those root words are not the best, he is most likely to be right. Yet, I have the right to make my life a bit easier for myself, as I will be the one doing the initial encoding.initial encoding.

The word roots are silent themselves, and they can be pronounced in English, such as
  • is read as "big step". Those root words are ideographs, and each of them represents an idea or a mental image of an action or an object. Thus, they do form a mnemonic system for memorizing English words (in this example), especially for the ESL students. Now, it goes. The following is the 240 root words for PreBabel -- the True Universal Language.

    1. Roots about the energy of the universe or heaven
      1. energy or spirit of heaven, a divide of existence from the pre-existence

      2. fully expressed energy or spirit, a divide of space

      3. energy in general

      4. weak in energy

      5. rooted energy (rooted into the ground)

      6. flow (from right to left, as conception)

      7. deliver to

      8. flow (from left to right, as conception)

      9. energy being blocked

      10. energy being un-blocked

      11. human's energy

      12. breathe or breathing

      13. unable to breathe

    2. Roots about human faculties and actions

      1. small step or action

      2. big step

      3. traveling

      4. walking behind ...

      5. pacing, walking slowly

      6. mouth (also as an individual)

      7. hand (in general)

      8. beating something with hand

      9. left hand (as a weaker hand)

      10. top hand or claw (action of gripping)

      11. holding with two hands

      12. lifting with two hands

      13. powerful hand

      14. holding something with hand

      15. eye(s)

      16. eyebrow

      17. self

      18. backbone (pillar)

      19. life body

      20. hair

      21. man

      22. woman

      23. mother

      24. child or baby

      25. body (in general, including the corpse)

      26. facial hair

      27. humpback

      28. heart

      29. ear(s)

      30. tooth

      31. teeth

      32. dead man's skull

      33. brain

      34. baby's head

      35. human's head

    3. Roots about objects
      • the Natural objects
        • about plants or plant life
          1. grass

          2. plant or related to plants

          3. weed

          4. tree leaf

          5. tree or wood

          6. tree bark

          7. half wood

          8. thickly grown vegetation

          9. bamboo

          10. waving scene of a grain field

          11. grain(s)

          12. just spouting, the tip of spouting

          13. vegetable which keeps growing after being cut

          14. melon(s)

          15. pepper like plant

          16. rice

          17. thick bushes

        • about animal or animal life

          1. cow or ox

          2. sheep

          3. dog like animal

          4. feather

          5. bat like wing

          6. animal's horn

          7. animal's feet

          8. insect or bug

          9. skin

          10. bird's head

          11. short wing bird

          12. animal's head

          13. fish head

          14. flog

          15. bird's head in general (including domesticated birds, such as chicken, duck, goose, etc.)

          16. horse head

          17. tiger head

          18. deer head

          19. ghost head

          20. pig-like animal

          21. cat-like animal

          22. turtle shell

        • other natural objects

          1. stone or rock

          2. Moon

          3. Sun

          4. small hill

          5. fire

          6. mountain

          7. water

          8. ice

          9. rolling hill

          10. meat or biologic

      • man made objects and more human actions

        1. man made field (for grain, etc.)

        2. weaving or curling up

        3. half wood (for wood products, such as paper, etc.)

        4. half wood (for lumber, etc.)

        5. flat table

        6. divination or asking gods

        7. a net

        8. a bench

        9. silk

        10. boat

        11. curved wood (man made)

        12. treasure (made of sea shell)

        13. pile of curved wood

        14. measuring cup

        15. carrying

        16. pill

        17. water well

        18. up bringing

        19. livable cliff

        20. gate or door

        21. unit of house

        22. roof

        23. window

        24. curved basket

        25. piercing

        26. food grinding stone

        27. knife

        28. cutting meat off the bone

        29. engineering

        30. meat cooking pot

        31. basin or container

        32. pottery

        33. arrow

        34. warehouse

        35. flag pole

        36. bow

        37. grain field

        38. car or cart

        39. spear

        40. bound book

        41. fighting

        42. King's seal

        43. packing

        44. ax

        45. tile

        46. dust pan

        47. mixing bowl

        48. three leg censer

        49. mending

        50. investigation (by breaking the surface of ...)

        51. lean the head on one side

        52. get off (vehicle or boat)

        53. pretend

        54. working on something

        55. reporting

        56. capture

        57. aggressive in a kind manner

        58. invading

        59. supervising

        60. one minded or whole hearted

        61. open minded

        62. small items of human importance

        63. fending off the evil spirit

        64. camp fire

        65. repeating

        66. attentive

        67. being put down with control

        68. chores

        69. clothes

        70. speech

        71. town or village

        72. tired of, enough

    4. about the quality of objects or the state of situations
      1. entering into then stop

      2. in stillness while ready to go

      3. going out

      4. begetting

      5. not yet spouting

      6. growing with force

      7. dividing

      8. circled wall, enclosure

      9. wild animal's foot print

      10. colorful (with pattern)

      11. following a path

      12. white

      13. smallness

      14. evening or night

      15. sweetness

      16. far away from village

      17. Heaven or heavenly

      18. interfere

      19. violating heaven's law

      20. permeate

      21. self ability, selfish

      22. not selfish

      23. transform or transformation

      24. bucking the heads

      25. color

      26. flowing (some substances)

      27. force

      28. ugly

      29. crisscross pattern

      30. in a state of ready to fall (not yet falling)

      31. hanging upside down

      32. bone without meat

      33. filled up

      34. united or union

      35. entering

      36. covering

      37. cover twice

      38. cover top and bottom

      39. high ground or high place

      40. plentiful

      41. bad omen

      42. direction in space

      43. illness

      44. flying flag

      45. containing

      46. hiding something

      47. disappearing

      48. completion

      49. a pile or a crowd

      50. calamity

      51. fermentation

      52. flying in air

      53. subordinate

      54. filiate piety

      55. face off ...

      56. something hanging

      57. growing nicely, such as a fully opened flower

      58. entangle

      59. plainness, the color before dyeing

      60. worn out clothes

      61. place of danger

      62. signs from above (gods, heaven or a boss)

      63. deeply hidden

      64. flying or moving very fast

      65. violent actions

      66. place of human danger

      67. great or greatness

    5. three special action roots

      1. do

      2. be

      3. no, not or opposite

    6. an abstract symbol
      1. dot (can be "anything")

    With these root words, we are ready to encode English vocabulary into PreBabel words.

    A special note: The word roots on this page are in .gif, and they are made by Jason Gong. Thanks, Jason, a great job.