(changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

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Keenir
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Keenir » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 04:10

marcege wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 02:27
Frislander wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 12:22
Also has it ever occurred to you that gematria was probably created to generate these symbolisms from the language/writing-system that already existed, not the other way round?
Definitely! That's very much what I thought. For every example of Gematria I would figure out how to replicate the symbolism in English. I love puns, anagrams, palindromes, pangrams, etc. So my first thoughts were, the author of the Torah is doing these very well. But then the specific pattern of the meta-star depicted in the Gematria of the first verse of Genesis, a pattern that is repeated in the second verse, was just too much to do.
okay, you keep mentioning that you found the metastar...so I'm going to tell you what my math teacher always told me: show your work.
Go try to write two sentences in English that when coded as numbers both define the same figure with multiple axes of symmetry.
YOU
ARE
NOT
LISTENING.

English doesn't do number-letters like some languages do. and if its been coded into the Torah, why should we believe that, after 1400 years, you miraculously managed to find that coded message?
The sentences need to be a reasonable start for a book.
what sort of book? you'd use different words for something along the lines of Seuss or "twas brillig and slithy tothes" or whatever, than you would for explaining the physics of singularities.
You can use any numerical coding system you want, but it has to be used consistently to "decode" each sentence.
why does it have to be coded?
But show me a few meaningful English "2701" sentences, in which case I'll be impressed with your wordplay and change my mind about how necessary it is for the author of those verses to have controlled the meanings of the words.
meaningful, in what way? to make a shape? I can use words to literally make a shape out of the words.

and of course the author of the verses controlled the meaning of the words...as did the editors who assembled the verses and the two starts of the Torah into a coherent whole...as did the 70 who picked and chose chapters and such to translate...etc.
marcege wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 02:14
Perec's book without the e is a great example. There is a level of letter-play where it is apparent the author is taking care wrt the letters. True that's not a constructed language, just careful language. But then if the letter play gets intense enough, with words that don't appear in earlier sources, one might wonder if the author achieved the letter play by making up - constructing - certain of the words. That's what the link in the OP describes, in particular the words that constitute the first and last part of the book.
WTF? if it gets intense enough? you're dismissive of an entire novel that does something you claim only conlangs do...and yet you keep shouting to the heavens that two verses in the Torah is sufficient to prove conlangness.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by sangi39 » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 07:07

"One Friday morning the Lord Ralphe Neville, the Third Earl of Westmorland, was riding upon his horse, travelling with his usual party from Appleby to Kendal, a trip he made regularly in the spring, when he spotted out of the corner of his eye a number of deer grazing nearby, silent.

His elderly uncle, Tomas, of some fifty-one years old, began to draw his bow, to which Ralphe raised his hands believing that a sight such as this was evidence of the beauty of the Lord Almighty's creation unfolding before their very eyes, upon which an attack would most surely be a sacrilege.

Tomas' brown eyes moved from the deer to his nephew's hands, the baron lowered his bow, his eyes meeting Ralphe's, turning again to the deer in the nearby field, seeing the rays of light shining through the branches upon them, coming to understand what Ralphe had seen and why they had stopped."

While the spelling's of the names are certainly non-standard by today's standards, they are and have been accepted spellings, and we're dealing with real people (Thomas Neville, and Ralph Neville, the 3rd Earl of Westermorland), approximately working in the right age range (Thomas was in his fifties after Ralph became an earl), and real places (Appleby and Kendal were and still are centres of Westmorland in Cumbria, England).

Unfortunately, they aren't pangrams, either as individual sentences or as a whole, but given an arbitrary a=1, b=2, y=25, z=26, etc. assignment of numerical values to letters used in writing English, each of those three sentences add up to a total of 2701. Not a single one of those words isn't currently found in Modern English, although the grammatical style is, I'd say, rather formal. So...?
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 14:39

sangi39 wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 07:07
"One Friday morning the Lord Ralphe Neville, the Third Earl of Westmorland, was riding upon his horse, travelling with his usual party from Appleby to Kendal, a trip he made regularly in the spring, when he spotted out of the corner of his eye a number of deer grazing nearby, silent.

His elderly uncle, Tomas, of some fifty-one years old, began to draw his bow, to which Ralphe raised his hands believing that a sight such as this was evidence of the beauty of the Lord Almighty's creation unfolding before their very eyes, upon which an attack would most surely be a sacrilege.

Tomas' brown eyes moved from the deer to his nephew's hands, the baron lowered his bow, his eyes meeting Ralphe's, turning again to the deer in the nearby field, seeing the rays of light shining through the branches upon them, coming to understand what Ralphe had seen and why they had stopped."

While the spelling's of the names are certainly non-standard by today's standards, they are and have been accepted spellings, and we're dealing with real people (Thomas Neville, and Ralph Neville, the 3rd Earl of Westermorland), approximately working in the right age range (Thomas was in his fifties after Ralph became an earl), and real places (Appleby and Kendal were and still are centres of Westmorland in Cumbria, England).

Unfortunately, they aren't pangrams, either as individual sentences or as a whole, but given an arbitrary a=1, b=2, y=25, z=26, etc. assignment of numerical values to letters used in writing English, each of those three sentences add up to a total of 2701. Not a single one of those words isn't currently found in Modern English, although the grammatical style is, I'd say, rather formal. So...?
Thanks! These are really great examples. Very helpful, and super thank you.

It might not be of interest to conlangers per se, but the first literary hypothesis I went through is that sentences like these reveal the author was interested in the letter-games, like Perec who wrote a book without the letter e. This is distinct from a common literary hypothesis that the verses were a faithful basically phonetic transcription of an older oral story. Not a conlang at all, just a careful wordsmith.

Maybe this wordsmith was also able to make several verses add up to the interesting figurate meta-star numbers, solely using existing words. Yes, thank you, that is a possibility!

You comment that having liberty with the spelling of names is helpful, and you found alternate forms that work. That is a method I have tried to say would help to make these key verses: the names of g-d and the name of "Israel" do not, as far as we know, have immediate precedents in the pre-Torah language, and these would be spellings free to manipulate with even a bit more freedom than you had with choosing which way to spell Thomas and Ralph.

Furthermore, the verses and words that show this star pattern are not just at the beginning and end of the book, but also at least a few key verses in the middle of the text. These would have to have been crafted with the same sort of care you took in your story about Tomas and Ralphe, and then the other parts of the story written to seem to naturally lead up to those sentences.

For what I'm interested in I don't need to get into a semantics debate about how many words need to be invented for a language to "count" as a conlang. I'm coming from the assumption that the Torah was a transcription of an oral record, and moved to that it carefully crafted sentences with respect to their letters, and then also probably at the least choose special spellings to use for key names and terms that are sitting in the verses with the meta-star patterns, one of which is now the name of an current country.

If nothing above "counts" as a conlang, I am ok with that, and I really appreciate your discussions and contributions about wordplay and letterplay!


From there, the seeming homogeneity of the roots is one way to go to the next place - when Torah verbs are abstracted to roots, there seem to be virtually only 3-letter roots, and no more than one or two 2-letter or 4-letter roots it looked systematic to me. As if someone started the language by listing out 3-letter roots and assigned meanings to the words, a posteriori to match existing languages but a priori when they wanted some more freedom. I was already imagining someone systematically designing a few words, this would be a method for doing that systematically. But y'all have already said more than I understand about why a complete lack of variability in the length-of-roots-when-spelled is a perfectly natural thing to expect and I can go back and read more.

This jived for me with some letter play in words like "shanah," year, = 355 - days in a lunar year. This is an easy trick if you get to construct some of your language, or "just" a cute but meaningless coincidence otherwise. There were several of these too-perfect puns which I listed in the OP at the link below, that would be easy to engineer if you assume someone is constructing words to suit purposes.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2P ... xjAnC7/pub

Super thanks for those sample sentences..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marc
Last edited by marcege on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 15:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 15:15

Keenir wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 04:10
marcege wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 02:27
Frislander wrote:
Sat 21 Jul 2018, 12:22
Also has it ever occurred to you that gematria was probably created to generate these symbolisms from the language/writing-system that already existed, not the other way round?
Definitely! That's very much what I thought. For every example of Gematria I would figure out how to replicate the symbolism in English. I love puns, anagrams, palindromes, pangrams, etc. So my first thoughts were, the author of the Torah is doing these very well. But then the specific pattern of the meta-star depicted in the Gematria of the first verse of Genesis, a pattern that is repeated in the second verse, was just too much to do.
okay, you keep mentioning that you found the metastar...so I'm going to tell you what my math teacher always told me: show your work.
Go try to write two sentences in English that when coded as numbers both define the same figure with multiple axes of symmetry.
YOU
ARE
NOT
LISTENING.

English doesn't do number-letters like some languages do. and if its been coded into the Torah, why should we believe that, after 1400 years, you miraculously managed to find that coded message?
The sentences need to be a reasonable start for a book.
what sort of book? you'd use different words for something along the lines of Seuss or "twas brillig and slithy tothes" or whatever, than you would for explaining the physics of singularities.
You can use any numerical coding system you want, but it has to be used consistently to "decode" each sentence.
why does it have to be coded?
But show me a few meaningful English "2701" sentences, in which case I'll be impressed with your wordplay and change my mind about how necessary it is for the author of those verses to have controlled the meanings of the words.
meaningful, in what way? to make a shape? I can use words to literally make a shape out of the words.

and of course the author of the verses controlled the meaning of the words...as did the editors who assembled the verses and the two starts of the Torah into a coherent whole...as did the 70 who picked and chose chapters and such to translate...etc.
marcege wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 02:14
Perec's book without the e is a great example. There is a level of letter-play where it is apparent the author is taking care wrt the letters. True that's not a constructed language, just careful language. But then if the letter play gets intense enough, with words that don't appear in earlier sources, one might wonder if the author achieved the letter play by making up - constructing - certain of the words. That's what the link in the OP describes, in particular the words that constitute the first and last part of the book.
WTF? if it gets intense enough? you're dismissive of an entire novel that does something you claim only conlangs do...and yet you keep shouting to the heavens that two verses in the Torah is sufficient to prove conlangness.
Hi, I'm not good enough at this forum to insert an image, work shown at
https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2P ... xjAnC7/pub

I didn't discover it, I just wanted to find a non-supernatural explanation, and constructing words or maybe other aspects of the language to suit the purposes is my proposal. "It's just a coincidence" is another possibility, but when there is a pattern it is OK to make hypotheses to test against the option that the pattern is just a coincidence.

Perec is awesome, I'm not dismissive at all - and he conspicuously did not invent words to accomplish his feat - he only used known words - so no reason to think A Void is a conlang at all. Not a ding on Perec in the least. Utmost respect.

Marc
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 17:03

sangi39 wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 03:12
Using simple a=1, b=2... z=26:

"We're knights o' the round table
We dance whene'er we're able
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork impeccable

We dine well here in Camelot
We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

We're knights o' the round table
Our shows are formidable
But many a time
We're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable"

That took me 5 minutes to search through the script for Monty Python and The Holy Grail to find an excerpt that was close, and I only made three edits (both instances of of to o' and times to a time, which annoyingly does ruin the rhyme scheme, but given that the stress of the words imeccable, formidable and unsingable have been changed to rhyme properly with table, I'm actually okay with that), which took me another 9 minutes to make in order to fit the 2701 goal (admittedly, using a different assignment of numerical values to Hebrew Gematria, but one common in English).
Very nice! That's exactly the sort of thought process I am inferring to be in the authorship of the Hebrew verses in Torah. Start with some line of text with what you'd like to say. It's close to making some nice pattern on a letter-level. So you adjust one thing to make it work, but it throws off something else, so you adjust something else back and then go with that.

Now if you wanted to do the same thing using the subsequent verse of Monty Python, you'd be pretty stuck, because it doesn't start close to the 2701. Maybe instead of Clark Gable, you'd need to generate a first name with quite a few different letters. Maybe you'd start with just the right letter-string for that name you wish Gable could have, and then work backwards to make it sound a bit more natural. Or maybe, instead, that next verse of Monty Python starts close to another nice star-number besides 2701, so you can keep the theme going that way by hitting another target. It's a combination of intention, luck, flexibility, and it's kinda fun .. to a certain sort of person ..

The point being, generating figurate number patterns in gematria seems do-able through human attention to the letters, and there is no need either to invoke a supernatural explanation or deny that the pattern could possibly be there at all. It just takes someone doing the sort of intentional thing you're up to and fully capable of!

Quite honestly, it is an admirable skill, at least according to me.

If you thought you saw that someone was playing this sort of letter-game, what else if anything would you expect of them as an author, or personality; what would you look for in the text to confirm or refute their intention? For example, in Perec's A Void, which does not use the letter e, the story itself has other resonant features. Like, the main character is named "Vowl," a last name clearly constructed to suit the purpose of the letter-level games. Does "Vowl" "count" as a constructed word? If anyone expressed doubt as to the intentionality of the letter-level pattern of A Void missing the letter "e," is there any other way one might examine the text to confirm or refute that the lack of the letter 'e' was intentional? Does just the name "Vowl" seal the deal with respect to intentionality?

Thanks!!!!

marc
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 23 Jul 2018, 19:21

Has anyone else here ever read about “Ella Minnow Pea”?
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 14:59

eldin raigmore wrote:
Mon 23 Jul 2018, 19:21
Has anyone else here ever read about “Ella Minnow Pea”?
Thanks, eldin and sangi39, for bringing this back to monty python and whimsy!

I just added a section at the end about how fun and funny the language construction process that might be implicated for Hebrew can be.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j4Z ... AxHf4/edit#
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by gestaltist » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 16:25

If I'm being quite honest, the premise of this thread sounds a lot like wishful thinking and apophenia. Reading the article linked by OP a few posts back, all of it is such a huge stretch. Going from 2701 to that "metastar" is in no way a given. The sheer fact that you can twist and bend the number 2701 to get that shape is meaningless. If you get enough people obsessing over something for long enough (in that case: rabbis, cabalists, and what have you), you can reinterpret anything to mean anything.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 17:12

gestaltist wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 16:25
If I'm being quite honest, the premise of this thread sounds a lot like wishful thinking and apophenia. Reading the article linked by OP a few posts back, all of it is such a huge stretch. Going from 2701 to that "metastar" is in no way a given. The sheer fact that you can twist and bend the number 2701 to get that shape is meaningless. If you get enough people obsessing over something for long enough (in that case: rabbis, cabalists, and what have you), you can reinterpret anything to mean anything.
Hi, I just looked up apophenia.

Does another meta-star in the next verse help anything? If you twist and bend 2701 into some particular pattern, how much more twisting and bending to turn the next verse into a similar pattern? It becomes at least as much genius in the twisting and bending as it would be to have made the pattern intentionally in the first place! So why assume there were sufficiently genius (or "obsessive") twisters and benders but not that there was a genius (or "obsessive") author?

Sangi, in this thread, exhibited enough talent to produce a sentence with a coded meta-star pattern, as an author. Actually 3 sentences in a row, thematically linked, using consistent numerical coding throughout. Deliberate authorship therefore seems quite feasible. Can you take the first three sentences of, let's say, A Tale of Two Cities and make three perfectly symmetrical stars with them? Let's say they don't even have to be symmetrical in the meta-dimension. Just 3 perfect geometric stars, one for each sentence, using a consistent numbering system. But bonus points if there is higher-level symmetry too.

If you succeed, I would be forced to say that deliberate authorship and also twisting-and-bending are both fairly practical options for how we come to be looking at pictures of meta-stars. But, unless we see someone succeed, we might think that deliberate authorship is a substantially more viable theory than twisting-and-bending.


thanks!
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by gestaltist » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 19:40

marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 17:12
Hi, I just looked up apophenia.

Does another meta-star in the next verse help anything? If you twist and bend 2701 into some particular pattern, how much more twisting and bending to turn the next verse into a similar pattern? It becomes at least as much genius in the twisting and bending as it would be to have made the pattern intentionally in the first place! So why assume there were sufficiently genius (or "obsessive") twisters and benders but not that there was a genius (or "obsessive") author?
The point is, there is no meta-star in the text. It's an interpretation of a simple number (2701). Is it feasible that the author (or rather - the last redactor) of the first verses of Genesis made sure that each verse had the same numerical value? Yes. Is it likely that they intended this to mean what you call "meta-star"? Dubious at best. We have no sources whatsoever that would point us towards the goals of the original author of the book. So it's far-fetched conjecture. I'm sure you could draw any number of interesting shapes based on the number 2701.
Sangi, in this thread, exhibited enough talent to produce a sentence with a coded meta-star pattern, as an author. Actually 3 sentences in a row, thematically linked, using consistent numerical coding throughout. Deliberate authorship therefore seems quite feasible. Can you take the first three sentences of, let's say, A Tale of Two Cities and make three perfectly symmetrical stars with them? Let's say they don't even have to be symmetrical in the meta-dimension. Just 3 perfect geometric stars, one for each sentence, using a consistent numbering system. But bonus points if there is higher-level symmetry too.

If you succeed, I would be forced to say that deliberate authorship and also twisting-and-bending are both fairly practical options for how we come to be looking at pictures of meta-stars. But, unless we see someone succeed, we might think that deliberate authorship is a substantially more viable theory than twisting-and-bending.
To be frank, I'm too strapped for time and too lazy to attempt this. But it doesn't matter because the premise of this thread wasn't "the author of Genesis embedded multilayer symbolism in its first verses" but rather "Hebrew is a conlang". There is nothing about the meta star that would point towards that. If anything, Sangi's effort shows this can be done for any natural language.

The other points you make in the article aren't any more convincing, I'm afraid. Let's tackle them one by one:

1. Pangrams - irrelevant. This tells us something about the Bible but nothing about the origins of the language.
2. Economy of prefixes - this argument shows a lack of basic linguistic knowledge. Firstly, it treats the fact that Hebrew doesn't encode vowels as something amazing, as if it weren't typical of alphabets of that time and region. Secondly, it picks and chooses some formants which conveniently support the one-letter theory. But you can find words in any of these categories which aren't one-letter long. And if you think that these one-letter morphemes are special because they are prefixed, this is nothing more than a writing convention and maybe testament to their clitic status. E.g., you list the conjunction v- but ignore the conjunction lu ("if only"). You list the preposition b- (in) but ignore prepositions such as ben- ("between") which is three letters. Etc.
Finally, Hebrew is supposed to be special because it is a triconsonantal language. That's laughable - it's a part of the Afroasiatic language family where this is common. (Also: what does that have to do with prefixes?)
3. Meta-star - again irrelevant. Doesn't say anything about the language itself.
5. More stars - same. Also, you missed "4".
6. Assorted trivia - not much more to say. The arguments from certain words like "year" having approximately the right numerical value are irrelevant unless *all* words in the language have that property. Otherwise it's a clear case of picking and choosing whichever word supports your argument. E.g. "yom" (day) has the value of 56 which doesn't have any obvious correspondence with the length of the day.

In the final notes, starting with a dogmatically accepted notion "Torah was authored" belies the claim to approach the topic with a scientific mind.

As I said: wishful thinking and apophenia.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 20:18

gestaltist wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 19:40
marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 17:12
Hi, I just looked up apophenia.

Does another meta-star in the next verse help anything? If you twist and bend 2701 into some particular pattern, how much more twisting and bending to turn the next verse into a similar pattern? It becomes at least as much genius in the twisting and bending as it would be to have made the pattern intentionally in the first place! So why assume there were sufficiently genius (or "obsessive") twisters and benders but not that there was a genius (or "obsessive") author?
The point is, there is no meta-star in the text. It's an interpretation of a simple number (2701). Is it feasible that the author (or rather - the last redactor) of the first verses of Genesis made sure that each verse had the same numerical value? Yes. Is it likely that they intended this to mean what you call "meta-star"? Dubious at best. We have no sources whatsoever that would point us towards the goals of the original author of the book. So it's far-fetched conjecture. I'm sure you could draw any number of interesting shapes based on the number 2701.
Sangi, in this thread, exhibited enough talent to produce a sentence with a coded meta-star pattern, as an author. Actually 3 sentences in a row, thematically linked, using consistent numerical coding throughout. Deliberate authorship therefore seems quite feasible. Can you take the first three sentences of, let's say, A Tale of Two Cities and make three perfectly symmetrical stars with them? Let's say they don't even have to be symmetrical in the meta-dimension. Just 3 perfect geometric stars, one for each sentence, using a consistent numbering system. But bonus points if there is higher-level symmetry too.

If you succeed, I would be forced to say that deliberate authorship and also twisting-and-bending are both fairly practical options for how we come to be looking at pictures of meta-stars. But, unless we see someone succeed, we might think that deliberate authorship is a substantially more viable theory than twisting-and-bending.
To be frank, I'm too strapped for time and too lazy to attempt this. But it doesn't matter because the premise of this thread wasn't "the author of Genesis embedded multilayer symbolism in its first verses" but rather "Hebrew is a conlang". There is nothing about the meta star that would point towards that. If anything, Sangi's effort shows this can be done for any natural language.

The other points you make in the article aren't any more convincing, I'm afraid. Let's tackle them one by one:

1. Pangrams - irrelevant. This tells us something about the Bible but nothing about the origins of the language.
2. Economy of prefixes - this argument shows a lack of basic linguistic knowledge. Firstly, it treats the fact that Hebrew doesn't encode vowels as something amazing, as if it weren't typical of alphabets of that time and region. Secondly, it picks and chooses some formants which conveniently support the one-letter theory. But you can find words in any of these categories which aren't one-letter long. And if you think that these one-letter morphemes are special because they are prefixed, this is nothing more than a writing convention and maybe testament to their clitic status. E.g., you list the conjunction v- but ignore the conjunction lu ("if only"). You list the preposition b- (in) but ignore prepositions such as ben- ("between") which is three letters. Etc.
Finally, Hebrew is supposed to be special because it is a triconsonantal language. That's laughable - it's a part of the Afroasiatic language family where this is common. (Also: what does that have to do with prefixes?)
3. Meta-star - again irrelevant. Doesn't say anything about the language itself.
5. More stars - same. Also, you missed "4".
6. Assorted trivia - not much more to say. The arguments from certain words like "year" having approximately the right numerical value are irrelevant unless *all* words in the language have that property. Otherwise it's a clear case of picking and choosing whichever word supports your argument. E.g. "yom" (day) has the value of 56 which doesn't have any obvious correspondence with the length of the day.

In the final notes, starting with a dogmatically accepted notion "Torah was authored" belies the claim to approach the topic with a scientific mind.

As I said: wishful thinking and apophenia.
Thanks for pointing out the mis-numbering.

The relation of the stars to the language is to show the attention of the writer to the letters. The "Israel" star, for example, is a single word, and the word has no particular antecedent, so the fact that its letters make a star is either either a "coincidence" (possible) or the letter string was defined ("constructed," a "conword.") The theory of constructed parts of the language in the Torah, such as the word "Israel," is an evaluate-able alternative to the default theory that any letter-level playfulness in the words is "just a coincidence."

I will try to re-write to clarify, as it seems to be possible to read what I wrote in the link and miss what the relevance of the stars is to this overall idea.

Prefixes and roots - you might be right. There are some parts of this thread I haven't yet understood, explaining why it is natural to expect that all verbs in a corpus when abstracted to roots would get written with exactly the same number of letters. But no need to explain- there is more than enough I already don't understand earlier in the thread so it might not be a useful effort to take the time again.

There's no particular need for every word, like "day," to fit a particular pattern. That's like saying a poem only has an intentional rhyme scheme in its first verse if if every single later verse also rhymes the same way with that same rhyme scheme. A rhyme that is there is a rhyme that is there - though of course any particular couplet might rhyme by accident, without the author aware. Enough rhymes in a book though and whether or not any one particular couplet rhymes intentionally or by accident, you still know there is a theme of deliberate rhyme.

I don't see why the theory that the Torah is authored is necessarily dogmatic or non-scientific. Lots of people think lots of things, some very strongly, but one can still work through the options systematically. Maybe "authored" is not the right word? For example, my understanding is that Greek myths were transmitted orally for a long time and then written down. I wouldn't say that a written collection of them was "authored" by the person who wrote them down. Maybe there is a better word I could use, the point is just that the prose was intentionally set down as prose, by someone looking at it - authored like the posts in this thread, not transcribed.

If it was a "redactor" as you say who edited to make the letter-level games happen, then OK, then that is the person who was the author of these lines of text, with a deliberate intent to write prose as written prose with attention to the letters. It is entirely possible someone took an existing story or concept and wrote it out carefully, replacing some words with others, defining names of g-d and playing with spellings to make the number-patterns in the first verses and another few key places work, making those carefully selected spellings repeat consistently throughout the rest of the text, making sure to end the story with the word "Israel," etc. If that works for you, that works for me, and I don't care too much if one wants to call a person who does such a thing an "author" or use some other word for that particular form of literary artistry. I also don't care too much if the construction of words or selection of special spellings to suit a special purpose "counts" as a "conlang," but either way the skills one uses for conlanging might be the same set of skills. Maybe the 3-letter-spellings for every root are too homogenous in length to expect from a natural language and maybe not, I'm still trying to learn how such things work.

thanks!
Marc
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Keenir » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:06

marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 20:18
Thanks for pointing out the mis-numbering.

The relation of the stars to the language is to show the attention of the writer to the letters. The "Israel" star, for example, is a single word, and the word has no particular antecedent,
go back to the text, and it will tell you "Name him Israel, which means (____)."
There's no particular need for every word, like "day," to fit a particular pattern. That's like saying a poem only has an intentional rhyme scheme in its first verse if if every single later verse also rhymes the same way with that same rhyme scheme. A rhyme that is there is a rhyme that is there - though of course any particular couplet might rhyme by accident, without the author aware.
except can you name any rhyming poetry that only has one rhyme, followed by many lines of nonrhymes?
I don't see why the theory that the Torah is authored is necessarily dogmatic or non-scientific.
except you stated it as a fact, a belief that refuses to budge, no matter how much contrary evidence is presented to you.
defining names of g-d
wha? wait, which names of G-D?

El - predated the Torah
baal - predated the Torah
Shadai - predates the Torah
YHW - doesn't predate the Torah, but predates the compilation of the Greek translation (ditto YHWH)

so...which names?
Maybe the 3-letter-spellings for every root are too homogenous in length to expect from a natural language and maybe not, I'm still trying to learn how such things work.
and we're trying to help explain them to you...but you refuse to hear us.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:26

Keenir wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:06
marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 20:18
Thanks for pointing out the mis-numbering.

The relation of the stars to the language is to show the attention of the writer to the letters. The "Israel" star, for example, is a single word, and the word has no particular antecedent,
go back to the text, and it will tell you "Name him Israel, which means (____)."
There's no particular need for every word, like "day," to fit a particular pattern. That's like saying a poem only has an intentional rhyme scheme in its first verse if if every single later verse also rhymes the same way with that same rhyme scheme. A rhyme that is there is a rhyme that is there - though of course any particular couplet might rhyme by accident, without the author aware.
except can you name any rhyming poetry that only has one rhyme, followed by many lines of nonrhymes?
I don't see why the theory that the Torah is authored is necessarily dogmatic or non-scientific.
except you stated it as a fact, a belief that refuses to budge, no matter how much contrary evidence is presented to you.
defining names of g-d
wha? wait, which names of G-D?

El - predated the Torah
baal - predated the Torah
Shadai - predates the Torah
YHW - doesn't predate the Torah, but predates the compilation of the Greek translation (ditto YHWH)

so...which names?
Maybe the 3-letter-spellings for every root are too homogenous in length to expect from a natural language and maybe not, I'm still trying to learn how such things work.
and we're trying to help explain them to you...but you refuse to hear us.
Well, the idea is that names that are in the verses with the nifty letter patterns are candidates for spelling by construction to help the pattern work - so like Elohim in Genesis 1:1 (meta-star), Kanah in Exodus 34:14 (meta-meta-star), in the link in OP. The other names you mentioned, I don't know that they were spelled identically pre-Torah to how they are spelled in Torah, but I'm not an expert here and more than happy to learn.

Thanks for trying to explain about the roots, all I can say is I'll go back and re-read, no need to keep explaining. Your efforts were much appreciated, I'm just too dense to get it quickly :)

About poems, the analogy I was going for was that there are many letter-level patterns and gematria "coincidences," so whether a single one is intentional or not is hard to tell, but still the theme may be apparent. So the poem that would be a rhyming analogy would have a bunch of rhymes, and the question would be whether you need every single line to rhyme to conclude that there is a theme of rhymes. This is because the poster was saying "shanah=355" could only be intentional if Yom (day) also had an interesting gematria play in it - it's totally possible to have a theme of rhyme, or wordplay, without every single word being part of the play in the same way.

Assigning "Israel" a meaning in the surface level of the text has little bearing on whether the word might have been constructed with other considerations too. Like, maybe "Bilbo Baggins" in the story has his name for some reason that is given within the story - belonging to the family of Baggins, etc. - but Tolkien also wanted a silly-kind-of-sounding name with assonance and repetition of a fun letter "B." Hope that makes sense ...

thanks!
-Marc
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Keenir » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:47

marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:26
Well, the idea is that names that are in the verses with the nifty letter patterns are candidates for spelling by construction to help the pattern work - so like Elohim in Genesis 1:1 (meta-star), Kanah in Exodus 34:14 (meta-meta-star), in the link in OP. The other names you mentioned, I don't know that they were spelled identically pre-Torah to how they are spelled in Torah, but I'm not an expert here and more than happy to learn.
you might want to get a(n introductory) book about early Mesopotamian religions. it may be an assist.
Thanks for trying to explain about the roots, all I can say is I'll go back and re-read, no need to keep explaining. Your efforts were much appreciated, I'm just too dense to get it quickly :)
no, we've seen dense people. you're not so much dense, as simply indifferent.
marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:30
About poems, the analogy I was going for was that there are many letter-level patterns and gematria "coincidences," so whether a single one is intentional or not is hard to tell, but still the theme may be apparent. So the poem that would be a rhyming analogy would have a bunch of rhymes, and the question would be whether you need every single line to rhyme to conclude that there is a theme of rhymes. This is because the poster was saying "shanah=355" could only be intentional if Yom (day) also had an interesting gematria play in it - it's totally possible to have a theme of rhyme, or wordplay, without every single word being part of the play in the same way.

Assigning "Israel" a meaning in the surface level of the text has little bearing on whether the word might have been constructed with other considerations too.
soooo....now your argument appears to be this: all of my picked-and-chosen words have special meanings, and I don't care about all the many words that don't have special meanings because obviously they don't mean anything, therefore I don't care about them. And possible alternative reasons for my special words, doesn't mean anything because I will always give them the special meaning I picked-and-chose them to have."

yeah, definitely losing your cred as an impartial participant. :)
Like, maybe "Bilbo Baggins" in the story has his name for some reason that is given within the story - belonging to the family of Baggins, etc. - but Tolkien also wanted a silly-kind-of-sounding name with assonance and repetition of a fun letter "B." Hope that makes sense ...
"Bilbo", like pretty much every other name in that world, is a translation.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 22:22

Keenir wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:47
marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:26
Well, the idea is that names that are in the verses with the nifty letter patterns are candidates for spelling by construction to help the pattern work - so like Elohim in Genesis 1:1 (meta-star), Kanah in Exodus 34:14 (meta-meta-star), in the link in OP. The other names you mentioned, I don't know that they were spelled identically pre-Torah to how they are spelled in Torah, but I'm not an expert here and more than happy to learn.
you might want to get a(n introductory) book about early Mesopotamian religions. it may be an assist.
Thanks for trying to explain about the roots, all I can say is I'll go back and re-read, no need to keep explaining. Your efforts were much appreciated, I'm just too dense to get it quickly :)
no, we've seen dense people. you're not so much dense, as simply indifferent.
marcege wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 21:30
About poems, the analogy I was going for was that there are many letter-level patterns and gematria "coincidences," so whether a single one is intentional or not is hard to tell, but still the theme may be apparent. So the poem that would be a rhyming analogy would have a bunch of rhymes, and the question would be whether you need every single line to rhyme to conclude that there is a theme of rhymes. This is because the poster was saying "shanah=355" could only be intentional if Yom (day) also had an interesting gematria play in it - it's totally possible to have a theme of rhyme, or wordplay, without every single word being part of the play in the same way.

Assigning "Israel" a meaning in the surface level of the text has little bearing on whether the word might have been constructed with other considerations too.
soooo....now your argument appears to be this: all of my picked-and-chosen words have special meanings, and I don't care about all the many words that don't have special meanings because obviously they don't mean anything, therefore I don't care about them. And possible alternative reasons for my special words, doesn't mean anything because I will always give them the special meaning I picked-and-chose them to have."

yeah, definitely losing your cred as an impartial participant. :)
Like, maybe "Bilbo Baggins" in the story has his name for some reason that is given within the story - belonging to the family of Baggins, etc. - but Tolkien also wanted a silly-kind-of-sounding name with assonance and repetition of a fun letter "B." Hope that makes sense ...
"Bilbo", like pretty much every other name in that world, is a translation.
I see you saying that because Bilbo's Baggins' name is a translation the author would really have no control over whether it ended up being a cute name befitting a cute character or if instead it the name had happened to translate into "Voltang Destructor" that would have been the name of the main character. I am thinking that if that is one's view of how books with conworlds and conlangs come together, that would explain assuming the utter impossibility of what I'm describing in Torah. Perhaps you are correct, but forgive me, I think we might be too far apart to communicate well. I do wish you well though.

Marc
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Salmoneus » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:06

I think you might want to hone a few areas of understanding here, aside from linguistics...

a) religion. The idea that an entire religion would rename their deity just because a scribe wanted to engage in wordplay is ludicrous. Experiment: go to Israel, and persuade everyone there to start worshipping the god 'Barney', because his name alliterates better in a poem you've written.

b) probability. All your hypothesese rely on pointing out something improbable happening, without considering how often the same improbable thing doesn't happen. Therefore they're statistically meaningless.

Consider, for example, the case where a monkey makes noises, and one day a plane crashes. The plane crashes exactly when the monkey makes a particular noise that sounds like a crashing sound. Is this a coincidence? Well, what matters isn't the noise and the crash happening together. It's whether the noise also happens when planes don't crash! If the monkey only makes that noise when a plane's about to crash, that's alarming! But if the monkey makes that noise ten times a day and only one plane crashes, once, once day, then yeah, that's a complete coincidence. It doesn't matter than A and B coincide once - it matters whether A frequently occurs without B, and/or B frequently occurs without A. In this case, 'there's a Hebrew word' is A. Or perhaps a member of a certain class of words - hence the idea of checking whether this works with 'day' as well. If 'day' sums to 24, 'week' sums to 7, and 'year' sums to '365', that's a really remarkable coincidence! But if A (the word's meaning) and B (the word's gematrial value) only happen to coincide a tiny number of times, then no, that's just coincidence, or indistinguishable from it.

You also aren't considering how many other improbable things aren't happening, so, again, meaningless. With a large enough corpus, weird improbable things are virtually certain to occur. The same way that, say, when you take two unrelated languages and look at their dictionaries, you'll usually (if they have vaguely compatible phonologies) find a bunch of words that look really suspiciously similar. The same way that, for instance, have is a word in both English and Tarantino, with the same meaning (well, it's 3rd person in Tarantino, but close enough), despite the words obviosuly being completely unrelated. Or the way that, in a group of 59 people, there's a better than 99% chance that two of them will share a birthday. Sure, the chance of any specific two specifically sharing a specific day as their birthday is really, really small. But the chance of SOME pair sharing SOME birthday is really, really big. What you're doing is pointing to the fact of the coincidence and saying it was really unlikely. But you're not taking into consideration all the other coincidences that did NOT happen.

So yeah, two lines of the Torah, when encoded in a form of gematria that there's no reason to belive the author would have known about, both add up to 2701. And how many lines DON'T add up to that? Some lines were bound to add up to the same thing*. And if they have to add up to something, why not 2701? And 2701 can be used to make a pretty star shape. But if it had been a different number, it could have been used to do something else pretty instead. And if the lines hadn't added up, and you hadn't seen other lines that added up, you'd have found some other coincidental property that they had instead, because coincidences are everywhere. And if this one religious text did happen to have a really astonishing coincidence in it - well, how many other religious texts don't? Write enough texts, and something weird will happen eventually. Again, the odds of any one specific weird thing happening are tiny. But the odds of some weird thing happening are really big.

*and consider the odds, there. Sure, a line could add up to anything. But lines will on average be about the same length, in a given text. And they'll use the same set of letters with the same values, and they'll have the same average letter distributions. So the probable numerical value of a random line in a given text is not random, but instead should be tightly clustered around an average value, which makes two lines having the same value not really that big a coincidence.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by sangi39 » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:28

Coincidentally, given Sal's point about chance, I decided to do some digging.

First, let's take the number 13, the first two-digit star number, then see how many different ways there are to make this number using only two or three numbers using addition, treating different arrangements of numbers as different, e.g. 1+8+4 is different from 1+4+8 and so on.

Second, assign letters of the Hebrew script to these numbers, per traditional Gematria, e.g. aleph to 1, bet to 2, gimel to 3, etc.

Third, treat these strings of numbers as potential words, and go searching for ones that exist.

As it turns out, at least seventeen of these two and three-letter-long strings of letters have meanings in Hebrew, meaning, roughly, "valley" (although this is an alternative spelling), "he will come/return", "enemy" (although a defective spelling), "father" (in the construct state), "agate" (although this is a modern borrowing so doesn't really count), "one", "locust", "this (one), that", "gift, present", "to glaze", "and among" (I'm not sure I translated this one right, W-B-H), "give" (H-B-W, again unsure), "fish" (masculine singular imperative), "he was fishing", "contempt, disdain", "to pronounce", and one more I couldn't find a translation for B-'-Y.

That's almost 20% of possible strings of letters which, using Gematria, can add up to 13, and they all seem semantically rather random. I haven't, though, checked to see yet whether all of these appear in the Bible, and I think I'm using Modern Hebrew instead.

The next task would be:

1) See how many two, three, four or five number combinations can add up to literally all the numbers
2) See how many of those strings produce words which appear in the Bible in Biblical Hebrew
3) See how many of those meaningful strings add up to a star number, as opposed to a non-star number
4) Collect all of that data together to see if the number of star-number words are higher than expected from random chance
5) See whether the distribution of "religious" terminology have a skewed distribution amongst the star numbers
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Shemtov » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:53

Salmoneus wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:06
a) religion. The idea that an entire religion would rename their deity just because a scribe wanted to engage in wordplay is ludicrous. Experiment: go to Israel, and persuade everyone there to start worshipping the god 'Barney', because his name alliterates better in a poem you've written.

Devil's Advocate: Marc never explained why the Star Numbers were chosen. He could easily adapt the hypothesis to say that they were chosen around the Sheim Hovayah, instead of the Sheim being chosen because it's 13*2.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Shemtov » Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:57

sangi39 wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:28
"and among" (I'm not sure I translated this one right, W-B-H), "give" (H-B-W, again unsure),
"And within her/it [Feminine noun]" "Render; Pay Homage" (see the 29th Psalm, where it is used three times in the Phrase "Pay Homage to the L-RD")
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by sangi39 » Wed 25 Jul 2018, 00:07

Shemtov wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:57
sangi39 wrote:
Tue 24 Jul 2018, 23:28
"and among" (I'm not sure I translated this one right, W-B-H), "give" (H-B-W, again unsure),
"And within her/it [Feminine noun]" "Render; Pay Homage" (see the 29th Psalm, where it is used three times in the Phrase "Pay Homage to the L-RD")
Thank you! [:D] I was hoping someone would come along and correct those. I'm not overly familiar with Hebrew beyond the obvious (the nonconcatenative morphology), and I've not built up many resource around it.
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