(changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Keenir » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 21:18

Shemtov wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 19:39
Keenir wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 18:24
the Torah and Tanakh
Sorry for being pedantic, but that phrase is redundant- the word "Tanakh" is an acronym, the Ta part standing for "Torah". Separating the Torah from the rest of the Tanakh, we are left with what is called "Nakh" but as most people here probably don't know the word, "Torah and the rest of Tanakh" would be more accurate.
my apologies; I was trying to think of the Torah's companion, and all that came to mind was "Tanakh". (you've no need to apologize - I greatly appreciate your correction)
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 22:01

Keenir wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 18:24
marcege wrote:
Tue 17 Jul 2018, 02:44
It would be hard to throw in a numerological nugget as a first sentence, if most of the words in that sentence would have needed to be constructed and then are also used frequently throughout the test of the text. Like, can you pick up a random book and add a numerological nugget to give it a new, meaningful start, and then over-write vocabulary in the rest of the book to make it consistent?
You're making an assumption:

a. that either all written languages have numerology, or only Biblical Hebrew has numerology

b. that all interpretations of a text are of equal age. Aside from being a natural history observation and an alphabet aide, what signifigance is "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs" ?
I still don't understand how any language could have a non-normal distribution of root word lengths (i.e., 3-letter-roots) when words are spelled phonetically -
define "normal".
marcege wrote:
Tue 17 Jul 2018, 15:02
Thanks. That's a clear explanation of how words might lose variety and converge towards similar forms. Does it also explain why single-consonant words would expand upwards to the identical form that longer words have expanded downwards towards? Would it be expected that all verbs, say, naturally converge to 3 letters in the root? For example, there is still variability in your list: car and cab each need 2 consonants to spell, plane and train need three, and kids these days definitely get around by scooter.
scooter is 3 consonants.

bicycle -> bike -> biking ...etc. people add to words the things they want to say.
Do 3-letter-roots have too little variability to have been capturing what people who talk actually say to each other?
wait...you were saying that Biblical Hebrew is a conlang that took over the language of a faith for over a millennia...and now you're saying you're not sure if such languages as Hebrew have enough variability to help people talk to each other? (you are aware that there are conversations within the Torah and Tanakh, right?)
marcege wrote:
Tue 17 Jul 2018, 19:29
If people speak a language based on mostly triconsonantal roots, you are saying we would also expect a fair number of biconsonantal and quadraconsonantal roots to appear in the same language. People drop sounds sometimes in dialect and in the development of language, add sounds, etc., and there is no constraint in everyday language to stick to words that are "3" of anything in particular.
not everyone writes casual speech...particularly when writing something important: even people who speak somethin' likes dis, will often write properly and counter to how they speak.
Hi, sorry, I'll admit I have trouble with the nested quotes, but some quick replies. And thanks for your comments.

1. I didn't follow what you said about making assumptions, but I'd like to. The brown fox has no real significance, but if there were an anecdote that ended, "A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy red dog," I'd suspect someone had crafted the anecdote to "get" to that clever sentence. This would be like one of those elaborate jokes that ends in a pun (a "feghoot") rather than that by coincidence someone's anecdote ends in a pangram.

2. I meant a normal distribution, meaning that if on average some length measurements come to 3 and 3 is the most common measurements, then you might expect some measurements to come to 2 and 4; fewer measurements to come to 1 and 5. It's a technical term of statistics
https://www.google.com/search?q=normal+ ... e&ie=UTF-8

3. I was counting the "s," "c," "t," and "r" in scooter, as in "I want to ride my scooter." Maybe I've gotten something off, but the broader point was just that there are different numbers of consonants in the different words.

4. Variability. I might not have expressed this clearly. What I'm asking is, if you constraining yourself to write only with 3-letter verbs, would you expect to be able to capture all the variability in ordinary speech in a culture, given that some spoken verbs are likely to be pronounced with 4, 5, or 6 etc. sounds that are consonants. Maybe someone else can phrase this question better, I'm trying to pick up the vocabulary around vocabulary :) For example, how would you express the verb "accomplish" or "see" if you are only allowed exactly 3 consonants.

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

Post by Ahzoh » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 22:31

marcege wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 22:01
4. Variability. I might not have expressed this clearly. What I'm asking is, if you constraining yourself to write only with 3-letter verbs, would you expect to be able to capture all the variability in ordinary speech in a culture, given that some spoken verbs are likely to be pronounced with 4, 5, or 6 etc. sounds that are consonants. Maybe someone else can phrase this question better, I'm trying to pick up the vocabulary around vocabulary :)
Well, yes, as I've explained before. Semitic languages will never use every single permutation of all their consonants in a triconsonantal root. Arabic, as I've said, uses about 2000 roots out of a possible 21,000. It and other Semitic languages doesn't need to use so many roots because of their morphological structures.

The most common roots will consist of three consonants because most words in Proto-Semitic and ancestors were bisyllabic. To throw a number out there, 70-80% of all the roots used could be triconsonantal and most of them very common or basic ones. There are still a significant number of biconsonsonantal roots of course, some preserved through history, and others the result of cluster reduction. Quadraliteral and quintaliteral roots tend to be onomatopeia words, loans or the result of verbal or nominal derivation, but I'm sure there's some that aren't any of these.

For the Tanakh link you showed me, there's only 609 verbs used in the entire body of text and that number is only 1/3 of the roots that the entire Hebrew language possibly uses (if it used about 2000; could be more or less), so it would indeed be possible to read entire large texts such as that and not find a single quadrilateral verb if my percentage number was correct. But then, you look at all the nouns used in the Tanakh, you will see many such words spelled with 4 and 5 letters and some with only 2.
For example, how would you express the verb "accomplish" or "see" if you are only allowed exactly 3 consonants.
That is not at all a problem because they have a very extensive and regular system of derivation morphemes that could take basic verbs and nouns and derive new verbs and nouns from them. Just look at, for example, the wide number of verbs and nouns that could be derived from the root k-t-b. And using 3-consonantal roots does not mean they can't use prefixes, suffixes, or even infixes to convey additional meaning.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 00:47

Ahzoh wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 22:31
marcege wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 22:01
4. Variability. I might not have expressed this clearly. What I'm asking is, if you constraining yourself to write only with 3-letter verbs, would you expect to be able to capture all the variability in ordinary speech in a culture, given that some spoken verbs are likely to be pronounced with 4, 5, or 6 etc. sounds that are consonants. Maybe someone else can phrase this question better, I'm trying to pick up the vocabulary around vocabulary :)
Well, yes, as I've explained before. Semitic languages will never use every single permutation of all their consonants in a triconsonantal root. Arabic, as I've said, uses about 2000 roots out of a possible 21,000. It and other Semitic languages doesn't need to use so many roots because of their morphological structures.

The most common roots will consist of three consonants because most words in Proto-Semitic and ancestors were bisyllabic. To throw a number out there, 70-80% of all the roots used could be triconsonantal and most of them very common or basic ones. There are still a significant number of biconsonsonantal roots of course, some preserved through history, and others the result of cluster reduction. Quadraliteral and quintaliteral roots tend to be onomatopeia words, loans or the result of verbal or nominal derivation, but I'm sure there's some that aren't any of these.

For the Tanakh link you showed me, there's only 609 verbs used in the entire body of text and that number is only 1/3 of the roots that the entire Hebrew language possibly uses (if it used about 2000; could be more or less), so it would indeed be possible to read entire large texts such as that and not find a single quadrilateral verb if my percentage number was correct. But then, you look at all the nouns used in the Tanakh, you will see many such words spelled with 4 and 5 letters and some with only 2.
For example, how would you express the verb "accomplish" or "see" if you are only allowed exactly 3 consonants.
That is not at all a problem because they have a very extensive and regular system of derivation morphemes that could take basic verbs and nouns and derive new verbs and nouns from them. Just look at, for example, the wide number of verbs and nouns that could be derived from the root k-t-b. And using 3-consonantal roots does not mean they can't use prefixes, suffixes, or even infixes to convey additional meaning.
Agreed there are enough possible 3 letter roots to represent as many words as you'd need, I can imagine constructing a language this way and being able to say anything I want in it.

Still wondering though if it's plausible that in an oral culture there could be so many spoken words with three consonants and so few with any other number that you could set out to write an epic tale touching on creation, sex, slavery, nation building, clashing of cultures, ethics, arguments, food recipes, prophecy, ritual, war, etc. and not happen to need any roots at all save for the triconsonantal roots. I'm running into reconciling that some significant,not utterly miniscule number of roots are likely to be non-tri-consonantal yet none at all of them happened to be part of the oral tradition transcribed as Torah.

Is it absurd to wonder if the text writer was deliberately avoiding then?

Are there any other texts of this length you or someone can point me to with only triconsonantal roots represented, so I can compare and contemplate to understand better? Much of this is new to me, so thanks (again).

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Ahzoh » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:13

marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 00:47
Still wondering though if it's plausible that in an oral culture there could be so many spoken words with three consonants and so few with any other number that you could set out to write an epic tale touching on creation, sex, slavery, nation building, clashing of cultures, ethics, arguments, food recipes, prophecy, ritual, war, etc. and not happen to need any roots at all save for the triconsonantal roots.
Literally Arabic
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:20

Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:13
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 00:47
Still wondering though if it's plausible that in an oral culture there could be so many spoken words with three consonants and so few with any other number that you could set out to write an epic tale touching on creation, sex, slavery, nation building, clashing of cultures, ethics, arguments, food recipes, prophecy, ritual, war, etc. and not happen to need any roots at all save for the triconsonantal roots.
Literally Arabic
Are you saying Arabic has zero biconsonantal or quad or 5- consonant roots? (Not doubting, just clarifying to make sure we're communicating).

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Ahzoh » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:58

marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:20
Are you saying Arabic has zero biconsonantal or quad or 5- consonant roots? (Not doubting, just clarifying to make sure we're communicating).
Oh, it does and probably as many as Hebrew or more or less. But you said how plausible it is for there to be a oral language with a majority of words with only 3 consonant roots and I'm saying that Arabic is such a language. It also has the Quran, which is also like the Tanakh.

And you keep ignoring how I've pointed out that there are lots of non-triconsontal roots in the Tanakh in the form of nouns and stuff.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 02:56

Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:58
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:20
Are you saying Arabic has zero biconsonantal or quad or 5- consonant roots? (Not doubting, just clarifying to make sure we're communicating).
Oh, it does and probably as many as Hebrew or more or less. But you said how plausible it is for there to be a oral language with a majority of words with only 3 consonant roots and I'm saying that Arabic is such a language. It also has the Quran, which is also like the Tanakh.

And you keep ignoring how I've pointed out that there are lots of non-triconsontal roots in the Tanakh in the form of nouns and stuff.
Hm, I'm reading about Arabic in the Quran now and I see what you mean. All the verbs are based on either 3 or 4 letter roots. This also seems to lack the diversity I would expect to find if a written language were merely recording the sounds people make, because people just speaking out loud are likely to sometimes add sounds making words quite longer.

Even so, it looks like there are about a dozen instances of verbs in the Korah based on quad consonant roots, still compared to what looks like zero in Torah.

Both systems read as potentially more regular then a mere phonetic representation of a real spoken language ought to be, just even moreso in Torah.

Why would nouns be of more diverse lengths than verbs in Hebrew? I don't really have an answer today. For me the difference between the diversity of lengths for nouns and verbs highlights the oddness of ultra regularity within one grammatical class of words (verbs). It also helps to rule out certain "naturalistic" explanations of how it is that so many verbs are the same length as each other, like that longer sequences are dropped out of the language because they are hard to pronounce.

The last word of Torah, "Israel," references if using Gematria both the number of unique 2-letter combinations taken from a 22 letter alphabet (231) and the number of 3 letter combinations (1540).

Are there any conlangs we know of that have made a vocabulary list by assigning meanings to a list of letter strings generated by systematically combining letters from an alphabet?

Have a good one,
Marc
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Keenir » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 03:04

marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 00:47
Still wondering though if it's plausible that in an oral culture there could be so many spoken words with three consonants and so few with any other number
I think I see the problem: you're conflating oral with written...spoken, the word "school" only has two consonantal sounds - we just write it with four.
that you could set out to write an epic tale touching on creation, sex, slavery, nation building, clashing of cultures, ethics, arguments, food recipes, prophecy, ritual, war, etc. and not happen to need any roots at all save for the triconsonantal roots. I'm running into reconciling that some significant,not utterly miniscule number of roots are likely to be non-tri-consonantal yet none at all of them happened to be part of the oral tradition transcribed as Torah.
what? are you implying or claiming that the Torah has no biconsonantal words or non-triconsonantals?
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 02:56
Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:58
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:20
Are you saying Arabic has zero biconsonantal or quad or 5- consonant roots? (Not doubting, just clarifying to make sure we're communicating).
Oh, it does and probably as many as Hebrew or more or less. But you said how plausible it is for there to be a oral language with a majority of words with only 3 consonant roots and I'm saying that Arabic is such a language. It also has the Quran, which is also like the Tanakh.

And you keep ignoring how I've pointed out that there are lots of non-triconsontal roots in the Tanakh in the form of nouns and stuff.
Hm, I'm reading about Arabic in the Quran now and I see what you mean. All the verbs are based on either 3 or 4 letter roots. This also seems to lack the diversity I would expect to find if a written language were merely recording the sounds people make, because people just speaking out loud are likely to sometimes add sounds making words quite longer.
I'm starting to wonder if you're reading our replies - written language does not always mirror spoken language, particularly when writing formally.
Even so, it looks like there are about a dozen instances of verbs in the Korah based on quad consonant roots, still compared to what looks like zero in Torah.
*sigh* the tv show is Korra...the book is the Quran.
Are there any conlangs we know of that have made a vocabulary list by assigning meanings to a list of letter strings generated by systematically combining letters from an alphabet?
random word generators do that.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Ahzoh » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 03:10

Why would nouns be of more diverse lengths than verbs in Hebrew? I don't really have an answer today. For me the difference between the diversity of lengths for nouns and verbs highlights the oddness of ultra regularity within one grammatical class of words (verbs).
It's attested and normal for some languages to have different syllable structures for different word classes. Highly agglutinative languages might, for instance, have verb roots consist entirely or mostly of CV or CVC monosyllables while other word classes might have VC,VCC,CV,CCV,CVC,CVCC,CCVC,CCVCC mono or polysyllables.

You will do well to read these:
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=44883
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f ... 4c11947f02
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Shemtov » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 07:17

I don't understand this whole gematria=Jewish Stars thing. It sounds like some kind of Conmath thing.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by sangi39 » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 10:45

Shemtov wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 07:17
I don't understand this whole gematria=Jewish Stars thing. It sounds like some kind of Conmath thing.
From what I understand, what's being said in the OP's link is that the first verse of the Torah in Hebrew, when each letter is assigned a numerical value which are then added together, result in a number which is known as a "star number", i.e. a number which can be arranged as a series of points forming the shape of a six-pointed stars.

Star numbers are a recognised sequence of numbers in mathematics, like triangle numbers (1, 3, 6, 10, etc.), square numbers (1, 4, 9, 16, etc.), and other "polygonal numbers" which form other shapes.

Because of this, the OP is suggesting that the first verse, and the second, and a number of words throughout the text, were intentionally structured to give these sorts of results, and by extension has supposed that this is evidence that Biblical Hebrew itself may be a conlang.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 12:08

Keenir wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 03:04
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 00:47
Still wondering though if it's plausible that in an oral culture there could be so many spoken words with three consonants and so few with any other number
I think I see the problem: you're conflating oral with written...spoken, the word "school" only has two consonantal sounds - we just write it with four.
Much appreciated. I have been a bit confused with the discussion of consonants. What really strikes me as strange is that all the Hebrew verbs (or roots) are expressed with the same number of letters, where some of the Hebrew letters are, as far as I know, silent. The term "triconsonantal" is maybe a red herring here.
Keenir wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 03:04
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 00:47
that you could set out to write an epic tale touching on creation, sex, slavery, nation building, clashing of cultures, ethics, arguments, food recipes, prophecy, ritual, war, etc. and not happen to need any roots at all save for the triconsonantal roots. I'm running into reconciling that some significant,not utterly miniscule number of roots are likely to be non-tri-consonantal yet none at all of them happened to be part of the oral tradition transcribed as Torah.
what? are you implying or claiming that the Torah has no biconsonantal words or non-triconsonantals?
What it looks like is that the Torah verbs seem to have only 3-lettered roots and no bi-lettered roots and no quad-lettered roots. That is not really the same thing as having only tri-consonantal roots, because not all the letters are pronounced.

However, the only consonants would be found in the letters, so, while a silent letter in a 3-lettered root can sound like a biconsonantal word, yes, there are no quadconsonantal verbs at all, it looks like tops out at max 3 letters/consonants exactly. Many verbs use the 3 consonants but zero have 4 or more.
Keenir wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 03:04
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 02:56
Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:58
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 01:20
Are you saying Arabic has zero biconsonantal or quad or 5- consonant roots? (Not doubting, just clarifying to make sure we're communicating).
Oh, it does and probably as many as Hebrew or more or less. But you said how plausible it is for there to be a oral language with a majority of words with only 3 consonant roots and I'm saying that Arabic is such a language. It also has the Quran, which is also like the Tanakh.

And you keep ignoring how I've pointed out that there are lots of non-triconsontal roots in the Tanakh in the form of nouns and stuff.
Hm, I'm reading about Arabic in the Quran now and I see what you mean. All the verbs are based on either 3 or 4 letter roots. This also seems to lack the diversity I would expect to find if a written language were merely recording the sounds people make, because people just speaking out loud are likely to sometimes add sounds making words quite longer.
I'm starting to wonder if you're reading our replies - written language does not always mirror spoken language, particularly when writing formally.
Yes / agreed. That is all I was trying to say as one part of the thesis that introduced this thread.

Unlike English, unlike a modern Hebrew transcript of speech, unlike a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, the Torah is not consistent with being a mirror of a spoken language. It was written formally. Just one of various reason to think this is that many logical terms that are common words are expressed by a single letter (the prefixes), and verb roots all have exactly the same number of letters. A spoken language faithfully reproduced phonetically would surely show more variability than that - if there are many many verbs with 3 consonants, surely at least some language development would lead also to at least a fair number of words with a bit more than 3 consonants too.

If it is not a surprise to you that Torah is formal and is not a phonetic record of a previously-spoken oral story, then no need to dwell.

Other features of the text make it seem like at least some of the words were constructed from the ground-up.

Are there any conlangs we know of where the inventor assigned not just sounds but also other sorts of meanings to letters, made a vocabulary list by systematically combining letters, and built up words based on the letter-particles of meaning?

If you had two languages in front of you and were told that one of them is a conlang and one is a natural language, do you reckon you could tell which is which? What if anything would you look for? Do any conlangs, for better or worse, appear more systematized than natural languages, or instead maybe more random in some respect?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j4Z ... AxHf4/edit#

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

Post by marcege » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 12:11

Ahzoh wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 03:10
Thanks for those links!
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 15:48

sangi39 wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 10:45
Shemtov wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 07:17
I don't understand this whole gematria=Jewish Stars thing. It sounds like some kind of Conmath thing.
From what I understand, what's being said in the OP's link is that the first verse of the Torah in Hebrew, when each letter is assigned a numerical value which are then added together, result in a number which is known as a "star number", i.e. a number which can be arranged as a series of points forming the shape of a six-pointed stars.

Star numbers are a recognised sequence of numbers in mathematics, like triangle numbers (1, 3, 6, 10, etc.), square numbers (1, 4, 9, 16, etc.), and other "polygonal numbers" which form other shapes.

Because of this, the OP is suggesting that the first verse, and the second, and a number of words throughout the text, were intentionally structured to give these sorts of results, and by extension has supposed that this is evidence that Biblical Hebrew itself may be a conlang.
Precisely! Initial phrases in the Torah, when you use the "gematria" numbering scheme of aleph=1, bet=2 ... yod=10, chet = 20...,etc., each add up to star-numbers of star-numbers, or meta-stars (stars of stars). One way of depicting this is to repeat each letter its gematria number of times. That's what the giant star image shows in this link, for the first verse of Genesis:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2P ... xjAnC7/pub

It takes a lot of work to generate an image like this, so I don't have a depiction for the phrase in the 2nd verse, but it's the same concept.

And then the last word of the Torah, Israel, is also a star number, 541.

If you strive to replicate a pattern like this by writing sentences that decompose into higher-level geometric symmetries, you have a much easier time if you can define what the words mean. Like: you can start with a string of symbols, then assign number definitions to the symbols to make the numbers work, then assign phonemes to the symbols, then assign word meanings to strings of symbols, and voila, you have a sentence that says whatever you need it to say and that also creates star patterns when read as numbers.

But then you have to go forward in the text you are writing being consistent with the assignments of meanings to symbol strings (words) that you came up with to make the first sentence work. That would force the rest of the text to also be conlang-y, if it wasn't already.

The word "Israel," which by hypothesis was defined in this manner to support a number-star and also to be the usable last word of the story, can also be read as "there are 231" and as "1540," which are the number of unique 2-letter combinations from a 22-letter alphabet, and 3-letter combinations, respectively. In other words, it looks like the word is coyly describing the process of coming up with letter strings to define words ....

Anyway I think it's fun ... do you know of any contemporaneous conlangs that have features like this?

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

Post by eldin raigmore » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 21:13

Reviving a dead language is a lot like constructing an a-posteriori conlang.
Modern Hebrew is a bit like Church Latin being revived as a native spoken language.
IMO it could be considered rather conlangish on that basis.
AIUI Esperanto now has a few thousands or a few myriads of native speakers; so a conlang can become a natlang if “nat” stands for “native” instead of “natural”.
I have heard that Urdu began its existence as a (military) auxlang. If so, it became a native language long enough ago, and for enough speakers, that it has undergone some of the natural processes of language-evolution. So, if that story’s true, a conlang can become not only nativized, but also naturalized.

—————

In my estimation, your other arguments for Hebrew’s conlanginity, are very interesting and entertaining flights of fancy, which even you don’t believe. But they tickle the intellect; so thanks for starting this thread, and keep it up!
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Keenir » Thu 19 Jul 2018, 23:39

marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 12:08
What it looks like is that the Torah verbs seem to have only 3-lettered roots and no bi-lettered roots and no quad-lettered roots. That is not really the same thing as having only tri-consonantal roots, because not all the letters are pronounced.

However, the only consonants would be found in the letters, so, while a silent letter in a 3-lettered root can sound like a biconsonantal word, yes, there are no quadconsonantal verbs at all, it looks like tops out at max 3 letters/consonants exactly. Many verbs use the 3 consonants but zero have 4 or more.
I am massively impressed. I know I couldn't have survived scouring a dictionary of (Biblical) Hebrew verbs...I barely survived doing that with Mandarin verbs.
marcege wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 02:56
If it is not a surprise to you that Torah is formal and is not a phonetic record of a previously-spoken oral story, then no need to dwell.
okay, I think I was not as clear as I could have been; sorry. I meant that the Torah was written with formal speech in print.

think about who you would speak casually with, and who you would speak formally with. 'cause, if like you talk da same with allbody ev'rywheres, that's whacked, dudeling, tripped out! as I said, it would be highly remarkable and quite distinct.
:)
Other features of the text make it seem like at least some of the words were constructed from the ground-up.
Might I ask what features those are?
Are there any conlangs we know of where the inventor assigned not just sounds but also other sorts of meanings to letters, made a vocabulary list by systematically combining letters, and built up words based on the letter-particles of meaning?
a number of medieval conlangs did exactly that.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 00:26

eldin raigmore wrote:
Thu 19 Jul 2018, 21:13

—————

In my estimation, your other arguments for Hebrew’s conlanginity, are very interesting and entertaining flights of fancy, which even you don’t believe. But they tickle the intellect; so thanks for starting this thread, and keep it up!
I am so pleased to have delivered an entertaining flight of fancy! (seriously...!)

Do I believe it? That's never been what's at stake in any of my academic/scientific life. I am just happy to deal in interesting possibilities that are consistent with what is known and that haven't been ruled out and even better if the idea can be subject to further testing.

If I had to bet on whether Hebrew is a conlang or not, and I could choose whether to bet either a little money or my life savings, I would land on betting that Hebrew is a conlang, but not bet life savings. So I guess I believe Hebrew is a conlang moreso than I believe that Hebrew is not a conlang. How about you, what would your bet be in that circumstance?

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

Post by Ahzoh » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 08:59

I would land on betting that Hebrew is a conlang, but not bet life savings.
It really is the case that the Tanakh is a natural spoken language (Biblical Hebrew) put into words on a page. Whatever sort of puzzling oddities are found in the text cannot be used to support the idea that the language is constructed given that it has clear shared ancestry with other languages of similar features (and even those ancestors have shared ancestry with ancestors of other language families) and has underwent natural changes in phonology, morphology, and lexicon that all languages of the world are subject to.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » Fri 20 Jul 2018, 11:40

Ahzoh wrote:
Fri 20 Jul 2018, 08:59
I would land on betting that Hebrew is a conlang, but not bet life savings.
It really is the case that the Tanakh is a natural spoken language (Biblical Hebrew) put into words on a page. Whatever sort of puzzling oddities are found in the text cannot be used to support the idea that the language is constructed given that it has clear shared ancestry with other languages of similar features (and even those ancestors have shared ancestry with ancestors of other language families) and has underwent natural changes in phonology, morphology, and lexicon that all languages of the world are subject to.
To make sure I understand: you are saying it beyond the abilities of conlangers to make a language that has the degree of shared features with antecedent languages that Hebrew shares with the known languages that preceeded it historically.

If so, thanks, that is very clear and not ever having constructed a language myself that is exactly what I came to this board to find out.

I had seen the terms a priori and a posteriori conlang so I thought shared features with other languages would not really be a factor in determing whether a language is a conlang, but that the extent of shared features would just pin down how to label the conlang (a priori or a posteriori).

Recapping: It can be detectable when a language is a conlang or not, and Torah is detectable as not, the reason being that too many of its features are shared with older languages for a human conlanger to have been capable of generating it. Puzzling odditities in the text even if they look like the work of a conlanger must have some other explanation, due to the inherent inability of conlangers to otherwise construct a language with that many shared features of existing natural languages.

Thanks, Ahzoh, for your patience!

Marc
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