uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

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Serena
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uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 22 Apr 2014 20:45

I officially started developing an auxlang and I hope I can get feedback to it :)

DOWNLOAD the Grammar
Last update at May 11th, 2014 16:24
DOWNLOAD the Sample Lexicon
Last update at April 25th, 2014 12:11

What it is

As a fluent speaker of Esperanto, I must admit that there are several elements and features of it that I’d like to change, to improve and sometimes to slice off.
  • While its easy and logical grammar is praiseworthy, the speaker has to face a poor phonology that makes the language unpronounceable and truly unrealistic.
  • The alphabet uses special diacritics that create all sorts of problems to those that frequently use Esperanto on a PC.
  • The standard lexicon is disgustingly Eurocentric and there’s a lot of unusable / redundant / unnecessary roots where the creator of the language himself claimed to have derivational morphology and linguistic economy as its major strong points.
I have seen loads of proposals to reform Esperanto, surfing around the net, but none of them satisfies the real needs of an AUXLANG, which in my opinion are three: plausibility, usability and internationality. Esperanto fails to achieve the first and the third point, and its amendments (like Ido 1907) even threaten the integrity of the second one. What should we look in a possible reform of Esperanto.
  • The grammar of Esperanto, especially its verbs, is a wonderful system. An ideal reform of Esperanto should leave the grammar almost untouched and focus on the “visual appeal”, instead.
  • The number of roots must be reduced. I find almost laughable that roots such as arkitektur- and martel- (respectively for architecture and hammer) exist. They are easily replaceable by compounds of other roots, such as “kun-strukt-em-o” and “bat-ist-o” (These are standard, none of this was applied the changes of my reform).
  • The alphabet has to be revised, removing unnecessary diacritics.
  • The number of distinguishable sound is ridiculously high. There’s almost no phonemic load for <ĝ> against <ĵ>, and the letter <ĥ> is almost unused.
What way is uREd different from the other attempts to a reform? I can’t assure an universally recognized masterpiece of constructed linguistics, since I don’t have a degree, but I can expect several enhancement, especially in the fields of phonology and orthography.
  • uREd is less Eurocentric and its roots are focused on respect for a word’s etymological meaning. When I choose a root, I make a meticulous comparison between several languages to assure neutrality.
  • The grammar features of uREd are almost untouched in terms of morphology, but allows a large number of syntactical features which are present in non-Indo-European languages.
  • uREd reduces the number of phonemic sounds to 26, including the 5 vowels. <ĥ> and <ĵ> were completely removed, and the affricate <c> has been changed into a handier <th>, which is pronounced similarly to English.
  • The alphabet of uREd doesn’t need additional diacritics. It uses four digraphs like <th> in place of <c>, <zh> for <ĝ>, <sh> for <ŝ> and naturally <w> for <ŭ>. The Latin-centric <j> has been replaced by a fair <y>.
  • I added a certain number of phonological phenomena, to make it less boring and more like a natural language.
Last edited by Serena on 11 May 2014 15:24, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by kanejam » 22 Apr 2014 22:13

I can't access the files on my phone so I'll look at them later, but the source languages you've chosen seem very odd. Latin is hardly spoken at all, anywhere. Yes, some of the roots are recognisable to Romance language speakers but not all of them. It would probably make more sense to use Spanish as a representative of Indo-European, or else English or Hindi. Greek doesn't have a whole lot of speakers either so I'm unsure why you would include it. Also, as a representative of Semitic (or Afro-Asiatic if that's how you're doing it), why choose Hebrew with its 5-8 million speakers as against Arabic's 420 million.

Edit: I'll also say that Korean and Classical Chinese are odd choices. No one speaks Classicla Chinese and I don't believe that the Altaic theory holds water and so Korean is an odd choice as well.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 22 Apr 2014 23:03

One of the biggest issues I have with Esperanto is the defaulting gender. Granted, I have that issue with a lot of languages, but I see no reason to preserve the difference between li and ŝi. Also, I hate how the days of the week and the months work. Mandarin uses a better system, and it would make more sense.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Znex » 23 Apr 2014 02:51

kanejam wrote:I can't access the files on my phone so I'll look at them later, but the source languages you've chosen seem very odd. Latin is hardly spoken at all, anywhere. Yes, some of the roots are recognisable to Romance language speakers but not all of them. It would probably make more sense to use Spanish as a representative of Indo-European, or else English or Hindi. Greek doesn't have a whole lot of speakers either so I'm unsure why you would include it. Also, as a representative of Semitic (or Afro-Asiatic if that's how you're doing it), why choose Hebrew with its 5-8 million speakers as against Arabic's 420 million.
[+1]

Also, [θ] is probably one of the worse sounds to have if you're looking for easy-to-pronounce/distinguish sounds, seeing as it's one of the less common phones amongst even the first 100 commonly spoken languages, and it is awfully close to . I'd say keep [ts], and reduce syllable structure, eg. with [kʊnspɛmi]; maybe change it to [kʊspɛmi]. I'm also not fond of how many vowels you seem to have in the lang...
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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 23 Apr 2014 15:02

Thank you all for giving feedback and criticism :)
Thakowsaizmu wrote:One of the biggest issues I have with Esperanto is the defaulting gender. Granted, I have that issue with a lot of languages, but I see no reason to preserve the difference between li and ŝi.
A hot topic :) While Esperanto claims to be gender neutral, some of its feautres have always bugged me, such as the -in- suffix for females. uREd shows a true 100% gender equality, with no suffixes for genders and no masculine-as-default roots such as frat- or patr- for brother and father.

However, I like having three pronouns for 3 SG. They are used quite often in literature and general writing and having more than one might help distinguishing characters. Usually my stories have two girls as main characters, so I won't be helped that much, but some other author might thank me for leaving the distintion... :)
Thakowsaizmu wrote:Also, I hate how the days of the week and the months work. Mandarin uses a better system, and it would make more sense.
I gave it a look, and I immediately liked it... it's almost the same as Korean :) I'd already planned a complex system for numerals, which will include a few features that resemble Mandarin's.
kanejam wrote:the source languages you've chosen seem very odd. Latin is hardly spoken at all, anywhere. Yes, some of the roots are recognisable to Romance language speakers but not all of them. It would probably make more sense to use Spanish as a representative of Indo-European, or else English or Hindi. Greek doesn't have a whole lot of speakers either so I'm unsure why you would include it. Also, as a representative of Semitic (or Afro-Asiatic if that's how you're doing it), why choose Hebrew with its 5-8 million speakers as against Arabic's 420 million.
You're quite right, but remember that uREd has no source language. I consider myself free to add every feature and every root I like from ever language I take a look at.

The number of speakers is not a true criterion, I just make a comparison between these language for the sake of research, but I often add a root just because I think it's good to add it. I do a lot of research on ancient and middle-ancient languages because their roots are somehow more underlined than their modern counterparts which undergo a larger number of phonetic phenomena.

Take greek as an example: one might want to add a new root for "problem", which might be problem- for instance. It makes perfectly sense if you look at its English form. But if you take a closer look at its greek source, you will notice how the word is a compound of pro- further and ballo to throw + -em- tendency, and so you realize that you can easily reproduce the word using existing roots: pre-bal-em-o from "pre" (further) + "bali" (throw) + "-em-" tendency.
Znex wrote:[θ] is probably one of the worse sounds to have if you're looking for easy-to-pronounce/distinguish sounds, seeing as it's one of the less common phones amongst even the first 100 commonly spoken languages, and it is awfully close to . I'd say keep [ts], and reduce syllable structure, eg. with [kʊnspɛmi]; maybe change it to [kʊspɛmi].

You are right about [θ], but I like it so much...
As for reducing the syllable structure... if you take a look at the grammar (cfr 1.2.1) you must admit that I have already reduced a lot of unpronunceable syllables of standard Esperanto (like akvo -> agwo; scii [stsii] -> novi), and I don't think that nasals before other consonants are that difficult to pronounce.

I'm also not fond of how many vowels you seem to have in the lang...


I don't get it. Which is in your opinion the best number of vowels?
Last edited by Serena on 23 Apr 2014 16:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Micamo » 23 Apr 2014 16:30

Sorry I started the GIF thing.
Serena wrote:I do a lot of research on ancient and middle-ancient languages because their roots are somehow more underlined than their modern counterparts which undergo a larger number of phonetic phenomena.

Take greek as an example: one might want to add a new root for "problem", which might be problem- for instance. It makes perfectly sense if you look at its English form. But if you take a closer look at its greek source, you will notice how the word is a compound of pro- further and ballo to throw + -em- tendency, and so you realize that you can easily reproduce the word using existing roots: pre-bal-em-o from "pre" (further) + "bali" (throw) + "-em-" tendency.
1. There's no evidence that there are fewer phonological processes in ancient languages.

2. From an auxlanger's perspective a derived word with an opaque meaning ("problem" = "tendency to throw further"!?) is just as bad as, if not worse than, a new root.
My pronouns are <xie> [ʒiː] / <xer> [ʒɚ]

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Squall » 23 Apr 2014 17:48

My main criticism of Esperanto is the agreement in adjectives, the accusative and the genders.
Patro/patrino is the worst pair ever.

Furthermore, the Esperanto characters are not type-able with my keyboard. [:(]

I do not see the redundancy of 'bono' and 'boneco' has a problem in Esperanto, because this is consequence of a rich and good derivation system and the root is the same. It makes the language easier.

Some Esperanto reforms replace Slavic roots with Latin roots, but I do not think it would make the language easier outside of Europe.
Any root (Latin, Greek, Slavic or Korean) is fine if they are.




I am not linguist or polyglot and I do not speak Esperanto.
Let me understand your verbs:
-la homo edis (The man ate)
-la homo edintis (The man was_the_eater) -> had_eaten
-la homo edantis (The man was_eating)
-la homo edintas (The man is_the_eater_of) -> has_eaten

In my understanding, there is no difference between "la homo edis" and "la homo edintas".
If the former means "the man ate" and the latter means "the man has eaten", I see it as one of the English difficulties that my nat-lang speakers have to learn. Both forms have the same translation here, but we have to learn rules to write the correct form.

The same thing happens with the future:
-la homo edos (The man will_eat)
-la homo edontos (The man will_be_the_one_who_will_eat) -> Ok. Relative future in Esperanto.
-la homo edantos (The man will_be_eating)
-la homo edontas (The man is_the_who_will_eat)

I can see no difference in "la homo edos" and "la homo edontas". But this time, there are no English-equivalent rules to help.




I am not linguist, but would "purer" language mean a language with small foreign influence?
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 23 Apr 2014 18:04

Squall wrote:the Esperanto characters are not type-able with my keyboard. [:(]
I'm glad to hear that a new alphabet might help.
In my understanding, there is no difference between "la homo edis" and "la homo edintas".
If the former means "the man ate" and the latter means "the man has eaten", I see it as one of the English difficulties that my nat-lang speakers have to learn. Both forms have the same translation here, but we have to learn rules to write the correct form.
Roughly, "homo edis" in english is "the man ate" while "homo edintas" should be "has eaten", while "edantis" is "was eating".
The same thing happens with the future:
-la homo edos (The man will_eat)
-la homo edontos (The man will_be_the_one_who_will_eat) -> Ok. Relative future in Esperanto.
-la homo edantos (The man will_be_eating)
-la homo edontas (The man is_the_who_will_eat)
I can see no difference in "la homo edos" and "la homo edontas". But this time, there are no English-equivalent rules to help.
These are almost completely standard Esperanto; he verb system is almost untouched :) Here again, "edontas" is roughly "is going to eat" while "edos" is more of a "will eat" and furthermore "edantos" is "will be eating".
I am not linguist, but would "purer" language mean a language with small foreign influence?
Absolutely not. By "pure", I meant only a matter of aesthetics. Like... you know or at least can imagine that the words "lexicon", "lectern" and "lex" are related, but it would be way more "pure" if they were written leg.s.ic.on, leg.t.ern and leg.s...

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 23 Apr 2014 19:10

Serena wrote: However, I like having three pronouns for 3 SG. They are used quite often in literature and general writing and having more than one might help distinguishing characters. Usually my stories have two girls as main characters, so I won't be helped that much, but some other author might thank me for leaving the distintion... :)
As a personal project, it doesn't matter.

But if intended to be a revamp / replacement of Esperanto, then the distinction is superfluous. Many languages do not differentiate and they get on fine (Swahili, spoken Mandarin, Cantonese just off the top of my head). If you are interested in retaining the ability to have some sort of distinction, then proximate and obviative would be a good consideration. But context alone can and usually does clear this up.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 23 Apr 2014 19:22

Thakowsaizmu wrote:If you are interested in retaining the ability to have some sort of distinction [...] proximate and obviative would be a good consideration
Good point. I will consider adding a little bit of twist to the pronoun system.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Znex » 24 Apr 2014 00:51

Serena wrote:
I'm also not fond of how many vowels you seem to have in the lang...
I don't get it. Which is in your opinion the best number of vowels?
Well the most common score in regard to number of phonemic oral vowels in the world's languages seems to be about 5-6 vowels. If you're going beyond that, it will be more difficult for non-Westerners to pronounce and distinguish them.
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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 25 Apr 2014 11:26

As Thakowsaizmu'd suggested, I tweaked the numeral system and the date. Now there's a fairly complete system with ordinals, distributives, multipliers, etc...

I updated the grammar, so you can read the detailed description about the system by downloading it. However, a brief synthesis might be necessary for those who aren't able to access pdfs from their phones :)

Numerals
  • Standard nouns in -o: Uno = One, Duo = Two, etc.
  • Standard attributes in -a: Una milo = one apple, thia miloy = three apples, etc.
  • Ordinals in -az: Unaz = first, duaz = second, pinaz = fifth, kudek nonaz = fourtynineth, etc.
  • Multipliers in -il: Unil = once, duil = twice, pinil = five times, etc.
  • Distributives in -er: Uner = one by one, deker = ten by ten, etc.
Dates
  • The date format is now generic to specific in a similar fashion to east-asian languages
  • I added two roots for year and month

    dalo [dɑlɔ] - noun month
    yono [jɔnɔ] - noun year, sidereal year
  • Months no longer have proper names. Yanuaro is now Undalo and Aprilo is Kudalo.
  • Today is 2014, Kudal 25, or Dudek then dek kuyon, Kudal, dudek pin

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 11 May 2014 15:19

Since I was tired to upload it on megaupload, uREd Grammar is now available on Smashwords for free. I also added an entry on Linguifex.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by eldin raigmore » 12 May 2014 00:24

Serena wrote:Since I was tired to upload it on megaupload, uREd Grammar is now available on Smashwords for free. I also added an entry on Linguifex.
How do I request an account on Linguifex?

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Alexandre Xavier » 27 Jun 2014 12:17

Saluton al vi qiuj.
Mi trovis noticon pri vi qe la forumo Awkslango (Auxlang). Kaj mi vidas ke vi penas fari la multevican reformon de Esperanto!
Nu: neniu serioza kaj newtrala interesato pro la facila internacia komunikado dubas nun ke, ekzemple, la supersignoj kaj la deviga akuzativo estas neakcepteblaj por bona helpoplanlingvo.
Akceptite tio, la surprizo... estas ke vi qiam mesayas qi tie per la angla, do neniam uzante Esperanton, nek la zamenhofan kaj tipan version nek vian proponatan reformon, la uredo (uREd), unuiyita reformo de esperantaj dialektoj.
Qu por vi Esperanto estas nur ludilo, neniam serioza komunikilo?
Nun mi diros ion pri la Esperanto kiun mi uzas qi tie: yi estas la minirefo (minimuma reformo). En la minirefo, la supersignoj kaj la deviga akuzativo malaperas. Oni qiam rajtas uzi la prepozicion de akuzativo “pe” anstataw la nazala finayo, kaj qi tiu prepozicio “pe” ne plu estas deviga. Pri la supersignoj, mi diros ke qiuj sensupersignaj literoj konservas la klasikan prononcon. Supersigna “c” nun estas “q”; supersignaj “g” kaj “j” nun estas “y”; supersigna “h” nun estas simple sensupersigna “h”; supersigna “s” nun estas “x”; kaj supersigna “u” nun estas “w”. Preskaw ne ekzistas aliaj notindaj xanyoj en la minirefo, pensita por reala uzo inter esperantoparolantoj kaj esperantistoj, anstataw sterila kabineta eksperimento.
Amike, Aleksandro Ksavero Kasanovo Domingo, elektronika poxto trigrupo @ yahoo . es (trigrupo arobo yahoo punto es).

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 05 Nov 2014 21:38

eldin raigmore wrote:
Serena wrote:Since I was tired to upload it on megaupload, uREd Grammar is now available on Smashwords for free. I also added an entry on Linguifex.
How do I request an account on Linguifex?
It sounds quite awkward that I reply you after four months, but if you still haven't got an account on Linguifex, here you can request one.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by eldin raigmore » 06 Nov 2014 03:31

Serena wrote:It sounds quite awkward that I reply you after four months, but if you still haven't got an account on Linguifex, here you can request one.
I'm on it, now. I haven't put anything in it yet. I think I will, though; I'll try to make it soon enough.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Khemehekis » 06 Nov 2014 05:25

I don't like the idea of digraphs in an auxlang. How do you know that SH, for instance, sounds like the SH in "short" and not the SH in "grasshopper"? H will probably appear at the beginning of the second root in some compound words, which will create this ambiguity. I'd use X instead, and TX fo CX. Similarly, J instead of JX and DJ instead of GX.
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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by Serena » 06 Nov 2014 19:52

Khemehekis wrote:I don't like the idea of digraphs in an auxlang. How do you know that SH, for instance, sounds like the SH in "short" and not the SH in "grasshopper"? H will probably appear at the beginning of the second root in some compound words, which will create this ambiguity. I'd use X instead, and TX fo CX. Similarly, J instead of JX and DJ instead of GX.
See, this kind of nonsense is the reason why people won't ever take auxlangs seriously.
1) I mentioned in the guide that /h/ is always dropped after a consonant, so it won't ever happen to have a /sh/ sound in this language.
2) If you really want to transcribe English words into this orthography, which I hope you don't, you can just use an apostrophe. Like grasshopper -> gwes'hopo.

What's the point of having <sx> for /ʃ/? No one will recognize this intuitively, while <sh> is largely established as the most common way to transcribe that sound. If we want a future where people speak constructed languages, we have to make them look natural.

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Re: uREd - Unified Reform of Esperanto Dialects

Post by misora » 06 Nov 2014 20:30

I have to agree with Serena, many of the auxlangs I have tried learning don't look natural to me. Many of them also have lots of regional influences from where they are made, like the original Esperanto which looks and sounds very Slavic to my ears, being a secondary speaker of Russian.

People are just not going to take these seriously until they look and sound like an actual language, and our easier to pronounce then their natlang, in my opinion.

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