(changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

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

Post by Salmoneus » 20 Jul 2018 14:26

That's broadly right, yes.

To address a couple of points in more detail...

Why it doesn't have to be a conlang

- it's entirely natural to have a dominant word-form as biblical hebrew does.
- given the number of consonants in the language, it's possible to perfectly express anything you'd want to express with three-consonant roots. People don't just go around adding syllables to things willy-nilly.
- the great variability in the length of English words is due to our extensive derivational processes, but more importantly due to borrowing, which creates new 'roots' that were derived forms in a parent language.

To quantify that...
Spoiler:
Looking at this post up to that last full stop, we've got the one-syllable words:
that - is - right - yes - to - a - of - points - in - more - why - it - have - be - word - form - as - does - the - you'd - want - with - three - roots - don't - just - go -things - great - length - words - due - our - but - which - creates - new - were - forms

To which we can add the following, which are one-syllable roots with clear affixes added:
broad+ly - does+n't - give+n - vary+able+ity - add-ing

And a word that is an English affix added to a one-syllable 'root' that English itself doesn't have, but the parent language did:
poss+ible

Words that are ultimately borrowed from Latin derived forms with prepositional prefixes (or occasionally similar derivatives formed in French), where the root itself may not have survived into English, or may have been borrowed with an unrelated meaning:
ad-dress - de-tail - en-tire-ly - per-fect-ly - ex-press - ex-tens-ive - de-rive-d - pro-cess-es

Words that also contain obvious Latin case-marking inflections:
con-son-ant-s - con-son-ant - par-ent

Words that incorporate transparent Latin part-of-speech and/or diminutive derivational affixes no longer productive in English:
coup-le* - dom-in-ant - nat-ur-al - lang-uage* - de-riv-ation-al - im-port-ant-ly
(*not transparent in English, adminitedly, because of the French intermediary. Ultimately cop+ula ('little joining together') and lingua + aticum, so "tongue-ish (thing)")

Words where the Latin root is bisyllabic due to affix of unclear purpose, or possible borrowing from outside latin:
numb-er - people*
(*Latin poplus, possibly a borrowing from Etruscan)

One-syllable English root with an original affix of only borderline continued productivity:
a-round

One-syllable English root plus affixes, where the root has been lost:
Eng-l-ish (the root here survives in, eg, German, but is lost in English, other than in re-anylised 'hangnail' and borrowed 'anger')

Proper name borrowed from another language:
Hebrew

Word irregularly derived from a phrase consisting of single-syllable words:
willy-nilly

Compound word formed from one-syllable roots and an affix:
an-y-thing

Extremely recent compound word following a non-traditional abbreviating structure:
con-lang

Borrowing from, ultimately, a Semitic triconsonantal root:
bibl-ical
(originally from Phoenician G-B-L, used as the name of a city, misheard by Greeks (and given a Greek affix) as 'Byblos', the port where the Greeks got their papyrus from)

Borrowing from Greek, via French, where the affixes are now completly non-transparent:
syllable
(originally syn-lab-e, with the -le added as a mishearing along the way)
Words that genuinely have a root with more than one syllable:
borrow

So as you can see, the inherited Germanic lexicon in English is extremely biased toward one-syllable roots. There are very few Germanic words in English that aren't one-syllable, or a one-syllable root with derivational or inflectional affixes, or a compound of such words. Most of the exceptions I think are words with a final -ow or -ough syllable - and those words were one-syllable in Old English ('borrow' is from the root borg-, and is still one-syllable in other Germanic languages, but English final -g after consonants has often vocalised). The English words that aren't based on one-syllable roots are overwhelmingly borrowings from other languages - most of them being borrowed from other IE languages that ALSO are extremely biased toward one-syllable roots, but where either the affix or the root has not made it into English (or has been borrowed with an unrelated meaning). This is because Indo-European languages overwhelmingly have inherited single-syllable roots. (Generally of the form CVC, sometimes with n/m, r, or l either before or after the vowel).

[English roots ending in a vowel typically descend from Germanic roots with a final consonant that has been vocalised. Eg "see" from sehw-, "sea" from "saiw-", "say" from "sag-" and so on]

Semitic languages, on the other hand, have inherited bisyllabic roots, but with simpler phonotactics, so generally just of the form CVCVC. Since they have experienced much less borrowing than English has - particularly when you're looking an ancient forms of the language - their roots show much less variation from this basic pattern than English roots do.


- having more variability in the nouns than the verbs probably just means that biblical hebrew makes more use of (potentially opaquely) derived and compounded nouns than of verbs, which is perfectly normal, or that it tends to borrow words as nouns rather than verbs (almost universal).

- sure, no written record really records speech. Either someone wrote down the Torah from scratch, or they based it on orally-transmitted texts, which tend to undergo changes to make them easier to remember (i.e. they tend to be poetry). But that doesn't make something a conlang. English isn't a conlang just because a lot of words and phrases come from Shakespeare.

- gematrial coincidences happen all the time through chance. Particularly when your calculations are all based on multiplying only three variables, which have a limited number of pre-defined values.


Why Hebrew can't be a conlang
- hebrew descends through regular sound changes from proto-Semitic, as do Arabic, Aramaic, Phoenician, Eblaite, etc.
- to create the appearance of that having happened, the 'creators' of hebrew would have had to a) recognise the existence of the Semitic family, b) be sufficiently knowledgeable about its members, c) reconstruct accurately the proto-Semitic family (or, at least, accurately enough that we can't spot the fake), and d) derive Hebrew from that language, in the process following principles of diachronic development that the rest of the world didn't discover until the 19th century, and then e) leave no trace of any of the vast linguistic scholarship that would have been required to have done this. Where, for example, are the manuscripts comparing the details of the inflections of Eblaite, Amorite and Phoenician verbs? And then f) they'd have to all abandon their own native language.

And g) they've have to have some reason for all of this.

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » 20 Jul 2018 15:55

Salmoneus wrote:
20 Jul 2018 14:26

- sure, no written record really records speech. Either someone wrote down the Torah from scratch, or they based it on orally-transmitted texts, which tend to undergo changes to make them easier to remember (i.e. they tend to be poetry). But that doesn't make something a conlang. English isn't a conlang just because a lot of words and phrases come from Shakespeare.

- gematrial coincidences happen all the time through chance. Particularly when your calculations are all based on multiplying only three variables, which have a limited number of pre-defined values.


Why Hebrew can't be a conlang
- hebrew descends through regular sound changes from proto-Semitic, as do Arabic, Aramaic, Phoenician, Eblaite, etc.
- to create the appearance of that having happened, the 'creators' of hebrew would have had to a) recognise the existence of the Semitic family, b) be sufficiently knowledgeable about its members, c) reconstruct accurately the proto-Semitic family (or, at least, accurately enough that we can't spot the fake), and d) derive Hebrew from that language, in the process following principles of diachronic development that the rest of the world didn't discover until the 19th century, and then e) leave no trace of any of the vast linguistic scholarship that would have been required to have done this. Where, for example, are the manuscripts comparing the details of the inflections of Eblaite, Amorite and Phoenician verbs? And then f) they'd have to all abandon their own native language.

And g) they've have to have some reason for all of this.
Hi, that's great, thank you for contributing so much detail. Just a few initial reactions.

I'm very much an English speaker so it's easiest for me to think about English. It doesn't seem so hard (in the scheme of things) If I made a version of English that borrows heavily its grammar and vocabulary. I wouldn't have to be an outrageously accomplished scholar of the history of English or other related languages. I could just take English, regularize it somewhat, maybe make it conspicuously over-regular, and then add my own dozens of words that embody some really cool new letter-level features. Here's a mini version that is an altered English that I have a lot of control over, let's call it English-4.

This isss aaan amaz lang that only hass four-letr wrds andd sooo ittt isss very obvi that ittt must have been invt andd isss nott aaaa ntrl lang. With this lang IIII can make uppp neww nams like "Tret," "Jilk," "Polk," "Wert," andd "Klio" that aree amaz becs they only usee letr that aree next tooo each othr onnn aaaa kbrd.

("This is an amazing language that only has four-letter words and so it is very obvious that it must have been invented and is not a natural language. With this language I can make up new names like "Tret," "Jilk," "Polk," "Wert," and "Klio" that are amazing because they only use letters that are next to each other on a keyboard.")

Whether English-4 "counts" as a conlang, I don't know. It includes invented words and invented constraints on words throughout, but it borrows the entire vocabulary and deep grammar of English, and I did not have to be a scholar of the history of English development to create it. If people started speaking in it for some reason, like some people grow up with Esperanto, the only real effect would be some words that used to be longer lose some letters (instead of "amazing" people would say "amaz").

A future historian might say that because English-4 is conspicuously regular in its written forms, it must not have been a representation of a language people were using out loud at the time it was created. This historian might also say that because all the names of the characters in its stories have the curious feature that their names are all explained by a letter-level game if you look at a keyboard, then English-4 seems to have been developed by someone for the sake embodying letter-level games. Because we who are reading this right now know just where English-4 came from, we would know that a future critic of that historian would be mistaken to say that because of the numerous commonalities between English-4 and English and other of its contemporary languages it must not have been intentionally designed.

Coincidences happen all the time through chance, but not all coincidences are created equal. The names "Tret," "Jilk," etc. are the equivalent of the 6-sided-star pattern in the Gematria of the first verse, second verse, and last verse that I describe at the link below. At some point, with some number of keyboard-names showing up - say, later characters after Wert and Klio are also named "Drew," "Sawd," "Fred," "Trew," and "Weds," doesn't it become reasonable for that future historian to entertain the hypothesis that the 4-letter keyboard names were intentionally generated in the context of the intentional design of English-4 in order to do this trick?

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


Also fwiw the surface level meaning has one character generating names for animal species (Adam), and the tower of Babel story about generation of languages, so whether or not the author was a scholar of language development per se to have mastered abstractions of any proto-semetic languages, at the least this shows that mechanisms of language development were explicitly on the text author's mind.

thanks!
Marc

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Ahzoh » 20 Jul 2018 16:25

marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 11:40
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.
Theoretically a conlanger could create an a posteriori language so naturalistic that it would be indistinguishable from a naturally-occuring language. But it would be a long undertaking that would require a deep understanding of languages in general. The concept of constructing a language is a very recent phenomenon and so is the field of linguistics. There are not going to be conlangers and linguists and conlanging linguists at the time that Biblical Hebrew and other ancient languages were spoken, so that idea can be thrown out the window immediately.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Ahzoh » 20 Jul 2018 16:35

Whether English-4 "counts" as a conlang, I don't know. It includes invented words and invented constraints on words throughout, but it borrows the entire vocabulary and deep grammar of English, and I did not have to be a scholar of the history of English development to create it. If people started speaking in it for some reason, like some people grow up with Esperanto, the only real effect would be some words that used to be longer lose some letters (instead of "amazing" people would say "amaz").
It was constructed by you but it's relex of English; the existing grammar of English but all the words are modified or changed into something new.
A future historian might say that because English-4 is conspicuously regular in its written forms, it must not have been a representation of a language people were using out loud at the time it was created. This historian might also say that because all the names of the characters in its stories have the curious feature that their names are all explained by a letter-level game if you look at a keyboard, then English-4 seems to have been developed by someone for the sake embodying letter-level games. Because we who are reading this right now know just where English-4 came from, we would know that a future critic of that historian would be mistaken to say that because of the numerous commonalities between English-4 and English and other of its contemporary languages it must not have been intentionally designed.
There wouldn't be a critic to say it was developed naturally because it's quite obviously a relex of English.

^This particular argument of yours is premised on a false analogy fallacy. Your argument in general is similar to arguments creationists make; something is complex and strange and you don't understand how such a thing naturally arose, so you think it must be created, especially when it does [supposedly mystical and specific thing related to religion]. Like creationists arguing that eyes are so complex and they don't know how it evolved so god must have created it.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Frislander » 20 Jul 2018 16:58

marcege wrote:
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. 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?
You seem to be labouring under the impression that these languages have some kind of artificial restriction to 3 consonants per verb, which is not true for multiple reasons. Not only are there roots with different numbers of consonants, there's also inflection which goes onto the verbs which add consonants onto the verbs (for example in Arabic "he wrote" is kataba, but "he writes" is yaktubu and the causative "he asked sme. to write" is istaktaba; the same applies to Hebrew), and once you consider that it doesn't look that unnatural, particularly in the context of other languages and language families. This tri-consonantal pattern for example is typical of Semitic, but similarly Proto-Indo-European root verbs were pretty much all CVC- (plus some derivation), while Malayo-Polynesian likes its roots to be CV(n)CV(C), and other families are similarly restricted. And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » 20 Jul 2018 17:15

Ahzoh wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:35

Your argument in general is similar to arguments creationists make; something is complex and strange and you don't understand how such a thing naturally arose, so you think it must be created, especially when it does [supposedly mystical and specific thing related to religion]. Like creationists arguing that eyes are so complex and they don't know how it evolved so god must have created it.
Not at all! My argument is similar to arguments that scientists make, not creationists. Something is complex and strange and I don't understand how such a thing naturally arose, so I: [compare possible theories and evidence around how it might have arisen naturally, some of which involve human intention and design and some of which do not involve human intention and design.]

I have not pointed to anything mystical, or impossible for humans to create, or described how anything other than either accidental natural processes or intentional human design is behind the language of the Torah, including the letter-level games. I think a Martin Gardner-meets-Will Shortz puzzle master-meets J.R.R. Tolkien-level genius person or small group of people might be implicated, but that is the sort of thing humanity gets from time to time.

If I see a watch on the beach, I will theorize that there is a watchmaker. Someone capable of making watches. A human. Maybe I can buy a watch from him. Or maybe he has died. Maybe I can make my own watch. But more likely it would take a better engineer than me to replicate the design, even if I tried. Or, maybe, my eyes and pattern-detectors have deceived me, and it is a washed up piece of bark in the shape of what looks to me to be a nice watch, but actually it is a "coincidence."


Hope that helps to situate some of the possibilities that are coming up in this thread!
thanks,
-Marc
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » 20 Jul 2018 17:22

Frislander wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:58
marcege wrote:
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. 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?
You seem to be labouring under the impression that these languages have some kind of artificial restriction to 3 consonants per verb, which is not true for multiple reasons. Not only are there roots with different numbers of consonants, there's also inflection which goes onto the verbs which add consonants onto the verbs (for example in Arabic "he wrote" is kataba, but "he writes" is yaktubu and the causative "he asked sme. to write" is istaktaba; the same applies to Hebrew), and once you consider that it doesn't look that unnatural, particularly in the context of other languages and language families. This tri-consonantal pattern for example is typical of Semitic, but similarly Proto-Indo-European root verbs were pretty much all CVC- (plus some derivation), while Malayo-Polynesian likes its roots to be CV(n)CV(C), and other families are similarly restricted. And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.
Hi, thanks. Probably very little dispute, you and others know far more than me about how roots work! All that struck me about roots is, how do we get a list of hundreds of 3-letter verbs and zero 4-letter-verbs and zero 2-letter verbs without assuming there is some artificial restriction.

http://www.rabbihorowitz.com/PYes/BB_Fi ... 10Page.pdf

I am very happy to review and try to understand what you are kindly taking the time to teach to me. My own assumptions about how spoken language works would be that if a culture has a lot of verbs that in one particular form of conjugation happen to take n letters to spell, there should be at least a fair number of words that take in that same form of conjugation n+1 or n-1 letters to spell. This is just because people do not constrain themselves to speaking in a form that happens to be spellable in any particular number of letters. So something about the spelling system at least seems artificially constrained, if its intent was to represent any particular naturally spoken dialect.

Thanks!
Marc

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » 20 Jul 2018 17:56

marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:15
Ahzoh wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:35

Your argument in general is similar to arguments creationists make; something is complex and strange and you don't understand how such a thing naturally arose, so you think it must be created, especially when it does [supposedly mystical and specific thing related to religion]. Like creationists arguing that eyes are so complex and they don't know how it evolved so god must have created it.
Not at all! My argument is similar to arguments that scientists make, not creationists. Something is complex and strange and I don't understand how such a thing naturally arose, so I: [compare possible theories and evidence around how it might have arisen naturally, some of which involve human intention and design and some of which do not involve human intention and design.]

I have not pointed to anything mystical, or impossible for humans to create, or described how anything other than either accidental natural processes or intentional human design is behind the language of the Torah, including the letter-level games. I think a Martin Gardner-meets-Will Shortz puzzle master-meets J.R.R. Tolkien-level genius person or small group of people might be implicated, but that is the sort of thing humanity gets from time to time.

If I see a watch on the beach, I will theorize that there is a watchmaker. Someone capable of making watches. A human. Maybe I can buy a watch from him. Or maybe he has died. Maybe I can make my own watch. But more likely it would take a better engineer than me to replicate the design, even if I tried. Or, maybe, my eyes and pattern-detectors have deceived me, and it is a washed up piece of bark in the shape of what looks to me to be a nice watch, but actually it is a "coincidence."


Hope that helps to situate some of the possibilities that are coming up in this thread!
thanks,
-Marc
Just to elaborate a tiny bit. As a scientist, I am deeply unsatisfied when I see a big enormous pattern - the symmetrical star pattern in the first, second, and last sentence of the Torah - and the only explanation anyone proposes is “its just chance” or “g-d did it.” Patterns needs attempts at theories. It's like a reflex. As a scientist, my job is to try to explain apparent patterns, with full awareness of how patterns can appear in randomness.

A conlang is my reverse-engineering hypothesis for how the patterns could get there. Is it humanly doable? I’d reckon so, but wanted to get some conlangers weighing in on what it would take and whether there are other signatures of conlanging one could look out for in a text.

Your comments and this thread have been super helpful.

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

Post by Keenir » 20 Jul 2018 18:07

marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 11:40
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.
not sure if you're being facetious or just sarcastic.
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:22
Frislander wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:58
And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.
Hi, thanks. Probably very little dispute, you and others know far more than me about how roots work! All that struck me about roots is, how do we get a list of hundreds of 3-letter verbs and zero 4-letter-verbs and zero 2-letter verbs without assuming there is some artificial restriction.
seriously doubting you're listening to what people are telling you.
This is just because people do not constrain themselves to speaking in a form that happens to be spellable in any particular number of letters.
wha? you say the doe-eye lie thy may - nay! (that's pretty much off the top of my head)
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » 20 Jul 2018 18:34

Keenir wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:07
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 11:40
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.
not sure if you're being facetious or just sarcastic.
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:22
Frislander wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:58
And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.
Hi, thanks. Probably very little dispute, you and others know far more than me about how roots work! All that struck me about roots is, how do we get a list of hundreds of 3-letter verbs and zero 4-letter-verbs and zero 2-letter verbs without assuming there is some artificial restriction.
seriously doubting you're listening to what people are telling you.
This is just because people do not constrain themselves to speaking in a form that happens to be spellable in any particular number of letters.
wha? you say the doe-eye lie thy may - nay! (that's pretty much off the top of my head)
Sorry to give the impression I'm not listening. I'm trying to! :( Frislander was writing about consonants and words, and I was trying to explain that my questions arose about letters and verbs so maybe that is why the kind explanation about consonants was not helping me understand.

Yes, there are function words, and also nouns have more variability in length than the verbs.

Is there another corpus besides Torah you can point me to where when written in the same form of conjugation all verbs get exactly the same number of letters as each other? Comparing to another system might help me understand (someone mentioned Arabic's Quran, but a quick look at an online concordance showed some variability in the numbers of letters per verb).


thanks!
Marc

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by sangi39 » 20 Jul 2018 19:23

marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:34
Keenir wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:07
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 11:40
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.
not sure if you're being facetious or just sarcastic.
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:22
Frislander wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:58
And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.
Hi, thanks. Probably very little dispute, you and others know far more than me about how roots work! All that struck me about roots is, how do we get a list of hundreds of 3-letter verbs and zero 4-letter-verbs and zero 2-letter verbs without assuming there is some artificial restriction.
seriously doubting you're listening to what people are telling you.
This is just because people do not constrain themselves to speaking in a form that happens to be spellable in any particular number of letters.
wha? you say the doe-eye lie thy may - nay! (that's pretty much off the top of my head)
Sorry to give the impression I'm not listening. I'm trying to! :( Frislander was writing about consonants and words, and I was trying to explain that my questions arose about letters and verbs so maybe that is why the kind explanation about consonants was not helping me understand.

Yes, there are function words, and also nouns have more variability in length than the verbs.

Is there another corpus besides Torah you can point me to where when written in the same form of conjugation all verbs get exactly the same number of letters as each other? Comparing to another system might help me understand (someone mentioned Arabic's Quran, but a quick look at an online concordance showed some variability in the numbers of letters per verb).


thanks!
Marc
Actually, there's not. The verbal roots which appear within the Qur'an are listed here, and note that you have to get through almost 600 words before finding one with a non-triconsonantal root, i.e. waswasa, "it whispers", which is a reduplicated biconsonantal root. Of all the words derived from verbal roots which appear more than once in the Qur'an, of which there are close to 950, only three of them have non-triconsonantal root, the aforementioned waswasa, zulzilu (which is actually a noun meaning "earthquake", but derived from the root zalzala, "to shake"), and finally baʿṯara, "he scattered". Going even further, of the words listed there with verbal roots, only a further three have roots with more than three consonants, i.e. kubkibu "they are overturned" (I think), ḥaṣḥaṣa "it is manifest" and ʿasʿasa "he departs", all of which are reduplicated.

That's just 6 words in the entire Qur'an, of 1475, that have 4 consonants in their roots, and 5 of those 6 are reduplicated roots. You might notice, however, that very few of these roots appear in a form in which they have just three consonants, because, well, they've been inflected.

The same thing is likely going on in the Torah, although I can't claim to be certain of this, and maybe someone like Shemtov can correct me, where there are words with more than 3 consonants that have triconsonantal roots, and it's these roots which your sources are listing, not the actual words that appear.
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 » 20 Jul 2018 19:33

sangi39 wrote:
20 Jul 2018 19:23
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:34
Keenir wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:07
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 11:40
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.
not sure if you're being facetious or just sarcastic.
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:22
Frislander wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:58
And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.
Hi, thanks. Probably very little dispute, you and others know far more than me about how roots work! All that struck me about roots is, how do we get a list of hundreds of 3-letter verbs and zero 4-letter-verbs and zero 2-letter verbs without assuming there is some artificial restriction.
seriously doubting you're listening to what people are telling you.
This is just because people do not constrain themselves to speaking in a form that happens to be spellable in any particular number of letters.
wha? you say the doe-eye lie thy may - nay! (that's pretty much off the top of my head)
Sorry to give the impression I'm not listening. I'm trying to! :( Frislander was writing about consonants and words, and I was trying to explain that my questions arose about letters and verbs so maybe that is why the kind explanation about consonants was not helping me understand.

Yes, there are function words, and also nouns have more variability in length than the verbs.

Is there another corpus besides Torah you can point me to where when written in the same form of conjugation all verbs get exactly the same number of letters as each other? Comparing to another system might help me understand (someone mentioned Arabic's Quran, but a quick look at an online concordance showed some variability in the numbers of letters per verb).


thanks!
Marc
Actually, there's not. The verbal roots which appear within the Qur'an are listed here, and note that you have to get through almost 600 verbs before finding one with a non-triconsonantal root, i.e. waswasa, "it whispers", which is a reduplicated biconsonantal root. Of all the verbs which appear more than once in the Qur'an, of which there are close to 950, only three verbs have non-triconsonantal root, the aforementioned waswasa, zulzilu (which is actually a noun meaning "earthquake", but derived from the root zalzala, "to shake"), and finally baʿṯara, "he scattered". Going even further, of the words listed there with verbal roots, only a further three have roots with more than three consonants, i.e. kubkibu "they are overturned" (I think), ḥaṣḥaṣa "it is manifest" and ʿasʿasa "he departs", all of which are reduplicated.

The same thing is likely going on in the Torah, although I can't claim to be certain of this, and maybe someone like Shemtov can correct me, where there are words with more than three consonants that have triconsonantal roots, and it's these roots which your sources are listing, not the actual words that appear.
Hi, when I said "some variability" in Quran I meant it, and that is the case, though as you discern the non-triconsonantal roots are rare, but not as rare as being nonexistant in Torah. I thought I found closer to 6 non-triconsonantal roots in a Quran corpus, and some are used multiple times, but who's counting - there is some variability either way, and it's pretty limited variability either way. As far as inferring con-lang-ness, though, Arabic Quran pretty much represents itself pretty explicitly as a literal sequel to the Torah, and maybe it adopted for itself some of the same artificial constraints. So it doesn't inform one's estimate much either way. if that makes sense.

Are there any extant known spoken languages with written samples where all verbs in the same form of conjugation get exactly the same number of letters? That would really be the best help to me to understand how that can happen without any artificial spelling constraints.

thanks!
marc

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by sangi39 » 20 Jul 2018 20:38

marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 19:33
sangi39 wrote:
20 Jul 2018 19:23
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:34
Keenir wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:07
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 11:40
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.
not sure if you're being facetious or just sarcastic.
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:22
Frislander wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:58
And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.
Hi, thanks. Probably very little dispute, you and others know far more than me about how roots work! All that struck me about roots is, how do we get a list of hundreds of 3-letter verbs and zero 4-letter-verbs and zero 2-letter verbs without assuming there is some artificial restriction.
seriously doubting you're listening to what people are telling you.
This is just because people do not constrain themselves to speaking in a form that happens to be spellable in any particular number of letters.
wha? you say the doe-eye lie thy may - nay! (that's pretty much off the top of my head)
Sorry to give the impression I'm not listening. I'm trying to! :( Frislander was writing about consonants and words, and I was trying to explain that my questions arose about letters and verbs so maybe that is why the kind explanation about consonants was not helping me understand.

Yes, there are function words, and also nouns have more variability in length than the verbs.

Is there another corpus besides Torah you can point me to where when written in the same form of conjugation all verbs get exactly the same number of letters as each other? Comparing to another system might help me understand (someone mentioned Arabic's Quran, but a quick look at an online concordance showed some variability in the numbers of letters per verb).


thanks!
Marc
Actually, there's not. The verbal roots which appear within the Qur'an are listed here, and note that you have to get through almost 600 verbs before finding one with a non-triconsonantal root, i.e. waswasa, "it whispers", which is a reduplicated biconsonantal root. Of all the verbs which appear more than once in the Qur'an, of which there are close to 950, only three verbs have non-triconsonantal root, the aforementioned waswasa, zulzilu (which is actually a noun meaning "earthquake", but derived from the root zalzala, "to shake"), and finally baʿṯara, "he scattered". Going even further, of the words listed there with verbal roots, only a further three have roots with more than three consonants, i.e. kubkibu "they are overturned" (I think), ḥaṣḥaṣa "it is manifest" and ʿasʿasa "he departs", all of which are reduplicated.

The same thing is likely going on in the Torah, although I can't claim to be certain of this, and maybe someone like Shemtov can correct me, where there are words with more than three consonants that have triconsonantal roots, and it's these roots which your sources are listing, not the actual words that appear.
Hi, when I said "some variability" in Quran I meant it, and that is the case, though as you discern the non-triconsonantal roots are rare, but not as rare as being nonexistant in Torah. I thought I found closer to 6 non-triconsonantal roots in a Quran corpus, and some are used multiple times, but who's counting - there is some variability either way, and it's pretty limited variability either way. As far as inferring con-lang-ness, though, Arabic Quran pretty much represents itself pretty explicitly as a literal sequel to the Torah, and maybe it adopted for itself some of the same artificial constraints. So it doesn't inform one's estimate much either way. if that makes sense.

Are there any extant known spoken languages with written samples where all verbs in the same form of conjugation get exactly the same number of letters? That would really be the best help to me to understand how that can happen without any artificial spelling constraints.

thanks!
marc
Wait, you're saying that a total of 0.4% of the total of roots being non-triconsonantal counts as "some variability". That's so close to statistically irrelevant that it barely counts as "variability" at all.

And as far as "inferring con-lang-ness" goes, I'd say it's pretty hard to say that we can infer it at all. Akkadian, a close relative of Hebrew, had been written down centuries to millennia before the Torah was completed, and it shows a strong tendency towards triconsonantal roots (unfortunately, I can't find an easily accessible corpus, but they do seem to be available in book form), with its weak forms, like those of Hebrew, being the result of phonological processed affecting the so-called "weak" consonants. Are we therefore to assume that, if the Arabic of the Qur'an was influenced by the Hebrew of the Bible, that the latter might have been further influenced by the Akkadian of the Code of Hammurabi, or can we instead conclude, as many have, that this is a pattern that is shared by the Semitic language through descent from a common ancestor?

Given that you've claimed to coming at this "scientifically", you seem to be largely ignoring any evidence that runs counter to your original claim, more or less going "okay, cool, thanks for the info, but could it be this thing, which you've provided counter-examples to, instead?".

Salmoneous has provided examples in Modern English in which a large number of roots are of the same length, i.e. one syllable long, despite the actual words being of significantly different lengths. Both I and Ahzoh (and I think Sal again) have mentioned Proto-Indo-European, which, although reconstructed, does show a tendency towards monosyllabic roots, which are modified, in a similar manner to Semitic languages, both by affixes and changing the root vowel. It's been mentioned that South-East Asian languages have a predominantly monosyllabic or sesquisyllabic root structure, and that languages a large number of Austronesian languages restrict roots to a CV(N)CV structure. The Uralic languages, if I remember rightly, have a similar tendency towards limiting roots to two syllables across the board for verbs and nouns.

Biblical Hebrew is not some special counterexample to this. The written form might have a level of formality to it, and yes maybe the authors chose to include some little bits of Gematria here and there through the texts, which covers tens of thousands of words and thousands of sentences, but you cannot claim, given the evidence, that Biblical Hebrew was a "conlang" on that basis. It can't have been.

And again, as others have pointed out, you're confusing letters with sounds and assuming that only the number of letters is important, when other languages, as shown several times, form their roots in different ways, either by restricting the number of sounds or the number of syllables (and even Arabic and Hebrew do the latter to an extent).

And you keep ignoring the dozens of examples of nominal roots that don't have three written consonants in their roots. Like, what, the authors of the Torah thought "nah, only the verbs shall have three letters!" even though they apply that to verbal roots, not to words which are verbs, since some of those verbal roots also form the basis for words which are nouns. Fine, yeah, let's just ignore the biconsonantal, quadriconsonantal and quinqueconsonantal nominal roots. They don't count.
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 » 20 Jul 2018 22:15

sangi39 wrote:
20 Jul 2018 20:38
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 19:33
sangi39 wrote:
20 Jul 2018 19:23
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:34
Keenir wrote:
20 Jul 2018 18:07
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 11:40
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.
not sure if you're being facetious or just sarcastic.
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 17:22
Frislander wrote:
20 Jul 2018 16:58
And you also ignore all the function words which are typically only one or two consonants because function words tend to be smaller anyways.
Hi, thanks. Probably very little dispute, you and others know far more than me about how roots work! All that struck me about roots is, how do we get a list of hundreds of 3-letter verbs and zero 4-letter-verbs and zero 2-letter verbs without assuming there is some artificial restriction.
seriously doubting you're listening to what people are telling you.
This is just because people do not constrain themselves to speaking in a form that happens to be spellable in any particular number of letters.
wha? you say the doe-eye lie thy may - nay! (that's pretty much off the top of my head)
Sorry to give the impression I'm not listening. I'm trying to! :( Frislander was writing about consonants and words, and I was trying to explain that my questions arose about letters and verbs so maybe that is why the kind explanation about consonants was not helping me understand.

Yes, there are function words, and also nouns have more variability in length than the verbs.

Is there another corpus besides Torah you can point me to where when written in the same form of conjugation all verbs get exactly the same number of letters as each other? Comparing to another system might help me understand (someone mentioned Arabic's Quran, but a quick look at an online concordance showed some variability in the numbers of letters per verb).


thanks!
Marc
Actually, there's not. The verbal roots which appear within the Qur'an are listed here, and note that you have to get through almost 600 verbs before finding one with a non-triconsonantal root, i.e. waswasa, "it whispers", which is a reduplicated biconsonantal root. Of all the verbs which appear more than once in the Qur'an, of which there are close to 950, only three verbs have non-triconsonantal root, the aforementioned waswasa, zulzilu (which is actually a noun meaning "earthquake", but derived from the root zalzala, "to shake"), and finally baʿṯara, "he scattered". Going even further, of the words listed there with verbal roots, only a further three have roots with more than three consonants, i.e. kubkibu "they are overturned" (I think), ḥaṣḥaṣa "it is manifest" and ʿasʿasa "he departs", all of which are reduplicated.

The same thing is likely going on in the Torah, although I can't claim to be certain of this, and maybe someone like Shemtov can correct me, where there are words with more than three consonants that have triconsonantal roots, and it's these roots which your sources are listing, not the actual words that appear.
Hi, when I said "some variability" in Quran I meant it, and that is the case, though as you discern the non-triconsonantal roots are rare, but not as rare as being nonexistant in Torah. I thought I found closer to 6 non-triconsonantal roots in a Quran corpus, and some are used multiple times, but who's counting - there is some variability either way, and it's pretty limited variability either way. As far as inferring con-lang-ness, though, Arabic Quran pretty much represents itself pretty explicitly as a literal sequel to the Torah, and maybe it adopted for itself some of the same artificial constraints. So it doesn't inform one's estimate much either way. if that makes sense.

Are there any extant known spoken languages with written samples where all verbs in the same form of conjugation get exactly the same number of letters? That would really be the best help to me to understand how that can happen without any artificial spelling constraints.

thanks!
marc
Wait, you're saying that a total of 0.4% of the total of roots being non-triconsonantal counts as "some variability". That's so close to statistically irrelevant that it barely counts as "variability" at all.

And as far as "inferring con-lang-ness" goes, I'd say it's pretty hard to say that we can infer it at all. Akkadian, a close relative of Hebrew, had been written down centuries to millennia before the Torah was completed, and it shows a strong tendency towards triconsonantal roots (unfortunately, I can't find an easily accessible corpus, but they do seem to be available in book form), with its weak forms, like those of Hebrew, being the result of phonological processed affecting the so-called "weak" consonants. Are we therefore to assume that, if the Arabic of the Qur'an was influenced by the Hebrew of the Bible, that the latter might have been further influenced by the Akkadian of the Code of Hammurabi, or can we instead conclude, as many have, that this is a pattern that is shared by the Semitic language through descent from a common ancestor?

Given that you've claimed to coming at this "scientifically", you seem to be largely ignoring any evidence that runs counter to your original claim, more or less going "okay, cool, thanks for the info, but could it be this thing, which you've provided counter-examples to, instead?".

Salmoneous has provided examples in Modern English in which a large number of roots are of the same length, i.e. one syllable long, despite the actual words being of significantly different lengths. Both I and Ahzoh (and I think Sal again) have mentioned Proto-Indo-European, which, although reconstructed, does show a tendency towards monosyllabic roots, which are modified, in a similar manner to Semitic languages, both by affixes and changing the root vowel. It's been mentioned that South-East Asian languages have a predominantly monosyllabic or sesquisyllabic root structure, and that languages a large number of Austronesian languages restrict roots to a CV(N)CV structure. The Uralic languages, if I remember rightly, have a similar tendency towards limiting roots to two syllables across the board for verbs and nouns.

Biblical Hebrew is not some special counterexample to this. The written form might have a level of formality to it, and yes maybe the authors chose to include some little bits of Gematria here and there through the texts, which covers tens of thousands of words and thousands of sentences, but you cannot claim, given the evidence, that Biblical Hebrew was a "conlang" on that basis. It can't have been.

And again, as others have pointed out, you're confusing letters with sounds and assuming that only the number of letters is important, when other languages, as shown several times, form their roots in different ways, either by restricting the number of sounds or the number of syllables (and even Arabic and Hebrew do the latter to an extent).

And you keep ignoring the dozens of examples of nominal roots that don't have three written consonants in their roots. Like, what, the authors of the Torah thought "nah, only the verbs shall have three letters!" even though they apply that to verbal roots, not to words which are verbs, since some of those verbal roots also form the basis for words which are nouns. Fine, yeah, let's just ignore the biconsonantal, quadriconsonantal and quinqueconsonantal nominal roots. They don't count.
Well, I'm not trying to be dense, though it is possible I am dense. And I appreciate all of y'all's suggestions. I need to google pretty much every term you've been using, and I'm sure I haven't gotten it down yet.

I still haven't understood how it would come to be that hundreds of verbs, when abstracted and expressed with letters, lead to 3-letter expressions, but none of them lead to 4-letter expressions. It feels like a constraint of the system to not employ verbs that, when abstracted, would require 4 letters. But I can let that go. Maybe if I re-read your comments I'll understand.

Let's say that, at a minimum, just the words used in the 1st and 2nd verse of the Torah, and the last word, were generated artificially to support a gematria pattern. These words are then repeated numerous times throughout the rest of the text. They include the word "Israel," which is a key character's name, and then the name of the nation-group. The word is used over 2000 times in the text. They include a name of g-d, which is then also used over 2000 times. The word translated as "created" is used repeatedly in the text, the word for "earth," and etc. These instances add up (quick math) to more than 5% of the words in the text. Adding the 4-letter name of g-d to the list on the basis that it completes the gematria pattern in the Shema - it is used another 5,000 times, so now over 10% of the text.

I am not attached to the term "conlang," but to achieve just the smattering of gematria that seems to appear in these few places of the text - first and second verse, last word, and Shema - leads to a story that is at least 10% conwords.

If I were designing a language, it would be easy enough to list all the combinations of 22-choose-3 letters and let those be verb roots, assigning meanings to some set of these 1540 strings at my convenience. I could make w-t-r mean "water," to keep the language familiar as an a posteriori language. Maybe if I go back and re-read, I will understand the other ways you propose that all Hebrew verbs, when abstracted to roots, lead to expression by 3 letters and never lead to expression by 4 letters. Perhaps there is an answer. I am ok either way, I'm just not understanding it myself though I would like to. No need to keep trying to explain, I can let that go.

I am still curious to be pointed to known conlangs that have the features I have proposed went into making Hebrew. For example conlangs where letter-symbols were assigned multiple meanings (phonemes and number or musical note or whatever) to allow multiple readings of resulting texts. Texts that were generated with conlangs that are dense with letter-play and wordplay because by inventing the language the author had great control over employing multiple meanings. I could make s-n-h mean "year" if I wanted to be cute and let the word for year equal the gematria of the number of days in a year. I could make all anagrams of a letter-string have different, related meanings. And maybe there are none that are into this sort of wordplay, these sorts of aspects do not ring a bell, in which case no problem, thanks for trying, I'm just asking in case.

Thanks again.......!
Marc

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Reyzadren » 20 Jul 2018 22:59

marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 22:15
I am still curious to be pointed to known conlangs that have the features I have proposed went into making Hebrew. For example conlangs where letter-symbols were assigned multiple meanings (phonemes and number or musical note or whatever) to allow multiple readings of resulting texts. Texts that were generated with conlangs that are dense with letter-play and wordplay because by inventing the language the author had great control over employing multiple meanings. I could make s-n-h mean "year" if I wanted to be cute and let the word for year equal the gematria of the number of days in a year. I could make all anagrams of a letter-string have different, related meanings. And maybe there are none that are into this sort of wordplay, these sorts of aspects do not ring a bell, in which case no problem, thanks for trying, I'm just asking in case.

Thanks again.......!
Marc
Except for constant root numbers, what other hypothetical features are you thinking of? Suppose a conlang does have wordplays, what would be clear examples or appearances or properties to you? (Not directed towards Hebrew)

For example, my conlang does have some wordplay and phoneme assignation, but I'm not sure if it qualifies based on your criteria. Indeed, I would assume that there are conlangers who would not consider such "pattern" in their conlang to be unusual - it would just be a normal natural thing in their conworld.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Keenir » 21 Jul 2018 02:33

marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 22:15
I am not attached to the term "conlang," but to achieve just the smattering of gematria that seems to appear in these few places of the text - first and second verse, last word, and Shema - leads to a story that is at least 10% conwords.
there are novels in which the author deliberately avoided any word with e, and others which dodged the a...these aren't conlangs - just books with careful authors.

there are people who claim that if you look in the works of Shakespeare, you will find prophecies of how the world will end - much as others claim with Nostradamus and the Bible.

none of these requires the use of conlangs. they require selectivity - in the first case, selectivity of the author's pen; in the second case, selectivity in the reader's eye. thus far, you are an example of the second example...only you're adamant about the Bible being a conlang (rather than a source for End Times info)

do you think that, if the Bible was written with a conlang, that makes it less authoritative?
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 22:15
Let's say that, at a minimum, just the words used in the 1st and 2nd verse of the Torah, and the last word, were generated artificially to support a gematria pattern. These words are then repeated numerous times throughout the rest of the text. They include the word "Israel," which is a key character's name, and then the name of the nation-group. The word is used over 2000 times in the text. They include a name of g-d, which is then also used over 2000 times. The word translated as "created" is used repeatedly in the text, the word for "earth," and etc. These instances add up (quick math) to more than 5% of the words in the text. Adding the 4-letter name of g-d to the list on the basis that it completes the gematria pattern in the Shema - it is used another 5,000 times, so now over 10% of the text.
??you're surprised that a religious book about the origins of the people and nation of Israel contains
a. names of G-D
b. the word "created"
c. the word "earth"
d. the word & name "Israel"
??
Last edited by Keenir on 21 Jul 2018 02:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by Frislander » 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?

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » 23 Jul 2018 02:14

Keenir wrote:
21 Jul 2018 02:33
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 22:15
I am not attached to the term "conlang," but to achieve just the smattering of gematria that seems to appear in these few places of the text - first and second verse, last word, and Shema - leads to a story that is at least 10% conwords.
there are novels in which the author deliberately avoided any word with e, and others which dodged the a...these aren't conlangs - just books with careful authors.

there are people who claim that if you look in the works of Shakespeare, you will find prophecies of how the world will end - much as others claim with Nostradamus and the Bible.

none of these requires the use of conlangs. they require selectivity - in the first case, selectivity of the author's pen; in the second case, selectivity in the reader's eye. thus far, you are an example of the second example...only you're adamant about the Bible being a conlang (rather than a source for End Times info)

do you think that, if the Bible was written with a conlang, that makes it less authoritative?
marcege wrote:
20 Jul 2018 22:15
Let's say that, at a minimum, just the words used in the 1st and 2nd verse of the Torah, and the last word, were generated artificially to support a gematria pattern. These words are then repeated numerous times throughout the rest of the text. They include the word "Israel," which is a key character's name, and then the name of the nation-group. The word is used over 2000 times in the text. They include a name of g-d, which is then also used over 2000 times. The word translated as "created" is used repeatedly in the text, the word for "earth," and etc. These instances add up (quick math) to more than 5% of the words in the text. Adding the 4-letter name of g-d to the list on the basis that it completes the gematria pattern in the Shema - it is used another 5,000 times, so now over 10% of the text.
??you're surprised that a religious book about the origins of the people and nation of Israel contains
a. names of G-D
b. the word "created"
c. the word "earth"
d. the word & name "Israel"
??
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.

Thanks!
Marc

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by marcege » 23 Jul 2018 02:27

Frislander wrote:
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.

Go try to write two sentences in English that when coded as numbers both define the same figure with multiple axes of symmetry. You don't have to make both equally 2701, but if you wanted a target, try for that one.

The sentences need to be a reasonable start for a book. Then write a third, forth, and fifth sentence that each somehow carry forward the geometric theme.

You can use any numerical coding system you want, but it has to be used consistently to "decode" each sentence.

It's not logically impossible .... Please go try ... My proposition is that it's so much easier to do this if you get to control the meanings of the words, that controlling the meanings of the words is a reasonable hypotheses for what the author of the Torah did, I.e. a conlang for at least the words in those key sentences.

Once hypothesizing the first verse constructed this way, pretty features of the Hebrew start falling into place, add the link in the OP describes.

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.

Thanks!
Marc

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Re: (changed forum) Is Hebrew a Conlang?

Post by sangi39 » 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).
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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