GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

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fractalfederation
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GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by fractalfederation » 04 Nov 2019 15:50

So the goals of my conlang was to create a language for government use, both in law and international interactions and even operations like law enforcement, military, etc.

I posted it on here under my conworld and someone criticized it for being an English "word cipher". They were right. lol

I have done custom pronouns, prepositions, articles, and custom suffixes for open class words. my goal was to make it more compressed than English by reducing characters and syllables per word and words per sentence. The English Bible for example has 3 times more characters than the Chinese version of the Bible. I also wanted it to be more intuitive and with no exceptions to rules. Like a dog versus an apple. English does a lot of exceptions just because it sounds better when spoken.

If anyone wants to take a glance and maybe offer some ideas to achieve my goals or maybe point out something I've missed, I would appreciate it. I also would like to know if maybe I should remove some of the letters/sounds if they are uncommon or difficult, like the clicks for example. I'm hoping by using consonant+vowel+consonant+vowel it will also sound "good" but the only way I have of hearing what it might sound like is to use SSML on Amazon's Polly service.

Also, I might change the font/characters. What I have was just a simple one I did quickly, basically the rules I followed were straight lines and 90 degree angles only.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by Nachtuil » 05 Nov 2019 05:25

I see your custom font but your IPA, FFF and SSML sections are not showing but I don't really feel like installing something to see the language. : \ Perhaps you can find a way to present your language in a way that is more accessible like a PDF or other type of document.

Edit: I just noticed all the tabs at the bottom! My bad.

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by Nachtuil » 05 Nov 2019 06:06

I have a question about the phonetic inventory. Are all 199 consonants supposed to represent phonemes in your language? Is it the same for the 37 vowels?

Breaking up the syllable structure to be prohibit consonant clusters is a good idea for the amount and type of consonants you are using. I notice you using the segment " ◌ " twice with some diacritics. This broken line circle actually does not represent a sound but is used in situations where the diacritics that adorn it are being discussed. For example when talking about aspiration you may use " ◌ʰ " but "◌ʰ" does not represent a sound. The broken circle represents any number of possible sound segments.

Naturalness may not be your goal but it may be worth your time to look at some languages that have a large phoneme inventory, like any language with clicks. You'll see that they achieve such lofty goals not by trying to include almost every IPA character but by having sets of sounds together. Like they may have /p t k q/ but also have
/pʰ tʰ kʰ qʰ/ and /p' t' k' q'/. Employing affricates also is a way to grow an inventory without requiring a lot of very minute distinctions. For example you could add /pf ts tʃ kx/ as phonemes and if you add those maybe they can have ejective and aspirated versions too so you might have:

/p t k q/
/pʰ tʰ kʰ qʰ/
/p' t' k' q'/
/pf ts tʃ kx/
/pfʰ tsʰ tʃʰ kxʰ/
/pf' ts' tʃ' kx'/

This is a more plausible way than trying to have distinctions between fronted, central and retracted dental fricatives.

I don't know if you know but phonemes are sounds that speakers of a language identify as being distinct. The actual production of these sounds tends to cover more territory because of allophony: different productions of the same phoneme that depend on phonetic context.

Clicks themselves are not hard for a speaker used to them by the way. Really any human can in theory learn to produce any sound that the human vocal tract allows. With clicks you don't usually want just a few of them but a good number.
Last edited by Nachtuil on 05 Nov 2019 06:56, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by Nachtuil » 05 Nov 2019 06:37

It depends what your motivation and goals are for your sound inventory. If it is to avoid it sounding like English there are probably easier ways to do that. Like look at this inventory: http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~saphon ... chiMP.html
There is no way on Earth someone would mistake this for English but it only has 24 consonants and 5 vowels.
Or this one:
http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~saphon ... orani.html
All its consonants exist in English but the vowel distinctions are quite different with the vowel length distinctions, and nasalization.

If you want to go big, consider looking at a click language or a caucasian language like Circassian: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adyghe_language#Phonology

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by fractalfederation » 05 Nov 2019 09:12

Thanks for responding!

for the sound inventory, i am the most clueless since i only know one language and im a complete noob when it comes to linguistics.

the idea i had for the number of characters (sound inventory) was to have as many letters as possible so i can create more short words, with fewer letters and spoken syllables. i wanted it to be an efficient language. compressibility.

i used this to come up with all the letters:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internati ... abet_chart

like you pointed out, i didnt realize some of them werent letters! now that ive gotten more of the work done, i realized i dont need so many letters anyways so i was thinking about removing some

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by qwed117 » 05 Nov 2019 09:23

there's not really a thing that is "efficient language" because language is limited by the fact that it needs to be both spoken and heard. The average sentence in a spoken language will have the same amount of meaning as the average sentence in another. Since human processing capabilities do not differ significantly between groups, for the most part, all language has the same degree of redundancy and inefficiency and will take the same amount of time to be spoken or written
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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by Nachtuil » 05 Nov 2019 16:18

fractalfederation wrote:
05 Nov 2019 09:12
Thanks for responding!

for the sound inventory, i am the most clueless since i only know one language and im a complete noob when it comes to linguistics.

the idea i had for the number of characters (sound inventory) was to have as many letters as possible so i can create more short words, with fewer letters and spoken syllables. i wanted it to be an efficient language. compressibility.

i used this to come up with all the letters:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internati ... abet_chart

like you pointed out, i didnt realize some of them werent letters! now that ive gotten more of the work done, i realized i dont need so many letters anyways so i was thinking about removing some
We all start somewhere and you'll only learn more the more that you study linguistics.

I would advise you first think only of the actual sounds, and not letters and symbols yet. I would actually advise getting to understand what sounds actually are before adding them, even if you can't necessarily produce them, you should in time with practice. Maybe your next step could be putting a chart together arranging the symbols by their place of articulation and method of articulation. :) You should do the same with your vowel space as an exercise if you haven't already.

Similar to what qed117 has said, in human language efficiency usually takes a back seat to its clarity and utility in communicating thought. For example one consequence of that is that important grammatical information usually doesn't have extremely very subtle distinctions, especially phonetically. Distinguishing major word class categories by minor distinctions such as slightly different vowels like you do is likely to be difficult for human speakers, especially given how much variety there is in produced speech, even for the same speaker saying the same sound at different times. The same vowel is likely be more front, back, rounded, unrounded etc depending on what sound segments surround it. Even in the same word said at different times. Humans really are not perfectly consistent in the production of speech and sensitive in hearing it. In terms of actual meaning of utterances, human language actually tolerates quite a lot of ambiguity, almost requires it, just because of how humans think. An enormous amount of meaning is derived from situational context too.

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by Pabappa » 05 Nov 2019 18:26

I like your idea. Now, a large phonology may not help as much as you'd think .... your speed is proportional to the log of the phoneme inventory, not the total size. so, a language with 200 consonants will not be five times faster than one with 40, but merely about 50% faster. Add to that the need to speak more slowly to distinguish all those sounds and your language may not be any faster at all. Counterintuitively, languages with small phonologies can be spoken so quickly that they win the race against languages like English.

I wouldnt say that all human languages are the same, though. Japanese is reliably slower than most other languages due, perhaps, to its use of many politeness morphemes, and eastern European languages such as Russian seem to be slower as well perhaps due to a general trend towards using long words when short ones could do. In a study of overall language speed, Vietnamese narrowly edged out English to win the race, showing that two very different strategies can lead to the same goal.
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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by fractalfederation » 05 Nov 2019 20:34

i was more focused on the written language not the spoken but both would be best. yea i dont have the knowledge or skill to make an efficient spoken language. i was thinking about dropping all the non-pulmonic consonants for GovLang's words. i would keep them in the alphabet and the custom characters because that could be useful for writing other languages names and stuff phonetically in GovLang.

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by Pabappa » 05 Nov 2019 21:35

I like your script, then. I made a similar script once, but there weren't quite so many glyphs and whereas most of my shapes appear on your list, many of yours don't appear on mine. I note that most of your glyphs are traceable with just a 3x3 grid, but that a few of them have lines in between. Is this intentional or did you originally intend to make them all 3x3 but then ran out of glyphs?
Sorry guys, this one has the worst sting.

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Re: GovLang for Fractal Federation fictional universe

Post by fractalfederation » 05 Nov 2019 21:39

Pabappa wrote:
05 Nov 2019 21:35
I like your script, then. I made a similar script once, but there weren't quite so many glyphs and whereas most of my shapes appear on your list, many of yours don't appear on mine. I note that most of your glyphs are traceable with just a 3x3 grid, but that a few of them have lines in between. Is this intentional or did you originally intend to make them all 3x3 but then ran out of glyphs?
i didnt put much thought into it, i just did something quick so i just tried making up as many as i could using only straight lines and 90 degree angles. i might redo them or see if my brother artist wants to make a set.

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