the following item is a parody of the newsletter vidpuni, which eventually evolved into Journal of Planned Languages.
From: cs.wmich.edu!brewer (Steve Brewer)
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 92 16:39:46 EDT
+-----------------------------------------------+ | | | (-: VORTPUNOJ :-) | | ^Jurnalo de nenecessaj lingvoj | | Nur alia eldono, la 31-an de februaro, 1992 | | S. Brewer, redaktoro | | email@example.com | +-----------------------------------------------+ IN THIS ISSUE OF VORTPUNOJ: Lingvo de la monato: Diptolongo By So:l Daleb Kap Porpoise Poetry Revisited By D-ro M. Bontrompon A contest! *********************************** Lingvo de la monato: Diptongalo Diphthongalo Diptongalo Diphthongal was created by a speech Diptongalon kreis parolada theripist to help his patients who terapisto, por helpi terapatojn, kiu had trouble pronouncing or malbone diras a^u komprenas understanding diphthongs. The diftongojn. La fonemoj de la lingvo language's phoneme set consists estas nur diftongoj kaj la vokaloj, entirely of diphtongs together with kiu konsistigas ilin. Ties aboco the pure vowels that make them up. konsistas tute de ne-normaj signoj, Its alphabet consists entirely of sed, estas norma transliterumado per non-standard characters, but there du-literaj kombinoj por ^ciuj is a standard transliteration using Diptongala litero. Jen la aboco: two-character combinations for each Diphthongal character. Here is the alphabet: a e i o u a e i o u au eu iu ou ui au eu iu ou ui aw ew iw ow uj aw ew iw ow uj ai ei oi ai ei oi aj ej oj aj ej oj The words were selected so as to La vortojn oni elektis por fari, ke make pronouncing and understanding diri kaj kompreni la diftongojn the diphthongs critical for estu gravega por komprenado. Oni comprehension. This was done by faras tiun per devigi, ke rilataj making related words differ only by vortoj malsamas nur pro tio ke unu one having a two-vowel phoneme and havas du-vokalan fonemon kaj la alia the other a diphthong. Some diftongon. Jen ekzemploj: examples: ei yes ei jes ej no ej ne ui right ui dekstre uj left uj maldekstre euuj inside euuj interne ewuj outside ewuj ekstere ******************************** Porpoise Poetry Revisited Multaj homoj skribis al ni por demandi pri la "Porpoise Poetry" de S-ro F. Foceno en la lasta numero de Vortpunoj. Ni, kompreneble, turnis nin al Profesoro Mifaras Bontrompon je la Porpoise Linguistics Institute. Jen lia responda^jo: In recent email with the Editorial staff of Vortpunoj, I received the following message which is purported to be poetry written by a porpoise. My assignment was to produce a translation of the meaning of the poem, with the understanding that the poetic nature of the original might be lost. This task was considerably more difficult than the usual run-of-the-mill assignment translating geckos or cockroaches. Although non-standard transliterations are quite common, in this case the choice of transliteration scheme nearly rendered the task impossible. Representing porpoise speech entirely with the characters "E" and "e" meant that much of the nuance of the individual words was lost. However, I believe I have accomplished the task. Standard representation of porpoise speech, which consists of a pitch/volume/duration triplet for each squeak. Of course, the original is lacking in all three of those values. However, we made the simplifying assumption that the number of "e" characters correspond to a duration, we also assumed that the capital "E" characters indicated a higher volume than the "e" characters. We created for each squeak an estimated *range* of possible values, based on our simplifying assumptions. Then, we ran a computer matching program that generated every possible word that the might be indicated. In several cases there was only one possible word. Based on these we could eliminate some of the possibilities for other words, in some cases due to grammatical impossibility and in others on consistancy in meaning. Here are the results of our efforts: Glossary E I-see-it [via echo-location] seaweed tentacle Ee good-luck! EeEeEeEe right [correct, exclamation of agreement] Eee thermocline Eeee behold or to-bite-the-flukes of EeeeEeeeE underneath-and-to-the-right EeeeeEeeeeE go-for-it [exhortation to strive, whatever the odds] Eeeeeeee so-near-and-yet-so-far [exclamation on the unatanable] you've-almost-got-it you're-almost-there Eeeeee look-out [exhortation to take care] > Eeee! Eee! EeeeEeeeE? Behold! Look underneath that thermocline and to the right! > EeEeEeEe.... E E E! Right.... I see it! There's [seaweed or tentacle] there! > Eeeeeeee. Eeeeeeee. So near and yet so far! > Eee! Eeee! EeEeEeEe! E! At the termocline! Look! You can get it! The [seaweed or tentacle]! > EeeeeEeeeeE? Ee! Go for it! Good luck! > Eeeeeee. Eeeeee. E! E! You're almost there! Look out! I see it! The [seaweed or tentacle]! > E! E! I see it! The [seaweed or tentacle]! E E E! I see it! The [seaweed or tentacle]! I see it! ********************************** * CONTEST * * KONKURSO * The designers of a new langague are La planantoj de nova lingvo ser^cas seeking input. The person who sugesta^jojn. La homo, kiu sugestos submits the most useful suggestion la plej uzindan ideon, tiu ricevos will receive free a signed limited senpage a^utografitan eldonon de The edition of The Complete Grammar of Complete Grammar of Simplang, lingvo Simplang, a language mathmatically matimatike pruvita havi la plej proven to have the smallest possible malgrande eblan gramatikon. grammar. Input is sought for the design of Sugesta^jojn oni ser^cas por la Inoffensish. This language is to planado de Inoffensish. Tiun lingvon allow people to make statements permesas, ke homoj faru asertojn, about the world that won't offend kiuj ne ofendos iun ajn. Ekzemple, anyone. For example, these two ^ci tiuj du frazoj tradukus al la sentences would translate to exactly tute sama frazo: the same sentence: In 1492 Columbus discovered Je 1492 Columbuso trovis ameriko America and brought kaj portis kristanismon al la Christianity to the new nova mondo. world. In 1492 white europeans began Je 1492 blanka e^uropanoj a centuries-long program of komencis centjaroj-longan genocide against native programon por gentmortigi Americans. kontra^u indi^genaj amerikanoj. In Inoffensish both sentences En Inoffensish, amba^u frazoj would mean something like: signifus promksimume: In 1492 Columbus opened the Je 1492 Columbuso malfermis la new world to Europeans, which novan mondon por e^uropanoj, kiu has had profound effects, por pralo^gantoj de norda ameriko both good and bad, for faris gravajn efikojn, kaj bona aboriginal North Americans. kaj malbona. The purposes for this langague Oni uzos tiun lingvon por pacigado, peace studies, diplomacy, press tiuj, kiuj bezonas registaran releases by groups dependent on subtenon, ktp. government funds, etc. Send in your suggestion now! Ensendu viajn sugesta^jojn tuj! -- Fin --
Wed Feb 26 13:09:15 1992
Bruce "Esperanto is the spawn of the Devil" Gilson writes: >So much of what I have seen here has been >arguments of the general nature of "Esperanto is the only conlang with a >significant number of users" (usually quoting a number of 2 million out of >the World Almanac, about 30-40 times as big as the best estimates of the >true number that I've seen) no one speaks Esperanto!!! in fact its totaly a conspiracy and ZERO ZERO ZERO people speak it!!! the hell with facts, they're ugly and slimy, estimates are real and facts are FALSE! >and pointing out the importance of a large installed >base. When I try to steer the discussion to more significant factors like >the points of difficulty in Esperanto that have been disposed of by >subsequent language constructors from Couturat to Weferling, I get cries >of "accusative bashing" and such. Bruce would never bash the accusative! anyone who says that Bruce bashes accusatives is a dirty Esperantist scumbag liar. Bruce presents REAL FACTUAL... uhh, ESTIMATIAL ARGUMENTS against the accusative! >Most non-Esperantists see things a little differently. "A little differently." Bruce has a higher couthosity factor than ALL YOU ESPERANTISSTS put together. that's why he can speak for the entire world. >The number of users is >to a large degree a matter of accident. When Volapuek was _the_ AL par >excellence, it had a large number of users, and Esperanto in 1887 and the >immediately following years won against this in part because it was in fact >a better-designed language. But in recent years, there has been a concerted >propaganda effort on the part of Esperantists to sell Esperanto as _the_ >world language, _the_ solution to the world's intercommunication problems. propaganda is the right word! esperantists control the news media. (how often do they mention anything but esperanto? just try to find ido or novial or jesperson in a dictionary! they controll the publishers!) esperantists own the world major banks. (thats why no one gives Bruce money!). and the drug trade. they've conspired with the queen of england and the pope!!!!! >esperanto propaganda to non-committed people first tries to convince >them that there is a need for a world interlanguage, and then states that >there is one, and that it is esperanto. and its prophet is Bruce Gilson... NOT! >however, when the unknowing >initiate is first recruited, he is not told that esperanto, in its 100+ years >of existence, has had many rivals; it is only once he has perhaps become a >thoroughly indoctrinated fighter for the cause, that this information comes >out. By that time, it is a wonder that _any_ do leave the Esperanto movement, >but leave it they do, as exampled by people like F. Peter Gopsill and John >Bell. a bunch of cultists! they use mind control on there recruits! they murdered maralyn, you know. and jimmy hoffa. thats all... Goose Brillson ("Bruce is my evil twin... or triplet!") .signature
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 91 12:14 EDT
From: Ronald Hale-Evans (apple!binah.cc.brandeis.edu!EVANS)
[The following "Non-Fact Article" appears in the science fiction anthology *Universe 10*, edited by Terry Carr, published in hardcover by Doubleday & Co. and in paperback by Zebra Books.] SUPERL Charles E. Elliott Your request for information [writes Lt. Comdr. Boethius C. Heminstitch, the Public Relations Officer of the division of Unusual Languages of the U.S. Coast Guard] about SUPERL has been forwarded to me. I hope that you will not take offense because I have not used SUPERL in this letter; it has been a long-standing policy of this office to answer all requests in the language of the request. As you probably already know, SUPERL is a language devised to replace all of the so-called natural languages. It is streamlined and rationally designed and has every advantage over the "natural" languages. SUPERL was developed by a team of U.S. Coast Guard linguists on an abandoned oil rig off Santa Barbara. The Coast Guard sponsored this research and development project for obvious reasons having to do with interservice funding. The project stretched over a period of six months and resulted in Coast Guard handbooks in SUPERL Grammar, SUPERL Phonology, and SUPERL Readers I and II. At present an exhaustive SUPERL Dictionary is under preparation. Over five hundred centers for teaching SUPERL have been established, and it is already the official language of several government departments. The advantages of SUPERL are many. Using it, speakers may talk directly in mathematics, physics, chemistry, spherical trigonometry, and anthropology, without the necessity of an intervening language. It of course makes direct conversion of the foot-pound-Fahrenheit system to the metric-Celsius system, thus relieving users of laborious and time-consuming computations. In its binary mode, SUPERL may be used directly with computers, bypassing any computer languages. With SUPERL a thesaurus is unnecessary: an alphabetical listing *is* a thesaurus. The real relationships of concepts are phonologically represented, and the unwholesome arbitrariness of phonetic symbolization is done away with. The articulation of SUPERL involves many facial muscles, so that it is impossible to say something illogical in SUPERL without at least a weak smile. Blatant absurdities result in broad grins and repeated winks. However, while these are major advantages, they might be built into "natural" languages. SUPERL has, in addition, two characteristics that no "natural" language has: truth and compactness. Grammatical utterances in SUPERL are always *true*. Thus, new truths about the universe can be discovered by babbling. This has obvious advantages. Speakers of SUPERL have at their tongue tip (so to speak) the combined knowledge of mankind, and, what is more, all the facts about the universe they will ever need. The Coast Guard is presently exploiting this characteristic in a unique project. Thirty garrulous people have been gathered in our laboratory in Peoria and instructed to talk about whatever interests them. What they say is recorded and will be compiled into the SUPERL Encyclopedia. We modestly hope that ultimately this will be the Ultimate Compendium of All Knowledge. If it is ever declassified it may prove of interest to scholars and teachers. The grammar of SUPERL is equipped for many uses. For example, history can be recounted using the past perfect. Count nouns are used for the nobility, and there are mass nouns for the people. And not only does it have a passive voice for the cautious, it even has a future tense for the anxious. SUPERL is, in addition, amazingly compact. What may be a lengthy exegesis in a "natural" language is often a simple sentence in SUPERL. A classic example of this is B.A. Booper's refutation of stratificational analysis. It was a single word! Whole novels have been written on the back of Howard Johnson menus. SUPERL lends itself quite naturally to poetry. For example: Gnuj Wroj --which shows a height of lyricism not often attained in awkward "natural" languages. The approximate English translation is "As the moon casts silvery fingers (*or* greasy forks) over the spider's (*or* lampshade's *or* fodder's) back, does he (*or* the moon) care, really care? I will return (*or* become nauseous) to my beloved (*or* the general public). Is there any other way? (*or* Do you have any oranges?)" The entire works of Shakespeare are being translated into SUPERL; the result is expected to be a single trilogy of plays. There may be some difficulties with actual production, for, as one writer observed, "The cast is large, but the soliloquies are short." In spite of the many advantages of SUPERL, large numbers of people still sullenly refuse to say anything in it. We guess that this may be the result of half-baked rumors and spurious opinions about SUPERL. It would be well to straighten out a few expressions of anti-SUPERL sentiment. Some object because speakers seem to be unable to make jokes in SUPERL. This seems to be a rather pointless objection. Jokes have their place, but there are all sorts of practical jokes that don't require any use of language at all. Let those who cite this as an objection stitch a friend's trouser legs together, or pour olive oil into their wives' cocktail glasses. In any case, to satisfy these spoilsports, we may point out that already a team of United States Coast Guard Transmogrificational Grammarians is at work devising a set of standard jokes that may be recited in SUPERL. That chimpanzees seem to be able to learn SUPERL faster and better than human beings is not really an objection to the language, either. There is simply a difference between the brains of chimps and the brains of human beings. *Vive la diffe'rence!* The rumor that a certain anthropological finding, an artifact, had no name in SUPERL, and that proponents of SUPERL subsequently smashed and disposed of the artifact, has no truth in it. Speakers of SUPERL have tested this rumor by trying to repeat it in SUPERL. They were able to repeat this rumor, but only with broad grins and guffaws. Thus, even if true, the rumor had to be most illogical. The most vicious rumor is that it is possible to say "The world is coming to an end soon" in SUPERL without even the hint of a smile. This we must simply discount. If the present trend of diversity in "natural" languages continues to pollute our linguistic atmosphere, we really *are* in for trouble. Let the anti-SUPERLites consider that, instead of carping at a minor inconsistency in SUPERL. I hope I have given you the information you require. You may be amused to know that there *are* dirty words in SUPERL. In the interests of National Security, however, these words have been classified and may be used only by the highest echelons of the government and the military. Please write me directly if you are in need of further information about SUPERL. I would also be grateful if you would forward to me the names of any you hear being critical of SUPERL. Please indicate in your report if they are supported by any government moneys. ****** Isn't this classic? Who is Charles E. Elliott? Has he published any other work? I will do an electronic library search after I send this off and let y'all know. In any case, I don't think *Universe 10* is in print, and I have seen "SUPERL" nowhere else, so I don't think anyone is losing revenue here. I sent a xerox of this piece to Bob LeChevalier (firstname.lastname@example.org), prime mover behind Lojban, but he didn't think it was very funny. I wonder why? Besides being a brilliant satire of the planned language movement (and I think we can see a little bit of Esperanto, Loglan/Lojban, BABM, the "a priori" languages of Descartes and friends, Solresol, maybe even Lincos, in here), this piece raises some interesting philosophical questions. *Why* can't we create a language where grammatical correctness implies factual correctness? (Douglas Hofstadter is great for this stuff; see *Goedel, Escher, Bach*.) The compactness aspect of SUPERL reminds me also of R.C.W. Ettinger's book *Man into Superman*, where he speculates on the possibility of making future language more compact and expressive by using all phonemes that can be generated by (super-)human vocal organs, and using more of the possible short words. (For example, "at" and "it" exist in English, but why aren't "et", "ot", and "ut" words?) Further comments, anyone?
From: trl.OZ.AU!j.guy (Jacques Guy)
Subject: Plan B, and beyond!
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 92 16:38:39 EST
Searching for a snail-mail address I had mislaid, I had to revive my mailbox and wade through 993 messages. As I did, I chanced upon several which I must have missed. One was telling us about the availability of a certain "Plan B" at hebrew.cc.columbia.edu. 'Twas like waving a red rag at a frog (a bullfrog) and I snapped at the bait merrily. I read Plan B on the taxi ride to the city on Telecom business which, according to Telecom, you have no business knowing about. But Plan B is no corporate secret, so I want to tell about Plan B "Design and Implementation of a Near-Optimal Loglan Syntax". Be warned: I'm about to take the mickey out of Plan B from Hebrew Space. And why shouldn't I? It reads as if the author was having us on. So it's only a mickey for a minnie [see footnote 1]. Nevertheless, Plan B gave me a great idea for the perfect conlang. Just bear with me as I unveil before your amazed eyes the arcane mysteries of Plan B, you will be fully rewarded in the end. The Plan-B language -- I'll call it Bee for short -- Bee, then, has 16 er... phonemes, because sixteen is a power of two, which makes it computationally desirable. Each phoneme has two allophones, one of which is a vowel, or a diphthong, or the same preceded by "r", the other a consonant. I say: jolly good idea! Indeed, it's like the author says: "By providing both a vowel and a consonant pronunciation for each letter, and using them alternately, we can pronounce arbitrary strings of letters without difficulty". Brilliant. And I, poor sod, who thought a strict CV(V) language would do it! For instance: English: "I like her driving my car" Bee: "G-l tk-s ck-l mg-n g-n cc-l" IPA: [g-rE ti:-s eik-rE mai-n ai-n eiS-rE] (S = esh, E = epsilon) This is terrific, for it means that each word has exactly two allomorphs, depending on how many er... phonemes precede it in the sentence. "Ck" for instance, is either [eik] or [Si], e.g. English: "She likes me" Bee: "Ck-l tk-n g-l" IPA: [Si-l ruk-ri g-rE] The unambiguous segmentation of the spoken chain into its discrete words, implemented oh! so very messily in Lojban, is implemented Huffman-style in Bee. And I, poor sod, who thought the first vowel of a word could be used to tell how many syllables it had! Let us now turn to the grammar of the language. It makes do with an unlimited number of ... er... case-markers, of which you have already encountered three: -l, -n, and -s. -l has highest precedence, -n second highest, -s third. Armed the vorpal sword of that knowledge, you should be able to disentangle the Gordian knot of the two sentences above in even less time flat than Alexander. No? Well, perhaps two more sentences would help: I drive the car G-l mg-n hb-n cc-l I can drive a car G-l cn-n mg-n b-n cc-l Ha, ha! I hear you say, why "Gl cnn mgn bn ccl" if "Gl tks ckl mgn ccl"? Shouldn't it rather be "Gl cns mgn bn ccl"? I agree with you. It's probably a typing mistake: "s" and "n" are rather close together on a keyboard. However: I will drive my car to you G-l ml-n mg-n g-n cc-l th-n j-l So, clearly, it wasn't a typing mistake. Now where have I put that vorpal sword again? In conclusion, the author sums up the advantages of such a language. I cannot resist the pleasure of quoting ckl: Compared to existing loglans, [Bee] . Is much simpler. . Potentially allows for mechanical recognition of continuous speech. . Is suited to laboratory studies of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. . Possesses a certain elegance. (Eat your hearts out, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain and sundry!) Well, folks, allow me to present my own loglan, beyond Bee. So I'll call it Cee. Cee is written in an alphabet of 26 letters: a, b, c, d, e, f... I'll leave you to guess at the rest. Those letters are pronounced respectively bi, ba, sha, da, fi, fa... I'll leave you guess at the rest. That leaves us quite a few handfuls of syllables out of which we select: bo as first-order precedence whatever, which we write 1 sho as second-order precedence ditto, which we write 2 do as third-order of the ilk, which we write 3 ... I'll leave you to guess at the rest. And also: bu which we write
or shu which we write . Now look: English: I drive the car. Bee: G-l mg-n hb-n cc-l Cee: Me-1 drive-2 the-2 car-1. (Hyphens have been inserted only for your convenience, o, gentle readers!) English: I can drive a car. Bee: G-l cn-n mg-n b-n cc-l Cee: Me-1 can-2 drive-2 a-2 car-1. I'll leave it to you to work out the pronunciation of those two Cee sentences. Just note how that little syllable, bu (spelt ), neatly and *elegantly* solves the problem of recognizing morpheme boundaries. Cee, admittedly, is more verbose than Bee, but I'm working on it. Now where is my copy of Dutton's Speedwords? Footnote(s) [Note 1] Why "minnie"? Well, we all know who Mickey and Minnie Mouse are, don't we? And what sex they are. Yes? So, it's... twit for twat!