Yes, I'm for real, I plan to invent a language and get the world speaking it. I don't care if you think I'm crazy or it's hopeless. So is anything else I might try to do to fix the world. (I just feel the need to say this cause so many people in real life have jeered at me for this even though there are verifiable examples of somewhat successful conlangs.)

The phenome and alphabet

Dictionary search

Verb objects

Multiple predicates

Demonstratives

The Tense System

Should

Linking clauses

Questions

Quantifier-type compounds

Default identifiers


Design insight: the tradeoffs of parts of speech

The phonetic mapping: each sound's ideographic profile as I perceive them

ASCII transliteration scheme

Open question (please comment): variable dereferencing?

Other open questions (7)


Here are the reasons why the world needs this so badly, and why Esperanto won't do.

  1. Philosophical accuracy. The language a society speaks has an enormous impact on its culture, and quite a lot of prevalent harmful ideas can be traced to our language suggesting them:

    • "Good" is the most diabolically destructive word ever invented. "Good" refers to many completely different concepts, such as morality, pleasure, skill, and others. (The related words "should" and "must" can also refer to probability.) The conflation of morality and pleasure doesn't just encourage utilitarianism, it allows people to write things like this tvtropes turn-the-other-cheek propaganda piece and people can get behind the garbage. Making such wrong and destructive ideas sound appealing would be much harder if morality and pleasure weren't named the same thing.

    • Synonyms facilitate circular reasoning. When there are many ways to communicate the same thing, it's easy to see a difference where there isn't one, and people can make statements of the form "X is right because X is right" and mask what they're doing by calling X two different things. Even honest people who were raised with bad ideas can do this unintentionally.

    • No distinction between ability and permission. Asking for permission is usually done with "can" in English, which is a blatant road to authoritarianism.

    • Commands. I'll admit this point is arguable but there's a strong argument that we shouldn't have commands. Commands as a language construct allow you to pressure someone to do something without saying why: maybe you think it's their duty, maybe you think it's in their interests, maybe you just want them to, but commands allow you to not distinguish, which insinuates that the distinction isn't important.

    • "Redeem" being transitive. To redeem yourself means to do noble things that balance out your past sins. Someone else's actions can't make you a better person, so this verb is meaningless when used non-reflexively.

      Yet, of the Christian family of religions, most if not all have a core belief that Jesus's death redeemed the human race by paying back Adam's debt. It's so incoherent that you'd have to work hard to convince me it was serious in a sane world. And yet billions of people believe you can be redeemed by someone else's actions. If the word for redeem wasn't transitive, you wouldn't be able to even express this idea. Even if you tried you'd have a hard time getting it across: "Jesus's suffering caused that we redeemed" would be taken as, "Jesus's suffering led to us redeeming ourselves".

    • No distinction between causation and deduction. The word because communicates both the causal relationship of events and logical deductions. "Because X happened, Y happened" and "Because X is true, Y is true". And I have definitely seen people abuse this confusion to create bizarre sophistry like a time I argued with a materialist and he argued that all of my arguments were appeal to consequence fallacy because I was refuting his ideas by showing that they entailed absurd and untenable consequences.

    • Emotion vocabulary is useless. English has several dozen words that designate emotions, and most of them are poorly defined or conflate multiples, which breeds a culture of not understanding how people work. We need this vocabulary section to be devised by someone who really understands human emotions. And obviously that's not me yet, but it will be eventually, and the same can't be said of most people.

    Esperanto doesn't address most of these problems.

  2. Ease of learning. A language as complex as English is ill-suited to becoming the universal language (I don't think I need to elaborate on why that would be great to have), and perhaps more important is the difficulty of children learning it. If children learned to communicate faster, they could learn other things and mature faster. A person incapable of sophisticated communcation is also much less likely to be treated as a person.

I know Spem won't be worth making unless it's close to perfect and that's part of why I'm publicizing it even though it's not usable yet. I'll need advice and feedback to make this the best language it can be.

By the way, 'Spem' is a name I came up with a long time ago that meant "Supreme Protagonists' Efficient Medium". Renaming it is on the table.

General design philosophy

Obviously these goals clash often and it's not always clear how to prioritizing them, but I tried to list them in order of descending importance.

Broad concrete choices

Adjectives before or after nouns?

Although I don't plan to grammatically distinguish the two I think we should still have a custom for it. If there's a custom then whether the custom is followed can be used to convey additional information, such as reversing the order being used to emphasize.

I've developed the de facto standard of adjectives-first, but I'm open to having my mind changed in the comments.



This page was last modified (UTC)