Thoya, the philosopher's conlang

UPDATE: I've archived this project, because I realized it's impossible for 1 philosopher to design a good language for general-purpose human communication. To really achieve its goals, this project would have to be undertaken by a team of linguists and philosophers with diverse experience and constant real-world testing. I leave here my attempt at the project for public viewing and inspiration.

The phenome and alphabet

Dictionary search

The goal is that you should be able to learn the language mostly just by reading the dictionary, but a few concepts get dedicated articles:

Passive and reflexive verbs

Multiple predicates

The tense system

Linking clauses


Demonstrative- and quantifier-type compounds

Degree modifiers

Articles that aren't strictly about learning the language:

Design insight: the tradeoffs of parts of speech

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

So, here are the reasons why the world needs this so badly, and why Esperanto or others won't do.

Philosophical accuracy

The language you speak has an enormous impact on the way you think, and likewise the language a society speaks has an enormous impact on its culture. I'd go as far as to say *most* prevalent harmful ideas can be traced to our languages suggesting them (note that most of these points apply to most or all natural languages):


The other moral values

Emotion philosophy

Esperanto doesn't address most of these problems.

Ease of learning

It would be a massive benefit if children learned to communicate faster. One reason is that they could learn other things and mature faster, but a more important one is that sophisticated communication is important leverage for being treated as a person. Hence children and animals being the two most oppressed groups.

General design philosophy

Another example is causation. English says "I made X do Y", but Thoya says "I caused that X do Y". Thoya's grammar is more intuitive and flexible - sometimes in English when the make-verb construction doesn't seem to cut it we say something like "I made it so ..." which sounds a little awkward. Thoya's grammar works everywhere.

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

Basically there are "entity words" or descriptors in Thoya that just pile together to describe an entity. The entity has whatever traits the descriptors specify.

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.

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