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By conceptual purity, I mean it tries to avoid arbitrariness, and seeks the most default or neutral way to achieve an aim.

For example, some languages are written right to left, others left to right. The spatial arrangement may be convenient, but it seems to add more layers to the system than may be needed. If words could be represented in a form permitting nesting (circle, square), “sentences” could be arranged in a central way. With computers, instead of representing time as a spatial axis (the flow of communication from left to right), we could represent it as change, through time, exactly what it is (the forms on the screen morph in real time).

Also, “letters” can be made beautiful as well as less arbitrary - the letters of the Roman alphabet don’t have a stark resemblance to the sounds they stand for. The order of the Roman alphabet also seems arbitrary.

If something is unordered, it should be reflected that way. It would be interesting if there were a very elemental mathematical function which could generate distinct shapes, but randomly. Or, the letters should have diagrammatic coherence with mouth patterns. You could have a symbol for the part of the mouth, and the type of activity / force (labial, plosive). You could also develop this system with more precision, make the standardization of the International Phonetic Alphabet also appear arbitrary (I think). I actually don’t know, but I think there may be phonemes that are borderline between two IPA phonetic concepts. Since certain phonemes have continuously varying parameters that really define them, as well as with allowable margins of nearness for a sound to be understood as that phoneme, there should be a phonetic symbol that denotes this explicitly - the entire specification of a phoneme, the total information, in a logical diagram that is sort of like “the picture theory of language”, it actually maps to the phenomenological / ontological form of the sound phenomenon, and is not taken to stand for it by convention alone.

Or, we could use a series of dots, like die faces, or Braille, but maybe we could use principles to decide what maximal beauty could look like. How spaced should the dots be, and why? We should consult a cognitivistic theory of aesthetics. Maybe this more tempered form could at least write from top to bottom, since somehow it feels more human and natural to me than bottom to top. Maybe on a smartphone screen you could read downwards infinitely, or you could have the idea of “lines” by scrolling to the bottom whereupon the nice line ascends upwards in reverse order; you continue reading by scrolling up.

Or, of course, you could get rid of phonemes entirely.

The grammar should try to keep what we understand to be the pure functions of semantics intact rather than, again, conventionalized. I can think of more ideas later. The idea is the same: what form maps purely to the nature of logic/propositions/semantics, minimizing arbitrary representation conventions?

Which constructed language is like this?

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  • Heptapod is essentially written circularly, so that could presumably be nested (though it doesn’t seem to be in the actual movie). For non-arbitrary grapheme shapes, you could look at Tengwar, which indicate things like place and manner of articulation; but then you don’t even need to go to conlangs for that, just look at Hangul for Korean. Nov 19, 2022 at 11:57
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - Hangul is a constructed script, though.
    – Yellow Sky
    Nov 19, 2022 at 12:13
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    @YellowSky All scripts are constructed. Hangul was just constructed later than many others. Nov 19, 2022 at 12:23
  • If you get rid of phonemes, then you don't ever hafta find anybody else to speak it, which makes is less a language than a set of personal habits.
    – jlawler
    Nov 19, 2022 at 18:51

2 Answers 2

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Probably there is no conlang or conscript that implements all the mentioned levels of "purity" or beauty touched in the question.

For scripts I'd like to mention Alexander Melville Bell's visible speech that does not only have a logical order of the symbols but also symbols encoding the way the sounds are articulated.

Hangul, already mentioned in a comment by Janus Bahs Jacquet also deserves a honorable mention here.

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I'm quite fond of Rikchik. Hangul taken to the nines.

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