35 votes
Accepted

How can syntactic ambiguity with pronouns be avoided?

Here are three options you might want to consider: Noun classes assign each noun a class (well known examples include the gender systems of Indo-European languages, and also the more elaborate ...
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  • 3,252
29 votes

How can syntactic ambiguity with pronouns be avoided?

In addition to the options mentioned by Adarain and Jan, various reflexives and reflexive-like operations can often be of use in dealing with such situations. English already has some reflexives, ...
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  • 2,247
19 votes
Accepted

What are some reasons that constructed languages would want to have ambiguity?

If naturalness (being like a natural language) is a design goal, then a conlang can embrace ambiguity with no shame. Efficiency. Most ambiguous sentences are understood well enough in the context they ...
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  • 3,511
17 votes

Can you construct garden path sentences in Lojban?

Lojban's official formal grammar is written in YACC, which is a LALR(1) parser generator. Since this means that the parser only ever "looks ahead" a maximum distance of one token while parsing, garden ...
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  • 691
11 votes
Accepted

Should Auxlangs have metaphors?

Theoretically you can eliminate metaphor, yes, but you are working against human nature itself. Certain metaphors are exceedingly common and embedded in the very grammar of many languages (although ...
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  • 1,512
11 votes

How can syntactic ambiguity with pronouns be avoided?

In addition to Adarain’s answer, the ambiguity can also be resolved in an out-of-the-box way. For example, English can use the former or the latter in place of an inflected form of he to distinguish ...
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  • 834
7 votes

Does Lojban completely remove semantic ambiguity?

Let's take an element of Lojban's grammar, and see if it's semantically ambiguous. In lojban, tanru are basically two predicates in adposition. The first one semantically modifies the second one; and ...
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  • 70
6 votes

Should Auxlangs have metaphors?

Metaphors are based on shared cultural understanding. Here is one often quoted example of a metaphor from Shakespeare's As You Like It: All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely ...
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  • 3,331
5 votes

How can syntactic ambiguity with pronouns be avoided?

For a conlang, it seems like one other way to avoid ambiguity that I do not see noted in previous answers is to have the language enforce grammatical rules such that a pronoun must always refer to a ...
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  • 151
5 votes

List of conlangs whose goal is to minimize ambiguity

Here are the top five best-known (see footnote 1). Lojban at lojban.org is the better-known successor of Loglan. Loglan at loglan.org is based on formal logic and is to some extent not unlike a ...
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  • 1,705
4 votes
Accepted

How do you remove the confusion in a conlang when creating and distinguishing nouns, verbs, adjectives, and particles?

Fundamentally, parts of speech are lexically determined. What this means is that in general, there is no way to find the part of speech of a word knowing only the word itself. You have to memorise it ...
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  • 592
4 votes

Language with contextual-free vocabulary

Firstly, I have thought about this too before. Actually, only one word is needed for all of I, you, this, there, tomorrow, etc. You can analyse these as I, (the person I am referring to), (the thing I ...
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  • 1,705
3 votes
Accepted

How to create words which will be unambiguously parsable in a conlang?

Many languages use prosody to indicate separation between words. In English, for example, almost all words have a single primary stress in them. So when you hear another primary stress, you know there'...
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  • 531
3 votes

How to create words which will be unambiguously parsable in a conlang?

It may worth to have a closer look at Lojban. It has a lot of devices implemented to ensure that any legal stream of sounds can be uniquely parsed into words and that compound words can be uniquely ...
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3 votes

Language with contextual-free vocabulary

All human communication is context-dependent. A context-independent language would be ununderstandable (by humans, at least). My anser to this question, Can all sentences be represented logically? ...
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2 votes

How can syntactic ambiguity with pronouns be avoided?

Here are some solutions, roughly in descending order of naturalness. distance-specific determiners or inflections topic-prominence and a dedicated pronoun for referring back to the topic switch-...
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  • 1,580
1 vote
Accepted

How would I make an efficient, written, language while still providing the least ambiguity that is reasonable?

First a in this form brand new fact from natural languages: All natural languages are of approximately the same efficiency despite their quite noticeable differences (some languages are spoken at a ...
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1 vote

Should Auxlangs have metaphors?

If an auxlang did not have metaphors, it would soon acquire them if the auxlang in question were used as the world's second language. I doubt that there exists any community of sapient life forms that ...
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