19

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 are uttered in, clarified either by prior knowledge, non-linguistic communication (body language, pointing, etc), or through follow up questions from the ...


10

My idea on that would be very close to what you suggested yourself: introducing suffixes / prefixes which would indicate the uncertainty of the word. For instance, let's suppose that your word for "strong" is hariq, your word for "I sit down" is brumo and your word for "house" is niptug, and the word for "in" or "inside" would be bomp.* Now I would invent ...


6

Culture shows up in languages by a few routes: Specialized jargon. They might have a lot of specialized words for "carefulness". Láadan is just a bunch of specialized jargon, imho. Metaphysical obsessions. In most languages, we have to care about these issues like when it happened and the gender of the speakers and we have to care about it in every ...


5

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 transcription of formal logic (see footnote 2). Ithkuil at ithkuil.net is like the two above but is as compact as possible, allowing to read, write, say, and hear ...


5

There is a general trade-off between two aspects of any encoding or language: redundancy versus information density. If you have an information-dense language, that means there won't be much redundancy (as every symbol has a distinct meaning). This makes for efficient communication in perfect conditions, but as soon as there is any noise (in the widest sense ...


5

Answering this question is tricky. As you obtain higher and higher levels of information density, you have to sacrifice some naturalism or some simplicity in order to get there. Marking the point where you've sacrificed too much naturalism or simplicity to be learnable is a judgment call. Short answer: Possibly guaspi, but it's obscure. One famous example ...


5

Make expressing something uncertain less concise Let's say that, by "default" in the languge, all verbs are completely certain. For example, let's say your word for car is chicho, your word for red is hoeng, and your word for is is sherr[1]. Now the sentence chicho sherr hoeng translates as the car is red, but it carries more certainty than it would in ...


4

To use your example from Japanese: ika-se-rare-ta-kuna-katta Yes, all one word. A word of 10 syllables, 6 morphenes. What, precisely, is the advantage over "didn't want to be made to go" (8 syllables, and 8 morphenes)? It only works if you decide that "word" is the most basic unit to measure against, but "word" can be a very ...


4

Apart from the already mentioned evidentiality, you could look at modality. This expresses a speaker's attitude using a variety of aspects, such as obligation, possibility, probability, etc. The exact set depends on the language and the linguistic framework you are using. You could have a default modality of 'optionality', so the sentence I am going to the ...


3

What you wrote made me think of a method called nonviolent communication, which argues for expressing yourself very clearly and straightforwardly with regards to your emotions and needs in order to be understood. It recommends phrasing things in such a way as to always be objectively true. That boils down to expressing observations without judgment (e.g. "...


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