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Compendium of Ideas
of the World Language Process Colloquium
for the
Regularization of English Syntax
as of July 15, 1999
Latest Changes in Red

Introduction:

The way this compendium works is that forum members submit ideas and discussion to the moderator.

  • On the first following update the ideas and comments are added in RED.
  • On the second subsequent update, the material is edited, and changed to BLUE.
  • That material being considered for deletion will be marked in GREEN.
  • On the third subsequent update the material is changed to BLACK.
  • To join the Colloquium so as to receive the inter-discussion of other members and to submit suggestions and comments for addition to this Compendium, email:

    language@webpal.org

    Because I am not as conversant, as the rest of you, with the technical terms for describing English grammar I hope that everyone will provide a simple example of what they are saying. Also, anyone who is willing to take over the editing of the Compendium, will be most welcomed.

    The stage that we are at, at the moment, is to try to list all the possible syntactical reforms that we can suggest for English.

  • Those suggestions, that we are considering to try to implement in the ITL (Intermediate Teaching Language) Angel are preceded by the word (ANJeL) in red.
  • Those suggestions that have strong recommendation or consensus for inclusion in a reformed English syntax are preceded by the word (REFORM) in blue.
  • The remaining ideas are simply present to indicate that they have been presented and have been or are being considered.
  • Three subjects have been added to this compendium:

  • The ranking of the order in which syntactical forms should be taught. (Category 17)
  • Discussion regarding the selection of words to be taught in an ITL. (Category 18)
  • A list of Links that are beneficial to developing and understanding our cause. Contributions to this category will be appreciated. (Category # to be designated)
  • Table of Contents
    (Suggestions for- the additions of categories,
    or the combining of categories
    will be very much appreciated)

    Category 1. Plurals.

      Category 1a. Definition of the Problem with Plurals.

      Category 1b. Suggestions for Regularization of Plurals.

        Category 1b1. Consistently use an "s".

        Category 1b2. Consistently use a "z".

        Category 1b3. Create a new word for each plural (possibly) from some other language.

        Category 1b4. Consistently use an additional particle "ZEE".

        Category 1b5. Consistently use "-en" or "-(schwa symbol)n".

      Category 1c. Suggestion for the Elimination of Plurals.

    Category 2. Articles.

      Category 2a. Definition of the Problem with Articles.

      Category 2b. Regularization of Articles

      Category 2c. Elimination of Articles

    Category 3 has been deleted

    Category 4. Possessives

      Category 4a. Definition of the Problem of Possessives.

      Category 4b. Alternate Proposals for Possessive

      Category 4c. Elimination of the Apostrophe

    Category 5 has been deleted

    Category 6. Adverbs

      Category 6a. Definition of the Problem of Adverbs.

      Category 6b. Alternate Proposals for Adverbs

    Category 7. Superlatives.

      Category 7a. Definition of the problem of Superlatives.

      Category 7b. The use of er to indicate degree and est to to indicate maximum

      Category 7c. The use of more to indicate degree and most to indicate maximum

    Category 8. Adjectives

      Category 8a. The problem with Adjectives.

      Category 8b. Alternate proposals for Adjectives

    Category 9. Regularization of personal pronouns

      Category 9a. The Problems with Personal Pronouns

      Category 9b. Use of "sheet" for third person indiscriminate

      Category 9c. Elimination of the repeated pronoun

      Category 9d. Examples of some other suggested remedies

      Category 9e. Current Angel Inclinations

    Category 10.Verb Variations

      Category 10a. Past Tense Problems

      Category 10b. A separate word to denote the past tense

      Category 10c. Elimination of the verb alteration for third person singular.

      Category 10d. Elimination of the past tense

      Category 10e. Other advantages to verb regularization

    Category 11. Courtesies

    Category 12 has been deleted

    Category 13 has been deleted

    Category 14. Regularisation of Grammar

      Category 14a. According to the word-order principle

      Category 14b. Elimination of the accusative

      Category 14c. Simplification of end phrase interrogative

    Category 15 has been deleted

    Category 16 has been deleted

    Category 17. The order in which syntactical forms should be taught.

    Category 18. Reduction of word meanings in the elemental list.

    Category 19. A regularized number system

    Category 20. Philosophical Discussion


    Category 1. Plurals.

    Category 1a. Definition of the Problem with Plurals.

    The use of plurals provides additional information, ie. that there is more than one. A few languages are much more specific in that they use specific nouns and verbs to indicate specific numbers up to four. However, there are numbers of languages that do not indicate plurality at all. In this, English is inconsistent, and therein lies the problem, since the goal of regularization is to make English consistent, therefore regular.

    In English we oftentimes add an "s" to a word to make it plural. Therefore cat and cats. However, very often, the "s" is given a "z" sound. Thus, dog becomes dogs, but in a phonetic system this would be written dogz. This means that plurals would sometimes be presented with an "s" and sometimes with a "z". Nor is even this the extent of the problem because the plural is sometimes represented by es, such as in beach and beaches, or more correctly, phonetically, beach and beachez.

    Nor does the above conclude the problem. For a number of words, there is a special word for the plural form. As an example, for man and mouse, we have men and mice. On the other hand there are words that have no plural. Such as sheep, elk, moose, and others. While these examples involve animals, there is no rule limiting it to animals, and no consistency about applying it to animals.

    To summarize the five examples:

  • cat - cats
  • dog - dogz
  • beach - beachez
  • mouse - mice
  • sheep - sheep

    Perhaps we can answer this question by considering some English nouns that are invariant whether singular or plural: "deer, moose, elk, sheep, grouse, woodcock, salmon, cod". It is notable that these animals are all normally regarded as game or food.

    [] Consistent with lack of a plural in othr nouns tht ar comnly referd to in terms of quantity rathr than number, e.g. grain, butter, wool, tar -- their plurals usually refer to 'varieties of...'

      [Antony] Exactly so: "a bundle of wool" vs "a bundle of wools"; but if we abolish the plural affix we obviously cannot say "a bundle of varieties of wool" - and "a bundle of variety of wool" is not quite the same thing, is it?

      [Doug] ....I've scant knowledge of (other) Eastern languages -- I suspect the normal practice is to let context indicate number / plurality, as in English "six deer"....

      [Antony] You've probably more knowledge than I have. The most I've picked up is that many languages - including Chinese, Japanese and pidgins / creoles - do not normally employ plurals.

      I can see how people cope quite well without a noun plural in traditional cultures: "I have five cow" - the meaning is normally clear enough: a cow is usually just a cow.

      But in modern society, with its diversification, standardisation and mass production, the statement is more likely to require elaboration. I might well have a mixture of breeds.

      Well, how about "I have five computer"? This statement definitely need qualification. Are the computers the same, or different?

      I suggest we regularize the plural on the basis of current usage. For example, if a storeman orders "ten oil" we know he means "ten (identical units of) oil", but we understand an aromatherapist with "ten oils" to have "ten (different) oils".

      The numeral is a quantifier; the plural is a diversifier. I think it might be an advance if we could say "I have five cow" or "I have five cows" - the difference between the statements being understood.

        [Doug, May 3] The question arises then: What is a regular plural? The suffix '-(')z' has points favoring it abuv '-(e)s':

        1. Iz comnly so writn in advertizing matr, e.g. 'Beanz meanz Heinz', my neihbrhood handiman servis 'Fixzit', as in other words with 's' as writn standard, e.g. a lubricant 'Ezy-Glide'.

        2. Reflects actual sound after all wordz except folowing th soundz ov € f,
        € th (unvoist, tho some speakerz turn it to 'dh' before sufixt -s, analogous to change ov 'f' to 'v' sound in pluralz ov calf, hoof, leaf &s.),
        € k, € p.

        2. Cd b replaced by 's' where so sounded, just as we replace the word 'a' by 'an' where adjoining sounds require it; but even if -(')z were made constant fr the plural sufix morfeme it wd automaticaly b red az 's' az it iz in 'Ritz, Fritz'.

        3. It wil hasten th redundancy and so the removal of a second 's' in wurfdz tht uze it only t dstinguish them from wurdz with 's' sufix sounded 'z' e.g. 'needles(s).

        It's noteworthy tht most French pluralz sound exzactly th same as their singulars, perhaps a major reazon fr the wider use ov th definit articl (which indicates plurality) in French

      [Robert] Oriental (and otder) languages kan individualise, e.g. "horse, a horse; man, a man". "A group of horse, a group of dog" etc. is not so strange.

    Now let us contrast some concrete nouns which take either the singular or the plural form in the plural number: "lion\lions, tiger\tigers, elephant\elephants, partridge\partridges, horse\horses, grass\grasses, ivy\ivies, mistletoe\mistletoes". In each case the first is game, cannon-fodder, food or a parasite, and the second is a collection of individuals, whether in appearance, temperament or species.

    [] -- i.e. they are countable (how meny) rather than quantifiable (how much).

    It occurs to me that Eastern culture derogates plurals for the same reason it tends to believe that "the protruding nail should be hammered down". Western culture may tend towards excessive anthropomorphism and sentimentality but it would nevertheless probably resist referring to a group of dogs, cats or horses as "dog", "cat" or "horse".

    [] Judging only by Melanesian Pidgin English (Pisin) -- I've scant knowledge of (other) eastern languages -- I suspect the normal practice is to let context indicate number/ plurality, as in English "six deer". There are Pisin plural pronouns but (as with English 'you') these are not all obligatory if context suffices. The occasionally needed plural particle corresponds to the plural third person pronoun (ol). English resorts to an equivalent at times with 'you all' (dialectal 'y'all'), 'you lot/ mob' etc. I favorf 'lot' in general. Some ('subcultural'0 Australians use 'youse' as a plural.

    Category 1b. Suggestions for Regularization of Plurals.

      Category 1b1. Consistently use an "s".

      Then sheep becomes sheeps.
      However in a phonemic system it is difficult, if not impossible, to prononounce fish as fishs. We seem to wish to say fishez.

      Category 1b2. Consistently use a "z".

      Then sheep becomes sheepz.
      However, this too seems strained, in a phonemic system, when we try to pronounce cats as catz.

      Category 1b3. Create a new word for each plural (possibly) from some other language.

      This would greatly expand the language and make it more complicated for anyone to learn. Every new noun would have to be created in two forms, sigular and plural.

      Category 1b4. Consistently use an additional particle "ZEE".

      1. cat - catZEE
      2. dog - dogZEE
      3. beach - beachZEE
      4. mouse - mouseZEE
      5. sheep - sheepZEE

      This appears to be a very workable solution. It means that the ITL learner has to learn only one additional rule. The format may be slightly grating (it will certainly be distinctive) to Traditional English listeners.

    >[Robert] ...better (I think) would be "-ze": "cat-ze, dog-ze, beach-ze, >mouse-ze, sheep-ze". Native speakers could pronounce "catz, dogz, beach'z, >mouse'z, sheeps".

    [] There ar 3 spoken regular pluralz in English: s, 'z, z (using ' for schwa):

      [] 1. -s only suffixt to final voiceless consonant sound of € f (tho singular -fs is often replaced by 'irregular' plural -vz az in calves, hooves),
      € k, € p, € t or
      € th (tho -ths is sometimes replaced by 'irregular' -dhz sound e.g. in oaths, sheaths, and some 'substandard' speakers revert to -'z e.g. for paths)

      [] 2. -'z suffixt to other voiceless sibilant (s,sh e.g. asses,ashes) and z, zh sounds (e.g. phases, edges).

      [] 3. -z elsewhere (sofas, rays, ploughs, ebbs, abodes, ears, crows &s.)

      [] This sujests tht 'z or ez wd be mor lojicl than ze. If we recomend abreviatd formz fr comn wurdz (to unstrest = t , do = d, be = b , for = fr ) this particle/sufix cd bcum just z t suit mor peopl. It wd create new homofonez, not just th posesiv sufix mentiond blow (Ted's hat) bt unstrest as/ az (good z gold) and voiced 's v cloqial speech (Ted's here -- Tedz here or Ted z here)).

      Category 1b5. Consistently use "-en" or "-(schwa symbol)n".

      Possibly worth discussing - a reversion to the original Teutonic form still found in German and in "oxen, men, child(r)en". That would allow the genitive/possessive to have the monopoly on "-z".

      [] I prefer use ov -n as comn in coloqial English fr 'individual' e.g. young'n, good'n. It cn regularize -((er)m)an, -ian, -eon, -ent, -(e)ant, -ar/er/or/ress/rix, -one fr 'agent' suffixz ov e.g. fisher(man), musician, surgeon, correspondent, sergeant, appellant, pedlar, cobbler, actor, actress, aviatrix, everyone.

    Category 1c. Suggestion for the Elimination of Plurals.

    Plurals might also be eliminated, and since one consideration is that of simplification of the syntax in a way that permits one in an ITL to more easily learn the language this could be the easiest solution.

    It would be one less rule for the learner to learn and it might be less grating to hear, for those used to Traditional English. As an example:

      a. There is a sheep in the road.
      b. There are sheep in the road.
      c. Sheep in road.
      d. Look out for the sheep.
      e. Look out for sheep.
      f. Look out for car.

    [Robert] Tde Chinese du not regularli indikate plural: haw du tdei deal with tdi problem illustrated "Look out for cars"? (Tdere is much tu bi learned from China de grammar.)

    In cases a and b there is the additional complication of making the verb agree with the singularity or plurality of the noun. If a passenger were issuing a warning to a driver, case c would be equally effective.

    In cases d and e, does it really make any difference whether there is more than one sheep or not? As in case f wouldn't make any difference to warn a child about to cross the street to look out for one or more than one car.

    In cases where number IS important one could say:

      "Look out for both car."
      "Look out for two car."
      "Look out for many car."
      "Look out for some car."
      "Look out for all car."

    What interplay there might be between an ITL and an IAL in this regards, is a different matter. If an ITL were widely used, it might effect current practice in the IAL. On the other hand, if the IAL maintains a strong historical relationship to Traditional English, then all the rules and exceptions listed at the outset of this category, would remain, and would remain to be assimilated by anyone making the transition to Traditional English.

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    Category 2. Articles.

    Category 2a. Definition of the Problem with Articles.

    Articles (a, an, the, this, that, etc) are part of the glue words of the English language. There are definite and indefinite articles. There is little distinction between
    "Bring me any dog" and "Bring me a dog"
    and these may even be understood as being the same as "Bring me one dog",
    but "Bring me the dog" means a specific dog.
    "This dog" can also be distinguished from "That dog",
    as well as can "These" from "Those", (a subject of plurals)
    so the article provides a very useful purpose.

    Category 2b. Regularization of Articles

    One of the inconsistencies of articles in English is that between the use of "a" and "an". "A dog" and "an apple" still mean one of each. The rule simply being to precede those words which begin with a vowel by the use of "an" rather than "a" so that two vowels will not be adjacent. This may have some phonemic merit but it does make one more rule for the new learner, and this may be unnecessary at the outset.

    [Robert] "Since artikles are kynds of adjektives riplace "a/an" bi (i) and "the" bi (thi) (sii proposal in Categori 8b)".

    [] Indef. art. in most languages is (for French, German &s.) an extant or (for English) eroded form of the numeral one . This alredy gainz a sufixt -i sound in 'any' & if chanjed to i wd lose its conexion w th articl (no weeping fr that, since most users probaly learn it as a separat entity), bt I se som valu in keeping a link btween th abuv -n, -'n, -one suffixz wth th articl pronounst normally one ov 4 way: like a(n) in sofa, ape, organ or began. Mor t th point, I think most v us 'feel' an identity of th articl with the alternativ expression 'one' so ofn rzortd to by newcomerz t our languaj. "may I by wun apl?" &such.

    [] 'The' iz a diferent proposition. It haz 2 standard pronunciationz, th'/ thee, larjli (like thoze v a(n)) dpendent on hwethr th next sound aftr it iz a vowel. I think th lojicl (and in th long term, i.e. hwen current/ sE spelingz no longr inhibit rform, the eziest) option iz t hav 2 spelingz (th('), thi/the) az in sE fr a(n) .

    Category 2c. Elimination of Articles

    Articles are eliminated in many Pidgins as well as in a number of languages like Russian and Latin.
    "Bring me dog", would possibly be more meaningful in context of the moment, than in some literary sense. Indeed, since Pidgins are generally spoken, rather than written, this may be a consideration for the formation of an ITL.

    Since articles are not present in many languages, it is perhaps best to leave them out of the ITL as it involves teaching an unfamiliar concept. Indeed this may be a principle for Pidginizing a number of matters of syntax in the ITL.

    [Robert] "Major languages such as Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Malay and Russian du not emploi articles (a fact which might aply to tdi majoriti of languages)."

    [Antony] Against this might be set the possibility that the predominance of English as a world language is connected with the fact that it employs articles. There is no question but that English-speakers love to use articles. Frequency Analysis of top words in English (Johansson & Hofland 1989): "the 68315, of 35716, and 27856, to 26760, a 22744, in 21108, that 11188, is 10978, etc. etc." - "the" is by far the most popular word in English, and "a" is fifth on the list.

    [] Th label 'definite' aplied t this articl 'indicates' tht it z an 'indicative'/ definitiv adjectiv like that/ this, ov wich it z historicli n eroded form, az in most European languajz and I think Arabic. It's populr bcauz it indicates € tht th next wurd/ fraze z nounal, &/or th preseding wurd/ fraze z not part v it;
    € tht th foloing noun z identifiable az distinct from such entitiz in jenral and iz
    € a uniqe individual/ item, dstinct from th same expression with indef. art. -- a mor clearly indicativ adjectiv function, beyond a mere partitioning or 'particle article'..

      [Robert] Tdi korekt uce of articles is diffikult for non-native speakers of Engli.

      [Antony] I suggest that "1" and the indefinite article be merged. "A, two, three"?

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    Category 4. Possessives

    Category 4a. Definition of the Problem of Possessives.

    Possession in Traditional English is indicated in writing by use of an apostrophe. Audibly, however, the word sounds just like a plural. For example, when we speak of "cars" (plural) or a "car's window" in both instances, "cars" sounds the same. The distinction is based upon context.

    Category 4b. Alternate Proposals for Possessive

    In some languages and pidgins, possession is shown simply by juxtaposition of words. Therefore "John's book" is simply "John Book".

    Another alternate proposal is to use some sort of verbal marker. For example, "Book John de" where de sort of stands for "of" and the meaning would be "The book of John". The "de" would, however, always follow the possessor. This technique of the following modifier would parallel its use in some other examples.

    [Robert] "Empti" word "de" is taken from Chinese, where tdi word order bi "John de book"; ratder tdan "John book de".

    [] This z a postpozition az distinct from a preposition. Som prepositions cn b postpositions in sE e.g. 'Clues to the contrary NOTWITHSTANDING, this z hwat I bcame aware OF'.

    Category 4c. Elimination of the Apostrophe

    Because the apostrophe is not pronounced it does not belong in a phonemic system. One could continue to use the "s" sound for possession, without conflict with plurals, if one were to use some other marker for plurals such as the ZEE sound which has been mentioned above. However, there would still remain an inconsistency in the use of s or z such as in "The cat's box" and "In the dog'z box".

    [me] If "-en" were used for plurals, and "-z" exclusively for the genitive/possessive, then the apostrophe might be dropped. As a long-term aim, words ending "-en" in the singular and "-s" or "-z" in the nominative might be replaced by alternatives from other languages. This would not be unprecedented: for instance, tens if not hundreds of verbs denoting repetitive action "handle, swivel, ladle, feel, amble, mangle etc." end in /l/.

    [] I'm al fr adopting (hav recmended in IngLingo) -l but rathr as an abbreviation of TOOL (/ INSTRUMENT) than as a sign of repetitiveness, e.g. handl pedal swivel swizzle toggle ladle label bottle kettle shovel mangle gavel level chisel medal model castle needle throttle cradle saddle/settle table trestle wistle axle &s. (possibly fable, riddle?). Admittedly it also functions as an indicator of repetitiveness but perhaps less frequently e.g. amble, waddle, wiggle, waggle, wriggle, battle, dabble, gabble, gobble, double/treble/triple &s., dribble, dapple, quibble, rubble, tipple, (possibly addle grovel cuddle fuddle huddle muddle settle?); fiddle, rattle and grapple seem to have both senses or either; riddle, runnel, fabl, offal, maple, apple, petal, sepal, nettle and others seem to fit neither. I don't see great strength in the case for a possessive form. French (except for some pronouns) and others dispensed with it long ago. Pidgins use a particle e.g. Pisin: hat blong mi = my hat. Several substandard English speakers make no spoken distinction between the objective case pronoun and possessive pronoun in some cases (me hat) and sE in some cases (her hat). If there ar eny examplz v importing a foreign wurd to improv regularity I can't think v one, and I'm inclined to think it unlikely to catch on for several generations.

    [Robert] Use of the Chinese "empti" word "de" would eliminate the apostrophe: "The man I saw yesterday's daughter" = "The man I saw yesterday de daughter".

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    Category 6. Adverbs

    Category 6a. Definition of the Problem of Adverbs.

    Adverbs are sometimes called the dustbin of the parts of speech. Many times we think of creating an adverb by adding "ly" to an adjective, such as "likely", "darkly" and so forth. However, in Traditional English grammar the words "tomorrow, very, no, however, when, not, just, the" have all been classified as adverbs. "The" in "The more the merrier."

    The words in the latter example have not become an adverb by adding ly to an adjective. Moreover, there is an additional problem of inconsistency. Adjectives ending in "y" have the "y" changed to "i" before the adding of "ly" to make them an adverb (happy - happily).

    While it may not be important for a language learner to know the names of the various parts of grammar, still the more rules that there are for them to learn or patterns for them to assimulate, the harder it will be to learn the language, and this difficulty reduces their confidence and retards their progress. Therefore it is our desire to make the rules as few and as consistent as possible.

    Category 6b. Alternate Proposals for Adverbs

    One suggestion has been that the "de" proposed earlier for the possessive would work equally well in creating what are now "ly" adverbs.

    e.g. "rapidly rising tide" ~
    "rapidly rising tide" ~ ("rapid rise de tide")
    although it might be almost as clear and certainly more simple just to say
    "It is rapid rise tide".

    It appears to be largely a function of word order.
    "It appears to be large function of word order",
    would seem to mean something different in that this sentence would seem to imply that one of the main functions of word order is create the effect of adverbs.

    This whole subject is something that I do not have a grasp of, as yet.

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    Category 7. Superlatives.

    Category 7a. Definition of the problem of Superlatives.

    This being a relative world, much that we try to communicate has to do with the matter of degree. (no, not, non, none, one, couple, few, some, many, much, more, most, full, all). The greater difficulty still, comes when we try to apply many of these, which are often abstract terms in themselves, to concepts that are abstract (such as truth, love, and beauty).

    In order to modify words in terms of degree we often use prefixes and suffixes. However, the problem is that there is no consistent form for doing this. This subject may really need to be more generalized under the heading of morphology which is said to be the study of how words are structured.

    Category 7b. The use of er to indicate degree and est to to indicate maximum

    We can see, by looking at the prefixes and suffixes, how they have developed from other words. No, not, non, none, are all related. None, and non, appear as contractions of "not one" or "no one". Words that are used as prefixes often start out in a hyphenated form. (Non-sense thus becomes nonsense and non-liquid can become nonliquid). Since, in a phonetic representation of speech, the hyphen is not pronounced, it is not necessary.

    In similar manner the words more and most may have become postfixes.

      More as "er" and most as "est".
      More great is therefore greater.
      Most great is therefore greatest.
      More small is therefore smaller.
      Most small is therefore smallest.

    While this presents some difficulty with some words
    More little becoming littler is grating to some ears,
    but it is correct and applies to size,
    whereas more less becomes lesser
    and applies to quantity.

    How far one may want or be willing to go with establishing a fixed rule may get into philosophical issues. Some terms may be considered superlatives within themselves. Therefore some persons would not accept the expressions gooder, goodest, or badder, baddest, or virginer, virginest. While philosophically one may have difficulty with such terms there is no gramatical reason why they should not be acceptable.

    Category 7c. The use of more to indicate degree and most to indicate maximum

    Whatever one's philosophical concerns about the application of superlatives to certain abstract concepts it may be that the simplest solution in a pidgin is to simply eliminate the use of prefixes and suffixes and to use the full word itself. This approach also eliminates a conflict with another use of "er". We add the "er" sound to words to indicate someone or something that performs an action. (Baker, Waterer, Carrier).

    Within an ITL pidgin, we could perhaps take further this principle of eliminating suffixes. In Traditional English the postfix "ness" is add to words to denote the presence of a "quality" (Highness, Goodness, Darkness). In idealist philosophy this can apply not only to abstract qualities but to concrete objects itself. Socrates would have argued for "chairness", that quality which distinquishes a chair from a stool, seat, sofa, table, or other object.

    There may be still others. Full for example. Beautiful is that which is full of beauty and awful was something that originally meant that it was full of awe or caused awe. There are still others, (-ous, -ose, -oid, ish, -y, (or ie), -ize, -like, -shaped, -ly, -fashion). Just how far we might want to go with this principle in an ITL pidgin, in either formalizing their use, or eliminating them, is a subject that should be examined. Many, many words have an etymological history as being the combination of concepts. Some-thing, any-thing, no-thing, and many others could possibly be reduced back to their original meanings.

    That we might try to simplify an ITL by selecting a single syntactical method from among many in an extended language does not mean that an extended IAL could not have for variety a greater number of acceptable syntactical structures. These might be used for variety as well as might be numbers of synonyms.

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    Category 8. Adjectives

    Category 8a. The problems with Adjectives

    One of the curiosities of English is that many words can be used in different grammarical forms. The same word may be used as a noun, verb or adjective. For example. One may sit in a chair when they chair a meeting. And we may refer to a particular type of seat as a chair seat.

    This free form of construction is very different from those languages which require that nouns, verbs and adjectives all agree, in tense and other syntactical endings including perhaps even gender. One wonders then, if proposals specify adjectival endings is not a step back from this advantage of English.

    On the other hand there has been the suggestion that all adjectives should end in some one form (-i -ic -ig -al -ive -ing) instead of the listed variety since all sometimes have the sense of 'involved in the action/state of' whatever the word stem refers to.

    Category 8b. Alternate Proposals for Adjectives

    There are also opposite proposals for adjective endings to indicate different meanings:

      o'pi (=open), o'po (=public, frankovert, obvious, 'transparent';
      chairopi seat - an open chair like seat. A park chair or bench could be a chairopi seat.

      shuti = enclosing (shutting);
      chairshuti seat - an enclosed chair like seat. A chair in a steam cabinet could be a chairshuti seat.

      shuto = private, secret(ive), seclusive, exclusive, covert (closed);
      chairshuto seat - a hidden chair like seat. A chair in a confessional could be a chairshuto seat.

      waido = general, widespred, non-specific (wide);
      chairwaido seat - an indefinite chair like situation. A long divided bench like sometimes found in an airport could be a chairwaido seat.

      narro(id) = special, restricted;
      chairnarro seat - a special seat. The chair in a court witness box could be a chairnarro seat. Also that occupied by the judge.

      airni = ferri-, ferric -- trivalent iron compound prefix or adjective;
      chairairni seat - an iron seat. The unpadded seat in a fighter plane, or some oranmental iron lawn furniture could be a chairairni seat.

      raoni = circular, spherical, globoid;
      chairaoni seat - a spherical seat - A hanging basket type of seat could be a chairaoni seat.

      raono = roundish, surrounding, (a)round, encompassing, re, spheroidal,
      chairaono seat - a round seat. The cirular seat sometimes found in a hotel lobby or surrounding a fountain might be a charaono seat.

    These few examples are but part of what could be a very long list. It is said that the Eskimos have over a hundred words for snow, but we are talking about something more generalized than specific words. We are talking about specific endings that can be added to any adjective (that is to any word being used as an adjective) in order to add to that adjective some generalized concept.

    While an approach of this sort could be developed, possibly better over time, in a very advanced language, even if, or especially if, that language were an IAL, it seems questionable that a very elaborate approach of this sort should be used in an ITL.

    There may also be a need to distinguish adjectives referring to completed, and potential/projected action, as distinct from -i, -o which in general relate to continuing/ocassional action. These could be standardized as follows:

    'tense-/aspect-/mood-related' adjectival endings for the completed as
    -t (burnt, lurnt, spelt, ment etc.)

    'tense-/aspect-/mood-related' adjectival endings for continuing
    -bl (i'tbl = edible, du'bl = doable/agendum, hapbl = possible, solbl = soluble, etc.)

    [Robert] "<-i> commonly indicates adjectives in Slavic languages" (Ruby Olive Foulk might have been on to something [me])

    Ameri(can), Australi(an), Engli(sh), (H)indi(an), Irani(an), Iraqi, Iri(sh), Israeli, Maori, Russi(an), Turki(sh) {turki-fowl}. Since articles are a kind of adjective: the ~ thi, a/an ~ i.

    [] Wun coment on my use v -i az th main adj. ending (usuali = -y, -ic(al), -ive) in IngLingo wz: It is too short - how about -ic or -ish? Az I propose an alternativ -o (usuali = -ous, -ose, -oid, -some, -like, -shaped) with a slightly diferent emfasis (aftr wurd stem ending -e/i; or tu emfasize adverbial rathr than adj. function; or especially t diferentiate somthing a bit mor abstract/ metaphorical, e.g. fiti = fitting/ suitable; fito = fit, sound, helthy; feri = ferric, fero = ferrous; ringi = ringing, surrounding; ringo = ring-like, ring-shaped, cycloid.) I'm inclined to opt fr options, e.g. -i(c), -o(id).

      [Antony] I'm presently inclined to think that Doug is on the right lines here. There are a limited number of suffixes that can be used universally without wrecking the concept of orthographic regularity, and "-i" and "-o" are among them (cf. the "-ed" and "-s" inflections in English - as in "talked, banned, landed, cats, dogs, foxes").

      Where a word is used exclusively as an adjective, e.g. "hot, bold", it shouldn't take an affix because there is no need to differentiate its use in different word classes (cf. "hand, to hand, handy, handily")

      It's right that adjectives and adverbs should take the suffixes because, where a word falls into different classes or parts of speech, it is the adjectives and adverbs that qualify the nouns and verbs (respectively) and not vice-versa.

      It's always possible to distinguish the noun from the verb, whether by context, word order, noun or pronoun number or case, or the use of verb auxiliary/inflection.

      I think Esperanto went astray here. The word class or part of speech should serve the word, not vice-versa.

        [Doug May 3] I agree

      Half-baked, definitely, and the claim that "hot" and bold" are used exclusively as adjectives is absurd: "hotly, boldly, boldness" etc..

      However, I'm not yet convinced that it's all nonsense. It doesn't seem to be necessary to differentiate the noun from the verb by means of a suffix. Nouns derived through adjectives don't seem to be used as verbs; verbs derived through adverbs don't appear to be used as nouns. I mean the same word + suffix. Could someone put me right on this?

      Esperanto puts a suffix on all the main word classes, but what is the problem with using bare word-roots, where one can get away with them? Perhaps descriptive suffixes might develop on or in word-roots in the absence of grammatical suffixes - as in many words ending in /l/.

      All this might be of marginal relevance to an ITM strategy, but is central to an IAL strategy. Response(s) welcomed - however negative!

    I understand that some languages don't bother with nouns and adjectives: they use pronouns, verbs and adverbs, e.g. "it houses whitely" ("a white house"). How about that?

      Not greatly difrent from English and Chineze bcauz 1. all thingz ar also events or processez. An atom is a dance of electrons and liable to change if electromagnetic waves or subatomic particles collide or combine chemicaly with it.

      2. We use the same word as noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition without ambiguity if context is clear, e.g. round ballz ar uzed in a round ov golf round a course and a winner may treat hiz opponent or a round dozen of the playerz t a round ov drinks when they finish going round.

      3. Meny languajz uze adjectivz az adverbz, including English at timez: the VERY day I saw you I took very ill (from French adjectiv vrai=true, not vraiment=truly). He runs FAST. Less standard expresion: I felt proper/ real proud.

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    Category 9. Personal pronouns

    Category 9a. The Problems with Personal Pronouns

    Traditional English has a number of irregularities in regards to personal pronouns and their relationship to verbs. One of the marks of English education is how well one has mastered the exceptions to what would otherwise appear logical. Children, foreigners, and the poorly educated often make the mistake of using logic in their constructs of syntax. This sometimes is seen as humourous in the speech of children, but in the case of foreigners it often subjects them to ridicule and an inclination to classify them with the ignorant.

    An example would have been the southern black mammy of some decades past who would have said, "He is going to town, she is going to town, and I is going to town". Syntactically, such a construct follows completely logically, and it is not only symptomatic of the problem but a model for one of the recommended types of solutions.

    Another obvious shortcoming of English pronouns is that they do not include a neutral or inclusive word for he/she. One must must use a clumbersome circumlocution such as "he or she" or "the person".

    In the following subcategories we will present some of the suggested remedies one by one.

    Category 9b. Use of "sheet" for indiscriminate sexual definition

    The word "sheet" is a combination of she, he, it and in Angel it would be written sET. The words he, she, and it would continue to be used. sET would be used in only in those cases which are indiscriminate. If the Angel ITL were to contain no plurals then sET would also replace the present indiscriminate they. (Only by context in present Traditional English can one know whether "they" is men, women, a combination thereof, or some combination of more than one it). On the other hand, if Angel were to adopt the ZEE form for plurals then they would be replaced by sETZE.

      [Robert] "She - he - it" is ingenious but I don't like it. Too long to start with (Zipf's Law).

    Category 9c. Elimination of the repeated pronoun

    A second problem with Traditional English is that it inconsistently uses a repeated pronoun. The pidgin, "I go town" is expanded to "I am going to town", by adding "am", modifing "go" to a gerund and supplementing it with "to". 'Am' is an irregular form of 'be' which has its own gerund form of "being" and in the past tense becomes been.

    The elimination of the "be" verb could reduce more indefinite syntactical expressions in the following manner:

      I will be walking. (I will walk)
      I may be walking. (I may walk)
      I have been walking. (I did walk)
      I should be walking. (I should walk)
      I could be walking. (I could walk)

      Further verb reduction would come by the removal of the further supplementary "to":

        I will be walking to town. (I will walk town)
        I may be walking to town. (I may walk town)
        I have been walking to town. (I did walk town)
        I should be walking to town. (I should walk town)
        I could be to walking. (I could walk town)

      As in Traditional English, additional verbage can be added to sentences for clarification or emphasis. Where needed or desired one could add to, from, in, about, and other terms.

    [Robert] Regularisation of personal pronouns: "myself ~ me self ~ self" etc. has been lost. Could it be restored?

    [Antony] Shouldn't the current contents of 9c be in 10?

    Category 9d. Examples of some other suggested remedies

    There follow examples of some alternate suggested remedies. If they have not been fairly presented here, or the presentation can be improved, please inform me.

    Active (Robert)

    1st person
    2nd person
    3rd person

    Singular

    We ( I )
    ye (you)
    the (he\she\it)

    Plural

    wem (we)
    yem (you)
    them (they)

    Possessive (Robert)

    1st person
    2nd person
    3rd person

    Singular

    We de (my)
    ye de (your)
    the de (his\her\its)

    Plural

    wem de (our)
    yem de (your)
    them de (their)

    * "the" rather than "they" *

    Doug
    1st person
    2nd person
    3rd person
    Singular

    I/me we/us
    you
    he/him she/her they/them
    (s)he/h-er/-im/it/the-y/-m

    Plural


    mi
    'u, yu'mi, 'u lot
    herm, em
    em, it



    [Robert] cf. Chinese (Putonghua)

    wo de (my) women de (our)
    ni de (your) nimen de (your)
    ta de (his/her/its) tamen de (their)

    Category 9e. Current Angel Inclinations

    Traditional English:
    (I, We, You (Sing./Plural) want to walk.
    (He, She, It) wants to walk

      Proposed Angel:
      (Me, We, You, You all, He, She, Sheet) want walk.

      Or possibly even (Me, MeZee, You, YouZee, Sheet, SheetZee)
      The thing that I notice here is that the proposed modications
      are two syllables whereas the traditional was one.
      SheetZee would replace 'they', 'them' and 'those'

    Traditional English:
    I walk or I (will, do, should, can, may) walk

      Proposed Angel:
      Me (will, do, did, should, can, may) walk (time - place)
        (time - now, everyday, always, seldom, sometime, before, at night, in morning, yesterday, etc)
        (place- to work, in park, on street)

    Traditional English:
    (My, Our, Your (Sing./Plural) apple.
    (His, Hers, Its, Their) apple

      Proposed Angel:
      (Me, We, You, You all, Sheet, SheetZee) apple.

    If the ZEE convention for plurals were to be adopted then the plural "you all" would be "youzee".

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    Category 10. Verb Variations

    Category 10a. Past Tense Problems

    In Traditional English, past tense is dealt with in several ways. Oftentimes by adding "ed" which, however, is often pronounced as a 't' such as in "I walked". Sometimes, the past tense is actually spelled with a "t" such as "I sleep", "I slept". Some verbs have an entirely different form for the past tenses such as "I eat", "I ate", "I have eaten", and one could also use the extended phrase, "I did eat".

    This variety and inconsistency of rules is of course confusing to the learner.

    Category 10b. A separate word to denote the past tense:

    Ogden suggested "he did cut". This is an emphatic tense.
    "He has cut" is closer to the aorist.
    However, the names don't really matter:

    "he cut" ~
    "he has cut" or
    "he did cut", if the latter is closer to the meaning.

    There may be some historical or etymological justification for this approach. One can see how the 'did' could be looked upon as having been simply transferred to the end of the phrase. "I sleep did", "I walk did", and then shortened to "I walkdid or walkid or walked".

    Thus, there could also be a logical pidginic approach to the past tense by simply adding the full past tense expression to the phrase. Therefore, "I walk did", "I sleep did", and so forth.

    Indeed this appears to be the approach of some other languages. Some languages, such as Chinese, place the tense at the end of the action.
    He dived\dove in the water. ~ He dive in the water, la.
    It snuck\sneaked by. ~ It sneak by, la. (a Chinese type)

    One of the great advantages of the Chinese "empty" words "ma, la, de": would be a reduced dictionary, because this would eliminate the additional forms of verbs. It is also pointed out that this eliminates the homonyms "ate/eight" and "one/won".

    "He ate lunch"=

      "He eat did lunch"

    "He won the race"=
      He win did race

    Again it should be noted that oftentimes the solutions suggested for regularizing syntax actually makes it longer. There may be at work here some inverse variant of Zipf's Law, as applied to syntax that says since custom and hence rules, worked in the past to simplify expressions, that to regularize them we must often lenghten them. There is probably no real advantage in changing the word order, so we would then be back to Ogden's suggestion.

    In Traditional English, for some verbs, we can only separate the present tense from the past tense by the context.
    "What do you do in the factory?"
    "I cut the wood."
    "Who cut the wood?"
    "I cut the wood."

    While one can say, "I did cut the wood", there is no "I cutted the wood".

    Category 10c. Elimination of the verb alteration for third person singular.

    Some of the verb variation could be reduced by just eliminating the alteration for the third person singular.

    In Traditional English, "I eat" becomes "He, She, It eats"
    but could be reduced to:

      "I, He, She, It eat".

    Category 10d. Elimination of the past tense

    One recommend solution is the elimination of the past tense altogether but this seems to too drastically reduce meaning.

    Category 10e. Other advantages to verb regularization

    By removing or regularizing verb variants
    we will also regularize some adverbs, nouns and adjectives.
    For example where eat, ate, eaten
    presently has associated with it "edible"
    this could become "eat, did eat, eatable".

    Traditional English changes the sound (and sometimes the spelling) of nouns
    sheath, bre(a)th, cloth
    to verbs sheathe, breathe, clothe

    These could be regularized by simply using the noun pronunciation, but in actuality there are probably many verbs with etymological roots in nouns for which we no longer see a clear association. The use of phonetic spellings further distorts these apparant relationships, so how far one might wish to go down a path of regularization in this regard, is problematical, as this latter word itself demonstrates.

    Verb variants also affect the spelling of
    grammatical variants ending in "-ly" and "-y"

    The substitution of tenses by variable auxiliary\auxiliaries + an invariant verb-stem might render their traditional names more or less irrelevant. As the number of actual and potential auxiliaries is large, so is the number of tenses.

    Chapter 13 of LANGO - also refers to the creole usage of serial verbs, e.g. "she go try find it, he start run escape", rather than the infinitive - and to the negation of verbs using "no", e.g. "He no work today.".

    the participle\gerund "-ing" suffix is already eliminated in sentences such as "The man was at work (working) in the garden".

    "As wel as saying "at", Irish uses "in". This, i.e. "in", is invariable in Welsh. From English: in flower (flowering); in song (singing); in flight (fleeing or flying); in doubt (doubting). The 'nakk wil bi tu kriate more noun-verbs, e.g. "He was in entry thru the door." ~ "He was entering thru the door."

    As a result of parallel usage the phrase and the participle are very often not quite equivalent, but it does show that the auxiliary\auxiliaries + invariant verb-stem model might become universal.

    the kind of expression used by non-native speakers, e.g. "If it will be that...."

      "talking" ~ "at talk" (cf. the Irish preposition "ag") also the English "on" = "about" ~ the Dutch "om", which is used in the same way as the German "um" and the Welsh "am"

      "He will be talking on China."
      "He will be ag talk om China."

      "He was talking on China."
      "He ag talk om China, la."

    [Robert] Doug misses the point of "I am walk". "Am" is intended as an indicator of the continuous tense, i.e. "am" is equivalent to "ag, at, in". "I am/ag/at/in walk" = "I am walking". It is just a matter of which turns out to be the most euphonic. Also, Somerset dialect is not "he be" but "er be", where "er" = "he" or "she".

    [Antony] "Er" sounds like a better alternative to "sheet". (see 9b)

    [Robert] I prefer "I sing" to "I be sing" for the simple present and "I be sing" to "I will sing" for the future (i.e. as in B.E.V.), Doug's preferences being "I be sing" and "I will sing".

      [Doug May 3]. I would omit the 'be' or 'wil' or 'did' (or 'am') when the tense (and/or aspect/ continuity) iz clear from context: I (usually) sing here yesterday/ today/ tomorrow/ often

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    Category 11. Courtesies

    The use of courtesies, while not essential, change the tone and to some extent the meaning of communication. Some languages involve courtesies to a much greater extent than does English. All verb expressions in some languages are determined by courtesies. The way the verb is used can change between male and female, young and old, blood relationship, age, and other denominations of cultural rank.

    The main courtesies in English are 'please' and 'thank you' with some usage in respect to titles. While it may not be absolutely necessary to teach courtesies in the first level of an ITL they should have some priority.

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    Category 14. Regularisation of Grammar

    Category 14a. According to the word-order principle

    In Traditional English, meaning is affected by word order.

    Traditional English generally uses a SVO (subject - verb - object) word order.
    HOWEVER it can use any order:

      SVO - the boy saw the man
      OVS - Jones I invited - not Smith
      VSO - govern thou my song (Milton)
      SOV - pensive poets painful vigils keep (Pope)
      OSV - strange fits of passion have I known (Woodsworth)
        (and also the Jedi Master Yoda)

    It is probably best in an ITL to restrict the syntax to SVO.

    Category 14b. Elimination of the Accusative

    Madhukar notes: "English is free of liaison and many odd features. That does not mean English is quite logical. (cat kills rat) changes meaning if word sequence is altered to (rat kills cat). But Marathi inflection- postposition is helpful there. laa = accusative. Using English words, cat kills ratlaa.

    Now interchange words. ratlaa kills cat, kills cat ratlaa, etc. The meaning is not altered.

    Everingham responds: "I prefer word order to accusative suffixes which correspond in English only to accusative forms me, us, her, him which are irregular and abandoned in most natural interlanguages, e.g. Melanesian pidgin has mi = I/me, mipela/yumi = we/us, em = he/him/she/her/it, ol = they/them."

    [Robert] English muved on from such inflections 1000 years ago - word order preferred.

    Category 14c. Simplification of end phrase interrogative

    Antony says, " We know that the interrogative end-phrases, used in English to turn statements into questions, are unnecessarily complex - not to mention the difficulty for learners. Other languages have proven that a single invariant phrase, or word, is sufficient.

    For example, where English has "won't I? can't you? don't we? aren't they? etc. etc.",
    French makes do with "n'est-ce pas?"
    and Esperanto has the interrogative marker "Cu" at the beginning of the sentence

    Robert proposes the use of the Chinese interrogative marker "ma", e.g.

      "You're Robert, ma?"
      Cf. Canadian "You Robert, éh?"
      Nice one, eh?
      Or, how about "eh", eh?

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    Category 18. Reduction of word meanings in the elemental list.

    While meaning is affected by word order it is also affected by word usage itself. In their important book on the subject,
    The Meaning of Meaning (1923)
    C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards
    listed 16 different meanings of the word 'mean/meaning'
    some of which were:

      John means to write. (intends)
      A green light means go. (indicates)
      Health means everything. (has importance)
      His look was full of meaning. (special import)
      What is the meaning of life. (point, purpose)
      What does 'capitalist' mean to you. (convey)
      What does 'cornea' mean. (refer to in the world)

    To this we could add many other meanings of mean

      What is the mean temperature. (A measurement of average)
      He is a mean boss. (unpleasant)
      What does the boss mean? (want to communicate)

    The purpose of language is to communicate meaning.
    But there are various levels of meaning.
    Perhaps because of what Noam Chomsky refers to as
    "surface" and "deep" levels of grammatical structure.

    The mark of intelligence,
    particularly in reading poetry, imaginative literature, scripture and so forth,
    is to be able to see deep meaning.
    In fact, we can almost say that
    this is the way that language marks progression in life.

    Still, in the development of an ITL our thrust needs to be in the other direction. That of limiting the possibilities of meaning. This same standard has other applications also. In contract language and in scientific technological explanation. At the other end of the scale, in pure scientific research, there may need to be freer coinage of meaning in order to develop new ideas. But, as these are brought back down to technological application, then the words need to be more closely defined.

    One interesting concept would be that of the development of Speed Words. The idea is to reduce the basic ITL word to the least number of phonemes. The purpose for doing this is many fold:

      That it makes less for the learner to learn.
      That it makes less for the learner to write.
      That shorter words add to rapidity of thought.
      That shorter words add to rapidity of speech.
      That it is more economical for printed materials.

    The above does not begin to exhaust the list of Speed Word benefits, but it gives one the general idea. Such an idea might be more suited to a new IAL, and an associated ITL, than to an ITL that has as its target Traditional English because the speakers of Traditional English would not know the ITL vocabulary when they heard it, although the change could be minimized by judicious use of existing Traditional English root words. Although presently impractical this is still an interesting idea and we might say that it takes Zipf's law to the extreme.

    Some proposals for speed words have advocated increasing the number of phonemes to 100, thus allowing for more 1 and 2 phoneme words. However, the trend in Traditional English (at least in North America) has been towards phoneme reduction, which is itself further language simplification. With the 39 phonemes of Angel it is possible to present 684 one and two phoneme words. This should be sufficient for an ITL.

    A close relation to speed words is speed writing. Historically, lower case letters were themselves developed for cursive writing. Today, with the disappearance of penmanship, the predominance of keyboards, and the trend towards word processor speech recognition, and the presence of minaturized voice recorders, how critical this may continue to be, is as yet undetermined.

    Further discussion on Elementalization

    (Madhukar) For instance, changing chairman to chairperson; changing term "Christian" name to "first" name or "personal" name, when thousands of non-Christians accepted English language.

    Theze ar trendz also in Australia but old usajz hav not disapeard here and there may b lots ov uthr cultural quirks slower t chanje, e.g. humankind for mankind where it is not contrsted with womankind.

    [Robert] British English uses "first name" and "family name" ratder tdan "Christian name" and "surname", also "chair", "chairperson", "madam chairman".

    [Antony] Madhukar raised the important question of ambiguous words in his email of 26 April. The mass of exact synonyms is probably an even greater problem. Which word to choose? It's not always obvious.

    [Doug May 3] Hogben tackled this problem -- I did a précis:

    ESSENTIAL WORLD ENGLISH [ewE]

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    Category 19. A regularized number system

      0 zero

      1 one
      2 duo
      3 three
      4 quatro
      5 five
      6 six
      7 seven
      8 octo
      9 nine
      10 ten
      11 ten one
      12 ten duo
      13 ten three
      14 ten quatro
      15 ten five
      16 ten six
      17 ten seven
      18 ten octo
      19 ten nine
      20 duo ten
      21 duo ten one
      22 duo ten duo
      ------
      29 duo ten nine
      30 three ten
      ------
      40 quatro ten -----
      50 five ten
      -----
      100 one hundred
      111 one hundred ten one
      121 one hundred duo ten duo

    The logic behind this is:

      a. it eliminates the words with
      competition for double meaning such as
      to, for, and ate

    It is a more logical organization of numbers

      ten and one instead of eleven
      ten and two instead of twelve

    The teens are probably a transposition of this system anyway

      fourteen is four and and ten
      but still illogical
      compared to the expression
      in the twenties, thirties and so forth.

    There has been one suggetstion that
    "seven" ~ "sem"
    (because it is so often so pronounced in the U.S. and Britain - and because of Slavic forms)."

    Also it has been suggested that Spanish numbers could be adopted in their entirity.

    [DE: IngLing compromises for now with 'wun tu thri for faiv siks sevn e't nain ten/te hunrt ki'lo mion/meg mu maikro'. 'te' = -teen/-ty thus ten = wun te, 11 = (wun) te wun, 13= (wun) te thri, 20= tu te. I'm concerned here to preserve terms compatible with the International Communications Alphabet (alfa braavo charli delta eko fokstrot golf ho'tel indya ju'lyet ki'lo li'ma maik nvembr oskr ppa qbek ro'myo syera tango 'un'form viktr wiski xre yangki zu'lu) and numbers used in traffic control radio using the international language prescribed, English. I have tried with no success so far to track down on the internet a publication outlining Seaspeak, which I understand was an attempt to compile a simplified core vocabulary/ phrase book etc. for such purposes. Can eny ov 'u direct me to such a source please? -- DE]

    [Robert] Tde niw Welsh numbering system:

      un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech, saith, wyth, naw, deg undegun, undegdau, undegtri, undegpedwar, undegpump, undegchwech, undegsaith, undegwyth, undegnau, dauddeg, dauddegun, dauddegdau etc.

      earlier, 11 = un-ar-ddeg, 12 = deuddeg, 13 = tri-ar-ddeg, 14 = pedwar-ar-ddeg, 15 = pymtheg, 16 = chwech-ar-ddeg, 17 = saith-ar-ddeg, 18 = dau-naw, 19 = naw-ar-ddeg, 20 = ugain, 21 = un-ar-hugain etc.

    If Welsh cn do it, Inglish can. One ov my teacherz deliberately pronounst th 'ty' suffix for 20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90 as in 'tying' t avoid cnfuzion with '-teen'. Foloing th Welsh exampl we'd rplase th -teen with 'wunten-' prefix, but both -teen and -ty are derivativz ov 'ten' and on Zipf's principle we ouht t uze th shortest unambiguus form which may be 'ti' [(wun)tiwun = 11, tuwtiwun = 21, forti= 40, &s.]

    Research in the U.S. shows tdat tde proposed new arangement (based on oriental systems) has advantageous inplikations for impruving standards of numeraci. (Sugestion about Spanish numbers - at bottom of p.16 - was not intended as a serious proposal.)

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    Category 20. Philosophical Discussion

    For years, I have referred to this subject as Rationalization, but Antony has now chosen what is undoubtedly the better term of Regularization. (Roz now informs me that I picked up the term "rationalization" from Ogden, but that she agrees that Antony's term is better.)

    Everingham says that it is his hope, "that among us some consensus may arise, as in the drafting of international treaties/conventions in multinational forums. They often start with a small drafting group, then add inside square brackets the amendments moved by individual nations but not supported by all. The next stage tries to change the form of words till brackets are removed or included in optional protocols that some signatories will endorse. Language change is by nature piecemeal and erratic, often with several new coinages vying for general acceptance for a new concept or categorization till one or a few dominate.

      (Bruce replies) I would be happy for Doug or anyone else,
      to take over the effort of maintaining this compendium
      and I feel sure that there are others who can do it much better than I.

      However, my format at the moment,
      is to revise, and re-revise,
      each of categories
      both as to title and content
      as each of you give me suggestions that I can assimilate.

      I feel that it would be too akward, clumbersome and bulky,
      to try to retain each of the comments and counter comments.
      Consequently, the Compendium is a dynamic work.

      If some comment, or concept,
      falls out of the compendium
      you simply need to restate it
      and PLEASE tell me WHICH category to put it under
      and I will try to re-insert it.

      I will PARTICULARY appreciate any help in refinement of the categories.

    So, what is it that we are trying to do?

    We are trying to simplify English as to its syntax.

    Robert requests a call for papers on the optimum phonemic inventory

    Bruce replies:

      In the development of Angel, we have now passed beyond the subject of phonemic inventory. I recognize the philosophy of those who would like to see a system that permitted the representation of up to fifty some + sounds, and it may well be that some future IAL committee will wish to consider and implement such a philosophy, but for Angel we have passed beyond that point and have created a phonemic word list of over 40,000 words based upon 39 sounds.

      However, as regards the matter of symbols, we have also provided the tools to any researchers to represent that word list in any ASCII compatible system that they wish, along with a Translation program that will translate present English Text files into their symbolism.

      This particular Compendium is mainly limited to the discussion of Regularization. Another time and another place will need to be more fully devoted to Elementalization. While Phonetics/Phonemics are a subject near and dear to the hearts of many who are participating in this forum, however, there are other times and places for that subject and it should not be a central part of this discussion.

    [DE: I wonder have you seen Rondthaler & Lias "Dictionary of simplified American spelling - An ALTERNATIVE spelling for English"

      (Bruce replies) Drs. Rondthaler and Lias have been most generous in their assistance in the development of Angel. In the early years I fear that I bothered Dr. Rondthaler, by phone, rather incessantly. Dr. Lias has more than once provided me with copies of the sound speller. I do not know that I ever had the source code but perhaps someday we can embody the principles in a real time translator of Angel. Drs. Rondthaler and Lias did provide me with machine readable copies of their "Dictionary of simplified American spelling - An ALTERNATIVE spelling for English" and extensive usage was made of it, as well as of the Carnegie Mellon Institute Phonetic Spelling Word List, in Developing the Angel Phonetic Word list.

    What is our reason for considering Regularization?

    a. To make English easier to learn by adults

    b. To create a more logical and comprehensible Pidgin

    How would it be used?

    In two ways:

      a. As an ITL (Intermediate Teaching Language) for teaching English.

      This is controversial in that some pedagogs would say that one should teach the "correct" formulations from the beginning.

      They would say that, while the learner may simplify syntax in logical ways they should only hear the correct formulations. And that learning the "wrong" way is simply learning formulations that must then be unlearned.

      Still, there must be some intellectual effort in trying to comprehend in what ways the "correct" formulations differ from logical formulations.

      Beyond the ITP one would then teach the exceptions to the logical formulations and the learner could then learn all the present "correct" formulations.

      If the ITP is sufficiently logical and consistent, and designed for the pedagogical purpose of being a path towards the exceptions of Traditional English then it could be easier to understand and learn the exceptions.

      b. As a proposal for an IAL (International Auxiliary Language).

      In this regards ALL ideas for Regularization should be listed and considered but we may implement MOSTLY those ideas which are compatible with category A immediately above. The question remaining, how useful a Pidgin would be as an ITL.

      Still we may decide to implement some radical items. If the IAL was accepted then its forms might come to be accepted as "correct" forms, even in Traditional English and could be further supplemented by other new "correct" formulations by whatever body authorizes the IAL.

      The relationship that might exist between any English based IAL (if some English based IAL were accepted as such) and the present full Traditonal English language is another subject. There would then be, as there are now, more or less formal styles and levels of writing. So nothing that radical is being proposed in that regard.

    FURTHER DISCUSSION on the usefulness of a Pidgin.

    (Antony) "this woman child" is ambiguous. The Internet is about as far as one can get from the normal pidgin\creole environment whose visual\tactile\sensual immediacy practically dispenses with the need for grammar. There is an inverse relationship between grammar and context (which is why, as it seems to me, there needs to be a continuum between simple and complex grammar).

    (Bruce) This matter of continuity between the simple and the complex will certainly be a major issue when we go to make any selections for the ITL.

    (Bruce) It may also be a matter of what I understand Noam Chomsky to mean by surface meanings versus deep meanings of language

    (Antony) we should concentrate on those aspects of grammar that directly affect the operation of a rationalised orthography - or, in other words, where the principles of grammatical and orthographical regularity are in conflict. Prominent among these are verb inflections (particularly "-ed", "-t" and "-s" suffixes on the verb-stem).

    (Bruce) this is a point well taken, and one of the prime motivators behind the present activity.

    (Antony) Actually I am more doubtful than ever about the universal applicability of pidgin/creole usages. They certainly work in real-time situations where the context itself provides the meaning, but reduced grammar tends to be ambiguous at second-hand - hence the circumlocution characteristic of reports in pidgins/creoles.

    A particular source of potential ambiguity in pidgins/creoles is the lack of differentiation between word classes (parts of speech). Esperanto goes to the other extreme - universally defining a word as noun, pronoun or correlative, verb, adjective, adverb or preposition/conjunction/interjection according to the affix.

    English takes a half-way house: many words are invariant whether used as noun, adjective or verb (and sometimes adverb and/or preposition too), but most are exclusive to a particular word class. Examples of the former are "head, arm, dog, right". So far as I know there are hundreds if not thousands of invariants covering three or four word classes, and a few e.g. "under" in at least five (someone might like to correct me here). Examples of the latter (the "exclusives") are "gratitude, bold, survive".

    (Doug Everingham). A pidgin-like simplification of sE which would provide ? a 'core' vocabulary of under 2000 word, based on English but following Zipf's principles of least effort, i.e. pursuing the natural trend of language development by broadening the senses of simple words, simplifying forms of frequently recurring concepts, and finding simple compound terms to increase precision when necessary to offset a broadening range of meanings of a simple term.

  • a restricted range of affixes and grammar rules,
  • flexible transfer of core terms from one part of speech to another
  • logical and simple substitutes for abstruse idioms peculiar to English
  • an indication of gradations to the above two sE simplification projects suggesting an order of preference and possible evolution for each listed word.
  • This is the sort of thing I've been pursuing under the current term 'IngLingo' with invaluable suggestions from some other reform planners.

      (Bruce) Rather than using the expression sE in this Compendium, the convention here will be to change it to Traditional English. The reason is that we are working towards the goal of an IAL that would become the STANDARD, while present sE would then become the historical, traditional, or classical English. It is too early and presumptious to use the phrase 'historical' and the term 'classical' is already used in other contexts, hence the selection of 'Traditional'.

    [Robert] Learning vocabulary is a major task for tdose trying tu akkuire a niw language. We shuod siik tu develop an internacional lexicon of most wideli akceptable words, e.g. soldier ~ soldat, editor ~ redactor, sailor ~ matrose; also place names, Macedonia ~ Makedonia, Russia ~ Rossia, (as per UNGEGN - "UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names"). Words like "soldat, redactor, matrose" may not have much resonance for spiakers of non-European languages, but tde numbers of people spiaking European languages is vast, and many of tdese words have biin adopted intu non-European languages where kountries were eitder kolonies, e.g. Indonesia, or influenced, e.g. Japan. Also, European languages have taken root in the Third World, e.g. Latin America.

    [Doug May 3] I like the UNGEGN sjestion -- newz t me -- bt not sure tht e.g. 'matrose' iz mor widely understood thn 'sailor' or some mor basic term like perhaps 'ship worker'.

    [Robert] I suggest "interlingua" rather than "pidgin". Learner's language ~ interlingua ~ Traditional English. (There will obviously bi things tu bi learned from pidgins which kan bi aplied tu tde interlingua.

    [Doug May3] Interlanguaj iz a jeneric term fr pidginz, creolez and other brijing tungz perhaps including patois, bt 'Interlingua' iz alredy in use fr tuw cnstructd interlanguajz, earlier (originaly called 'Latino sine flexione') by Peano of Turin, 1903, later (and perhaps still currently) the system adopted in 1951 after 26 years of research to compile the most copmmon European word roots by New York's Internatiopnal Auxiliary Language Association, compiled by Dr Alexander Gode and co-workers. [See Dr M. Monnedrot-Dumaine's 'Précis d'Interlinguistique Générale et Spéciale,published 1960 by Librairie Maloine, Société anonyme dÉditions Médicales et Scientifiques, 27, Rue de l'École-de-Médecine, Paris] IALA published thru Storm Publishers, New York an Interlingua-English dictionary, 1951, (480 pp.) and Grammar (1951, 2nd edition copyrighted by Science Srvice, Inc., 1955, 128 pp.). Several international journals on spectroscopy were published in Interlingua, and a handful of medical journals included précis of each article in Interlingua. Alfandari's 'Neo" (1965) is one of the best improved systems based on Esperanto, Ido Interlingua-IALA and de Wahl's Interlingue.

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