This week John Ericson joins us to talk about his wacky and wonderful FairyLang.
Top of Show Greeting: Russian (translation by Boris Listunov)
Featured Conlang: FairyLang
Is it possible (or does there exist) languages in which the lexicon can be automatically generated (or at least guided) by a heuristic employing a pre-existing ontological framework?
I am new to this hobby (it was your podcast that really got me interested), and am trying to design a language where the semantics and lexicon are somewhat coupled. That a person might automatically generate a word from the very meaning he wishes to convey.
For instance, I have been toying around with a language whose lexicology is based upon an infix system combined with single prefix and suffix slots. Each word can possesses two to four consonants separated by vowels. An optional vowel can come before the first consonant and also trailing the final consonant. Each vowel slot represents some feature in the language. The pre and postfixes add to it more subtle meanings.
I have worked a simple naming language like this where the consonants are chosen arbitrarily. I like where I was going with it. But it occurred to me that, if I could assign to each consonant position a meaning in a similar fashion to the vowels, then I could build a framework where at least the meaning of a word is somewhat self-evident.
I am unsure if you could reasonably do this where you necessarily get a one-to-one correspondence between specific meanings and a single word. In any case, I am curious if any conlang has attempted to build a lexicology that fuses with semantics in this way. If so, it would greatly help me figure out the most complete and least ambiguous ontological for such an endeavor.
(some resources we found for this question listed below:)
- Wiki on Oligosynthetic languages
- Lexical Semantics
- An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language
- “Language of Space”