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New aspects of language using a language is so much a part of our everyday lives that we do not realize just how complex an activity it is. Styx is the science responsible for investigating this activity we take so much for granted. During this series some of the tools and methods used by linguists to study the complexities of language will be demonstrated. The series is prepared and narrated by Dr GERD Frankel an associate professor of English and Linguistics at George Peabody college for teachers. The subject for today's program is linguistics. He didn't you know who you were going to see it. Don't you think. Gud gud. You'll regret a bit needy and who is your brother if he had one who would not get a bee tree you know would he not. Please don't ignore the pick call the we
know it's keeping the truth it known do good when did you scream in Sydney the roost for you know what I think it must get to the baby being well run to cure him not sure Does that mean. Sure understood that but that's quite another language I've ever heard before is that I don't know what is it. Well it sounds like the Lord's Prayer but I don't know what I want you to know. Well it's one of these constructed languages. One of the I'm going to talk about today constructed language constructed language as one of these manmade languages for international communication. In fact the name she just heard was you know look by the way you know luck is one of the more interesting language just because the man who invented it as an Australian and happens to have introduced into his work cavalry all kinds of words taken from various languages he knows and which occurred in the Far East. Pity I don't think we got it this
time but for instance has numbers taken from Japanese So he has been trying to be international. Well let's say some general words about that and see how we can put it into a general frame of course as a linguists. I'm not only interested in language analysis and neither are other linguists only interested in language analysis but also in language synthesis as this would mean that the language has some interest in what we may call language engineering language engineering is a general term which may have many meanings. For instance one may think of information and bits. The units of information. Now it must be said that this is a mathematical problem rather than an Westlake one even though it deals with the question how one makes words more intelligible when there is noise in the channel. For instance the telephone when we
all those thing on the other hand of language academies which are trying to engineer languages most often lives academies are trying to arrest the development of languages because for some reason they believe that a fact that a certain form is historically attested makes it more prestigious. One may gain thing when talking about language engineering about people who invent constructed languages for international communication. And that is in fact what we're going to talk about today. Some people call these artificial languages some call them constructed languages. We can call them constructed languages. This is a term which is more widely accepted. There are very many of these oh my there are about 700 in existence. Obviously we shall not have the possibility to talk about all of them or to discuss and listen to them. By the way it may be mentioned just pent 30 there that not all
people who are in favor of one language for international communication necessarily mean a constructed language there by some people and among them the very well known romance philologist Mario. They advocated the adoption of a natural language as a possibility if everybody can agree on such a language. There are many problems involved which are largely of a political and social nature. They are of no interest to us today and going to going to discuss the political and social levels. Therefore in this program we are going to concentrate on the so called constructive language us not then west as from his point of view will interested in two aspects of constructive languages one be me say is the international knowledge of the language and the other one is language structure which these languages display. It will help
us when we talk about these languages to gain some insight into what lay men who very often are inventors of these languages think about language structure some professional linguists have found work in the field. However none except of the yes person the famous Danish Lang West has invented a language of his own. Yes person invented a language which is called not yacht and which is not particularly well known today. What linguists that they talk about the Internationale of the phonological level of the phonological level I tell you what that means. This is connected with the sound with the pronouns ability of the language and its sons. What these people tried to do was to establish universals of pronouns ability. The best known names in this area appear and troop escort
both worked out some kind of an international sound system. What does it mean international sound system. It means that they were trying to find sounds which are pronounced about all the people of the world. Everyone who speaks one of the three thousand languages could pronounce these sounds with ease. All of the sounds they collected and decided upon where sounds which these languages have in common. You mean there are sounds that some people can pronounce and some people can't pronounce. Well you know of course everybody can pronounce it. After some study However here the question is would it be possible to let these people learn the language easily and naturally without making too great an effort. Otherwise you would simply run into opposition. It has nothing to do let's say with their physical possibilities everyone has the same kind of speech organs after they check the number of sounds and the ones which one we just had in common. They take the distribution
which means they were trying to find out which sound sequences were more pronounceable and produce about it by most people and in which position in the world in fact some pinto bits quite came up as a very small number of sounds and event a limited distribution. It will be very difficult to construct languages on this basis as it is clear that the few sounds you have. And if you have a very restricted distribution then we would meet there is to utilize all the permissible sound sequences for words and in fact introduce many homeowners in to the language. I'll give you an example what I mean by such a statement. Let's take English as an example again. There is no such word in the language although it sounds absolutely like an English word and could be that. No if I see one man instead of one man I think you will understand all I mean as a single man and
nothing else. If the word one way existed in the language and meant something entirely different then saying one man may lead to a misunderstanding. Now if this happens you're July's all the possible sequences in the language so that the great limitation placed by as AP and true gets caught on the final two system seems not too realistic and the light of what is necessary for communication. Now not too many of the intern linguists have gone to such detail the things the linguistic studies in order to find out what the nature of the languages should be it is true though the pronouns ability has often been mentioned by inventors. But as you will be able to find out when you read some of the material it has frequently been mixed up with simplified spelling. For instance there are such statements as pronounce a later good as in German. Now what does that mean. This is a mix up of writing and
pronunciation because letters have no sound but represent sounds in accordance with what the structure of the system of the language has chosen. They represent sounds and of course you can make any letter represent any sound. So all the statements about pronunciation should be fanatical rather than comparative with other languages. But that's very very often what you find about vowels. You know what the most common ways of explaining so-called pure vowels you know well no more frequently than anything else you find the statement to be pronounced like in Italian. This means pure sound. That's what the linguists into linguists mean when they say Italian. But now there must be some criteria which people choose when they make up a language. Now fortunately I've been able to collect taped statements and takes for some 15 from some 15 living into linguists. Now we shall hear some language examples later on.
By the way having told you that there are about 700 of these next systems it is quite obvious that 15 constitute and there a very small fraction of all of the languages artificial languages in the world. It may by the way be interesting to know that there are about 3000 living languages as you probably know. People have difficulty establishing exactly what the language is but there are roughly three thousand. Now if you have 700 constructed ones and if it is true that they proliferate at a rate of about one a fortnight Well you can easily figure out how long it will take before we have more. Construct a language in the world the natural ones. I leave that to you or you can figure it out after the program. Now the question is What are the criteria. If they are not linguistic What do people choose. Wouldn't a person invent a language according to what he's used to in the language you grew up with. Well that's quite true and this is particularly true for people who do not write complete languages but just
pass the language of a specific purpose. I found that mostly in bits of artificial languages which I have collected from works of fiction where people never took the trouble to invent a whole language but wrote a sentence or two or three for a specific purpose when then they really didn't think linguistically. They simply thought in their own terms they saw it as they switched from their code to the code of the artificial language without changing the structure. Is it clear what I'm saying. Yes but I wouldn't up especially be true since most people who write artificial languages aren't linguists as you said. Yes exactly and that's exactly the point. Because of that lack of linguistic sophistication we find that many of these languages do not display any features which make them very workable. On the other hand exactly for that reason they are of interest to the language because they give insight into the workings of a man's mind and into the ideas which many people have about a language without having Ming Wisting language Surely that's a psychologist's
rather than to the language that is across some kind of an overlap between the psychological approach of the linguistic approach you're perfectly right and as you know the area of psycholinguistics treats these overlaps and both of our members of the disciplines of course interest. Oh yes no doubt about it. Now let's go back to what the criteria may be. I said there are about 700 languages we don't know what criteria people chose these 700 languages have been created within 300 years or so. That is ever since Dick Hart and the early 17th century. Yes that's about the time that long ago and resins they have been coming along. So let us now listen to what man has to say. Who invented one of these language just the name of the inventors and then some. He happens to live in California and I'm sorry and I can attack and the name of his language is that he ate an d.
Really glad I got to know every requirement for your great grandchildren. I am very eager and get your opinion and it becomes immediately apparent that one some of these criteria are linguistic. Well other than aesthetic and cultural and number two that they see nothing about the need for a specific American category. So what's the difference between number one and number two and what do you mean by grammatical categories. Alright I'll explain. Consistency seems to mean regularity. This is an often expounded thread here around. There are two possibilities to achieve regularity or consistency. I mean there one makes up an entirely artificial language with no relation to any natural town by
the way. These are called Opera Yori languages. Or number two. One regularize is a natural language and introduces various reforms to make it generally acceptable. Such languages are called a post or ignore it and I will please give some more when you explain the difference between a priori and a little bit more data as well just a minute. Let me just go on with my thoughts now compacted in a month easy of abstinence. Ease of utterance means pronounce ability as you have just explained. Now on the other hand he mentioned you funny Mr. Anderson or beauty of sun you know this is entirely a matter of taste. That's why I said as authentic rather than investing it is a foregone conclusion that that's a Hopi is Italians and I'm Gary and we'll never agree on what really is euphonic. Now. EXPRESS. Expressiveness is again a matter of culture.
Figures of speech for instance such as metaphors. And if your magics are closely tied investment to real culture and spiritual culture and both Terria which are very difficult to use for the internationalization of Anonymous in fact them what difficult and other material. It is one of the most intricate questions which confronts us. How can we conceptualize an international cavalry. What it ought to be if it is not meant just for a set next group which talks about the same kind of topic everywhere in the world such as scientists. But if it is meant to be for everybody or walk us always with a problem if a language is written by one man than rather by the whole nation or the people one of course yes certainly you mean it is even an intra nation question not only an internation question you are quite right because different people have of course different
cultural outlooks and therefore need to from now you can imagine if you want a language which can be spoken by everybody in the world about everything they ever want to say this language will have to have a cavalry which has a word for every single notion everything to a concept and everything to them which everybody in the world has in his own culture so it is very difficult now to come back to structure our own. Will you promise to talk about a priori an upper story or like OK I'll come to that and. In about a minute. The problems the so-called obligatory grammatical categories in the very intricate one in creating an international language. I mean in the structural section rather than the white characterization. I'll give you two examples of what is meant. And this really tight as in with the question of the hour up a story arc. Let's take number. English has the singular and the plural the plural is obligatory. We have to say in standard English two horses not to course the
word too of course tells us that it's more than one but the summer is marked again by the s after the word horses in Turkish is not true in Turkish. You can say to house rather than two houses. He Kiev rather than let you say three men for child and so on. Now you know not official language should clearly be made obligatory category on optional category or I think another point tends vs aspect which is one of the most intriguing in the language of the world as far as cultures are what do you mean by aspect. I'll tell you tens indicates whether an action is past present or future an aspect indicates whether an action is perfect before imperfect finished or unfinished now. Or it can be various other parts which can be considered a spectrum. For instance in Hopi where you say whether an action is taking place in your presence
or absence whether the man who is doing something is doing in a direction away from you or in a direction towards you. All of these are aspects which are not being expressed and then as now who is such a question. I'm sorry such a language to be written with the hope to be able to learn it without difficulty if it has a chance of one of the speak English to be able to learn it if it had only aspect should it have both because it wants to be international. This is the question of the so-called obligatory have it right now. I bring on languages we are often created by philosophically minded people rather than by linguists. So people who didn't consider these structural questions that thought they thought they could incorporate the best estimates sort of the dramatic and lacking structure of all languages in their language where they're doing the same thing that everybody does that by taking the best but it's only their own opinions. That's right and the question is what beauty can see the best and there is no doubt that what they considered best what was most
logical This was considered placed by them but for their logic logic is something which we must accept as being fired General for everybody. Now let's take an example. There is no logical relationship of let's say words like man and woman like king and queen or like father and mother. However if I create an artificial language and I do the following I know if you have that example from no particular language. Let's say our ball is the world for all it's the agenda of the world. All right let me stop dividing two human and non-human so we give it a subset suffix so our boss all will be human and then we have rather humans. So we give them as a suffix we call them up and then we give them an A suffix for males. So we have male royal humans so we have got to eat and then we have female royal humans so they are called a bozo gobby. Now I can do the same with parental humans
so I have a bruise or two and then I have male parental humans a bus or two to be and then I have female parental humans I was who to be. So this will be a logical language built on she logic out now to make and language entirely logical. We must know how to subdivide the universe. And one might assume that people in the 20th century don't write such languages anymore because the current concept of the universe change all the time and he can never be sure that I was that division is really correct. However this is not true. In fact not too long ago in our century a certain Dr. Russell who is an M.D. created a new language quote Summa of which we are now going to play an example. I wouldn't doubt that
karma 1 1 0 0 0 0 0. I don't know. Well. What does that one sound like. Of couse I mean like a mixture of Russian or English together. Yes and quote This is what you get very often with these languages. People give you rules for primes he ation but they of course prime numbers of their own name witness was the kind of sound hadn't which comes from their own mother tongue which in this case the thing that people simply have no model to go by. There are no 180 speakers very often the inventor is the only cat not to speak of a native speaker. You may be interested by the way to hear that Esperanto does have some native speakers that some feminists in the world possibly not too many but that some will believe that they can give a greater
impetus to or rather what. And the world if they keep that shit in this branch will be for any other language. There are some something with among them who and so it was a native speakers of Esperanto now and you will hear some of these language does sound like Italian like Spanish like German like Russian. All of these kinds of types occur on the other hand we should listen to some of the more aptly. Study up a story on the language press the upper story or languages are almost exclusively build on a romance basis if you're not like them. Well Latin of course yes Latin as the one. The one romance language which is at the base of all the E's and many of the artificially constructed languages do indeed sound like some kind of Latin. In fact some
are called simplified Latin or reformat and one is called Latinos in a flex fuel and that means without endings and so on and you will hear and the example that you're going to give you know a moment that they very much sound like Latin. It is interesting to note two things or interesting thought one that there are no Far East then or Middle East and international languages which sound like they like Arabic or like Chinese or like Japanese in fact one young man from Vietnam from Vietnam from Saigon inventors and language and 1957 which he called for whatever it is obviously a Latin word and his language sounds just as Romans based as any other. Further there's one day in which we have no example which is wall art which means world speak which is an entirely German based and the only one which is Germanic based with all the different arenas and all the complexities that Germany has and which therefore does not make it appropriate for the world's languages it was very popular just before Esperanto came about in the 1880s and one of the mysteries of into
linguistic live as that became very popular one year and disappeared the next life. Yes. Now here are some names of languages which found that and you can hear the romance angle out. I mean thick oaks do come when you eat your own money and so on. We cannot go into it. Many of the structural features but if you can listen to some more of these. In my moment of on from the board of the town in Lake County what Philly has for food safety. James for the big contributors are there no other around or you know you will comment if you're a carpenter I'm not a party to appear in their voters front ya know. Iraq Bono and John Phillips for take on things we don't normally see in Europe but from these you know of any wrong paths but to talk to Norma the other day I mean it was
me and I would like a parable there but it can be about him but I thought he would try to throw the main thing not for the Democrats if they don't go beneath the wrath they didn't usually do well he smoked Gaelic Oh Manny gradually you know am media they put I think young but exemplary meteorologically to eat and not to the feast day me daily Kyung gate contrary to what they know a snatch it out and it didn't used to freak out. I will indeed read you will come down meets pretty Cammie flew along down. And did you have a family and grow anything to bring about. Then we didn't do
it right. Got going. But wait a minute. That last one wasn't romance based of like a toy based on their wish. Yes well this was played for contrast obviously just to show you how easy sometimes these differences can be established. We cannot go into many details now it's simply impossible. However you will have noticed that the language based on English really did regularize just a very few items which were all morphological and the word formation area and not at all for instance in the most important area of language differentiation merely in the syntactic level. You will also have noticed of course that we did not discuss Esperanto nor did we discuss Interlingua both of which are among the best known languages in the world and can easily be read up and found. And I have been discussed by many many people. I want to make it clear to the world of the individual language has nothing to do with the question how are we
for or against the adoption of an international language from dealing with the point of view I mean conclusion. But there is one language which is comparatively little known. It's called When Yeah and it was invented by a Swede named who died before he could make very much use of it and spread it very fast. But it is of particular interest isn't it because it embodies some peaches. We just do not embody so be able to use the most important features of these languages but we certainly have only been able to make a very slight dent into the 700 languages an excess of popular creators sunk. You see a lot of Palm
New aspects of language
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Chicago: “New aspects of language; Interlinguistics,” 1968-09-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 11, 2022,
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