Constructed / Auxiliary Languages
and...reasons for Cyberyak's present form

# Auxiliary Language # Cyberyak's Form

"I swear before God and man that I will never expand the Cyberyak language." . . . Ebtex 8/20/96

The simple meaning of the foregoing is that Cyberyak will always have just 220 words. And any improvement to the language will consist of increasing it's degree of integration, i.e. a definition may change in order to accomodate a more general term.

Also, an occupation-focused dialect of Cyberyak would be acceptable. By this I mean, trash any definitions not relevant to the medical profession, redefine, and reconstitute a 'Medical Cyberyak' for use by doctors only. [Same for physics, engineering, business, chemistry etc.]

But Standard Cyberyak remains unchanged and available to all.

It may well be that this particular language will not be accepted by all, but sooner or later some auxiliary language will become dominant. I say this because there is a genuine need for a simple, ready means of communication among those who do not speak the same language ..... on account of .... the Web ...
Particularly in Internet Relay Chat .
Imagine being able to communicate with any person of average intelligence anywhere on Earth.


With that in mind, I'm writing this file to assist and /or
encourage any would-be language creators out there.

~~~ Auxiliary Language ~~~

An auxiliary language is a bridge between two islands, say, English and Russian. It is not really a language itself. Even though it looks like one, it's function differs in that English or Russian is a 'stand alone' language while an auxiliary language (Cyberyak) cannot exist in the modern world unless 'grafted' onto the linguistic experience of the individual using it.

In other words, with Cyberyak you are sending something akin to a compressed file which the receiver decompresses into his own understanding. You feed the recipient sparse data and he 'fills in the blanks' based on his own knowledge of language (which hopefully is like your knowledge).

An excellent example of this process is E-mail. Here you send compressed data and the recipient fills in the blanks. What !?
Yes, even though you are sending to another person who speaks the same language, your data is necessarily compressed because you can't send voice inflections, body language, volume control, etc. by e-mail. The inevitable result is that your intentions (mostly emotions) are misunderstood.
Written language is inadequate in many instances for the transmission of data. What we propose to do with an auxiliary language is to make matters even worse.

But that's OK.

Our goal is to get the mostest for the leastest.
To create something both usable and, regrettably, inadequate.


The Earth doesn't need another full scale language or even a medium size one.
The fact that the world needs a little, ... tiny ... language seems not to be the goal of most language creators, who end up with Empire State Building scroll lengths in their documentation. And when a possible user sees it, he rejects the idea of investing his time on a lengthy project.

The first user scared off by complication is the death knell for any new aux-language

The successful auxiliary language will be very brief.
I personally feel that I'm pushing the outside of the envelope in terms of total number of words (220). I would much prefer to get down to 100. But that's super hard, if not impossible.

[Based on my experience in constructing this language, I have formed the hypothesis that the minimum number of words necessary to "get along" approximates the square root of the total number of words in the general lexicon , i.e. 200 x 200 = 40,000. As you can see by examining MicroYak (no longer available- Ebtx 4/98), 50 x 50 = 2500 is not really enough. Apparently, there is a 'file compression limit'. A possible reason for this is that we're defining language efficiency as equal to (concept coverage) divided by (learning time). Obviously, the shortest learning time would be 1 word but you couldn't say much (although many 'low-grade' people get an awful lot across with the mutha' f--kah' dialect which is logically equivalent to a simple caveman "ugh" grunt with multiple voice inflection/definitions). And if you had 5,000 words you could say plenty but it would take forever to learn.]

And . . . the successful aux-lang will have few rules. They're useless anyway for our purposes. We're depending on the end users understanding of his own language and that it is fundamentally the same as ours (after all, we're all humans living on the same planet , looking out at the same universe).


The Form of Cyberyak

I have read that language has limitations. The limitations are in the observations of men.

Words are only the way we 'flap our yaps' to make noises which designate the concepts we have mutually identified in our world.

An individual cannot , in principle , be limited by his language. Rather, his range of expression is extended by it. He is free to live up to the limit of its meanings or "add another word" when he discovers something useful. If a being is incapable of discovering another concept (for which a new word is needed) , he is also incapable of living up to language limits which are, of course, right next to such discovery. A "limitation" (if you wish to call it that) can only be the present boundary of our codified observations and applies only to a small number of individuals at the forefront of cultural developement, never to the rank-and-file.

The longer civilization exists the more words in our vocabulary. And as the world has a hierarchical structure so too does language which simply mirrors it.
In Cyberyak I seek the words at the top of our current language structure (those that subsume others). These are the most useful and, generally, often used words.
We'll just slap 'em together to get the basic point across and . . . let the chips fall where they may.

Cyberyak consists of 220 one syllable words (108 single consonant followed by vowel, 108 double consonant with vowel ending, three verbs and a question). I didn't intend this from the start. It just happened that these were all the syllables which in my judgement were easiest to speak and most resistant to slurring. A few more could be added (I won't) and a few could be subtracted. If you decide to create a new language you will be using roughly the same set of syllables because there really aren't that many sounds we can make as humans which are really distinct. We make a lot of combinations of the foregoing instead.

I wanted these units to fit together easily. So what I have is a string of magnets that stick together N-S-N-S-N-S, etc.
To break up this monotony I added some consonant suffixes to indicate common designations. These could have been handled by reserving a syllable for each but I think this is preferable. (But not a lot of them...and only those which don't cause confusion with the beginnings of other words and will support a plural-z.)

I gave the verb forms as prefixes beginning with a short 'e' so that verbs would stand out easily ... as well as another monotony breaker. The consonants used here (m,n,l) cannot be followed by another consonant in the same syllable so no confusion can result when they are affixed to the front of a word, all of which begin with consonants.
The same is true for 'ev' (suffix meaning 'a possession of...').
"Er" (the question indicator - ?) is also meant to 'stand out'.

Some words are prefixes that change a word into :
It's opposite (po-) ; It's mated principle (te-) ; or it's negation (naa-)
You will use these repeatedly as they greatly extend the usability of Cyberyak.

The Future of CyberYak

Cyberyak will probably languish on the Net. ; )
In which case there is --no-- future.
It also might just "catch on". (A totally unpredictable event)
If it does,
  • User input would greatly assist in refining the language to maximize its usability. This could be accomplished by examining a "Yak Log" to see what words are used most. Then, change the definitions of those least used to reflect the most common user request for a new word.
  • Translation into other languages would be critical to worldwide acceptance of any auxiliary language (a very remote possibility).
  • I would especially like to be able to communicate with Japanese and Chinese on an equal footing (somehow, someway, someday).

Postscript

Creating a new language is more art than science. Even though there are many technical requirements to consider, these are "swamped" by the magnitude of optional devices and personal preferences which can be discovered and utilized. One language may differ from another incredibly and yet still perform the same basic function of communication.
My design is an attempt at the simplest, most easily learned language ever devised. Whether I have in any way succeeded is a matter best decided by the "responsible anarchy" of the Internet.

That's about all there is to it..............Ebtex


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