New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

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Rodiniye
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New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Rodiniye » 2017-06-13, 22:13

I am a translator and interpreter and I have just finished which could be the biggest project of my life: I have created an international language, after 11 years of work and 4 at uni. Main highlights:
- vocabulary is truly international.
- easy to use and learn: no exceptions, word endings for each grammar category, no declensions, no verb conjugation, no complex forms in verbs...
- accurate and precise

Everything can be found in the website: www.rodinian-language.com, including full grammar, exercise book, dictionary to ENG-SPA with just under 11.000 entries. THere's a youtube channel as well, to which I am uploading a few videos.

Any comments would be highly appreciated, here you can find a fragment:

"U za viel zeite… i daleko zitu i Persia, zount beiero g’naamti Ali Baba va Kasim. Ali Baba sêt daridii, ŝi er zount em eren e’qenin i hutu aus buwen. Er katzt kiia i woja, ŝi er vindet seza w sveqena i ŝuku. Kasim, weqoz, imt riki qenin, ŝi er zount i magni bi baytu ŝi er vindêt darwasa. Er wûet rikori, iqki u voq. U dage, u wakti katzat Ali Baba kiia i woju hineki daleko al’zitu, hwret er groe savareran, dar galoopat erang. Warakki, ki er weset y problemea, ki s’robby dru, klimmet er op derebil ŝi er heidet nantz al’ewaru. Ci set ŝniea u voq al’manukera, g’vaafti dou i al’zaana, passat qu. Ser set robbera, hakun aniscite cepre. Ci set barezi, ki seen rai e’ŝeinea, serabuti brewoka ŝi rai bahasea. Mai, ŝec fazet perfektem barezi eruur, sêt al’veŝa, daz vahtart uyt ot seen e’hasteka, barezem plûndart w ŝugeky. Seen e’touer sêt vahimali qahati manuker. G’swivti ei eren e’manukera, er zblizet mevlizi haru. Swit alzet er erew e’yado ŝi er sbreitet: “wijjenu, irekesed!”. Ali Baba nedokekiet, ŝeca visat er. Ki hitzea al’robberen, al’yenu irekent i ezen e’edru, ŝi ez wûet al’hinveu zu zalami dyupi itaku. Al’robbera trupat nantz, u wakti twoat se seen e’nanga. Ali Baba wûet shedon spunbehinderi ki acambi al’visy, ŝi er bleibet i al’derebil, z s’hareky abdilu."

From Ali Baba and the fourty thieves.

Regards

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Massimiliano B
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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Massimiliano B » 2017-06-13, 22:34

Rodiniye wrote: no verb conjugation


It's hard for me to learn a language without verb conjugation. I remember when I began to study English (I was 11 years old) I couldn't understand how it was possible to say "I go" and "we go".

Anyway, your work is really interesting. Your language has a German-Nilosaharian-Semitic flavour.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-06-13, 23:21

www.rodinian-language.com wrote:Rodinian takes characteristics from pretty much all languages in the world


So we're supposed to believe that you studied/learned about roughly 6,000 languages?

accurate and precise


What does this even mean?

---

As for the phonology of your language, there are some mistakes in your grammar book:

[flag=]it[/flag] "rosa" has /ɔ/, not /o/
[flag=]en[/flag] "nut" has /ʌ/, not /ɐ/ (at least in most dialects AFAIK)
[flag=]ro[/flag] "bărbat" has /ə/, not /ɐ/

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby mōdgethanc » 2017-06-14, 5:25

"nut" has /ʌ/, not /ɐ/ (at least in most dialects AFAIK)
Eh, it's a fronted [ʌ], so it's not that different.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Rodiniye » 2017-06-14, 7:58

IpseDixit wrote:
www.rodinian-language.com wrote:Rodinian takes characteristics from pretty much all languages in the world


So we're supposed to believe that you studied/learned about roughly 6,000 languages?

accurate and precise


What does this even mean?

---

As for the phonology of your language, there are some mistakes in your grammar book:

[flag=]it[/flag] "rosa" has /ɔ/, not /o/
[flag=]en[/flag] "nut" has /ʌ/, not /ɐ/ (at least in most dialects AFAIK)
[flag=]ro[/flag] "bărbat" has /ə/, not /ɐ/


Thanks for your reply.

Obviously not! But it has vocabulary from many many languages or grammar attributes which are common in many many languages in the world, that is what I meant!

Accurate means that it avoids ambiguity. Let's take for instance the sentence in English:

He was proud of his father. He was a good man.

Is the last "he" referring to "his father" or to the first "he"? Rodinian has tools to avoid that.

As for the phonetics... brill, I will have another look! cheers!

Massimiliano B wrote:
Rodiniye wrote: no verb conjugation


It's hard for me to learn a language without verb conjugation. I remember when I began to study English (I was 11 years old) I couldn't understand how it was possible to say "I go" and "we go".

Anyway, your work is really interesting. Your language has a German-Nilosaharian-Semitic flavour.


Thanks for your reply, I am happy you cannot just identify it with one or another language (which is what happened to Esperanto, which is very similar to Latin languages). It was one of the goals (and not easy to achieve!).

About verb conjugation... I am Spanish so I kind of know what you mean. However I think it makes the language much much more simple. I speak Italian as well and I have problems with some conjugations, and I have spoken Italian for around 14 years now! :D

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Dormouse559 » 2017-06-14, 16:53

Hi Rodiniye. It's clear you've put a lot of work into Rodinian and its presentation. But seeing its current form, I also have misgivings, mainly about how accessible it truly is and about inconsistencies and ambiguities in your descriptions.

On the accessibility front, your phonology looks unfriendly to most learners. You've included front rounded vowels and something like two non-cardinal vowel phonemes. Front rounded vowels are very uncommon among languages, and non-cardinal vowels sound similar to each other. As a result, Rodinian will be harder to pronounce and understand for people whose native languages do not have these kinds of vowels, either at all or as phonemes. Rodinian seems to allow a lot of syllable codas and consonant clusters (<nantz> /nantdz/ was the most complex one I noticed), but most languages have a more restricted syllable structure, especially in codas.

Your alphabet is also unusual. I don't see the point, for example, of having <y> represent so many different sounds in different contexts. It seems to me the orthography should be as phonemic as possible. Another consideration for orthography should also be whether your average user will be able to type the language on a keyboard. <ŝ> makes that particularly difficult, seeing as it's only used in one major language – Esperanto.

Regarding the presentation of the language, several of the things in your quick descriptions are contradicted by your grammar. For example, you say Rodinian has no declensions or conjugations. When I look at your grammar, it appears nouns decline for grammatical gender, number, dependency, and possibly definiteness. I also see that verbs conjugate for tense, aspect, mood, modality, voice, evidentiality and "action" (sounds like aspect). The other parts of speech also undergo declension. Additionally, there are features that are inadequately described, like the voice conjugations. I get the impression passive voice is formed with -er-, but you never say so.

So yeah, I do like the sound and look of Rodinian. It feels quite well-developed as a conlang generally. Not many conlangs have a full dictionary and teaching materials. But I'm not convinced Rodinian reaches your goal of an auxiliary language yet.
N'hésite pas à corriger mes erreurs.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby linguoboy » 2017-06-14, 17:23

I was intrigued by your claim that preposition use is "not arbitrary", so I looked at that section of the grammar and found this bit of explanation:
See how prepositions are not arbitrary at all and therefore are extremely easy to use. It goes to an extend where two speakers can have different points of view of something, and Rodinian would accept both as long as there is a strong reason to back it up.

You might want to look at some definitions of the word "arbitrary". Wiktionary, for instance, has:
(usually of a decision) Based on individual discretion or judgment; not based on any objective distinction, perhaps even made at random.

The OED's first non-obsolete general definition is:
Derived from mere opinion or preference; not based on the nature of things; hence, capricious, uncertain, varying.

And Merriam-Webster has:
1
a : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will
b : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something

I can see how you would consider preposition usage in Rodinian as "not arbitrary" in the sense of the Merriam-Webster definition 1a or the OED definition, but the explanation quoted above explicitly defines it as "arbitrary" in the sense of M-W 1b or the Wikitionary definition.

The other thing that struck me about the prepositions was the complexity of the pronominal combinations. This is a feature of some widely-spoken languages (e.g. Arabic) but seems out-of-place for an IAL, particularly as the number of distinct prepositions is so large (i.e. more than 50). That is a lot of combinations to learn!
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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby kevin » 2017-06-14, 17:37

Rodiniye wrote:Everything can be found in the website: http://www.rodinian-language.com

I don't know if you care, but when I just clicked this link, the page turned up completely empty for me. I suspect the page is requiring too modern Javascript for the browser that I'm using for the forum here, while it doesn't actually use any functionality that couldn't be achieved with purely static HTML pages. I suspect that static pages also wouldn't load quite as slow as they do when I try it in Firefox.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Massimiliano B » 2017-06-14, 19:54

In chapter 2.1.2 of the grammar book there's a mistake: in Italian, the word "pizza" is pronounced ['pit͡s:a], not [pidza].

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-06-14, 20:11

Oh gosh, I overlooked the appalling introduction describing Sapir-Whorf as if it was true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QglKeIIC5Ds

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby md0 » 2017-06-14, 20:25

kevin wrote:
Rodiniye wrote:Everything can be found in the website: http://www.rodinian-language.com

I don't know if you care, but when I just clicked this link, the page turned up completely empty for me. I suspect the page is requiring too modern Javascript for the browser that I'm using for the forum here, while it doesn't actually use any functionality that couldn't be achieved with purely static HTML pages. I suspect that static pages also wouldn't load quite as slow as they do when I try it in Firefox.


It's a Wix website. Wix is basically "everything that is wrong about Web 2.0" as a service.
"If you like your clause structure, you can keep your clause structure"

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-06-14, 21:26

Rodiniye wrote:Accurate means that it avoids ambiguity. Let's take for instance the sentence in English:

He was proud of his father. He was a good man.

Is the last "he" referring to "his father" or to the first "he"? Rodinian has tools to avoid that.


I'll try to elaborate what I meant.

The words "accurate" and "precise" seem to be used in a very murky and naive way by many conlangers; for instance, you use them to indicate a very specific thing, that's to say switch-reference, but this doesn't mean that you have crafted a language that is accurate and precise as a whole.

The point is that any word, phrase and sentence can be ambiguous and will always be, and there's no way of avoiding that, because you can always find infinite meanings within meanings within meanings and so on ad infinitum.

For example, is the word "water" precise enough? Should we make a distinction between "water that will quench your thirst" and "water that can drown you"? And likewise, should we make a distinction between "water that will quench your thirst when your body functions are not impaired by dehydration" and "water that will quench your thirst and save your life because you were severely dehydrated"? And this could go on and on...

So, what I'm wondering is: is there a way to measure the degree of precision and accuracy of a language so that one can claim "hey, language X is really precise and accurate because it has a precision-accuracy index > [insert threshold number] whereas language Y isn't because its index is < [insert threshold number] " or is it merely and arbitrary and discretionary thing not based on anything concrete?

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Hent » 2017-10-01, 15:34

I don't think it's good to have a truly international vocabulary. Esperanto is good, because it uses very common vocabulary of that time and the only thing I don't like about it is the feminine -ino suffix.

Almost everyone's first word is mama or something similar and not patrino. Patrino sounds like a gay father (nothing wrong there).

But the fact that Esperanto only uses French, Latin, Italian, English, German and some Polish words is good, because it's accessible to most IE speakers.

Hundo (pero, inuo, koo, kopeko, peso, sabako, kano, sxieno)

This is just an example of how confusing it would be to add more languages when creating Esperanto. Not that Zamenhof knew half of these languages.

Lojban uses a mix of Chinese, Russian, Hindi, English, Arabic and Spanish when constructing their vocab and first it's hard to tell what the words mean and second it's based on number of speakers rather than "universality" and anti-eurocentrism.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-10-04, 21:29

Dr. House wrote:But the fact that Esperanto only uses French, Latin, Italian, English, German and some Polish words is good, because it's accessible to most IE speakers.


And why should IE speakers have this privilege? If the aim is to create a truly international language for all people of Earth, then it's quite obvious that this kind of favoritism shouldn't really be allowed.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Hent » 2017-10-05, 7:41

IpseDixit wrote:
Dr. House wrote:But the fact that Esperanto only uses French, Latin, Italian, English, German and some Polish words is good, because it's accessible to most IE speakers.


And why should IE speakers have this privilege? If the aim is to create a truly international language for all people of Earth, then it's quite obvious that this kind of favoritism shouldn't really be allowed.


But you're bound to discriminate one group or another. First off you can't take into account all the families. Just imagine creating a conlang for Papua New Guinea so every villager could speak to anybody on the island. It would take ages.

And while I agree Esperanto is Euro-centric, it was created in the 19th century when European languages "ruled" the world. But there are esperantistoj in China or Japan and they prefer it over English, because it's easier and more neutral.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-10-05, 10:41

Dr. House wrote:First off you can't take into account all the families.


Why not though? I mean, if we speculate that this project is going to be undertook by a pool of professional linguists instead of a random amateur guy, I don't see why they couldn't derive lexicon from every or almost every language family in the world.

But even if they really couldn't for some reason, there's some middle ground between using only a smattering of European languages and all language families in the world; for example they could take into account the main language families such as Sino-Tibetan, Austronesian and so on.

Or you could avoid this problem altogether by using an a priori lexicon.

Dr. House wrote:And while I agree Esperanto is Euro-centric, it was created in the 19th century when European languages "ruled" the world. But there are esperantistoj in China or Japan and they prefer it over English, because it's easier and more neutral.


So what?

We were not discussing whether Esperanto or English are better-suited to being the international lingua franca.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby Hent » 2017-10-05, 13:13

Yeah. That would be great if there was a single proto-language and someone could isolate it somehow.

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Re: New international language, Rodinian, after 11 years of work

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-05, 15:05

IpseDixit wrote:Why not though? I mean, if we speculate that this project is going to be undertook by a pool of professional linguists instead of a random amateur guy, I don't see why they couldn't derive lexicon from every or almost every language family in the world.

In fact Lojban does something pretty close to that: https://lojban.github.io/cll/4/14/
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