Postulates of a Pefect Human Language

Michal Ryszard Wojcik   Thursday, December 25, 2003, 10:24 GMT
I want to start discussing the idea of a perfect human language to be used for deep communication: (1) precise expression of emotions, philosophical ideas; (2) vague and intuitve turmoils of the mind; (3) normal every day conversations with the possibility of slipping into (1) or (2).

The very fact of formulating one's thoughts in this language forces one to see loopholes, tacit assumptions, overgeneralizations, etc. (enforces precision).

When a sentence is correct in this language, it is a legitimate scientific or philosophical remark.

The language allows to be vague, intuitive, pre-formal, inspirational, but such status is evident, made explicit.

It must be very carefully designed to preserve on-the-fly compilability and understandability. It is supposed to be useful for normal communication.

It is so well formalized that computer will be able to determine the correctness of utterances.

Computer will be able to list all "one-step" implications for a given utterance.

The language can be spoken in a natural way for the vocal tract - just another human spoken language.

Full implementation of the compositionality principle: it is possible to build brand-new counter-habit sentences, without the usual problem of connotations, and social habits interference.

Possible to speak mathematical lines of quantifiers while preserving on-the-fly compilability and pronuncibility.

The written form can preserve the same info as the spoken form and vice versa.

An emotional quarrel in this language is instantly therapeutic because misunderstandings and hidden emotions are brought out to the surface and full explicity.

The meanings of old texts are preserved in the course of time.
Corey Graham   Tuesday, December 30, 2003, 16:55 GMT
I think with the Global domination of politics, the only form of language that would be universally accepted is hieroglyphics (have no idea how to spell it, and too lazy to look).

The League of Nations tried a Germanic/Latin based concept at the turn of the century "esporanto". It failed miserably and tens of thousands died specifically because of it. Hitler openly persecuted people who even attempted to speak it. He felt that since inferior people were allowed to speak it then no one shall.

The ethnic wars of today, make what hitler did pale in comparison.

So I think the hopes of a verbal langauge are nil, and a language of shapes and pictures are the only hope. But we'll probably never agree on what shapes to use and thousands will die.
Craig   Friday, January 02, 2004, 07:07 GMT
Michael, I'm sure you're already aware of Lojban, which attempts to do some (though not all) of the things described by you. Anyway, your language sounds great. All you have to do is create it and then I'll start learning it. Till then, I think I'm going to have a go at learning Lojban.
Michal Ryszard Wojcik   Sunday, January 04, 2004, 08:42 GMT
One good reference for Lojban:
Jim   Monday, January 05, 2004, 00:31 GMT
All but one of your postulates seem to be quite fine at a first glance. Could they be added to? Could they be simplified or reduced? Could they be tinkered with? Well, at least one can.

You write "The language can be spoken in a natural way for the vocal tract - just another human spoken language." but sign language cannot be spoken. Can sign language never be considered to be a perfect human language?
Michal Ryszard Wojcik   Monday, January 05, 2004, 18:30 GMT
To increase the demands on a perfect human language, we can postulate that it must be "signable", but here I am going out of my bounds - I know nothing about sign languages, unfortunately. (Thanks for pointing this out to me - I must pay more attention to sign language.)

My idea of publishing these rough postulates on this forum is to refine them with the help of other people interested in language. So feel free to add, reduce, simplify, and complexify.