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Day: November 9, 2015
Artificial languages are where you’d look of course, and there are much simpler languages than Esperanto. Basic English was renowned for having a small vocab. My own favourite, with a comparably small vocab and a much tighter grammar, is Interglossa (as opposed to its revival Glosa). Natural semantic metalanguage has an extremely small number of […]
In Indo-European languages using a Latin alphabet, what’s up with these two letters “ch” that are pronounced (phonetics) so differently?
Roman alphabet digraphs were invented with the digraphs Latin used to represent Greek aspirated letters: <ch th ph>. So <ch> was available very very early on to languages using the Roman alphabet, to represent new sounds. Palatal sounds are notoriously unstable phonologically: once /k/ goes to [c] (as it did in late Latin), it can […]
The claim of Natural semantic metalanguage is that you can with around 60. It was a party trick of Australian linguistics undergrads to speak in NSM; it becomes very stilted very quickly, but in principle you can define a lot of notions with a limited vocabulary, as the asker alludes to. NSM is of course […]