Crazy people want to change English

Tinkerers Anonymous: Some people can't help making changes to "fix" Toki Pona. This is a playground for their ideas.
Tokiponidistoj: Iuj homoj nepre volas fari ŝanĝojn por "ripari" Tokiponon. Jen ludejo por iliaj ideoj.
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Crazy people want to change English

Postby janMato » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:50 pm

So I keep reading all these people discouraging people from making relexes. I get their point that a relex isn't a new language, but sometimes, I think, a creative project calls for an relex, not another unspeakable Elvish. For example, the con-dialects (whole sci fi books have been written in a Scottish con-dialect), they nearly are relexes. And Mand'oa, the Star Wars language is an English relex and that is appropriate for the audience of 7 year old boys.

I wrote a machine relex maker, here is the word list (at the end, just some of the A's) and my methodology.

I started with a simple list of 50,000 English words, a list that probably was compiled for use in a spell checker app.

It uses toki pona phonotactics. Length of generated words is scaled to match the length of the English word so that common short words don't turn into long words. Initially, it assigned random words to singular and plural making all plural lexical, like German. So I fixed that and fixed past tense, -ing, and a few more, in other words, the relex has relexed bound morphemes. I still need to deal with internal morphology- e.g. all the ology words should relex to a similar word. Figuring out a quick way to do this programmatically will be a challenge. I can't tell verbs with s from nouns with s, but since it's a relex, maybe it's okay that they are isomorophic.

When complete I hope to maybe remove all the toki pona cognates and maybe remove minimal pairs.

aardvark pupoke
aardwolf jowato
aaron newi
aback kiju
abacus kanpi
abaft naje
abalone kanu
abandon wila
abandons wilamu
abandon wila
abandoned wilaku
abandonment kalepawin
abase papu
abased saja
abasement nawiku
abash puke
abashed pukeku
abate kujun
abates kujunmu
abated sopin
abatement kajelu
abattoir monjawi
abattoirs monjawimu
abbe wapi
abbess wapimu
abbey munu
abbeys munumu
abbot sami
abbots samimu
abbreviate kimela
abbreviates kimelamu
abbreviated makensisen
abbreviating sakokike
abbreviation jakonwepo
abbreviations jakonwepomu
abdicate sanuse
abdicates sanusemu
abdicated pilenan
abdicating lejusi
abdication semala
abdomen nija
abdomens nijamu
abdominal mimesu
abduct semi
abducts semimu
abduct semi
abducted semiku
abduct semi
abducting semilo
abduct semi
abductor semiwilo
abduction tunlonu
abductions tunlonumu
abductors mekumu
abe tetun
abeam pasen
abel lanso
abele jowen
aberdeen sakamu
aberrant simajo
aberration kemowi
aberrations kemowimu
abet kelo
abets kelomu
abetted keloku
abetting kelolo
abeyance josune
abhor jamu
abhors jamumu
abhorred jamuku
abhorrence wilota
abhorrent tosalu
abide juna
abides junamu
abided pesa
abiding note
abidjan monin
abies kenin
abilities pekewa
ability sakun
abject napo
abjectly jajumu
abjure pije
abjured lese
ablate mame
ablates mamemu
ablating posima
ablation tenepe
ablative jipujo
ablaze nino
able wili
ablebodied jujejo
abler jamin
ablest sepi
abloom nase
ablution kolosa
ablutions kolosamu
ably jiso
abnegation katoka
abnormal wemupan
abnormalities nopamoku
abnormality wetejeka

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Re: Crazy people want to change English

Postby janKipo » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:25 pm

Erm, what is the point of this? Aside from creating algorithms of various parameters, of course. Authors who are into languages will go an create what their wild fantasies want; authors who just want exotics will stick in a few words with q's an x's or maybe Chth and not make anything of it. And most people won't notice the latter (except for the language freaks who will complain about how juvenile or unorganized the dozen "words" are -- and then go off an build a whole language on them, perhaps). Typically, though the "words" are for concepts thought to be unavailable in English (a claim usually clearly false, but rarely examined) so your relexes would be rejected out of hand.

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Re: Crazy people want to change English

Postby janMato » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:18 pm

The point? To be contrarian. I've read a few of these how-to-write-a-fake-language guides, often they are strong proponents of language inappropriate for fan consumption, or in appropriate for script writer consumption (few/no script writers successfully wrote anything in Klingon)-- in other words, they are pro-Elivish. They are strongly negative about relexes, since that is what the naive fake language maker makes by default. The elitism of it just rubs me the wrong way.

I agree, if an author just needs a few flavor words, then no fake language is needed, relex or Elvish-style.

So I thought, when is a relex appropriate? The fans of Boba Fett liked the relex, they're a bunch of kids. The other time a relex is appropriate is when the *only* interesting idea is the phonology. Interestingly, the phonological description is where a lot of these elvish-is-good/relexes-are-bad hobbyists stop. Dritok, the squirrel language with no voiced consonants & lots of rare sounds is, imho, a language whose sole trick is the phonology-- As a fan, I'd rather interact with that language as a relex-- I could hypothetically make a cook foreign song in a relex that sounds pleasant without dedicating half a decade to learning exotic syntax.

And if a relex is appropriate, how to make a better one, preferably with the least effort possible. Furthermore, with a relex, machine translation is potentially trivial. One place conlangs are showing up is games, like magic the gathering. The MTG fake language was created by a pro-Elvish hobbyist without dictionary or grammar. People wasted lots of time trying to decipher the language and FAILED like the Japanese trying to decipher Navaho in WW2. If it was a relex, deciphering would be possible, but still an order of magnitude harder than a ceasar cipher. Put a crazy hard conlang in a game and leave it for fans to decipher-- it will just waste people's time and never be deciphered. (Unless that is the game, which I imagine that

re: rejection of relexes
Most conlangs are rejected out of hand by fans and the makers of these conlangs go one step further and reject fans and the possibility of fans, by doing something to make it really unlearnable. The most learnable language is one that is close to one's native language-- aside from condialects, no way to get closer to a mother tongue than a relex.

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Re: Crazy people want to change English

Postby janKulisa » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:29 pm

I would have started with a more restricted common word list, like maybe 5,000 or 10,000; what is an "abattoir" anyway?

But I understand the idea that if you're trying to appeal to people who want something cool and foreign-sounding, but don't want to take the time and effort to learn a full-blown language (and that is a lot of time and effort!), then a relex comes in handy.
sike lawa ni
li ike tawa mi

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Re: Crazy people want to change English

Postby Baerdric » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:30 am

Coincidentally, I spent half of today making notes about how to make an instantly randomized version of Toki Pona using various shifts of consonants and vowels and syllable number. My thought was that anything this easy to learn would make an excellent private family language. Shifting a few things around would make it completely opaque to the casual eavesdropper standing in line at the grocery store, who somehow just happened to know basic toki pona.

First time I've heard the word "relex" though. Good word.
I answer to jan Linja Sinpin Loje but you can call me jan Loje

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