Day thirty-eight -- more of traditional Chinese etymology vs PreBabel (Chinese).
From Tienzen Gong: With two PreBabels, PreBabel (English) and PreBabel (Chinese), we, now, can revisit the issue of universal language with a bird-eye view. Of course, we should go over the historical attempts on the universal language once more for this revisit.
1. The "Formal Logic" pathway is the most important attempt for constructing a true universal language. Although it fails to construct a natural language-like universal language, it did create a true universal language which is the foundation for all computer languages. Thus, the question of whether a universal language is possible is, at least, partially answered, although the bigger question that whether a natural language-like universal language is ever possible remains an open issue.
2. The Esperanto pathway is trying to address that bigger question. In reality, Esperanto has failed thus far. The Babel divide is simply too great for such an effort to bridge over. Yet, its two tactics do give some lights for the issue.
1. Seemingly, only a politically neutral language has a slim chance to be accepted as a "common" language in this practical world.
2. This new language must be very easy to learn.
I think that the second point is practically very important. Yet, 50% or 100% easier might not do the job. If it is 10 times easier, then a possibility will come alive. I think that Esperanto's claim of how easy it can be learned is exaggerated, and it is far below the threshold of 10 times mark.
After the Babel divide, the difference among natural languages is enormously great, on their appearance (the lexicon, the verbal sound, etc.), on their framework (the grammar, etc.), on their metaphysics (perceptual vs conceptual), on their contexts (culture and history differences, etc.), etc.. Seemingly, there is no possible way to unify those differences. And, any attempt of trying to "replace" those languages with a single language is doomed to failure, regardless of however powerful the political and economical supremacy that single language carries. In this sense, a true natural language-like universal language, if ever possible, must be a constructed language. During the last few days, we have learned that the Lii set is, in fact, a constructed language. Thus, it can be a model for our effort.
1. How did a constructed language become a living natural language?
2. What kind of problems did it encounter?
3. How did it resolve those problems?
These are, indeed, huge issues, and I will try to discuss them later. Now, we should first answer the question of whether the huge divide of the Babel can ever be bridged. If it could, then how.
The key for the whole issue is a single word, "bridge." The Babel divide cannot be covered over, cannot be removed and cannot be ignored but can be "bridged." The solution for the divide is the divide itself. For a person of nation A to learn a language of nation B, he must swim one stroke at a time to go across that mammoth divide, and many people fail at the get go. If we can build an easy bridge for the crossing, then the divide is there no more. And, very soon, those "bridges" form a single bridge, that is, the true universal language comes alive.
I think that there is no issue of right or wrong on this approach but has an issue of whether such a bridge (or bridges) can possibly be built. And, this was the issue which we have talked about during the past three months.
On this issue, I do not have test data for PreBabel (English). Yet, I am quite confident about the Law 1.
Law 1: Encoding with a closed set of root words, any arbitrary vocabulary type language will be organized into a logically linked linear chain.
On the contrary, I do have test data on PreBabel (Chinese) which reduces the learning time from several years (5 to 10 years) to 300 hours. These data is available at
Question -- from "sangi39" -- However, I have managed to find a single writer who, although not actually agreeing with you, does make a similar point, although not about Wang-Chang which I still have to actually find a source for since as of yet (having gone through 10 books regarding Chinese etymology and Old and Middle Chinese I can't find a single mention of it despite it being apparently important), ...
Answer -- The Emperor - Wang - Chang encounter was documented in detail in "History Record" ( ¥v °O ) , written around 140 B.C., in the article "the First Emperor's Record" ( ¯³ ©l ¬Ó ¥¿ ¬ö ).
If the Wang - Chang "process" was ever documented, it will be underground somewhere. It cannot be found anywhere on the surface of the Earth.
Question -- from "sangi39" -- Thus, while you guess that Wang-Chang was developing a new method of developing Chinese characters spending 10 years in jail developing such a method from an original handful of roots, ...
Answer -- I said many times, "God did God's, I did mine. They did theirs, I did mine." No, I did not say that "that Wang-Chang was developing ... from an original handful of roots,..."
Perhaps, I better give one understandable example to explain this point. Using a GM car as one example,
1. My book is the instruction book for the assembly factory to build that GM car. By following my book, a car comes off that assembly line in 2 hours, from the first piece being put on the line to it being driven off the line.
2. The developing process for that GM car could take 5 to 10 years, from the concept development, drawing the prints, making tools, making prototype samples, finding vendors, building factory, hiring workers, etc..
No, my book and that developing process are completely different animals. Of course, if anyone is interested in reconstruction of that developing process, my book will definite be a good "check list" for it. If its finding can result only with a Ford car, then it is simply wrong, as my book knows the bolts and nuts to every single one of them for that GM car.
Question -- from "sangi39" -- put more simply - 220 basic roots > combination > Chinese character > use as semantic or phonetic element > combination > new Chinese character
or even more simply:
Character-Z=(Sound-Z) or (Meaning-Z)
Character-C=(Sound-C) or (Meaning-C)
Thus regardless of the actual pronunciation of Sound-Z it must represent a meaning in Character-M.
Answer -- You are almost getting it. I will show you a much better description than this soon. Yet, this is my idea. Is this also Wang - Chnag's idea, I don't know, but I don't think so.
Question -- from "sangi39" -- I've also been told to never "guess" but to provide evidence of processes occurring under similar environments and conditions and using that evidence to suggest a possibility.
Answer -- All (each and everyone) hypotheses are guesses. From hypotheses, we construct theory. From theory, we make predictions. With predictions, we design tests. With tests, we prove or disprove the hypotheses. Who taught you about the meaning of guess? You should ask him to relearn the science methodology and epistemology. Of course, not every guess turns into a hypothesis. If everything is known, this will be a static world, no further advancement possible. "Guessing" is the engine for "all" human advancements. Yet, only making a "guess" as a "fact" is wrong, and this "was" my point.
Question -- from "sangi39" -- So, you either do know about them but were either confused by the term "reconstructed pronunciation" or simply did not which to go into in detail or you did not fully understand the results of historical and comparative linguistics regarding the Chinese languages at the time you wrote your book, ...
Answer -- I will talk about this soon.
PreBabel is the true universal language, it is available at