Author Archives: matthewdeanmartin

Enumerating all sentences

So I had an idea based on a few other ideas. What sort of mantra is worth reciting? The number pi has nonrepeating digits. If you looked long enough, then eventually you wound find the digits that encode your name … Continue reading

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C++ for Conlanging

I just wrote a C# parser for toki pona. It was an ad hoc grammar, meaning I didn’t write a PEG or YACC or other formal description of the grammar and then process it into a parser. (I didn’t use … Continue reading

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Meanings of Small in the area of Languages

1) Small lexicon. Incompletely described languages also have small lexicons. Klingon falls into this category. The lexicon can grow. Esperanto on day 365 was a small language. Something like a century later, it is a large lexicon language. 2) Closed … Continue reading

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Valency in Lojban and toki pona

Verbs have valency, which is how many “arguments” they have. For example intransitive means no arguments (or only one, the subject), transitive, means one (or two, subject and object). So a typical lojban verb (gismu) works like this: cliva x1 … Continue reading

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Dictionaries for toki pona

I read about the dictionary making for Algonquin, a highly synthetic language with few unbound morphemes. Everything of interest is a bound morpheme. Full words necessarily drag along with them a lot of other cruft, as if a dictionary had … Continue reading

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Paragraphs and machine assisted conlang work

When you are teaching a machine to do something with a language, you get a surprising set of challenges that are not mentioned much in your traditional reference grammar. On the internet, people post texts and line breaks are unreliable … Continue reading

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Inferences from toki pona utterances

So I’m noodling again the idea of knowledge representation with toki pona. If I say: jan li laso. And then ask: seme li laso? Then it should be easy enough to look up jan. (That is to bind seme to … Continue reading

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The Heart of Esperanto

So I was wondering what a parser for Esperanto would look like if I only used the 14 rules. I re-read them and quickly decided that actually, at the time of the 14 rules, the bulk of the language specification … Continue reading

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Math and logic subsystems in languages

So I can open a novel, and as part of being a human raised in an English speaking community, I pretty much understand everything. I can open a textbook on Calculus on Logic and while I can read the whole … Continue reading

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Observations While Editing Toki Pona

1) People create incorrect proper modifiers constantly. 2) People give up trying to use proper modifiers and just use their native language for all proper modifiers. 3) li get dropped for 3rd person subjects. 4) People essentially invent new constructions … Continue reading

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Abusing the word morphology as a pragmatic matter

So I have a syntax that relies on sentence templates like this: [subject] li [verb phrase] li [verb phrase] [Prep Phrase] [Prep Phrase]. Phrase are made of words and phrases have their slots. Then come along negation, emphasis, and uncertainty … Continue reading

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toki pona minutia

These are all unsettled, controversial ideas in toki pona. 1) kule lon palisa li pona tawa mi. 2) kule pi lon palisa li pona tawa mi. Prepositional phrases as modifiers. These are most obvious when they appear in the subject. … Continue reading

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Object Oriented Conlanging

If you don’t write code, you may feel like the wrong audience. So recently I’ve been on a kick of learning about object oriented library writing, especially for the most basic types. I notice that MSDN’s advice for writing basic … Continue reading

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Corpus linguistics and little sins

Soooo, this toki pona project of mine. I’m parsing community generated texts. I’ve got incompatible goal. On one hand, I want a parser that will work. So if you type English, it should blow up. But if you type toki … Continue reading

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Edge cases of grammar

These things will make your grammar more complicated, but you can expect them to show up in any community generated corpus, like immediately Onomatopoeia. Fart noises and the like. In English, they get italicized and I’m sure someone has written … Continue reading

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