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Hey, I decided to look back here after awhile. So how's everything going? Seems like not much has changed, including the main page ;) I would participate more, but it seems that Conlang Wiki redirects to Wikipedia on mobile devices so it's impossible to contribute. Anyone else have the same problem?
I might return to conlanging, I'm just without the muse right now. I've been conlanging every so often when I get the chance. Overall here are my ideas:
World language combining five main lingua francas in history: 1) Latin, English, French 2) Old Chinese, Mandarin, Japanese 3) Classical Arabic, Arabic, Hebrew 4) Bantu, Swahili, Shona 5) Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu
The first language is a proto-language that would be used as a base for some root words. The second language is the most commonly spoken root language, and when the first and the second match up, it is desirable. The third language is not necessarily related, but basically a guide, so if the first two languages match up, it's even better if the third one matches up.
The ratio of 1-5 will depend on the number of people in countries with an official language that is derived from the proto-language. For example, Chinese will include not only China and Taiwan but also Singapore, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, which have historically taking significant vocabulary from Chinese and used it as a lingua franca.
An example might be the word "person." So if we wanted that to derive from the old Chinese "znen," it sounds close enough to Mandarin "rén." The Japanese version is "jin," which sounds close enough to "rén" so that makes it a good choice for a word. In this case we would favour Mandarin because it is phonologically in between "znen" and "jin," so we might use "ren" as the word for person.
If we wanted to use the root "person," that would not be a good idea because in Latin, persona means something different, and it is also less efficient, so it is probably better to use Chinese over European.
Some words require neutral vocabulary. Probably the word "person" would better be self-derived because it has less historical undertones. So I am attempting to devise a way to create words that should be neutral through onomatopoeia.
My idea for numbers is this: the day would be equally divided into 10 subdivisions time-wise, each 144 minutes apart, starting at midnight (0:00) through 21:36. I would imagine myself alone on an island and think about the noises I hear from nature, and try to put them into sound. For example, if I "hear" wind at noon, I could use "fung" for number 4 because it sounds like wind. Thus, people could devise stories to help people remember the numbers and it would be better than borrowing numbers from languages.
The only downside to this is geographic undertones. If a person were to be an Inuit, the story might not make as much sense if it talked about hearing bees, and could be considered non-neutral. I could pick one location on earth, like maybe Greenwich, but then that would sound even more racist. Thoughts?