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Roxhai   Advanced
The international auxiliary language with the logical vocabulary.

Roxhai is a philosophical language (an a priori model language), with its vocabulary automatically structured, so that words with longer bases have more narrow definitions than their stems (a stem is a base missing its last letter). For instance:
r'o - sentiment and moral power
ro'yo - religious affection
roc'o - supernatural being or region
roca'yo - Christian supernatural being or region
rocac'o - God.
The base of a word precedes the apostrophe ('). The remainder of the word identifies the part of speech, and uses a variation of the Esperanto word endings: 'o' for noun, for instance (preceded by /y/ when the base ends in a vowel).
The core vocabulary of Roxhai is based on nouns. Verbs, adjectives and adverbs are all derived from the nouns. For instance:
ro'yo - noun - religious affection
ro'ya - adjective - having religious affection
ro'yi - verb - to have religious affection (for)
ro'ye - adverb - with religious affection
Even the nouns narrowest in meaning tend to exhibit a polysemy beyond that of natural languages. Because the goal is to keep the vocabulary of Roxhai under 2,000 common nouns, many more specific concepts have to be referred to by using a more general word or paraphrase.
Grammar is for the most part based on a simplification of the grammar of Esperanto.
The initial conception of the vocabulary follows. It is still tentative and will be dramatically refined before it is completed.
Roxhai was inspired by Solresol, Ro and Esperanto.
Please share your thoughts, ideas and criticisms with me about the potential of Roxhai, especially about how to improve the classificatory vocabulary.

Maximalizing Redundancy In Vocabulary

FROM: Jeffrey Henning, 74774,157

TO: Conlang,
DATE: 6/7/96 2:34 PM
Re: Re: CONLANG: Roxhai
>>From: (JIM HENRY) Date: Thu, 06 Jun 96
>>I wonder how you plan to avoid the problem with Ro which a
>>previous poster pointed out a few days ago - namely, that a
>>minor typo or noise during conversation could turn a word into
>>a plausibly-similar word.
An important problem and one I have given a lot of thought to. As I point out in my summary of Ro on my web page, if you make a typo [in Ro], a spell checker typically won't catch it, since you'll find it was a valid word anyway. The solution for Roxhai (not implemented, but why I warn the vocabulary will be dramatically restructured) is to have a broad array of phonotactically permissible syllables and not use them all (Ro uses most of its permissible syllables). To do this for Roxhai means having a broader phonology than most IALs -- (though the consonant system will probably have fewer consonants than E-o but more than Sen:esepera) this is one reason why I want a 10-vowel system, instead of a five vowel system .
For instance, assume a subtree of the category has two options: under "paternity/maternity" might be words for "mother" and "father"-the only words there. If they differ only by the final vowel (each uses 1 vowel, for 2 vowels total), then only 20% of the possible vowels have been used in that position. So there will be some room for mistakes. A philosophical language will always have lower redundancy than other languages, but I do hope to minimize it in Roxhai.
Another way to make up for this is to have longer words. Roxhai has longer words on average than Ro, and this improves recognizability and redundancy in my opinion. Sure, shorter words are easier to say, but Roxhai would typically be read rather than spoken anyway. And the words are shorter now than in the previous incarnation of Roxhai (an unfinished and unworkable lang. called Minimalex, striving for a minimum number of roots).
>>Perhaps each word in practice could
>>end with a sort of CRC code? :) (Or perhaps you could
>>incorporate that into Fith - the Fithians append an
>>error-detecting-and- correcting code to each utterance. :)
Actually, the Fithians use a word meaning "check stack depth" [synchronization conjunction]. So they might be talking for a while and then remind their listener, "check-stack-depth 3", meaning, "by the way, you should have three words on your mental stack that I haven't talked about yet". In noisy situations, they will use this phrase a lot; in normal conversation, less often.
>> It
>>would help to reduce the phoneme inventory to the most
>>distinctive sounds, as in Sen:esepara, but that would reduce
>>the number of top-level categories you could distinguish.
Actually, I think the reverse is true. A broader range of possible sounds for intermediate values is desirable-if you don't use them all, you have the necessary redundancy. "Hmm, I thought he said rocalam'o, but that's not a word, he must have said rocalan'o." [made up examples]
>>How would one derive prepositions (or might they be
>>postpositions?) in Roxhai? Perhaps three of the top-level
>>categories could deal with "motion," "relation" and "location,"
>>and under those headings you could derive adpositions.

I haven't given any thought to adpositions yet. I did think that they might use a separate initial letter. I've been mainly worrying about nouns for now. Something else to chew on...


Conlang Profiles at © 1996-2005 Jeffrey Henning.

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