I experimented with using an AI model to help me generate a new, simple language designed to be accessible for all humans. The language, provisionally named “MonoArabic”, would consist of basic monosyllabic sounds represented by Arabic letters to keep it simple and easy to pronounce.
Below you can see the results of the Ai-Carleton collaboration:
Phonology: The language would use the 5 primary vowel sounds and 21 consonant sounds represented by single Arabic characters. Additional monosyllabic sounds would be formed by combining a consonant and vowel.
- The language uses the 5 primary vowel sounds (/æ/, /ε/, /ɪ/, /ɔ/, and /ʌ/) and 21 consonant sounds, represented by single Arabic characters.
- Additional monosyllabic sounds can be created by combining a consonant and a vowel.
- Two-letter consonants like TH, SH and CH will also be included, with sounds like /θ/, /ʃ/, and /tʃ/.
- The syllable structure will follow a simple Consonant-Vowel (CV) or Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) pattern.
Vocabulary and Grammar: A simple subject-verb-object (SVO) word order would form the basis of grammar. The vocabulary would consist of monosyllabic words representing essential concepts relevant to young children.
- The vocabulary consists of monosyllabic words which represent essential concepts and objects, relevant for children.
- A Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) word order will be used for simplicity.
- Plurals will be indicated by repeating the word.
- Questions will be indicated by a specific syllable at the beginning of the sentence (such as “ba”)
- Tenses will not be used in the traditional sense, but will be indicated by specific syllables at the beginning of a sentence.
Example English Dialog:
John: Hello, how are you?
Mary: I’m fine, thank you. What about you?
John: I’m doing well. This is a nice day, isn’t it?
Mary: Yes it is! The sun is shining and the birds are singing.
John: That’s true. Well, I’ll see you later then.
Mary: Ok, see you!
Example MonoArabic Dialog:
Ka: Ha, gu ar ba?
Me: Ba, kr ba. Gu ar ba?
Ka: Ba gu. Is da la ba, ti ba?
Me: Ti ba! Su si gi bi si.
Ka: Ti ba. La gu si.
Me: Ok, gu si!
Some notes on this dialog:
- It’s assumed ‘Ka’ means ‘John’ and ‘Me’ means ‘Mary’
- 2-letter consonants like ‘gu’ mean ‘you’
- The Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) word order is followed
- The question syllable ‘ba’ is added at the beginning of questions
- Nouns are not repeated to indicate plurality
- Tenses are not explicitly marked
While limited in scope, the dialog demonstrated how MonoArabic could convey basic meaning in a very simple, monosyllabic way. The simplified grammar and focus on essential words makes it a feasible option for those who are still developing their language skills. Further refinement would expand the vocabulary and nuance of the language to make it truly functional.
Similar Monosyllabic Languages
There is another monosyllabic language that shares some similarities with MonoArabic, and it is called the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
The IPA is a system of phonetic notation used to represent the sounds of spoken language. Its purpose is transcription and description of human speech.
In contrast, MonoArabic is intended as a full language for young learners and others seeking simplicity. It uses Arabic characters to represent basic monosyllabic sounds that form the building blocks of words.
Similarities of MonoArabic and IPA
- Focus on representing individual vowel and consonant sounds
- Assign distinct symbols for each elementary sound
- Arrange those sounds into syllables
- Emphasize phonology over connected grammar and syntax
Differences Between MonoArabic and IPA
- IPA transcribes existing languages while MonoArabic aims to be a standalone language
- IPA focuses solely on transcription of speech sounds, while MonoArabic includes basic vocabulary and grammar
- IPA uses Latin letters and diacritics, while MonoArabic uses Arabic characters
It’s evident that MonoArabic and IPA serve distinct purposes; both languages exhibit similarities in their basic approach of representing and organizing the elementary sounds of language into monosyllabic units using distinct symbols.
Both systems illuminate how much meaning can be conveyed through the simplest building blocks of phonology.
Potential Use Cases for MonoArabic
Programming language: The monosyllabic nature of MonoArabic could make it suitable as a programming language. The shortness and simplicity of words may allow programmers to write simple yet robust code. A MonoArabic programming language could demonstrate how much can be achieved with few commands.
Business communication: MonoArabic could be used by companies wanting to communicate concisely without English. The limited vocabulary would force communicators to be direct and efficient, which could be valuable. Instructions in MonoArabic would be quick and easy for international employees to understand.
Codeword system: The short yet distinctive monosyllabic words of MonoArabic may make it useful as a codeword system. The words could serve as memorable ‘codenames’ for classified information. The lack of complex grammar could make codewords difficult to decipher.
Teaching aid: As originally proposed, MonoArabic could help children develop language skills at an early age. By starting simple, children may gain fundamentals to build upon when progressing to more complex languages. MonoArabic could act as a ‘gateway language’ to facilitate language development.
In summary, the AI-generated MonoArabic language exemplifies an novel approach to creating a new language optimized for young learners. Its minimalist structure, limited-yet-essential vocabulary, and monosyllabic word forms make it simple and accessible for children.
For those who struggle with multisyllabic words, MonoArabic could provide a stepping stone to facilitate language development. The language’s bare-bones structure and focus on essential communication might make it easier to adopt, compared to languages with many rules.
MonoArabic represents a proof of concept that points to exciting possibilities still on the horizon. AI may equip us to imagine a new type of language that could truly help young minds develop and blossom.
To create this language, I utilized an Ai-powered app called Agent GPT. Agent GPT can take a user’s input and run a variety of processes and prompts, in order to produce the desired output.
I tasked this tool with the goal of: “Invent a new, simple language. The language should use Arabic-characters for its lettering (A, B, C, etc) and it should be entirely monosylabic. The idea is that this language will be able to be used at a younger age, by those unable to otherwise speak multiple syllables.”
The Ai then generated a series of tasks it would begin to work on. Below, I am pasting the verbatim set of tasks the Ai set itself, based on my inItial request for the monosyllabic language:
It took Agent GPT (using GPT 4) about 25 minutes of talking to itself, in order to produce the language of MonoArabic. I then imported all of the information Agent GPT generated and fed it to Claude 100k, and asked it to pull out the important information, relevant to the creation of the new language. Finally I asked Claude 100k to please help me condense all these ideas into a short, informative blog post that introduces the new language.