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Hylian language update !

The introduction booklet now includes a selective dictionary, words class for animals and plants, and a comparison with ancient Hieroglyphs !

Laramin is turning 10: Happy Birthday!

10 years ago at 10pm in a swimming pool of Kuala Lumpur, the idea of what would become the constructed language Laramin loomed in a mind... :)

Sonata for Oboe and Piano: Recorded and Published!

Last month we finally managed to record the sonata at the Kien Quyet studio. It will be available for sale on iTune, Amazon, and other platforms within few days.

Meanwhile, here is it, for free!
https://soundcloud.com/setzer-gabbiani/sets/sonata-for-oboe-and-piano-1

Facebook article

Link back Vietnamese and Chinese with Neo Nom

Neo-Nom a method to transcribe Vietnamese into modern Chinese characters, in order to immediately show the equivalences between the two languages. The aim is to help people learning either language to make connections with the other. It also indirectly draws connections with Japanese and Korean.

pdf here: Introduction to Neo-Nom

Example:
Tất cả mọi người sinh ra đều được tự do và bình đẳng về nhân phẩm và quyền lợi.
调特自由平等人品权利。

Continue reading...

Around Chopstick Languages (Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean)

Here is a list of articles and documents related to Chinese or Vietnamese:

  • Etymology of Chinese Characters, with proposes and illustrates 3 more sinogram generation mechanism, on the top of the 6 traditional.
  • Neo Nom 新喃 , a Japanese-inspired reconstruction of the ancient script Nôm, for learning purpose! If you know a bit of Chinese, that will gives you some keys to consolidate Vietnamese with what you know.
  • Chinese Etymology with Dr. Wieger's book (French), an in-depth etymological introduction, based on the seal script, the Shuowen and critical views of it.
  • Waseikango 和制汉语, a list of the Chinese words created by Japanese during the Meiji era, to describe new western concept. I’ve compiled the list myself from 2 sources.
  • Shuowen 说文解字 , an online XLS copy of the ancient etymological dictionary, with 11,100 entries. I’ve heavily customized it to analyze the text through excel functions and extract data systematically.
  • KoreoViet 韩越南字 , A Korean-inspired phonetic script for Vietnamese.
  • Voc Pro, a vocabulary list for professional context (technical, office) with translations in Vietnamese, Chinese, German, Spanish, and Bahasa.
  • Graphical Etymology of sinograms, a selection of few graphical etymologies.

Poème : Psaume 2 sur musique de Tallis

Le psaume 2 est particulier par son intensité et sa concision en 12 versets. Plusieurs mises en musiques ont été réalisées, et c'est la mélodie de Thomas Tallis qui m'a inspiré cette traduction versifiée :

  1. Pourquoi ce bruit dans les nations? Ces peuples aux projets vains ?
  2. Pourquoi les rois ont défié l’Éternel et son Oint ?
  3. Brisons, disent-ils, leurs liens, leurs chaînes ! Du joug, soyons sauvés!
  4. Mais Dieu dans les cieux se moque bien d’eux, de leur orgueil insensé.
    .
  5. Puis il leur parle en sa colère, fureur et épouvante !
  6. C’est moi qui ai sacré mon roi, sur Sion, montagne sainte.
  7. Décret du Seigneur : Tu es mon fils, engendré en ce jour.
  8. Demande-le moi, je te donnerai les nations pour toujours.
    .
  9. Sceptre de fer, tu les bris’ras, tel le vase du potier.
  10. Maintenant, rois, devenez sages ! L’instruction recevez !
  11. Servez l'Éternel avec crainte, tremblez de joie suprême.
  12. Embrassez le Fils, craignez sa colère. Heureux qui l’aime !

Voici le chant original, en anglais :


Another choir video , and here a cello version.

(1) Why fum'th in fight the Gentiles spite, in fury raging stout?
Why tak'th in hand the people fond, vain things to bring about?
(2) The Kings arise, the Lords devise, in counsels met thereto,
against the Lord with false accord, against His Christ they go.

(3) Let us they say break down their ray of all their bonds and cords
We will renounce that they pronounce their laws as stately lords
(4) But God of might in heaven so bright Shall laugh them all to scorn
The Lord on hie shall them defy they shall be once forlorn?

(9) With iron rod as mighty God, all rebels shalt thou bruse:
And breake them all in pieces small, as sherdes the potters use
(10) Be wise therfore ye kinges the more, Receive ye wisdomes lore:
Ye judges strong of right and wrong, advise you now before

(11) The Lorde in feare your service beare, with dread to him rejoyce:
Let rages be resist not ye, him serve with joyfull voyce
(12) The sonne kisse ye lest wroth he be, lose not the way of rest:
For when his ire is set on fire, who trust in hym be blest!

 

Voici enfin la flamboyante version de Heinrich Schutz , baroque, sur les paroles de la bible Luther :
(1) Warum toben die Heiden und die Leute reden so vergeblich?
(2) Die König im Lande lehnen sich auf und die Herren ratschlagen miteinander wider den Herren und seinen Gesalbten.
(3) Lasset uns zerreißen ihre Bande und von uns werfen ihre Seile.
(4) Aber der im Himmel wohnet lachet ihr. Und der Herr spottet ihr.
(5) Er wird einest mit ihnen reden in seinem Zorn und mit seinem Grimm wird er sie erschrecken.
(6) Aber ich habe meinen König eingesetzt auf meinem heilgen Berge Zion.
(7) Ich will von einer solchen Weise predigen, dass der Herr zu mir gesagt hat: Du bist mein Sohn, heut hab ich dich gezeuget.
(8) Heische von mir, so will ich dir die Heiden zum Erbe geben und der Welt Ende zum Eigentum.
(9) Du sollst sie mit einem eisern Zepter zerschlagen, wie Töpfe sollst du sie zerschmeißen.
(10) So lasst euch nun weisen, ihr Könige und lasst euch züchtigen, ihr Richter auf Erden.
(11) Dienet dem Herren mit Furcht und freuet euch mit Zittern.
(12) Küsset den Sohn, dass er nicht zürne und ihr umkommet auf dem Wege. Denn sein Zorn wird bald anbrennen. Aber wohl allen, die auf ihn trauen.

Compo : Stille Nacht

If you're preparing your Christmas choir, here is a colorful arrangement of the famous "Silent night" (Douce nuit):

Click on the picture to listen (to the ugly piano rendering)
The pdf score is here!

Polyglot Adventures

This week I've got some ideas about playing cards to stimulate multi-lingual workshops! The principle is basically to tell stories using several languages..

It is played with "Story cards" showing pictograms suggesting several ideas and words, "Language cards" indicating the tongues to be used, other "Mode cards" indicating tense (past present future) or focus (work jargon, emotions, slang, formal, etc.), and "Action cards" consumed to switch languages and modes.

Several playing styles came to my mind as i was crafting the first items:

  • Circle of Interpreters: players form a circle, languages are chosen as link between each player of the loop. Each has 3 story cards in hand. One by one, they lay a story card, and tell the scenario to the player on their left according to the required idiom. The next one adds another story card to the sequence and translates the whole narrative again to his neighbor. This game is rather collaborative, but we may give penalties to incorrect interpreters! This playing style only requires each player to speak 2 languages.
  • Free for All: players sit around 3 central decks of cards showing Languages (those that all players can speak), Modes, and Story. Each player has 5 story cards and 3 action cards. A first speaker is selected randomly, and starts telling a (logical!) scenario by laying down his story cards on the story deck. At least one sentence must be made for each card. At any point of time, another player can raise one of his story cards, and will take over the speaker at the end of his sentence. Logical junctions and grammatical correction are necessary, but complains from other players must be made in the same language! If the contribution of the contender is proven incorrect, he takes back his card. Any player can use action cards to switch tongues and modes, even in the middle of a sentence! The winner is the one using up all his story cards.

Practically speaking, printed paper was fixed on beautiful poker cards with tape. Kings Queens Jacks are kept to serve as "Action cards". Jacks and Queens switch to the next language of the pile, while Kings allow to select any tongue directly.

Here are all the graphics !

Facebook post

Etymology of Chinese Characters

Like other written languages, Chinese has built a system of connections between meaning, sound, and shapes. Its partly ideographic nature enables some direct links between meaning and shapes.

It has been proposed in one of the earliest Chinese dictionary (Shuowen 說文解字) that Chinese characters are created following 6 methods (LST 六書通). Here I'm proposing 3 more!

Continue reading...

Further Improvements to Esperanto / Plibonigi Esperanton !

Esperanto, the most successful created language for international communication, has been a wonderful encounter for me! It is the easiest language I know, while still being very accurate and elegant. But above all, its simple and powerful structure gave me the passion of learning foreign languages (and also create some..)

As a living language, it is subject to evolution, under the guidance of the Akademio.

Below are few ideas. Some are reasonable evolutions <Konsentebla>, others are downright utopias <Revolucieska!>

Continue reading...

Compo : La Marseillaise, Musique et Paroles

Y'a beaucoup à redire de notre cher hymne national. La musique est belle, avec un grand potentiel pour des harmonies intéressantes. Côté paroles... il y a débat !

Je commence par ma proposition musicale: Marseillaise pour 3 voix
...et sa partition.

Pour les paroles, voici une idée:

Allons enfants de la patrie, toujours l'espoir à nos côtés !
Liberté, liberté chérie, l’étendard de France t’est levé.
L’étendard de justice et de paix !

Que dans nos cœurs brille la flamme, ô frères maintenant rassemblés !
C'est elle qui nous fait désirer vivre ensemble, égaux, hommes et femmes.

L'espoir, ô citoyens, inspire notre horizon.
Marchons, marchons, vers l’harmonie prospère des nations !

Compo : La Belle Sérénade

Voici une adaptation musicale d'un poème de mon professeur de musique et ami Nguyen Van Quy:

(Cliquez sur la partition pour l’écouter !)

Credo in picture

A picture can translate a music, a poem... and why not a creed?
Here is what the Christian credo could look like:


(Click to open the file with explanation labels)

A sense of achievement

Small books to embody intangible creations, three so far. The content can be replaced as it updates.

Sociology: a Timeline of Generations

I've been hearing a lot about "Y Generation" and "Z Gen" lately. When I looked into the topic, it reminded me of an old idea : showing both time and age on a diagram, in order to quickly visualize the age of a person (or generation) at each point of time. The aim was to clarify statements like "I was too young for that back then!".

Historical events are shown in vertical, spanning through the age of affected populations. Events shaping a generation are typically occurring in their 20 years old.

I'm now complementing (crowding?) the diagram with the generations' labels, and few more events. In the XLS sheet I'm compiling researches depicting a profile of each generation.


(clicking on the image leads to the XLS file)

Bible quotes and summary

Here is another working document, compiling Bible quotes by topics. The document also contains a Bible summary chapter by chapter. (so far 886 out of 1239 chapters) I don't guaranty the summary's fidelity, but it can come in handy to give a first overview!


(Click on the picture to open the XLS worksheet)

Poème coloré "Éternel Présent"

En référence à la BD de Peeters et Schuiten (Souvenir de l’éternel présent). Hier, j'ai évoqué avec mon prof de théâtre que j'aimais reprendre des souvenirs d'improvisations ratées pour en imaginer de meilleures, et pourquoi pas, réviser mes souvenirs, comme un 1984 personnel ?

Exergy and Emergence, the two universal forces

Exergy

19th century's physics explained that all closed systems must evolve into states of higher disorder. This disorder can also be also seen as a dilution of matter and energy: electric charges migrate toward lower potential, radioactive atoms disintegrate into more stable isotopes, high pressure expand into broader space, motion causes friction and converts kinetic energy into thermal energy, heat dilutes into matter of lower temperature... Physics quantifies this amount of disorder-dilution by entropy (from Greek τροπή, change) In any closed system, entropy has to increase. This 2nd law of thermodynamics dictates the time direction in which systems will evolve. This arrow of time cannot be reversed, unless no dilution occurred, or if more entropy is produced elsewhere.

Another way to look at entropy is to measure exergy. It is the opposite idea of entropy, short from of "extractable energy". When entropy is created, exergy is destroyed. Energy cannot be destroyed, it is conserved and converted into diverse forms. (In the case of nuclear reactions, following e=mc2, one considers energy and matter altogether as conserved.) Exergy is the extractable, or "useful", fraction of energy in a system, which can be extracted to produce work and drive motion. Electrical and mechanical energies are virtually 100% exergy, but heat, pressure, and chemical potential depend on how they differ from the surrounding. 1m3 of air at 1bar is useless on the Earth, because it is surrounded by the same pressure, but in outer-space is could produce work by dissipating into vacuum. After all exergy is taken from a system (battery, air tank, fuel, etc.), this system is at equilibrium with the environment and cannot dilute further. This can be compared to a spring of energy and matter which expands and dilutes.

It is to be noted that exergy can be destroyed without any "practical" use (e.g. an electric heater in the ocean..). The definition of exergy pertains to physics and is not anthropocentric, but rather independent from human cultural judgement. (I've discussed it in this 2008 article (in French) )

First conclusion: mass and energy dilution, causing exergy consumption, drives the motion of the universe. It fuels all physical reactions which build this movement into... more complex structures.



Emergence

Emergence is the name given to the phenomenon whereby the complex interactions of many simple elements generate new overall behaviours and entities. For example: life emerges from biological systems. Life involves behaviours such as metabolism, reproduction, adaptation, which are all new compared to the underlying chemical systems, and could not have been predicted by the study of the chemical level. I've discussed this in a 2012 note, linking scientific fields in Russian doll emergence. I proposed the historical generation: Physical => Chemical => Biological => Psychological => Social. We see a rise of abstraction, and gradual irrelevance of "hard sciences" to study higher levels, replaced by humanities.

We can distinguish that the 2 necessary ingredients of emergence are the multiplicity of the entities (quantitative), and their specialization (qualitative). Hence emergence moves on through Zig-zag evolution, gaining complexity through both moves.

Emergence produces entities which survive when the underlying components disappear. For example, in a population of bacteria, if one individual mutates with a new better suited DNA trait, it will be inherited by its offspring and gradually become a trait of the whole population. It will survive in the population even after the death of the first new DNA bearer. An invention or an artistic style can still exists after the death of the civilization that made it.

A time goes by, more complex systems arise, which unify smaller components into a whole. Across history, civilizations consist of several societies, made of individuals. A person unifies organs, which unify countless cells, in turn unifying countless molecules, made of atoms.

Second conclusion: emergence federates the motion of small items into larger, fewer, harmonious, and novel entities. Like a pyramid building bottom-up, higher abstract levels gradually come into existence.



What our History-Universe might look like, from A to Z.

Both principles coexist:
...the destructive dispersing impulse of exergy,
...and the creative unifying rise of emergence.

Following the intuition of the Jesuit palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, we could call Alpha the space-time origin of exergy (probably the so-called Big Bang) and Omega the final unified emerging state of the universe. (I do mean "state" and not "point". This ultimate unification will occur at a given future time, but would probably encompass the whole universe itself.) This model does not imply that a god kicked the alpha and attracts us to the omega... but why not? At the bottom line of a complete picture of the universe, science and spirituality must be in agreement.

PS: Gravity seems to be a bump on the road to entropy... since it tends to aggregate things together, and to sediment solids from liquids, seemingly creating order. In case the universe lacks of momentum, gravity would make it end up in a Big Crunch, all would go back to the Alpha square one! Hopefully we got enough exergy and time to reach Omega, and a godly handshake.

Addenda 2016-07-25: After reading (at last!) Hawking "Brief History of Time", i understand that gravity represents negative exergy, so that the total exergy of the universe is always zero. During the spacial dilution of energy and matter, doubled by space-time expansion, a large share of the original exergy is transferred into gravitational potential exergy. I find dubious that that entropy would be already maximal when the universe will start to contract back again. I'm pretty sure we'll still have few more billion years to surf on the exergy waves and build further the pyramid!


Once again i found that illustrating entropy merely as "disorder" is misleading and limited. A blank hard-drive has more thermodynamic order than the one containing Beethoven's symphonies. One shouldn't confuse the levels of the emergence pyramid. Biological or aesthetic order are far beyond thermodynamics. In that sense, the so-called Theory of Everything would be humbly relevant only to the bottom of the pyramid.

PPS: Vincent Mignerot summarizes (in French) ideas from François Roddier and Eric Chaisson, and pessimistically proposes that emergence is only a mean to creates structures able to destroy exergy even faster. Hmmm.. maybe yes. Then it's a race: I use you to grow up, you use me to blow up.

L'article a été mis sur Facebook ici.

Emergence zig-zag

This diagram I made in 2011 explores the relationships between 2 aspects of emergence: the multiplicity of entities, and their specialization.

This 2016 article from a French researcher Vincent MIGNEROT (English text) reminds about the "Technological singularity", a point of no return where we'll have brought computers up to a level where they'll independently continue their emergence and overtake us. (see I Robot, Matrix, etc.) This point however might be less threatening than the "Ecological singularity", a turning point of self-amplifying damages to the environment, which will herald human decline.

Alfuni script: Universal, but not too much

After the 2 scripts of last September, which were adapting the principles of Alfuni to specific situations, here is the latest version balancing a wide range of sounds, with minimalist graphical variation. Some will blame a lack of contrast, but i do like the regularity and harmony it gives!

(as usual, the table links to the TTF font, for those who'd like to write with it, or tweak it further!)

One key originality of this script is to propose a logical link between consonants and vowels. This idea first came in 2008 with the Phono-Braille.

It also proposes a selection of tones and punctuation, but the table is already big..

Sample in classical Chinese:

Link to the language creation forum: Alfuni

Composer Timeline: History and Music

Here is a working document i've prepared, showing major composers (133 so far), ranging from Renaissance until today, on a timeline with their lifetime and key compositions. That helps understanding how their style evolved along with their musical environment.

Click on the image below to open the Excel spreadsheet:

Compo : Chronos

Here is my latest creation, a music composed for the 24h-contest Noctaventure on the topic "Tempus fugit": time flies (when we're having fun). I classify it as an "etude" because of its construction constraint: a Re-Re clock pendulum ostinato, lasting throughout all the score.

The colours and melody evolve through various emotions, following the steps of human life: childhood, youth, then grief, panic on the face of death, confrontation against time, and finally the enlightenment of a teaching bringing peace.

The beautiful surprise and originality of this music is how an Indian melody naturally sprung out from the harmonic evolution, bringing a hypnotic climax to the topic: Krishna in his transcendent form as eternal Time-Spirit.

Here is the PDF music score.
Here is the mp3.

Cardinal Cycle, a universal cultural framework?

Through the creation of the Hylian language, I've drawn correspondences between space (cardinal points) and time (sun, moon, seasons, life). More recently with the attempt to encompass all fields of education into 4 groups, I've been suggested a comparison with the European 4 elements. That triggered an extension of the initial "cardinal cycle" into something connecting all the Eurasian continent!

The Chinese cardinal points introduces a 5th item, central to the 4 others. This suggests similar central points, with transcendent character compared to the 4 others.

One thing at least is not universal: the link between the cardinal points and the moments of the day (through the position of the sun), which is only valid in the northern hemisphere. North-South is reversed in the southern hemisphere!

We see that Chinese culture is built between cycles of even and odd number. On one hand the Yin-Yang duality, the cycle of 4 seasons, and 4 cardinal points, often combined with the 8 combinations of the Taoist trigram. On the other hand, the cycle of the 5 agents, 5 music notes, 5 tastes, and then extended into the cycle of the 10 heavenly roots through multiplication by Yin-Yang.
However with the 5 agents, the "earth" holds a status similar to the others, not central.

For those who saw the movie "Divergent", we can also match the 5 factions following this order: Amity (farmers), Dauntless (fighters), Candor (judges), Abnegation (selfless servants), and Erudite (scientists).

Éducation Totale - Mapping out Education

The recent reading of the Wikipedia article on Jedi (the Star Wars frenzy can spark meaningful thoughts!) has lead me to realize how various fields of teaching and education can complement each others. Jedi are said to be "Polymaths", a word implying the mastery of many fields of knowledge, and at the Renaissance, mastery of arts as well. Since Jedi, like most Asian monastic traditions, blend rather physical training and wisdom, I came out with the following map of education:

The 4 fields of learning (Sport, Art, Science, Wisdom) are linked to 4 components of the person (Body, Heart, Mind, Soul), and nurture them with 4 types of food or accomplishment (health, beauty, science, peace).

Further, 4 types of historical teaching are proposed, giving emphasis on pairs of fields.

  • Sport+Art : Antique education as proposed by Plato
  • Art+Science : Renaissance polymath, like Da Vinci
  • Science+Wisdom : Medieval scholastic
  • Wisdom+Sport : Asian monachism

It is to be noted that back then, the definitions of the 4 fields were not as restrictive as shown here. For instance, Asian monks haven't excluded science but have been including part of it into their wisdoms.

  • The horizontal axis is about Power: Can and Know, "Pouvoir et Savoir". By combining horizontally Sport and practical Sciences, we could also imagine another very pragmatic education model: a nation of robots with no emotions (Equilibrium) nor conscience ! (Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World)
  • The vertical axis is about Feeling: Conceive and Receive, The combination of Art and Wisdom: people alternating between nerdy passionate creation, and peaceful selfless bounty to one another.

Maybe an accomplished man has to explore and balance all these fields?

I've integrated this map into the broader cardinal cycle.

Facebook post

Sonata for Oboe and Piano, ready at last!

After years of work, hours of joy and desperation, here is my first large scale musical work:

Sonate pour Hautbois et Piano (listen online)


And here is the score:

The next step is to have it performed and recorded into a CD, and get it up there on Amazon.. ;) Targeted by end of this year.

Alfunepta script: Alfuni on 7 segments

Here is a version of my universal script Alfuni, simplified to fit a 7 segment digital display. This script is not strictly phonetic as it is mostly meant to offer a panel of characters to write most languages of the world. Letters can bear several phonetic values. The script can even be used with simple literal match, eg: write "Fountains" instead of the phonetic "Fawtenz", especially when Alfunepta doesn't have the required sounds.

The TTF file is available by clicking on the picture.

Here is the usual 1st article of the universal declaration of human rights, as sample text (literal match is used):

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Alfunanto script: Alfuni for Esperanto

In the wake of some discussions about new Esperanto writing systems, I had the idea of recycling my old Alfuni script for the reduced scope of Esperanto sounds.


(click on the picture to download the TTF font)

  • Plosives are tall, fricatives are deep, africatives are therefore both tall and deep.
  • Mute are straight, voiced are crooked.
  • Nasal and approximant are marked by a hook
  • Vowels are small

Letters within a word can be grouped without ambiguity, which saves space. I also introduce the consonant Dz, for the sake of symmetry.

Simplifications include the combination of vowels into the consonant table, a feature that i tend now to always keep (W and U, Y and I, clearly match. H and A match in Arabic)

Here is the 1rst article of the universal declaration of human rights:

Ĉiuj homoj estas denaske liberaj kaj egalaj laŭ digno kaj rajtoj.
Ili posedas racion kaj konsciencon, kaj devus konduti unu la alian en spirito de frateco.

Hylian, a language with musical roots!

My constructed language now explores the possibility of links with the melodies of the Zelda universe, looking for known words and roots, and then extracting new roots to create new words!

Around the Vietnamese Language

Here is a quick summary of several creations around Vietnamese:

  • A Korean-inspired phonetic script: KoreoViet
  • More recently, a Japanese-inspired reconstruction of the ancient script Nom, for learning purpose! If you know a bit of Chinese, that will gives you some keys to consolidate Vietnamese with what you know : Neo Nom

Laramin now goes fully ideographic !

Since 2012, a new script has been developed for Laramin, my first constructed language. More than ever it fits the project since it's purely ideographic.

Laramin has always put the emphasis on "meaning in itself" as far as such thing is possible. That is, all derivations, declensions, and conjugations are done using radicals with independent meaning. The targeted reading experience is to have a very analytical language structure (all words and grammatical aspect can be broken down to few fundamental ideas) only using direct visual symbols. (not like: "A" is a deformed ox head loosely pronounced "a", which in some contexts is an indefinite article..)

Larasem (for LARAmin SEMantic script) is made of simple visual components shared by all human civilizations: hand, foot, eye, tree, branch, cup, etc. Most Larasem combine several components to form an ideogram. This method can be compared to the Chinese 会意字 which also puts together ideographic components. More explanations can be found in the introduction PDF.

Here is a sample with the original text, translation with Latin script, phonetic script, and finally the ideographic script :

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