A priori (Languages)

From ArticleWorld

An a-priori language is a type of constructed language where the grammar and vocabulary are not adapted from other natural languages as is the case with a-posteriori, but are nearly or completely original. The vocabulary is usually sorted into categories, which is supposed to make them easier to learn.

The disadvantage of such languages is that they tend to become complicated despite the apparent simplicity of the system. If it takes four or five core words to signify one object, then the language becomes very awkward to use.

Some examples

Ro was invented by Rev. Edward Foster in 1904 but faded into relative disuse after about 30 years. He used the category system with the aim of making the recognition of unfamiliar words possible. For example, if the word for red is bofoc and the word for yellow is bofof, then it is understood that all colours start with bofo.

Solresol was designed by Frenchman Francoise Sudre in 1817 and was made up of only seven syllables. His main purpose was to develop a system that could be used by those who could not otherwise communicate with others such as the blind, deaf and dumb. It is also based on categories but it was unique in that the negative of a word is its reverse, eg. fala means good and lafa means bad. The language is still used today by a few enthusiasts.

Klingon, used by a race of humanoids on Star Trek, can also be regarded as an a-priori language.