|What?! Another Auxlang?||Why?|| The Symbols and Sounds
of the Language of Space
|For Further Information||Publications available by
W. John Weilgart, Ph.D.
What?! Another Auxlang?
With great trepidation we offer up another proposal for an international auxiliary language: a philosophical a priori language, which is unique and unprecedented in design so that adding yet another prospect to the list seems warranted. In deed, it is not really a newcomer, except to the internet world.
Originated by philosopher, philologist, and psychoanalyst Dr. W. John Weilgart in the 1950's, The Language of Space was designed to overcome the arbitrary nature of conventional languages and make communication more simple, logical, and inherently meaningful. It could thus become a vehicle to bridge the boundaries of national space, perhaps even of universal space.
A native of Vienna, Weilgart was a young man when Hitler came to power. From Dr. Weilgart's dread observation of the hypnotic power of alliterative slogans (among other ubiquitous propaganda) to focus the frustration and despair of the German people en masse into hatred for a scapegoat race, and further, to trigger war in the inflammable milieu of the time, he was compelled to carry out a boyhood dream of finding the transparent tongue which even a rational alien creature could understand.
Dr. Weilgart sought a language in which the confusion of homophonous and polysemous words with synonyms, as in the fatal power of the slogan, is not possible; in which intended meaning is denoted explicitly by intrinsically meaningful morphemes which are depictable in simple symbols; in which communication comprises the basic semantic elements common to all cultures; in which communication is a highly creative process offering freedom of word formation and freedom from grammatical irregularities. After learning about a dozen languages and examining the process of linguistic expression of peoples from many cultures on several continents, Dr. Weilgart reluctantly concluded that existing languages, a combination thereof, or a revision of one could not meet his qualifications. He certainly did not wish to add to the hundreds and thousands of existing languages and dialects unless he could find a system that was singular in its ability to transcend traditional tongues and could, therefore, justify any heroic effort to learn yet another language.
The Symbols and Sounds of the Language of Space
Thus Dr. Weilgart created the Language of Space from the 31 elements of meaning
he proposed to be the most basic and universal categories of all languages. He
found that these elements are not defined in simpler terms in a dictionary, and
may represent the ultimate linguistic 'semantic primitives.' Together they would
form the 'periodic table' of the semantic elements of all human thought and
expression. Each was given a simple ideographic symbol that could be
remembered within the time it took to briefly explain or point out.
Currently about half are given here:
Vowels, which are produced with open, unrestricted air flow, in general
represent free, independent concepts and are pronounced as in Old English
and other European languages.
Click on the symbols to hear how they are pronounced:
Space -- a circle showing an open Space; Space surrounds us. Pronounced 'a,' quickly as in 'Mama,' by opening the mouth to a wide open Space.
Movement -- a spiral nebula's primal cosmic Motion. Pronounced 'e,' quickly as in 'jet propelled Movement.'
Light -- a source of Light with rays spreading out. Pronounced 'i,' quickly as in 'lit,' the brightest vowel with the highest frequency.
Human -- the two arms or legs of a Human showing the duality of Human nature. Pronounced 'u,' quickly as in 'pushy' Humans.
Life -- a leaf shape, photosynthesis being the basis of all Life on this planet. Pronounced 'o,' quickly as 'zo-ology,' spoken with a British accent.
Time -- the ellipse of elongated Space, its 4th dimension, measured in elliptical orbits of earth and moon. Pronounced elongated 'A,' held longer as in 'fAther,' as Time lasts.
Matter -- a brickstone of Matter. Pronounced 'E,' held longer as in Latin 'matEria,' as Matter lasts.
Sound -- a sinusoidal Sound wave. Pronounced 'I,' held longer as in 'shrIek,' as Sound travels more slowly than Light.
Mind,Spirit -- a triangle representing the many trinities possible in the spiritual, religious, psychological, and philosophical realms. Pronounced 'U,' held longer as in 'trUe' Spirit.
Feeling, Sensation -- a heart shape, as blood pressure and pulse are indicative of Feelings. Pronounced 'O,' held longer as in 'Oh LOrd!' leaving out the 'r.'
Good, Positive -- a plus sign. Pronounced 'r,' trilled if possible, as a cat purring when it feels Good.
Negation, Opposite -- a minus sign; Negates anything written underneath. Pronounced in Opposition to the sound following it: as a consonant when preceding a vowel, 'y' as in 'yield,' and as a vowel when preceding a consonant, 'Y' as in 'trulY' keeping the mouth rounded.
This -- a shortened arrow pointing down at This. Pronounced 'f,' as if lips or finger were pointing at This.
Action -- a bolt of lightning, the most Active thing in nature. Pronounced 'v,' as in 'vibrant with vim and vigor.'
Quality -- a bowl shape, a rounded Quantity symbol as Quality is intuited more with Feeling (also rounded). Pronounced 'm,' as in 'mmm, good.'
Before Toward Above
p t k
Toward -- an arrow pointing or a hook pulling Toward. Pronounced 't,' as in 'tongue tipped Toward.'
Above -- a dot Above a line. Pronounced 'k,' articulated Up against the soft palate, as in 'the King wears a Krown.'
Together Thru Inside
b d g
Together -- two dots joined Together by an arc. Pronounced 'b,' with lips pressed together as in 'both bonded Together.'
The language subsystems - phonologic, morphologic, and semantic - are thus meaningfully related in the Language of Space, fulfilling linguists' concept of 'isomorphic consistency' (Brown, 1961; Hockett, 1967; Sapir, 1931) and satisfying a child's sense of harmony between sound, symbol, and significance. Each phoneme is also a morpheme and each morpheme is also a sememe. Because aUI is pervaded by a phonetic symbolism it could also be considered a 'physiognomic' language (Brown, 1955). Dr. Weilgart theorized that the harmony between sound, symbol, and meaning could be significant to optimum mental health because it might facilitate communication between the conscious mind, which thinks in synonyms, with the subconscious, which associates in assonances.
These elements are then combined, much like in chemical formulae, to define (not merely denote or connote) the essential meaning of any word or idea. Each word becomes a mini-definition which is formulated to include only the absolutely necessary and sufficient elements. Through simple, intuitive logic, new definitions can be created and standard words custom fit for context. For instance:
|iA||Light-Time = day|
|yiA||darkness-Time = night|
|fiA||This-day = today|
|pfiA||Before-today = yesterday|
|fiAt||today-Towards = tomorrow|
|io||Light-Life = Life that lives from Light = plant|
|iO||Light-Sense = sight|
|IO||Sound-Sense = hearing|
|iOv||sight-Verb = to see|
|tiOv||Toward-to see = to look|
|A-tiOv||Time-look = to watch|
|viOv||Make-see = to show|
|rO||Good-Feeling = pleasure|
|krO||High-pleasure = joy|
|UrOm||Spiritual-pleasure-Quality = happy|
|YrO||Negated-Good-Feeling = bad-Feeling = pain|
|U-YrO||Spiritual-pain = sadness|
|A-UYrO||Time-sadness = grief|
|tYb-UYrO||Toward-without = loss-sadness = grief|
|U-Yk-YrO||Mental-low-pain = depression|
|pO||Before-Feeling = anticipation|
|fu||This-Human = I, me|
|bu||Together-Human = the Human one is Together with = you|
|bru||Together-Good-Human = a Human one has a Good Togetherness with = friend|
|brU||Together-Good-Spirit = peace|
|UI||Mind-Sound = word|
|aUI||Space-word = Space language (abbrev.)|
It is apparent that words that look and sound similar also have a similarity in meaning. As phonemes are also sememes, so near-homophones must be near- synonyms in aUI. Its mnemonic principles and symbolic nature ease the inherent difficulty in learning a new language.
To sophisticated minds the first impression might be that aUI words are not sufficiently complex to differentiate finer shades of meaning. The 4th edition of aUI, The Language of Space (1979), contains a vocabulary of over 3000 words to date. With study it becomes apparent that fine distinctions can be made. For instance 'bru' is the basic word for 'friend,' whereas 'tevbu' (which derives from 'to meet') might be 'aquaintance;' other compositions would distinguish pal, buddy, companion, partner, mate, etc. Each of these, in turn, could be further modified to fit context by adding or deleting a symbol or two. The potential for symbol combination is vast, limited only by word length and ease of pronunciation.
On the other hand, aUI was not necessarily designed as a highly specialized scientific-technical language, since for instance such terms as are contained in the Latin classification system for living things are already international. Science also has the power of verification by experiment to guide assertions back to reality.
Grammatical endings are kept to a meaningful minimum and remain consistent. The main parts of speech are specified by the same meaningful elements: adjectives end in -m, Quality, as they qualify nouns; verbs end in -v, Action. Imperatives end in -rv, Good-Action, i.e. "It would be Good to Do this!" or "You Better Do this!"
|om||Life-Quality = alive|
|yom||Non-alive = dead|
|ov||Life-Verb = to live|
|yov||death-Verb = to die|
|yo-pAv||death-Before-Time-Verb = death-past-Verb = died|
|yo-tAv||death-Toward-Time-Verb = death-future-Verb = will die|
|vyov||Make-die = to kill (causative)|
|vyorv!||kill-Good-Action = kill! ("Why would that be Good?")|
Participles and further verb tenses are made with other suffixes. Prepositions and conjunctions end in topovectors, the symbols that show position and are pronounced with stops or plosives. For instance:
|ab||Spacially-Together = at|
|eb||Moving-Together = with|
|ak||Spacially-Above = above|
|Yk||Non-Above = below|
|at||Spacially-Toward = to|
aUI is designed to clarify communication by transforming language into a transparent medium of meaning. By defining words with semantic elements each word becomes an explicit analysis of meaning. The essential meaning lies within the word, open to be questioned and verified. Perhaps aUI could thereby guard against semantic prejudice (which often leads to ideological hatred) and against our inherent suggestibility to misleading slogans. Rather than be led by the connotations and implications of arbitrary words alone, one is constantly guided back to the reality of the basic universal roots in what linguists have termed 'extensional orientation,' (Chase, 1938; Hayakawa, 1963). The natural relationship between words and the essence of things may facilitate a recognition of the true nature of the named reality. This tendency, referred to as "mimologism" (in Eco, 1998), has been sought after as part of the two millenial search for a perfect or primigenial language (Eco, 1995).
aUI's use is two-fold: 1) for communication using standard, agreed upon definitions (which still could be slightly modified for context) and 2) for free, idiosyncratic expression. Dr. Weilgart's dream was to offer youth another medium for creative self-expression in the effort to dissolve destructive drives in our society. Immersed as we are in the culture of communication aUI could provide another engaging pursuit of creation and re-creation available to all.
For Further Information:
Please address any comments, questions, reactions, etc. to:
Annie Weilgart at: patten(at)centurytel(dot)net
We also joined an interest survey concerning IALs that toke place at Cambridge. Here is our flyer/advertisement we used.
aUI, The Language of Space,
Cosmic Communication Co., 1979, 4th ed., 307pp, softbound. (Original, self-published work, limited availability; may at some point be replaced by CD version pending interest.)
The Cosmic Elements of Meaning,
Cosmic Communication Co., 1974, 303pp, softbound.
Cosmic Communication Co.
100 Elm Court
Decorah, IA 52101
Brown, R. W., (1961). In J. S. Brunner, J. J. Goodnow, & G. A. Austin (Eds.), A study of thinking, New York: Wiley. Brown, R. W., Black, A. H., & Horowitz, A. E. (1955). Phonetic symbolism in natural languages, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 50, 388-393. Chase, S., (1938). The tyranny of words, New York: Harcourt-Brace. Eco, U., (1995). Search for the perfect language, Oxford: Blackwell. Eco, U., (1998). Serendipities: language and lunacy, New York: Harcourt Brace & Co. Hayakawa, S. I., (1963). Symbol, status, & personality, New York: Harcourt Brace & World. Hockett, C., (1967). Language, mathematics, and linguistics, The Hague: Mouton. Sapir, Edward, (1931). Conceptual categories in primitive languages, Science 74, p. 578.
last updated: 29 July 2010