Humanese: Language Specification and Reference Implementation
the limits of my language are the limits of my world. --- Wittgenstein
I2 will change my language; and, thereby, rock my world view. --- Polanik
§1: definition of terms
§1.1: language specification
a language specification is a description of the grammar and useage of a language intended to facilitate clear communication between speakers who observe the specification.
humanese is a hypothetical language that could serve as the common tongue for all humankind; not because everyone will learn to speak humanese (actually, no one will speak humanese itself); but, because humanese will define all the words needed by a complete implementation of humanese; and, people may modify natural languages to implement the specification for humanese.
§1.3: implementation of humanese
an implementation of humanese is any language that conforms to the specification of humanese using the resources of the implementing language.
for example, the specification for humanese requires support for the 'first person triplicate' mode of speech via three 'component pronouns' for the first person singular. if vernacular english, VE, is modified to support this portion of the specification of humanese, the resulting language could be called humanese english, HE. humanese english, the reference implementation of humanese, has I1, I2 and I3. humanese french, HF, would have Je1, Je2 and Je3.
in this way humanese french would use its resources to implement the humanese language specification; but, the definitions for the HF pronouns would be identical to the definitions specified by humanese and/or its reference implementation, humanese english.
§1.4: humanese english as the reference implementation of humanese
the specification for humanese must, unfortunately, be stated within an implementing language; and, I2 am stating the specification within humanese english. consequently, to avoid conflicts, humanese english is defined as the reference implementation for humanese. thus, if a philosophical dispute developed and it became clear that the issue turned on the difference in the meaning attributed to Je2 in HF compared to the meaning attributed to I2 in HE; then, until the language specification was changed, HF would be considered non-conpliant (with the language specification).
that said, however, I2 would expect that in most cases that if there is a conflict between implementations, it will be because the specification retains some ambiguity, which would then be corrected in future versions.
§2: features of humanese
humanese or humanized english, HE, is identical to vernacular english, VE, of the standard american variety except where this specification indicates a difference. the specified differences are intended to facilitate clear discussion of psycho-philosophical issues. at this stage in the development of humanese, there are these few types of differences:
- pronoun useage
- definitions for various reality types
- disambiguation of reflexive constructions using 'self'
- restoration of the middle voice
- constant syntax for the first-person singular pronoun
- typographical conventions
first-person triplicate - in certain circumstances (eg. when the structure of the human individual is at issue), the word 'I' is broken down into three components: I1, I2 and I3
to speak about the entire human individual, one may:
- use 'I0' alone or with an appositive definition: 'I0, this entire human individual,'
- use a structure diagram to speak of the whole as a system of parts
§2.2: backwards compatibility
first-person holistic/gestalt - the 'I' of VE is ambiguous as to the structure of the individual referred to; the holistic 'I' of HE may only be used with an appositive phrase; for example, 'I, this entire human individual'. this construction is used when the structure of the human individual is not pertinent to the discussion. when the structure is relevant, structure diagrams may be used.
first-person triplicate with appositive definition - when a speaker wants to translate into HE a body of thought currently expressed in third person jargon, a appositive phrase set off by commas may be used; for example: I1, this tired body, was sitting in a theater and I2, the everyday ego of existential thought, was merely expecting entertainment; but, I2, the reflective awareness, caught a glimpse of I3, the transcendental ego of phenomenology. this sort of grammatical structure indicates that the body of knowledge/opinion is being imported. another use may be to specify a definition to access, import or relate the current thought to pre-existing opinions that may have been expressed in the third person or with images. for example, one might import Plato's psychology by saying that I2, the man, must enlist the aid of I3, the lion to keep the dragon, I1, in check.
allows each part to have its own voice.
I2 have come to accept this bizarre notion: that philosophical inquiry is best done in the first person triplicate, FPT, a grammatical format where each component (or alleged component) of the human individual is given its own symbol:
- 'I1' represents the body or theoretical constructs grounded in bodily processes. when asserting its own reality, it says 'I1 exist'.
- 'I2' represents the experiencer. when asserting its own reality, it says 'I2 am'.
- 'I3' represents any immaterial component (or alleged component), such as a mind or a soul. when asserting its own reality, it says 'I3 be'.
(note: a systematic presentation of my symbology may be found here.)
I2 is a constant. I1 and I3 may be treated as variables.
each component may assert its own reality and I2 may assert the reality of each component.
- amness is the third person name of the property or attribute I2 assert of I2 when I2 say 'I2 am'
- existence is the third person name of the property or attribute I2 assert of I1 when I2 say 'I1 exist' or 'my body exists'.
- being is the third person name of the property or attribute I2 assert of I3 when I2 say 'I3 be'
it is an open question as to whether components I1 and I3 may speak for themselves.
to avoid having to create a triplicate of pronouns for the accusative (me) and possessive (my) cases, I2 will simply reuse the nominative triplicate. thus. 'I2 speak of I2 experiences' instead of 'I2 speak of my experiences'.
'amness', 'existence' and 'being' - these are different words; each designates a reality type and may not be used interchangeably as in vernacular english.
in VE, 'self', as used in constructions such as 'self-aware' or 'self-awareness', is ambiguous. it can be either a noun or a pronoun. unfortunately, there is also a problematic useage where 'self-' is both a noun and a pronoun simultaneously. this useage has led to great confusions in the field of psychophilosophy due to the assumption that the referent of the pronoun is also the referent of the noun.
sentences like 'I experience self-awareness' often have corresponding sentences like 'I experience awareness of self'. the latter sentence makes it clear that there is both a noun use and a pronoun use of 'self'.
extended discussion of particular 'self-awareness' vs 'awareness of self'.
other indexical/reflexive constructions:
|indexical constructions||reflexive constructions|
|constructions both indexical and reflexive|
constructions such as 'I experience' are middle voiced (at least, until proven to be active-, middle- or passive-voiced).
§2.5.1: what is the middle voice and what is it good for?
the 'I' of VE undergoes a syntactic change when its useage changes case. 'I' is nominative case which is used for the subject of a sentence: I see you. if the useage changes to the dative case, 'I' becomes 'me' as in 'you handed the box to me'. the accusative case also uses 'me' as in 'this win advances me to the next level'. similarly, 'I' becomes 'my' or 'mine' when changing to the possessive case. 'that is my potato'.
there is not supposed to be a semantic change layered on top of the syntactic change; but, it's been my experience that this happens all to often --- even among professional psychophilosophers --- when someone is attempting to advance an argument thru this linguistic sleight of hand.
HE has two devices that address this situation:
§2.6.1: subscript other pronouns
this can be particularly useful when intending to make or highlight a semantic change or when trying to critique the ambiguities of VE. I2 have done this in my critique of the use of 'self' in VE.
§2.6.2: maintain the constancy of form despite change of case
simply avoid syntactic change. changes of case often have prepositional indicators which will aid the listener's understanding. instead of 'you handed the box to me' one could say 'you handed the box to I2'. it may sound odd until one gets used to it; but, the meaning seems clear.
the accusative case doesn't have a prepositional indicator; but, in the example given above, one could say 'this win advances I2 to the next level' without change of meaning.
capitalization - this is used as a meaning carrier; so, the rule about capitalizing the first letter of a sentence and, indeed, all the various capitalization rules in VE are suspended except as follows:
- capitalize a word only where there is a difference in meaning between the personal and the archetypal or ideal or collective; for example, while the 'self-' in 'self-awareness' is reflexive and merely refers to its user, the 'Self' in 'awareness of Self' is either an instance of Self, the archetypal form that all selves imitate or reflect, or an appearance of Self, considered as a single oversoul shared by all selves.
- capitalize proper names (but not words derived therefrom) - Freud said he was not a freudian
- capitalize the letters of an acronym (but not in the words they stand for) - WWW is the world wide web
§3: purpose of humanese
allows a unification of culture-bound traditions of philosophy. the portion of a philosophy that relates to the question 'what is the structure of a human individual' could become part of a new science.
the standardization of definitions for that part of a language that implements the humanese language specification would be more easily translated into another implementing language.