aUI (constructed language)
|Created by||W. John Weilgart, PhD|
|Setting and usage||Designed to dissolve the discrepancy between homonymous and synonymous words.|
|ISO 639-3||None (
aUI, The Language of Space, is a proposed international language created during the 1950s by W. John Weilgart, PhD (March 9, 1913 – January 26, 1981), a philologist and psychoanalyst originally from Vienna, Austria. Weilgart's motivation for inventing the language was to create a form of communication based on what he proposed to be universal, basic elements of human thought and expression, that presented meaning in a straightforward and logical manner. aUI was not only taught by Weilgart, but also utilized as part of his psychotherapy work.
As aUI is not based on languages that existed at the time of its design, it is classified as "a priori" and has been classified a philosophical language due to the underlying principles of the language.
As a young man, Weilgart observed how Hitler's alliterative slogans (examples below), shouted threateningly over loudspeakers and radio into the despairing masses, had the power to focus frustration and hatred onto a scapegoat race. The influence of the (Nationalsocialist) Nazi propaganda machine was pervasive, targeting every level of German society, and based on millennia-old European history of anti-semitism. Language was intentionally manipulated and regulated by the regime: Hitler wrote of focusing on a few, simple ideas, appealing to emotions as opposed to reason, and repeating these over and over: "The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula." It is the parachesis and assonance common in the regime's language, along with the threatening presentation by trained speakers that Weilgart believed played to the emotions and exacerbated the propaganda's effectiveness.
Based on research from the Pavlov Institute he theorized that the subconscious mind associates assonance (whereas the conscious mind links synonyms). That is, while we think about and distinguish similar sounding words by their meaning, we nonetheless feel at some level that there is (or ought to be) a semantic relationship between them. Alliterative slogans may suggest a link in words unrelated by meaning but related by common sounds. Weilgart posited that such slogans, while only one of multifarious factors, could ignite war under incendiary conditions. Further, he believed that the general discrepancy between homophonous and synonymous words in conventional language could exacerbate a disconnect with the subconscious mind.
Weilgart followed Gottfried Leibniz' proposal for an alphabet of human thought that would provide a universal way to analyze ideas by breaking down their component pieces - to be represented by a unique "real" character. In the early 18th century, Leibniz outlined his characteristica universalis, the basic elements of which would be pictographic characters representing a limited number of elementary concepts. René Descartes suggested that a lexicon of a universal language should consist of primitive elements. The history of this language philosophy is delineated in Umberto Eco's The Search for the Perfect Language.
aUI is built upon a proposed set of (at least near-) universal semantic primes or elements of meaning that are intuitively combined to create miniature definitions of essential meaning. Weilgart's goal in design was to build an intrinsic relationship between linguistic subsystems – phonetic, morphologic, and semantic. There is an intuitive relationship between sound, symbol, and meaning, such that words with shared sounds or symbols also have a relationship in meaning: what sounds or looks similar also means similar. As such it can be considered an experiment in applied cognitive lexical semantics, and could function as an auxiliary language.
- Space: a /a/;
- Movement: e /ɛ/;
- Light: i /ɪ/;
- Life: o /ɔ/;
- Human: u /ʊ/;
- Time: A /ä/;
- Matter: E /e/;
- Sound: I /i/;
- Feeling: O /o/;
- Spirit/Mind: U /u/;
- Condition: Q /œ/;
- Negation: Y /y/;
- Existence: c /ʃ/;
- Relation: x /x/;
- Equal: j /ʒ/;(all other phonemes as in English, with exception of a rolled r, as a purring cat, if possible).
The phoneme 〈b〉, for instance, meaning "Together", is a bilabial stop, pronounced with the lips pressed together. "Light" is pronounced with a short 〈i〉, as the brightest, highest-frequency sound, while "Sound," is pronounced with a longer 〈I〉, because sound travels more slowly than light.
Each phoneme also has an ideographic glyph or symbol that represents its meaning. The symbol for 〈a〉, meaning "Space", for instance, is a circle showing an open space. The symbol for 〈e〉, meaning "Movement", follows the movement of a spiral nebula. "Human", 〈u〉, is depicted by the two legs or arms of the human being, also suggesting his dichotomous nature. The Human is fulfilled by the whole triangular trinity of the Spirit, a deep, mysterious 〈U〉, (there are many possible trinities found in philosophy and religion). "Life", 〈o〉, is represented by the shape of a leaf, photosynthesis forming the basis of all life. "Action", a vibrant 〈v〉, is represented by a lightning bolt, the most active thing in nature. The glyph for 〈g〉, meaning "Inside", is a dot inside a circle. The glyph for 〈t〉, meaning "Toward", is a one-sided arrow shape pointing towards the right.
aUI attempts oligosynthesis. The expressing of its semantic primitives each as a morpheme that is only one phoneme long is not without precedent: cf. Solresol, where each primitive is a morpheme that is one or two syllables long; and Wilkins' Real Characters, where morphemes are (usually) only one phoneme long, but operate in semantic classification instead of semantic primitives.
aUI is taught in Weilgart's textbook, aUI, The Language of Space, 1979, 4th ed. The word aUI means 'Space-Mind-Sound' or 'Space-Language'. Its companion book by the same author analyzes this language more deeply, Cosmic Elements of Meaning: Symbols of the Spirit's Life (1975).
- reykr (10). "Another Birthday Yesterday: Dr. John W. Weilgart". LIVE JOURNAL. LiveJournal, Inc. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- "aUI, The Language of Space". Andrea Weilgart Patten. 2005. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- more generally speaking, the use of parachesis - the repetition of the same sound in several words in close succession. Examples (from simple:Nazi Party; Glossary of Nazi Germany; de:Sprache des Nationalsozialismus:
- Heil Hitler! (healing, salvation, wholeness, safety - related to 'hail', Old English 'health') This was the ubiquitous alliterative greeting and lexification of the Führerprinzip, "leader principle"
- Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer! (One people, One nation, One leader!), one of the most repeated slogans of the NSDAP
- Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil: only those whose blood grew out of this soil have a 'right' to live in this homeland, and should fight for the Fatherland).
- Die Juden sind unser Unglück! (The Jews are our misfortune!)
- Lang lebe unser ruhmvoller Führer! (Long live our glorious leader!)
- Meine Ehre heißt Treue (My honor means loyalty)
- Kinder, Küche, Kirche (Children, Kitchen, Church)
- All-Deutschland gegen All-Juda! (All-Germany against All-Jewry!)
- Arbeit macht Frei! (Work sets you free)
- Arbeit adelt (Labor ennobles)
- Volk ohne Raum (A people without space/room)
- White Pride, World Wide (adopted by neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations)
- Kill the Kikes, Koons, and Katholics (slogan of the KKK, from reference #5 below)
- Klemperer, Victor (2004). LTI -Lingua Tertii Imperii: Notizbuch eines Philologen. Frankfurt am Main: Büchergilde Gutenberg. ISBN 3-7632-5492-7.
- Kennedy, Cohen, Bailey, David, Lizabeth, Thomas (2010). The American Pageant, Volume 2: Since 1865. Wadsworth ,Cengage Learning, Inc. p. 773. ISBN 978-1-111-83143-1.
- Mein Kampf from Project Gutenberg-hosted 1939 English translation by James Murphy, found under Wikipedia's Nazi propaganda.
- Weilgart, W. John (1979). aUI, The Language of Space. Decorah, Iowa: Cosmic Communication Co. pp. XXXIXff. ISBN 978-0-912038-08-7.
- Razran, G. (1961). "The Observable Unconscious". Psychology Review 68
- Razran, G. (1939). "A quantitative study of meaning by semantic conditioning". Science 90: p. 89ff
- Eco, Umberto (1995). The Search for the Perfect Language. Blackwell. ISBN 0631205101