How do you speak Instrumentation?

Well ... actually you don't ... Not just yet.

Not that it is impossible, there is a complete syllabary, but it is really just for emergencies. You can see the pronunciations using the game, but I wouldn't bother trying to memorize them (unless you just want to impress your annoying friends with your capacious memory).

You see, Instrumentation's vocabulary is very immature. I expect major changes in that vocabulary before things settle down. I do not think the methods of forming adjectives, adverbs or verbs will change, but many individual 'nouns' will probably migrate to new locations where they will fit in better.

So, why does this tutorial even exist?

Instrumentation was never really meant to be a spoken language. Instrumentation is a visual (electronic) language. It is for communicating with people who aren't nearby, for communicating with people who are anywhere in the world. It is for 'talking' with people who use different languages and follow different linguistic conventions.

Because of this it has its own (overly) simple syntactic rules.

Before you can send a message to a friend, you need to arrange the glyphs in such a way that your friend will have some idea as to what you are trying to tell him or her. In order for that to happen, you both need to have the same picture of how a sentence is constructed.

This tutorial covers the basic mechanics of sentence construction.

Soup to nuts and bolts

First of all, Instrumentation follows an SVO (Subject . Verb . Object) word order. In English, this would give us a sentences such as, "I like you" or "You and I grow and eat carrots and peas" or, "Bob eats asparagus". Instrumentation does not have indirect verbs so we never need to say, "The asparagus is being eaten by Bob".  

The thing that might seem odd is that all descriptions and qualifications (such as adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases, etc.) follow these three main sentence parts. As an example we might say:

"Bob . old . fat . on (the) floor . eats . slowly . carefully . with (a) fork . asparagus . fresh . steamed . from California . with mayonnaise . and lemon."

This is actually surprisingly easy to create and understand with a little practice.

One further (tiny, last) change is that the prepositional phrases will be shown backwards by the Instrumentation application. You can see examples of this in the Articulation tutorial. The final version of the sentence above would be:

| Bob .| old .| fat .| floor . on .| eats .| slowly .| carefully .| fork . with .| asparagus .| fresh .| steamed .| California .| from .| mayonnaise . with .| lemon . and .|

The '|' (vertical lines) parse the sentence above into individual glyphs. California is separated from the word 'from' because California is a proper name. The name 'California' would either be created phonetically using the "embedded text" glyph (#7E00) and the "Foreign Words" area (#02 - Unicode) of the Specialization layer, or it would already exist in the geography area of the Specialization layer or it would be part of a Personal vocabulary.

In either case, a Specialized term can not contain an Articulation suffix (such as 'from') within a single Instrumentation glyph (because there are no empty places [or friendly spaces] left in 'California'). The 'from' glyph could physically precede the 'California' glyph but it is best to follow the same simple pattern at all times to avoid misunderstandings.

Inconsistency is a common problem with 'natural' human languages.

It is not completely clear whether Bob is eating "asparagus with mayonnaise and lemon" or eating "asparagus and lemon with mayonnaise" in the sentence above, but in either case, all three things are being eaten.

Take a deep breath

So, just "noun(s) verb(s) noun(s)" with descriptions following? Is it really all that simple?

Of course not!

The Sentence Construction chapter in the design document covers more complicated constructions, but don't let that deter you from starting with very simple sentences and then adding complexity slowly as you and your friends become comfortable with the language.

There are also handy conversational phrases, operators ("Dog Verbs" like come, go, give, make, etc.), expletives and animal noises which can spice up any conversation.

Deeper ... deeper!

If we wish to dig a little deeper, the 'sentence' pattern is basically fractal with descriptions of descriptions of descriptions (potentially) trailing off to infinity. Every prepositional phrase that contains a noun may require further definition (like 'linoleum' describes 'floor' in the diagram below). Because of this, prepositional phrases and other 'noun bearing descriptions' should always follow any adjectives or adverbs that describe the main event.

This format loosely follows the RDF methodology, but I prefer to think of is as "speaking parenthetically". I speak parenthetically all the time (in case you hadn't noticed [because it think it helps you focus on the important parts of the sentence {and besides, I think it is funny (but it really is the way I think [because every thought is associated to another thought {like dominoes}], I blame it on being a programmer)}]).

a graphic view of the pattern

In the diagram above, nouns are boxes; predicates are diamonds and adjectives and adverbs are ovals. These are the three main divisions of all terms within Instrumentation. Predicates include verbs and all of the other terms from the Articulation layer. Predicates may also be thought of as 'Relationships'.

In the sentence above 'on' would actually be 'located at', 'mayonnaise with' would be 'mayonnaise accompanied by' and 'fork with' would be 'fork is interface for'. I used the smaller English words to conserve space in the diagram. We might also consider 'linoleum' to be a noun so that it would require the predicate "is feature of" to create a proper prepositional phrase.

Another example of modifying a prepositional phrase would be, "Bob. old. tired. chair. in. green. slept." The chair in this sentence is 'green', Bob is (probably) not.  The Term 'chair. in.' is the target of the adjective 'green' because it immediately precedes the adjective. Also notice that there is no object in this sentence.

This need not be a major consideration since subordinate noun descriptions can always be broken off and presented as separate sentences. For example "Bob. old. tired. chair. in. slept." "Chair. is. green." This second method takes longer, but is easier to understand.

Explicitly gratuitous phone sets

To send a message:
If you receive a message:

Stop reading here

Ultimately the Articulation layer controls the purpose of each glyph within a sentence. As the articulation layer terms become better defined, the Instrumentation language will acquire the complex formal rules of a mature language, but for now please start with simple sentences and minimal descriptive words.

If everything goes as planned Instrumentation will mature as its user base expands and matures.

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