Learn aUI

“Man solves his problems in a system of symbols.”

(Weilgart)

What if we could look at all of the languages in the world and come up the most basic set of meanings possible?  What if we broke down every word until we couldn’t get to a more basic meaning, then combined these meanings into a new “alphabet.”  That’s what Dr. Weilgart tried to do with aUI.  Want to see how it works?

Work through our fun activities.  The Elements of Meaning will teach you the basic symbols and pronunciations. Then, try our phoneme module (a phoneme is a basic element of sound in language), where you can practice understanding spoken aUI (coming soon).  You can also start with the Big Bang and try to intuitively guess at each symbol’s meaning (we bet you will guess right often, because aUI is an intuitive language).  Or you can use the Big Bang to test the skills you learned in theElements of Meaning and Phoneme Practice.  Then, you can move on to the Semantic Family Tree game.  You can begin making words.  Then you can learn grammar.  If you create an account, then after every activity, you earn rewards, and when you reach new levels of learning, we give you prizes, like the graphic novel, or even the aUI font.

If you want to learn more, or take it to the next level, click on “Andi’s notes,” like you see below, throughout the aUI site. There, you will find further learning, a more intellectual take on language and linguistics, and further thoughts from the world’s leading aUI expert.

Andi's Notes

We think of the current 118 chemical elements of the periodic table — oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc.– as constituting the basic building blocks of matter from which all other substances are made.  What might be the analogous components in the world of human thought and expression?

Suppose one could take all the languages of the world and distill out a set of the most basic common denominators – the essential semantic elements that cannot be further divided into a more basic form? …from which all other more complex concepts are composed? Is it possible to find these most fundamental and irreducible elements of meaning? What would they be? Could one build all other concepts from just a few basic ones? They have been identified in the world of matter. Could they also be found in the world of the mind?

aUI is really an innovative experiment with this premise. It is built upon such a proposed set of near-universal semantic primes, or elements of meaning, that are combined intuitively to create miniature definitions of essential meaning.  The core idea of it is that sound, symbol and meaning are aligned, and that therefore, the language is more intuitive and aligns the conscious and unconscious mind [see the Philosophy section for more]. Weilgart’s unique goal was to build an intrinsic relationship between the phonetic, morphologic, and semantic aspects of language so that words with similar sounds and symbols would also have similar meanings.  Additionally, and again unique among the hundreds of existing constructed languages, the symbols and sounds would have some iconic relation to reality.  They are designed to represent a salient aspect of the real world.

As an a priori philosophical language, aUI’s vocabulary is not based on any existing languages. Conventional languages are culturally constructed over centuries, somewhat haphazardly, according to chance, time, social change and geographic patterns. Dr. Weilgart was not alone is his concern that “conventional” language is messy, unclear, and in many cases, distorts meaning. The history of the search for a constructed language that is “more perfect” goes back, in the Western tradition, at least as far as Plato, and was also considered by Dante, Descartes and many other Renaissance and Enlightenment scholars. A great history can be found in Umberto Eco’s The Search for the Perfect Language (1995).

aUI has 31 morpheme-phonemes, each with an associated meaning, or sememe.  A morpheme is the smallest grammatical unit, or the smallest linguistic unit of form that has meaning.  A phoneme is the smallest distinguishable unit of sound.  A sememe, then, is a proposed minimal unit of meaning. As atomic meaning it cannot be broken down any further.

For instance, two dots joined together with an arc b make up the morpheme for ‘Together’; its phoneme ⟨b⟩, is a bilabial stop, pronounced with the lips pressed together. So here we see symbol, sound, and meaning working in the same way — Together.  ‘Light’, a source of light with rays spreading upward i, is pronounced with a short ⟨i⟩, the brightest, highest-frequency sound, while the soundwave ‘Sound,’  I, is pronounced with a longer ⟨I⟩, because sound travels more slowly than light.  This is the sort of intuitive symbology Weilgart used to create the language.

Check out the chart of the symbols under Elements of Meaning and then try some of the aUI combos out for yourself. See if you can make sense of it on your first introduction to aUI! If you’re even more adventurous, you can try the Pictograph Test (click the image below to go to the module page), given to most of Dr. Weilgart’s psychology students after getting just a brief description of the symbols’ meanings.