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or, efficient discourse

summary: falalalalanguage is a {language} shorthand for playing out discussions without actually having to consider arguments or opinions. by embracing the concept of "degrees of tangentiality" we can develop a significant conversation wholly in the realm of potentiality. this has significant implications for philosophical investigation as a whole, as whole fields of study can be simulated by a single person in the comfort of eir favourite armchair.

§what is a conversation?

throughout this paper i will be using several everyday words in a particular fashion. a conversation will refer to a set of discourses which can be charted back to a particular utterance. if the topic of conversation changes due to an event external to anything internal to any of the set of discourses of which it is made up, the current conversation ends and a new one is begun. a conversation then can have a dramatically varied array of topics, provided each discourse is derived in some way from a previous discourse.

as an example, i may be having a conversation with a friend on the subject of whether jam is called jelly or jam. as part of this conversation, i may mention apricot jam, which will lead to us talking about atlantis, the mythical underwater city, by way of atlanta, georgia, the peach state, because i frequently get muddled up between peaches and apricots. while the topic has entirely diverged, the divergence can be entirely measured in single steps of discourse.

if, on the other hand, the radio was playing in the background during our conversation and i overheard talk of an oil spill in the atlantic ocean, and then started talking about atlantis, the mythical underwater city, this would be an external means of conversational continuance and therefore would signal the start of a new conversation, whenever a discourse was in reference to that excerpt of radio.

§what is a discourse?

i have by now mentioned discourse frequently; it is after all central to my theory. a discourse is a pair of utterances, the second in response to the first. typically, these utterances would be from two distinct individuals, however there is no reason why one could not engage in discourse with emself.

the second utterance in a discourse must be in response to the first, but this does not mean it has to follow on from the first. the human brain works in mysterious ways, and as long as the consensus among those party to the discourse is that the utterance follows, there is no reason to doubt that. we have already touched on the topic of external influence in conversation, and that should be considered here also; when an utterance does not appear to follow on, and can be attributed to a relevant external factor, it should perhaps be considered not constituent of a discourse.

discourses are interleaved; each second utterance is the first utterance of the next. this should be an intuitive concept to anyone who has ever engaged in conversation, as the alternative would be much more akin to a shoddy stand-up routine, in which a tired comedian regales us with one-liner after one-liner. but even in that case, there may be discourses to be discovered. as previously established, it is perfectly feasible for one to engage in discourse with emself, and now i propose that not only is it feasible, it is also common. for a conversation is rarely made up of discourses wherein each participant takes a turn; rather, each participant will take several discourses. this allows each individual to develop what ey are saying, provide nuance, or provide a punchline.

§what is the degree of tangentiality?

it can be difficult to measure that fine line between nuance and punchline. that is why i propose five degrees of tangentiality which, when used as a manner of speech in themselves as i will describe shortly, i call "falalalalanguage". but first, allow me to explain falalalalanguage as a method of distinguishing different secondary utterances in a discourse.

the first degree is of course assertion of the utterance. absolute agreement, or repetition, and that is denoted "fa". assuming, as above, that we were conversing about jam and jelly, and i said "jam is a better term than jelly", you might endorse my view with the utterance "jam /is/ a better term than jelly". taking my initial utterance as "fa", your secondary utterance would be written "fa" also.

the second degree is positive direct continuation. directly continuing with our example, were you to respond to my assertion "jam is a better term than jelly because it allows the distinction between jelly eaten with ice cream and jam eaten on toast", my initial utterance would be denoted "fa", and your secondary utterance as "fala".

the third degree through the fifth degree are also positive continuations, each successively less direct than the last. were we to denote your secondary utterance as "falala", that is, the third degree, you may perhaps have said "absolutely. what's your favourite flavour of jam?". it is obvious how this continues the thread of utterances through the discourses, but it is not such a wholehearted endorsement of the point i was making. were we to denote your secondary utterance as "falalalala", that is, fifth and final degree, you might merely have acknowledged my claim with a slight chin-tilt, before asking how my mother was, because you recall us once walking through a market selling marrows and me remarking on how my mother once made marrow and ginger jam. for further discussion of these later degrees of tangentiality, see "internal and external conversation" below.

§but what about dissent?

for each degree, there is also the possibility of dissent. if for example you were wrong, you might respond to my initial utterance "jam is a better term than jelly" with "no, jam is not a better term than jelly", a dissertion of the utterance. this would be expressed in falalalalanguage as "ga", the negative continuation particle.

this logically follows through the following four degrees, from "gala", "jam is not a better term than jelly because they have different histories and refer to subtley different things, and if you actually cared that much about jam you'd appreciate that jams and jellies were different and why have you actually not mentioned conserves at all in this conversation?", to "galalalala", "no i don't think so; what do you reckon the best colour of t-shirt is?".

it should be obvious at this point the value of being able to distill such discussions down to descriptions of each discourse's degree of tangentiality from the previous, leading back to a simple definition of the initial utterance of the form "fa:n(initial utterance)", where n is the number of members of the conversation. an example conversation could therefore look as follows:

fa:2(jam is a better term than jelly)

a notable part of this conversation is the repeated "fa" on lines five and six; the former is an assertion of the previous utterance "falala", but then the utterer of that "falala" chooses to also assert "fa", meaning nothing got said in a cycle of discourse. this highlights some significant inefficiences in our methods of conversation, and we would do well to further explore the necessity of such.

§internal and external conversation

i mentioned above a larger degree of tangentiality could be the result of a wandering train of thought. i also mentioned above that discourses could, and certainly do, happen with one individual. it makes sense, following this line of reasoning, to be able to recursively represent falalalalanguage models then, so that higher degrees of tangentiality brought about by internal discourse of lower degrees of tangentiality (that is, all of them), can be represented in the schema.