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CONLANG  May 2004, Week 1

CONLANG May 2004, Week 1

Subject:

Re: EU allumettes (was: Re: THEORY/CHAT: Talmy, Jackendoff and Matchboxes

From:

Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 2 May 2004 19:33:12 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (169 lines)

On Saturday, May 1, 2004, at 11:10 PM, Henrik Theiling wrote:

> Hi!
>
> And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>> Philippe Caquant:
>> ...
>>> Esperanto, at least for such uses, I don't know how we
>>> should explain it to our governments !
>
> AUXLANG ALERT!

Quite - I did notice Philippe's rather naive (IMO) remark but withheld
making any response & hoped it would go unnoticed for the very reason
Henrik is signalling. There is an Auxlang list and there was a very good
reason for creating it. I was once on that list and stuck it out for as
long as I could, before I could stand the narrow-minded bigotry of, alas,
too many auxlangers and left the list for good.

If an IAL flame-war is going to break out here, then I'll be going nomail
for a few months, in the hope that it's over before I come back.

>> Were the EU to mandate that we all learn a new language,
>> let it at least be a language designed to be incapable
>> of ambiguity (-- no such language exists, but us conlangers
>> would, I expect, be happy to oblige by designing one). It
>> would criminal to squander, by selecting Esperanto, the
>> opportunities afforded by a new common language.
>>
>> If all that is required were a language that was understood
>> by as many as possible, then there'd be no need for
>> Esperanto: English would be far superior a choice.
>
> Please no auxlang discussions here.  They are always the first
> step of flame-wars.

Too, too true.

> To give an example of how it starts: I hate Esperanto.  It is so badly
> designed, sounds so stupid and looks so ugly!  Don't ever get near me
> trying to convince me to learn it!  If ever any governmental office
> tries to force me to learn it, I will immediately leave the country.

Seriously, if the EU were so short-sighted, the body of anti-EU opinion
would grow substantially in the UK and pro-Europeans like myself would be
dismayed. Quite simply, the regulation wouldn't work and it would
certainly be divisive.

[snip]

>> But it in fact is important that Estonian, Breton, Romagnolo and
>> Catalan should be on matchboxes, so as to protect endangered
>> cultural entities from oppression by the hegemony of the major
>> languages. (I do realize that nonnational languages have at best a
>> second-class status, but that is odious.)
>
> I fully agree.  If the languages don't fit on a matchbox, dear EU,
> make a law to make matchboxes larger. :-)

Absolutely! official recognition of a language is important for speakers
of minority languages - that, at least, I learned from my 22 years in
Wales.
 =========================================================================

On Saturday, May 1, 2004, at 11:28 PM, Trebor Jung wrote:

> Mark L. wrote:
>
> "I'll get right on it as soon as y'all have completed the requirements
> document (where I can find the specification of "optimal grammar")."
>
> What I was actually thinking of was surveying the EU languages to find
> whether a feature should be included or not:

Can't you see that Mark's mail was ironic! He, like me, have been
participants on the Auxlang list and we both have left that list, having
heard these propositions trotted out ad_nauseam.

>  Do most languages have
> prepositions or postpositions or case suffixes etc.? What about articles?
> And participles? etc. etc. etc. If X is really unnecessary and difficult
> for

What about taking the discussion to Auxlang?
 =========================================================================
On Saturday, May 1, 2004, at 11:56 PM, Danny Wier wrote:
>
> From: "Henrik Theiling" <[log in to unmask]>
[snip]

>> I fully agree.  If the languages don't fit on a matchbox, dear EU,
>> make a law to make matchboxes larger. :-)
>>
> Or just rely on a small number of languages. I'd say German, French,
> English
> and Italian at the most, since they're the top four among native-tongue
> speakers (according to the last Eurobarometer survey).

Italian - but not Spanish? Why?

But no, no, no. That'd just emphasize the hegemony of the 'big' languages.
  Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians & Slovenians inter_alia did not join the
EU yesterday to have their languages officially ignored and thus further
endangered. I welcome them and other new members and their languages.
 =========================================================================
==

On Sunday, May 2, 2004, at 01:53 AM, Javier BF wrote:

> AFAIK
> people in this list supposedly do not to care about auxlangs
> because auxlangs are allegedly "boring" and "simplistic".
>
>> And, thus, a flamewar was born... ;-)
>
> Why? Comments about auxlangs being "boring" and "simplistic"
> is something I've heard from people in this list and I merely
> reported the existence of that opinion among people here

Well, most of them are fairly simplistic. But IMO it's not the languages
themselves that are boring but the inevitable flaming & bigotry engendered
which I find utterly boring.

[snip]

> OTOH, saying that talking about (even mentioning!) auxlangs
> has to be avoided because it will instantly start a flamewar
> between the ones favourable to auxlangs and the ones opposing
> them and between the ones favourable to one auxlang and the
> ones favourable to another auxlang

..or between those supporting one version of an auxlang and those
supporting another version of the _same_ auxlang. I left Auxlang when
supporters of a Novial revival were flaming one another because each
thought his [yep, they were all male] version was better than the others
and more in line with what Jespersen would've wanted!

[snip]
> is like saying that the
> topic of Tolkien languages has to be avoided because it
> is going to start a flamewar between those who oppose any
> "reconstruction" of those languages and the ones favourable.
> Not to mention the feud between the ones who like naturalistic
> conlangs and the ones who like "alienistic", engineered or
> philosophical conlangs.

NO - it is not even remotely similar. There is AFAIK in fact _no_ feud
among the ones who like naturalistic
conlangs and the ones who like "alienistic", engineered or philosophical
conlangs - and please don't try to stir up one.  Indeed, it has been my
experience that we all co-exist on this list quite harmoniously - and long
may this continue to be so.

> If you don't like a particular topic
> or a particular language, just skip the discussions dealing
> with them; meanwhile, those truly interested may have a
> productive interchange without being driven into a flamewar.

..and pigs might fly.

Ray.
===============================================
http://home.freeuk.com/ray.brown
[log in to unmask]    (home)
[log in to unmask]   (work)
===============================================
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language."         J.G. Hamann, 1760

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