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In message <[log in to unmask]>, Tom Wier
<[log in to unmask]> writes

>I think Roland is making a fundamental assumption about words:
>that they have some sort of ontological self-existence apart from
>the way people use them.  They don't.

I think that as conlangers we know this in practice.  In effect it's
pretty nearly impossible to devise an artlang without some idea of the
kind of people who use it, which is why everyone has a conculture of
some sort.

I was brought up on the notion (now rather old-fashioned, I think) that
the context in which a word is used, including the grammatical context,
the pragmatic context and the social context, *defines* the meaning of
the word.  Of course, the context is never quite the same, which is why
a word never means *exactly* the same thing twice.

--
John Fisher   [log in to unmask]   [log in to unmask]
Elet Anta website: http://www.drummond.demon.co.uk/anta/
Drummond ro cleshfan merec; fanye litoc, inye litoc