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Hey, this is great!  Made me think a lot.

--- AcadonBot <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The general public often looks down on Conlanging. It
> may be considered a "weird hobby" if done for fun and
> an "impractical concept" if done for communicative
> purposes.

In my experience, the general public doesn't know what conlanging is.
Unless they read Tolkien or heard Esperanto...

> Yet IMO conlanging is going on at all times in the world
> of natural language. People coin new slang terms constantly,
> and new inventions like "radar" and "modems" produce new
> words than may become quite common. All this may not
> be serious stuff. Some is clearly for fun -- take "Jabberwocky"
> -- not without its influence on the English language.

Acronyms are a very common form of neologism.  Another word, "robot",
was borrowed from Czech _robotnik_ "worker"; it came from a ^Capek play
and was a neologism even in Czech.

And of course there are the twisted Russian words in Nadsat, from _A
Clockwork Orange_.

> Natural languages are "under construction" constantly.
> Moreover, the leading "natlangs" are all to some extent the
> result of conscious efforts to define norms and establish
> a common vocabulary. Famous poets have set the
> standards for many -- including Pushkin's role in forming
> modern Russian; Dante in Italy, etc. Hungarian vocabulary
> was in part an artificial creation of its pioneer lexographers.

Shakespeare and the King James Bible for modern English.  I'm currently
studying the language of the King James and Douay-Rheims Bibles.

And of course al-Qur'an revolutionized Arabic -- took scattered tribal
dlaiects and begat a single global religious-cultural interlang.  (I'll
study the language of the Qur'an as well.

> Hebrew came back from the dead -- reorganized by
> planners. Norwegian was restructured (from Danish)
> and reorganized (at least twice). Most literate African
> "languages" today were created by conscious choice
> by language planners by selecting from leading tribal
> dialects, often fusing them into a norm that is then taught
> in the schools. Missionaries did the same with Fijian
> and other South Sea languages.

Norwegian is Danish in Swedish.  (At least one person said that at
least once.)

> An Emperor of Korea invented Hangul; Kemel Ataturk
> reorganized Turkish, replacing much grammar and
> vocabulary and putting it all into a new alphabet.

King Sejong.  In the 1400s or the 1500s, I forget what century.  Hangul
is the most widely used script based on the shape of the mouth, lips,
teeth, tongue and throat.  All other attempts to graphically represent
speech have failed horribly.

> "Classical Latin" "Classical Literary Chinese," Sanskrit,
> etc. were all norms set by "grammarians" -- not mere
> refections of what was being spontaniously spoken by
> some population. Further back, languages like Akkadian
> seem to have been "devised" from various souces by a
> series of planners.

Yeah, linguistics isn't a new art; Panini did millennia ago what the
Western world have only done since the 1700s.  (English didn't have any
major linguistic authorities until Noah and Daniel Webster, at least
that I know of.)

Also, I have said this before -- I consider proto-languages
(Indo-European, Altaic, Afro-Asiatic, Nostratic) conlangs unto
themselves.  It's basically working in the opposite direction of how
international auxillary languages like Esperanto and Lojban have done.
(Yet Indo-European vocabulary could work for a European IAL project --
didn't a member of Conlang propose this?)

DaW.

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