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J Matthew Pearson wrote:
>
>Andreas Johansson wrote:
>
> > Thomas Wier wrote:
> > >
> > >Indeed, I think your reference to Aristotle is quite apt:  he saw
> > >imitation (mimesis) as an instinctual ability that sets humans
> > >apart from animals. If that is so (and it is probably disputable
> > >to some extent), conlanging, far from being artificial, as a subset
> > >of the world of art would be one of the most human and natural
> > >features of our existence.
> >
> > "Artificial" is a many-meaninged word. I usually use it in the sense
> > "man-made", and under that definition not only conlangs, loglangs,
> > programming languages etc, but also all natlangs are "artificial"!
>
>Well, yes and no.  Parts of natlangs are consciously invented when people
>coin
>new words and expressions, but the system as a whole mostly just evolves
>spontaneously.  Our capacity for Mental Grammar is certainly not
>artificial,
>any more than our ability to coordinate our muscles in the act of walking
>is
>artificial.

We-ell, to me, "artificial" don't necessarily suggest that it is invented
consciously, so I'd label all sound-to-meaning correspondences, actual
grammatical rules etc as "artificial". On a more general level, pretty much
anything we'd refer to as "culture", despite that much/most of it have
evolved thru' countless more-or-less unconscious decisions by myriads of
people during long periods of time, is "artificial" in this sense.

                                                       Andreas

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