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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.

Matt.