Jim Grossmann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>What does it mean for an artificial language to be "logical"?

The following is my opinion.

A conlang is logical if all well-formed statements (though
not questions and commands) are logical expressions.

An expression is logical if it evaluates to either true or
false, but not both.  In plainer language, every expression
in a loglang should *unambiguously* convey to the listener
an idea about the way the world would have to be in order
for the expression to be true.

All natural languages are logical for the most part, but not
rigorously.  A language designed for logicality will pay
careful attention to the logical implications of its
constructions and will attempt to make the rules for logical
evaluation straightforward and consistent.

In order to be logical, a language is required to have
an unambiguous syntax (i.e. all phrases are bound), an
unambiguous lexicon (i.e. no homonyms are allowed; the
morphology self-segregates), and unambiguous pragmatics
(i.e. prescribed literalism--the speaker must say what
he means; words are interpreted at face value).

Many other things--such as a strong tendency towards
regularity on various levels--can be and perhaps should
be designed into a loglang, but they are not essential
to logicality.


---   Mike