On 2/24/07, Jens Wilkinson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Language is, among other things, a system of norms, so there will always be right wrong ways to use it. Among the users of any language, there will be those who care about such things more than others. Language is also, to use Bourdieu's term, "symbolic capital." It is a way of asserting or revealing one's status. As long as there are differences in status, language will be one of the ways of marking such differences. "Preferred" usages emerge. I think the goal of a language without preferred forms is hopeless.
In fact, I'm not sure if a
big body of literature is a positive or negative
thing. It would seem, to me, to lead to the danger of
solidifying the language into something with "rights"
and "wrongs" like a national language. Although this
might be difficult, I almost think it would be best
for a language designer to resist the creation of a
solid body of literature and just use the language for
And as Don pointed out, regardless of the designer's opinions about auxlang literature, if enough people use the language, some *will* use it to make literature. This is one of the things that people do with a written language. I also happen to think it's a good thing. I would not be interested in learning a language in which there is no literature.