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On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 11:29 AM, Daniel Bowman
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>.......... I was thinking that one major milestone would be
> the ability to define the language in its own terms.  This means being
> capable of writing the grammar down actually in the language in question,
> and also being able to define every word in the language in terms of other
> words from the same language.  For me, this is the closest one can get to
> creating a living language short of building a community of speakers.  This
> is because you would no longer have to depend on your native language as a
> foundation for your conlang, since the conlang would be entirely
> self-referential.

I've done some of that with gzb, though it's not one of
my primary goals or criteria for completeness.  A fair
amount of my notes on the development of the language
are in the language itself, including sometimes
definitions of new words; and in the primary lexicon,
a few words are defined in gzb.

If you're interested in making this a primary goal
for your conlang, you might want to read up on
lexicology and how dictionary definitions are
written, etc.; I haven't studied the subject in
great depth, but I can recommend Anna Wierzbicka's
_Semantics: Primes and Universals_ which treats
of that subject in context of her Natural Semantic
Metalanguage theory.

> ....... I'm building
> vocabulary via daily diary entries, and it seems to be working since I'm
> rapidly acquiring the ability to describe my typical activities (some of the
> side effects include words for "treadmill," "rice wine", "mild irritation,"
> and "bar").  In time, I'll move to translations, I think.

My main criteria for completeness of gzb are being
able to use it for writing my diary without having to
coin new words or stop and solve grammatical
problems at all frequently, and being able to think
in the language without having to revert frequently
to English or Esperanto for want of vocabulary
or grammatical structures.   You could say those
are criteria for fluency as well as completeness of
the language itself; the point, in this context, is
that such a degree of fluency is unattainable until
and unless the language has a certain degree of
completeness.   I'm pretty much there on the first
criteria, not so much yet on the second.

> By the way, the podcasts are awesome.  I finally started listening to them
> just this weekend and ended up listening to three.

Indeed, congratulations to Sai, David, et alia on
the podcasts!

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/