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On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 5:49 PM, Matthew Martin <[log in to unmask]
> wrote:

> >Is there a limit on how many words can be in a conlang?
>
> I'll approach this from the the angle of fandom and designing a productive
> derivational morphology.
>
> At 100 words, you have enough to communicate a lot more than you might
> expect and casual fans might invest the time to learn 100 words just for
> the heck of it.
> At 3,000 to 7,000 you are about the the range of a 2nd language learner
> who finally can read the paper and light fiction-- fans would have to be as
> motivated to learn that many words as they are motivated to learn a foreign
> language. And that generally has to be pretty darn motivated.
> At 50,000 to 75,000 words you are approaching the vocab of highly educated
> scholars. No one is going to learn this many words and fewer would find it
> entertaining to read through a dictionary that big.
>
> I would go along with that.

<major snip>

In Klingon people use phasers and it feels like it should only mean
phasers--- Marc Okrand has a word for potato gun-I'm sure of it, he just
hasn't announced it. So it will feel odd to use these super specific words
as general category words.

Having met Okrand, I wouldn't doubt that at all.  He seems the sort who
might keep a potato gun handy for when things get dull.

Adam