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On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hallo conlangers!
>
> On Friday 18 January 2013 13:29:32 R A Brown wrote:
>
> > On 18/01/2013 11:27, Mathieu Roy wrote:
> > > What are the advantages of speaking a less logical
> > > language (a language with grammar rules with a lot of
> > > exceptions, a lot of words with ambiguity, etc.)?
> >
> > Being human?   :)
>
> Yes.  Which, of course, includes being capable of using metaphor
> and word play, which are off limits in a true logical language.
> Life is not an application of formal logic, and I have been
> feeling for a very long time that human language and formal logic
> serve *different* purposes.  Language is not about mathematically
> proving or disproving assertions; it is about sharing ideas and
> emotions.
>
>
>
Yes, yes yes!  I am no enemy of formal logic, but formal logic is not the
same thing as logic, or logical thought.  It's one kind of way of
organizing symbols to arrive at truths about their relationships with each
other.  But there are others, that lead to other kinds of truth, and
language is not just an imperfect version of formal logic.  If anything,
formal logic is an imperfect version of language -- imperfect in
interesting and useful ways.

Moreover, I would sooner stick a fork in my own hand than to suggest that
anyone "should" learn any particular language -- although I will go so far
as to suggest that everyone who is going to regard themselves as educated
should make an effort to learn at least one other language (and, in my
fantasy university, every single student will learn two languages, one
living and one dead).  But I'm not going to say "everyone must learn
Latin!" or "Everyone should learn English!"  I won't even say that everyone
in America should learn English.

As far as I'm concerned, there is precious little room in linguistics, or
in conlanging, for shoulds.

Other than as modals.

(Hmm, although I will go so far as to suggest that anyone who wishes to
study in an American university should probably know enough English to
understand the lectures, and anyone who doesn't shouldn't be admitted to
that university unless the University is willing to provide translators.
So I guess that's my prescriptive line.)

--Patrick