On 11 June 2016 at 15:52, Jim Henry <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 8:20 PM, And Rosta <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >  Assuming that what is unconscious is not just the
> > process of creation but also the result of it, then I'd say that without
> > the result being conscious, invention has not happened. I think I mean
> > 'invention' in the ordinary sense of the word.
> It seems to me that you're using "invention" in a technical sense.
> Haven't there been some inventions where the physics that made the
> invention work wasn't explained until later, and some where the
> inventor made some unconscious intuitive leaps in the creation
> process?

But we wouldn't say the inventor had invented the physics, would we? The
stuff they're not conscious of, we would say they'd invented. In ordinary
English, I mean, not in technical senses that we may or may not decide we
need for our purposes here.

> I see the semantic distinction between "invention",
> "creation", "authorship", etc. as being one of domain -- we
> conventionally invent devices, author books, compose music, etc.,
> write both books and music... while "create" is more general and
> applies broadly to many arts and crafts.  It's not a matter of how
> well understood the result is, or how conscious the creation process
> is.  Since conlanging is new, we've had to create (or invent or author
> :) its terminology, and figure out what create-hyponyms we want to
> apply to it; so far"invent/ion" is pretty common, and "construct", but
> not I think as common as the more general "creation".
> That said, if you want to make the distinctions you're making, and I
> see how they can be useful, I agree you need some special terminology
> to make the distinction clear, and "invent" vs. "create" is as good as
> any.   It's probably not what I'd pick, any more than "pidgin
> conlang", but I won't confuse a terminology quibble for a disagreement
> with your basic argument -- which, as I understand it, is that we
> don't understand how languages work well enough to "invent" them in
> your special sense of the word; that conlang creation is necessarily
> *more* unconscious than writing books or composing music necessarily
> is, in results rather than process.

It may be that we do indeed need to introduce some technical terms to meet
our needs here, but I'm not yet convinced that we do, and I hadn't so far
intended to.

I think we all recognize that some conlanging is a kind of artistry --
which prompted me to use the term 'authorship' -- and some is a kind of
engineering, seeking an optimal solution to a design problem -- which
prompted me to use the term 'invention'. (I also continue, outside this
thread, to use the term 'language invention' loosely, as a synonym for
conlanging, as I always have.) The question I've been trying to explore is
what is the direct product of this artistry and engineering, and the answer
I came up with is "model languages (as opposed to full languages)". That's
not to say that the artistry and engineering doesn't contribute to some
larger process that culminates in the creation of a full non-model language
(at least to the extent that a language that isn't a mother tongue can be a
full language), but only that the bits, of such a larger process, that
involve artistry and engineering result in the creation of a model
language, and processes that don't involve artistry and engineering may
develop that model into a full language. Is this idea not expressible
without technical terms?