Print

Print


Nik Taylor wrote:

> Tom Wier wrote:
> > What makes them different
> > from conlangs?  I mean,  they are both products of the human mind
> > Are they somehow not subject to the same laws  that have governed
> > language since the dawn of time?  I think this concept is _highly_ su=
spect.
>
> Well, for one, natlangs have evolved for thousands of years, there are
> traces of earlier stages, features which made sense at some earlier
> time, but are illogical now.  There are inflections that were once
> regular, but are no longer regular (e.g., the strong verbs of English,
> or the stem-changing verbs of Spanish), borrowings, formerly productive
> derivations, re-analyzed forms, syncretisms, etc., which may be absent
> from a conlang (unless it's intended to be naturalistic).  Natural
> languages have been compared to old clothing, with patches and stains.
> A conlang is a new garment which has never been worn.

But if you go back and look to what you had stated there, you said:

> I could create a conlang that was definitely inferior to any natlang, s=
o it seems
> logical that, if I had sufficient skill, I could create on that was sup=
erior.

You were here using terms that are by definition value judgments.  Value
judgments are by definition things that are outside the realms of science=
;
but when you at least purport that one conlang could be better than a nat=
lang
(or in your words, "superior") under the guise of "logic",  it is again b=
egging the
question of by what standard you are doing so.  Now, no one would argue w=
ith
the idea that you can make a conlang that is, in some microlinguistic iss=
ue, more
complex than another language, but (a) we already admit this for natlangs=
, and (b)
that doesn't advance your self-described goal of creating one where it
is "better".

So, when you get down to it, there is no way to judge any language
as somehow separate, or "different" from all other human language.  There=
 is
no language that is _a priori_ not in large the same as every other langu=
age;
a person no less than Chomsky described the differences among
human languages as _"trivial"_.  Trivial.

 [Aside: These questions remind me much of quantum mechanics, where
all is more or less relative (a la the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle).=
]

[Personal note:  please take none of this fiery rhetoric as personal jabs=
 at
you, or anything related to you directly;  they are only meant as a searc=
h for
the truth of the matter...]

* (There was another similar analogy (the author's name of which I can't
seem to recall) to the city whose foundations are lost in antiquity -- pa=
rts
of the town remain ever present reminders of past social structures and
past thoughtmodes, while other parts of the town show the same features
for ages much closer to the modern period.)


=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
ICQ#: 4315704   AIM: Deuterotom
Website: <http://www.angelfire.com/tx/eclectorium/>
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."

"Schlie=DFt den heil'gen Zirkel dichter,
  Schw=F6rt bei diesem goldnen Wein,
Dem Gel=FCbde treu zu sein,
  Schw=F6rt es bei dem Sternenrichter!"
   - _Ode an die Freude_, J. F. von Schiller
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D

=0D