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Nik Taylor:
>> On Wed, 4 Nov 1998, Logical Language Group wrote:
>> > But of course the question is whether an "artificial language"
>> > is a "language" at all.
>
>I don't understand why it wouldn't be.  Chemicals created in the lab are
>just as real as chemicals created in nature, to use an analogy.

Briefly summarizing my argument, which people have refuted at length based
on other assumptions (showing that assumptions are all-important to this
argument):
Linguistics is defined as the (scientific) study of languages.  Linguists
reject conlangs as objects of study.  Therefore, since conlangs are not
studied under the study of languages, they are not languages. QED.

The argument has weaknesses, but it is the level of argument that would
typically fuel prejudice.  We who conlang have to deal with such prejudice,
so one way to cut down on such prejudice is to find ways to get conlangs
accepted as objects of study by linguists.  Among other things, this means
careful use of jargon when talking to linguists (something we of Loglan/
Lojban have learned the hard way).

More sophisticated definitions of language can be created that include conlangs.
But then the argument is: why then don't linguists study them?  We can say that
linguists don't properly do linguistics if they refuse to study languages
that are not part of there more narrow view - they are in effect misusing the
name of their field to limit it so.

>> > I most often recognize a code by the fact that the lexicon
>> > is presented with single word English definitions.
>
>Natural languages are often listed with such one-to-one definitions,
>regardless of what the words really mean.

And such lists are usually garbage.  Anyone who has looked at the typical
book of words in 26 languages that i am sure most people have seen, knows this.
Words are listed as equivalents because someone found them in a 2 directional
list between English and language X.  So we get the implication that word A
in language X and word B in language Y mean the same thing because both were
glossed in different places to mean the same English word.  (26 language
dictionaries make even worse errors at times, of course).

>> Most of the people who invent more than one conlang, like Tim or Nik or
>> Hermann, have NEVER to my recollection spoken of any of their conlangs as
>> "complete."  They have made forays into this idea, or experiments with
>> that.
>
>And of course, early projects are frequently truely codes.  As you
>practice, you learn to de-anglicize your creations.

Fine, but as I conlcuded my last exchange with Sally.  When in the process of
"inventing" a language is it appropriate to call the language "invented"
rather than "in progress" or some similar term that conveys the incompleteness
as "invented" does not.

lojbab
----
lojbab                                                [log in to unmask]
Bob LeChevalier, President, The Logical Language Group, Inc.
2904 Beau Lane, Fairfax VA 22031-1303 USA                        703-385-0273
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