Sally Caves wrote:
> 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.  My
definition of language would (as a rough definition) be any form of
communication (whether or not it's used), which is self-consistent, uses
a small, finite, number of building blocks (phonemes), which combine to
form larger groupings (i.e., morphemes, words, phrases, clauses,
sentences) to carry information, and which is flexible (it can describe
new things).  Animal communication wouldn't be language because, first
off, they typically only communicate emotions, and not information, and
they are also not built on a finite number of building blocks.  A cat
may have several different meows, but those meows can't be combined into
words.  If conlangs can fulfil these requirements, what does it matter
*where* it came from?

> > 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.

> > I have not found a definition of the Esperanto word for "morning" that
> > tells me what semantic definition of morning is intended, when among even the
> > European languages that spawned Esperanto, the range of definitions of
> > "morning" is considerable (does morning start at dawn, before dawn, at midnight;
> > does it end at dawn, after breakfast, upon the start of the typical workday,
> > at lunchtime, at noon?)

Well, I would say that even among natlangs there's that variation.  When
does afternoon end and evening begin?  To some people, it's at a
specific time, perhaps 6, to others it's when the sun sets, or vaguer

> 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.

"It has occured to me more than once that holy boredom is good and
sufficient reason for the invention of free will." - "Lord Leto II"
(Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert)
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