Simon: >There also might be an implication in some people's mind that because >they are "invented" they are not "real" languages. This is similar >(but not exactly the same as) Lojban Bob's view. I hope not. That is precisely what I am trying to change. However many linguists and even more of the general public seem to have that attitude. >There is no difference between an invented and a real language, because >the final result is indistinguishable. That is precisely what is in question by those who challenge the legitmacy of conlangs in any of a variety of arenas - is the final result indistinguishable from a natural language. In general, the answer is YES they are distingushable. Languages recently created have features such as unusual signal to noise ratio, lack of idiomatic usages, unusual grammatical regularity. Pidgins, which are essentially one kind of conlang, have certain properties that "real languages" do not and they ARE distingushed. That pidgins, when passed on to a new generation of native speakers end up changing in significant and apparently patterned ways, seems to show that the "construction" was NOT compatible with the way "normal language" works. But I don't know the work onpidgins and creoles myself, so someone else will have to fill in details or correct my errors %^). >How do we know the so called >"natural" languages weren't invented by a conlanger? We don't have any idea how they were created. But they are no longer what they were, whatever they were when they first appeared. They are almost certainly more complex than the first languages, since sudden appearance of complex language from scratch appears to be evolutionarily unlikely. >You said your so-called "invented" >languages are languages as well. I agree. But I reject your distinction >between "invented" and "natural", because it is pointless, useless and >completely unworkable in cases where we don't know anything about how >the language was developed. Thiose who care are quite clear on the idea that "real languages" evolve, so that how they developed is a separate question from what they are now to be studied in different ways. 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 Artificial language Loglan/Lojban: ftp.access.digex.net /pub/access/lojbab or see Lojban WWW Server: href="http://xiron.pc.helsinki.fi/lojban/" Order _The Complete Lojban Language_ - see our Web pages or ask me.