the Maligned Art
|From:||Sally Caves <scaves@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, November 7, 1998, 23:40|
Just an addendum to what I wrote to Lojbab: Bob, it seems so utterly
useless to complain that the neophyte langers on this list are ruining
the credibility of Lojban with "serious" linguists. This strikes me
as a feeble reason for finding fault with new and perhaps naive
conlangers who irritate you more than they really hamper you (I mean
seriously; which ones of us are writing to our local linguist urging
our private conlang on him/her?).
Inventing a language, whether aux or loj or art or fic, has always been
met with misunderstanding and dismissal by academics. This is a key issue
in my survey, which I hope will lead to some study of the Maligned Art. We
fellow conlangers do not need this within our own ranks. And frankly, I
find your plaint that the word "language" is being misused here to
be--while interesting philosophically and linguistically and certainly
worth discussion--somewhat moot in this context, on a listserv taking the
shortened name for "Constructed LANGUAGES." It is a given that what we
are toying with are parts of imaginary or even potential languages--
artificial, auxiliary, artistic, fictional--and that it is convenient to
call them languages, and even licit in this context.
I've invented a beach town. I've mapped out every artificial street, I
know who lives in what houses. Am I not going to call it a town simply
because it lives only on paper? Shall I not refer to Tsorelai Mundya as a
city? Or must I always speak of it as my "invented city"?
Well there you have it, Bob. People say "my language" or "my city," and
everybody knows that it's a fictional language or a fictional city.
On this listserv.
Li fetil'aiba, dam hoja-le uen.
volwin ly, vul inua aiba bronib.
This leaf, the wind takes her.
She's old, and born this year.