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Re: What defines a conlang?

From:Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
Date:Thursday, December 22, 2005, 21:58
On Thu, 22 Dec 2005 15:07:05 -0500, Jörg Rhiemeier
<joerg_rhiemeier@...> wrote:

> I'd say that a conlang is a language deliberately designed by > an individual or a (small) group; a natlang is a language that > evolved from another language during centuries of usage by a > community.
This overlooks the pidgin/creole situation, where a complete language can emerge more or less fully formed in a matter of a couple of generations over a reasonably small (depending on your domain) group of people, without much if any planning. Also, there are natlangs that consist of a very diverse set of dialects that are deliberately engineered, codified and koinized. Koine being the obvious example, but if my brain isn't playing tricks on me, I seem to recall Bahasa Indonesia kinda fits the bill, too. It's a hard set to define. I'm tempted to go with the "second-generation L1 speakers" thing, but that I suspect locks out dying or dead languages going through a resurgence. Paul


Chris Peters <beta_leonis@...>
Jefferson Wilson <jeffwilson63@...>
Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>