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Re: Calling all Conlangers!

From:Aquamarine Demon <aquamarine_demon@...>
Date:Saturday, January 26, 2002, 0:18

>>I don't mean to offend the creators and users of Klingon--Marc is ahighly >>valued member of this community--but Klingon *does* lack depth,even compared >>to dead natural languages, and even though it is one ofthe most developed of >>conlangs. It will never have native speakers andwill never have a large body >>of native literature. Academic inquiry intoKlingon, if there is any, will >>always rightly be sociological or
meta-linguistic. Without native speakers, you don't have anaturally-occuring object to study.Consider the academic study of programming languages: it's anengineering discipline, not a natural science.<< The study of language is a social science, not necessarily a "natural" science, which implies, to me at least, study outside of (non-biological) human activity.>>Dance is not purported to be a natural science, so your analogy is bad. <snip> --Chris<< I thought the analogy was a credible one, but I guess that's because I think of both as sort of social-science/anthropology type things.
>>I believe that was d'Armond Spears' child. He eventually gave up on
the experiment, but it *has* been done. And could be done again, with more ease since the corpus of available words has expanded since then.<< I've often thought about what it would be like for a child to learn a conlang as his/her "native" language... and then teaching them English... what strange accents they might have! Though, it'd be awfully hard to keep them far enough from English (or whatever the natlang happens to be) to where they don't learn it... and besides, who would truly do that to their child (having a conlang as their ONLY language)???
>>As for literature, there are translations of Hamlet, Much Ado about Nothing and >>at least one other Shakespearean play, parts of the Bible
both (Old and New Testaments, IIRC Psalms and Mark were finished), the Gilgamesh and doubtless other works. There is a periodical journal --jatmey -- which is devoted to original works in Klingon. There IS a body of literature. It's not huge, but it's growing.<< Really?? That's... odd... but interesting!
>>And I have seen, firsthand, an entire room full of people conversing,
telling jokes and playing games like peghmu' and ro'voDleH in tlhIngan Hol.<< Whoa... talk about some waaay devoted fans! Sheesh. That's really nifty, though.>>Now do I think it should qualify as a foreign language credit? Hmmmm. Not so sure about that, but it does seem valid for some form of study, perhaps under anthropology.<< Of course it's valid for study of anthropology! Most any human activity is.
>>But one more point. Since when does possession of a literature serve
to qualify what is or isn't a language?Adam<< It surely doesn't! Literature is more of a cultural thing, I think, and I'm at the understanding that the culture makes the language, not the other way around... though, I could be wrong, since sometimes it's hard to separate the two. And anyway, I personally think it's very ethnocentric to think that only true cultures have written literature. I have a certain respect for oral cultures; the people *tend* to have a much better memory than us lettered people. The Aquamarine Demon "All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry." -Edgar Allan Poe "It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand." -Mark Twain --------------------------------- Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Auctions Great stuff seeking new owners! Bid now!