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Re: Calling all Conlangers!

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Monday, January 21, 2002, 2:15
Padraic Brown scripsit:

> _I_ took it as a slight that the art inherent in conlanging is > not worthy of serious study. Or by inferencece that the products > thereof are somehow less artistic than modern art or music > (neither of which, by the way, I can stand; but I do not deny the > artistry inherent!).
Ah. I thought you were talking about someone denigrating artlangs with respect to auxlangs. I did see that, but I thought it was basically correct. No artlang has, or can have, anything like the depth of a natlang. Why study natlangs, other than for severely practical reasons, after all? (Why study Latin nowadays, e.g., when it can neither help you buy cattle in Rome nor get you into the civil service?) For two reasons, I believe: to gain access to a literature, and to learn something about a people, specifically about the way they saw themselves and their environment. Now the second consideration can hardly apply to any conlang, art- or aux-, and the first can apply only to a tiny minority. There is no doubt E-o poetry that one must study E-o to understand, and if one learns Sindarin, there are a dozen or so works of JRRTs that become open to one. But neither of these are to be compared to what one gains access to by learning Apache or Navajo or Hixkaryana. -- John Cowan Please leave your values | Check your assumptions. In fact, at the front desk. | check your assumptions at the door. --sign in Paris hotel | --Miles Vorkosigan


Elliott Belser <renyard@...>
David Starner <starner@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Bob Greenwade <bob.greenwade@...>