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Classical languages: was: Re: Gothic language

From:Boudewijn Rempt <bsarempt@...>
Date:Saturday, September 4, 1999, 19:22
On Wed, 25 Aug 1999, Danny Wier wrote:

> > I agree. In a very limited sense standard Latin as used by everyone from > the Pope to the family doctor is a "conlang", but only in the sense of being > an ancient language engineered, artificially controlled, to be used in > modern contexts. Latin is no more a conlang than Modern Hebrew, Standard > Arabic, or the Sanskrit used by the Sanskrit-speaking community of India. I > would even say that Proto-Indo-European is more a conlang really, though > hardly _a priori_ like Klingon. >
I've objected before to the tendency of classifying all classical languages as 'conlangs' - even though prescriptive grammars abounded, and some even had a measure of authority, not even Panini could arrest the development of Sanskrit. I'd say all these languages, from Latin to Sanskrit, from Nahuatl to Classical Chinese are just perfectly natural natlangs - nobody has has ever tried and succeeded in consciously controlling them. Boudewijn Rempt |