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Poll by email No. 1

From:Peter Clark <pc451@...>
Date:Friday, February 15, 2002, 15:24
Hash: SHA1

        It's downright balmy here in Minnesota, which has me dreaming of spring
projects and whatnot. Something that I've wanted to do for a while is start a
weekly poll on Conlang, posing a question and soliciting for responses (OFF
LIST! We don't want to overburden things as they are!), and then posting the
results (with selected quotations) the next week, with a new question.
        The two things I need from you: a good idea for a name, and your
participation. :) Sound interesting? Then let's begin!
Saturday, 16 February 2002
Question of the Week: The Ethics of Conlangs.

        In his article entitles, "The Creation of New Languages," (which can be
found in pdf format at
Harry van der Hulst writes that for an artificial language to become an
authentic language, it must be acquired by children. However, he continues by
saying that "to make a child acquire a constructed language would be
unethical" (p. 15).

        Case study: many of us our familiar with the case of d'Armond Spears, the
man who set out to make his child bilingual in English and Klingon. He
apparently gave up, after his child reached the point of refusing to speak
Klingon, but not before the child became proficient in speaking and
understanding Klingon.

        The poll: Would you teach a child a constructed language?
        A. No, it's ethically wrong to teach a child a language that no one else
        B. No, it's not ethically wrong, just a waste of time.
        C. Yes, I see no ethical problems in teaching a child a constructed language
and think that it might even be helpful/useful to them.
        D. Other.

The Rules:
1. Reply to with your poll choice. DO NOT POST TO THE LIST!
2. If you desire, include a longer response in your email, outlining your
thoughts on the question.
3. By including a long response, you grant permission for your response to be
posted to the mailing list. If for some reason you wish to keep your response
private, please make that clear in the body of your email.
3. I reserve the right to edit your response for space and content. Not all
responses may be published.
4. All poll answers, however, will be accounted for. Multiple votes will not
count, you cheater.
5. This is not scientific by any stretch of the imagination.
6. Poll topics welcome.
7. The poll results and a selection of responses will be posted next
Saturday, 23 February, along with a new poll question.

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