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Relay using somebody else's conlang

From:William Annis <annis@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 16, 2002, 17:04
> From: The Keenans <makeenan@...> > > ---- Which is exactly what happens to language when it gets out into the > wild. (ie.soenone else speaks it) They break the rules and ccome up with > new uses and its something that should happen to all languages
At first glance this seemed fine to me, but on further reflection I find I have objections to this notion, at least in the strongest statement of it. This is largely based on my experience with others learning Vaior. Certainly I feel that sending a language out into the wild will change the language, usually for the better. People will ask questions about subtle and not-so-subtle points, and we language creators have to make adjustments to conflicting grammars or to make pronouncements on areas of the language we haven't gotten to yet. But I do feel that the languages I create are an artistic expression of my own, and in that sense are mine. Breaking a language's rules is all well and fine in beginners, but there is a point when the language as a unified creation is compromised when too much is bent out of shape. With respect to Vaior, one person even challenged me quite forcefully on the basis of phonological esthetics for a new word's meaning. I thought it fit fine; he did not. He felt my insistence on at least attempting to get the case endings right was some sort of elitist Grammatical Tyranny. So, I guess I'm suggesting that having a language confront others trying to learn it is an incredibly powerful language creation *tool* -- it forces one to clarify, both one's own thinking about the language, and one's web pages explaining it :), it offers a considerable expansion of the corpus of the language, where the conventions of usage will really get worked out, etc. At the same time, though, for me the design of Vaior is not a group project. There is an esthetic and a logic at work, and I feel it is my right as creator to insist on certain things, or language ceases to be Vaior any longer, but some other thing. It's a public language, of course, and people can say anything they want in it (given the ~700 word vocab, of course), but I strongly feel that they are not free abolish the accusative or the created idioms merely because they don't like them or feel that some aspect of the language doesn't match what *they* think the esthetic is. Now, having said this, I don't *mind* being challenged about things. Vaior is by far my largest language creation, and sometimes I accidentally recreate vocab that already exists, for example, and from time to time the grammatical examples fo sections written long ago no longer quite fit with the current state of the language. Having these questioned is good. But I want final say on revisions. -- William Annis - System Administrator - Biomedical Computing Group "When men are inhuman, take care not to feel towards them as they do towards other humans." Marcus Aurelius VII.65


The Keenans <makeenan@...>