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Re: Comparison of philosophical languages

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Saturday, January 18, 2003, 16:05
 --- Padraic Brown skrzypszy:

> Priori and posteriori refer only to whether the > language in question is based on some language > that already exists or not. I.e., your language > is priori because its vocabulary is not based on > an existing language. Arvorec is posteriori > because its vocabulary is based on Gaulish, a > language that already exists.
That's a good explanation of the difference between a priori and a posteriori. The only doubtful cases IMO are those languages which derive their words from other (a priori) conlangs. I don't feel comfortable calling them "a posteriori".
> A philosophical langauge is something > philosophers got up to, usually to make some > philosophical point like the "language of heaven" > or "the original human language". They may or may > not be based on existing languages.
That's the first time I hear the term "philosophical language" defined like this. I don't think I agree, though. What Andrew (probably) meant by saying that a philosophical language subdivides words into categories, is that different word types can be recognized as such by their very shape. Typical examples are those languages with numerals like: 1. bi 2. bü 3. bö 4. be 5. ba 6. bo 7. bu etc. Of course, such languages are a priori by definition.
> > Some linguists also talk about logical languages, whatever > > that means... > > Logical, like the name implies. As if language can ever really > be logical! Generally, IALs pretend to logic.
A priori and a posteriori subdivide conlangs according to the source of (the majority of) their vocabulary. Logical languages IIUC try to eliminate ambiguity. Therefore, they are part of another type of subdivision, that deals with the purpose of the language. Thus, loglangs (or engelangs, lablangs, etc.) belong to the same family as artlangs and auxlangs. This has nothing to do with the source of the vocabulary, although in practive most loglangs are a priori and most auxlangs are a posteriori. Jan ===== "Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts


Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>