Re: conlangs as art (was: Re: Wikipedia:Verifiability - Mailing lists as sour...
|From:||Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>|
|Date:||Friday, February 29, 2008, 19:49|
On Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 2:28 PM, <MorphemeAddict@...> wrote:
> Someone recently mentioned how much Quenya and Galadriel's Song meant to him.
> I wish to point out that a work *in* a conlang has a different artistic
> merit from that of the conlang itself. They should not be confused.
In theory. But given that most works in conlangs are
written by the creators of conlangs, and are in some
sense part of the overall work-of-art that is the conlang
itself, it's hard to tease apart our appreciation of one
from our appreciation of the other. How can we
come to any just aesthetic judgement of a conlang
when we haven't read any text in it? And how can we
fully apreciate a text in a conlang without studying the
phonology, grammar and semantics?
> I think the artistic merit of a conlang is given in its phonetics, lexicon,
> morphology, syntax, and semantics. These are hard (if not impossible) to
> appreciate from a short text, even a poem, in the language.
Indeed, and hard to compare with works of art in
any other medium, since the criteria by which we judge
them are so different (though perhaps
pretty similar at a higher level of abstraction).
At a high level, we can say that we like poems, pieces
of music, and conlangs that "sound good" -- but what
exactly we mean by "sounding good" is different
for each medium. Or that we like novels, films,
and conlang semantics, which are surprising
and insightful, showing us connections and distinctions
we hadn't before noticed; but the way narrative art
vs. conlang lexica accomplish those tasks and
the way we encounter the art and discover those
qualities are very different.
 -- Or maybe not; the zillions of words
written in Esperanto and the at least hundreds
of thousands of words written in the various other
semisuccessful auxlangs probably outnumber the
total corpora of all the one-person artlangs ever.
But you know what I mean.