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Terminological discussion

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Monday, May 13, 2002, 23:47
Now, this is a general commentary on all the various x-lang terms that
have been proposed recently.

My personal requirements for one of these are as follows:

A: The term should be easy to pronounce

    1 The prefix should preferably be monosyllabic.
    2 Any consonant cluster formed by the junction of the prefix and
      the root should be easy to pronounce.

B: The term should be semantically unambiguous

    3 The etymology should be as clear as possible.
    4 The set of conlangs described by the term should be as intuitive
      (given the etymology) as possible.

A fifth requirement is relevant to both A and B

    5 The prefix should segregate cleanly from the head "-lang".

>From: Garrett Jones <alkaline@...> >Sender: Constructed Languages List <CONLANG@...> >To: CONLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU >Subject: Re: Conlang labels (wasR: Futurese, Chinese, > Hz of NatLangs, etc.) >Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 22:30:55 -0700 >
> >so all the suggestions so far, in my personal order from worst to best: >
The thing about this list is that while many of them strike me as valid candidates for inclusion in the lexicon of conlanging, they don't mean the same thing. At least, they shouldn't. This doesn't rule out the possibility that they overlap enough to cover the various unclassified conlangs under discussion.
>- whimlang (sounds too whimsical)
This doesn't sound too bad for a personal language without any very serious intention.
>- funclang (this conjures up "funky lang" in my head).
Agreed. Also, it's too easy to erroneously segregate it into "fun clang"
>- artauxlang (too agglutinative for my taste :) )
It's a little inelegant, and long. Also hard to know how to stress it correctly in English. But it's just about usable if you need a specific term for an auxlang created for artistic purposes, and can't find anything better.
>- engelang (for some reason, my instinct is to pronounce this /ENEleiN/ >instead of /EndZEleiN/ as the etymology would have. Plus, this name just >reminds me of the name English, and these languages are anything *but* this)
Agreed, although I mispronounce it more like /ENgEl{N/ (the vowels might be wrong, I'm no good at IPA vowels). I don't like "engilang" either. "Enjlang" is no better - it's not terribly hard to pronounce, and I'd probably get it right, but the spelling doesn't reflect the etymology. "Englang", pronounced /ENgEl{N/, might be better despite the phonetic divorce from the etymology, but it looks too much like "English Language" (and could be split into "en-glang", a mysterious causative verb). So, sadly, there doesn't appear to be any derivative of "engineered language" that I find suitable.
>- paralang (someone else mentioned they use it for parallel universe >languages)
"Paralang" just doesn't say anything to me. The prefix "para" means, roughly, "beside". How does that signify the conlangs we wish to apply this term to? As for the parallel universe thing, I doubt it'll catch on (how often do you need to refer to such languages as a set?) but at least it makes some sense.
>- altlang (reminds me of newsgroups... and also same problem as paralang)
The same as paralang - alternative to what? At best, it sounds like a synonym for auxlang.
>- experilang (this could work)
Not bad - a little long, maybe. Certainly better than explang, which is likely to be read as ex-plang. Trouble is, it covers exactly the same territory as the far superior lablang.
>- lablang (my personal favorite, just recently suggested) >
Mine too. Easily pronounced, segregates neatly, reasonably unambiguous. Only applies to languages produced for experimental purposes of some kind.
>I say we put it up for vote! a poll of some sort. Maybe collect a couple >more suggestions then do an officially sanctioned poll... > >btw, i would categorize Minyeva as this type of language that you all are >talking about - regular, but not IAL, more of an idealistic type of >grammatical system. I was thinking not too long ago that we needed a term >for something like this...
I don't think any of the terms above would describe this kind of conlang precisely. It probably is a lablang, and maybe a whimlang, but these are broader terms (by my interpretation of them). I was going to go through the recent posts and comment on any other suggestions, but writing this has taken long enough.


Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Garrett Jones <alkaline@...>POLL: lablang/engelang