Re: Politics and the Constructed Language
|From:||Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>|
|Date:||Monday, December 17, 2007, 12:17|
I seem to recall that one of the motivating examples for the use of
Loglan was legal contracts, the idea being that they would become
algorithms for determining if a breach occurred. I don't think that's
really possible in general, but even if it were, I think it might
impede adoption, since. - agaiin speaking generally - *both* parties
potentially benefit from ambiguity. And of course the lawyers.
On 12/17/07, Sai Emrys <sai@...> wrote:
> On Dec 15, 2007 2:56 PM, David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...> wrote:
> > I should note I haven't read Orwell's essay (or at least no more
> > of it than you quoted). Our initial poster might have provided
> > us with a link.
> Sorry. It's easily googled and when I read it I just took the first
> ghit. Since I don't know that that's the best one to refer to (e.g.
> perhaps it's missing illustrations or formatting?), I didn't include
> the link.
> > JQ:
> > <<
> > The only
> > real difference is that if you want to obfuscate and be vague in
> > Ithkuil,
> > you have to do it overtly rather than covertly.
> > >>
> > I suppose this is an important difference. You can be intentionally
> > vague in English, but if one doesn't know the cues, one won't be
> > able to see how it's done. In Ithkuil, even if you don't understand
> > the meaning, one should be able to tell that the speaker/writer is
> > intentionally being vague (i.e., this can't be hidden), and so they'll
> > be able to say with certainty that they're a jerk, whereas in English,
> > it'd be a guess, at best.
> I'm inclined to strongly agree here.
> IME, obfuscation and manipulation is a matter of misdirection; it
> really does have to be covert to work well.
> A somewhat contentious point where this is relevant in modern
> cog.ling. research is whether framing has a strong biasing or priming
> effect *even if the listener is consciously aware of the framings
> being used*. Frankly, I don't know whether this has been answered
> well; I've only seen research about unconscious priming, which seems
> to work pretty well. (John & other cognitive linguists in the audience
> - do you know anything on this?)
> In Ithkuil/Ilaksh - or in any other language that tries to address
> this, or in the hypothetical - how obvious is it what frames someone
> is using (e.g. as a classic example, "pro-life" vs "anti-choice" as
> two ways to frame the "same" position), how well they match factually,
> Could it be made equally obvious and explicit when someone chooses to
> frame something one way vs another, so that it's cognitively salient
> (rather than stealthed) when listening to the message?
> My guess is that if Ithkuil does make all of this necessarily explicit
> - including vagueness - then it may well fit.
> However, I would wonder whether this might be vulnerable to language
> change via laziness, where people would simply start (as a cultural
> thing) *defaulting* to the vague versions, in which case it would
> become unremarkable. Perhaps speakers would just not think enough to
> fully specify everything they can, and certain grammaticalizable
> features will start to drop?
> Similar example: If I say that I and my partner went to a holiday
> party, I am necessarily either a) covertly saying that I am in a
> non-heterosexual relationship, or b) covertly saying that I support
> such. "Partner" just isn't a neutral term to use pragmatically, even
> though semantically it is.
> I'm not sure whether this is possible to prevent, nor what the
> analogous natlang trends are here.
> John, any thoughts there? How much have you attempted to engineer
> language change in Ithkuil or Ilaksh (or, as it were, "pre-wash" the
> - Sai
Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>