Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: My Three Assertions

From:Damian Yerrick <tepples@...>
Date:Saturday, February 26, 2005, 4:31
Quoting Trent Pehrson <pehr099@...>:

> This still supports my assertion that any speech declared as > language 'a' is arbitrarily designated as such.
I agree to an extent. Designation of utterances as belonging to a specific named language is fuzzy, especially when a fellow deals with mutually intelligible dialects.
> You are arbitrarily defining 'real-time'.
Cultural norms for oral communication define real time.
> In doing so, you are making a subtle but arbitrary decision that > humans always have had and always will have the same capacity for > language learning diachronically and that all humans synchronically > have the same capacity for language learning.
Easy way to handle "all humans synchronically" is to exclude those humans more than 2 standard deviations below mean intelligence. On the other hand, "diachronically" on the timescales where it would matter is an argument between evolutionists and creationists, and I don't like to get into arguments about natculture religion. Mike Ellis wrote:
> And yet, somehow, we're able to tell that German is a tinkered > natlang and Wenedyk is a conlang. Go figure.
Possible solutions: * A conlang taught as L1 or L2 by a legitimate government becomes a natlang, creating a bit of a double entendre between "natural" and "national" as expansions of |nat-|. * A tinkered natlang is mutually intelligible with an existing natlang, assuming for the moment that recognized natlangs have been grandfathered into the discussion. I agree with your core argument that distinctions in the real world of linguistics are fuzzy and that sometimes a fuzzy distinction works better in practice. Anyone who cannot accept this is talking out of his posteriori (sorry, couldn't resist). -- Damian