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Re: OT: Artlanging is now mainstream

From:Sai Emrys <saizai@...>
Date:Thursday, February 19, 2009, 16:53
On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 12:32 AM, taliesin the storyteller
<taliesin-conlang@...> wrote:
> So: first we had the auxlang/conlang split, and now we have a, what, > artlang/engelang split? Artlang/artlang split? Inspired-by-natlang-lang > vs. cannot-occur-naturally-lang split?
> So, we're no longer in the closet, for those outside we're looking more > like those art-circles that split into more and more smaller and smaller > groups, all sniping at each other instead of making, you know, art.
FWIW: I do believe that it is objectively true that we have "schools" of conlanging. Mind, I'm a cogsci geek, so I don't mean this in a classical categories sense (like "registered voter") but rather family resemblences (like "game" or "cup"). That is, each conlanger's desires are different, and hence their work is different, but that does not mean that you then have to throw up your hands and say that variation prevents categorization. I don't see this as anything bad or dangerous to acknowledge, so long as we keep on with the underlying agreement that we all have here (I think?) that such differences are matters of taste; there is no objective argument for why one should e.g. prefer naturalism over Whorf-pushing. Once one does accept that one wants one or the other, though, it creates a much more sensible way to evaluate (sometimes even objectively) whether one has succeeded. The only danger that has been suggested is if we were to be stupid (like some other fields) and start having "my axiom / valuation metric is better than yours" wars, but I've seen no real danger of that. On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 7:29 AM, Paul Kershaw <ptkershaw@...> wrote:
> It also strikes me that this individual wants to throw the linguistic baby out > with the language-specific bathwater. Starting from total scratch is well and > good as a thought experiment, but there are likely some universals to how > sentient creatures intercommunicate. If there were some clear list of > characteristics that all human languages have (say, words-for-things and > words-for-actions, for instance), would such a list apply to ALL sentient > communication, or are some of them accidental to the human experience?
Speaking as an engelanger myself: I find the difference between "what do languages currently do" and "what could languages do" to be fascinating. I see no good argument for why the happenstance of cultural and linguistic evolution at all demonstrates the boundaries of what language is capable of, only the minimums. Same as with biological evolution, whose only criterion is "one variant of good enough" rather than "best". (To the dismay of "best of all possible world" thinkers who might want humans to be the pinnacle of everything...) On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 7:30 AM, Daniel Bowman <danny.c.bowman@...> wrote:
> Still, this raises an important question: just how could one judge a > conlang? Have you list members confronted this question before? Is such > judgment even worth doing?
I have: And if you haven't yet, do read Jesse Bang's original thread; it's very interesting and well considered: - Sai


David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>
Paul Kershaw <ptkershaw@...>