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Re: LUNATIC again

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Monday, November 9, 1998, 21:27
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> Until now, I didn't adress this thread, but I read each post of the > subject. But here I can't accept this argument as most linguists I read > books from wouldn't do. When you say "linguists reject conlangs as objects > of study", you're totally wrong, as I know linguists that DON'T reject them.
But how can a linguist study a conlang? It's artificial. No matter how realistic it is, how can it be an object of scientific study, at least by linguists? Studying conlangs (except *possibly* those created as experiments) doesn't tell you anything about natural languages.
> Moreover, most people speak natlangs knowing only 2000 or less words > (I read a study that said that an educated French person knows approximately > only 5000 words -compare to the 1,200,000 words of French-).
No one really knows how many words people know, to use English as an example, some have said that the average speaker knows a few hundred words. Another estimate put the number of words known by the *average* American high-school graduate at 45,000-60,000, and that the average *six-year old* knows about 13,000 words, so who knows how many words people actually know? It's very difficult to test, since people can figure out what derived words mean without much difficulty, and homonyms just totally screw everything up. Is "hard" as in "not easy" and "hard" as in "not soft" the same word or two? -- "It has occured to me more than once that holy boredom is good and sufficient reason for the invention of free will." - "Lord Leto II" (Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert) ICQ #: 18656696 AOL screen-name: NikTailor