|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 3, 1998, 18:45|
Sally Caves wrote:
> In other words, what's at stake? Why does AUXLANG have
> the reputation for flame wars, and CONLANG not?
I think Marx's 11th thesis on Feuerbach gives us a useful viewpoint:
The philosophers have only interpreted the world
in various ways; the point is to change it.
Auxlangers as a rule want to make such changes in the world:
specifically, they want an auxlang, either already existing or soon to
be created, to become a widely spoken second language.
Rightly or wrongly, the perception is that there is at most
one slot for such a thing, so if "my" auxlang "succeeds", then
by definition "your" auxlang "fails". So far all have "failed".
Artists, including conlang artists, don't typically take this particular
competitive attitude: their works are not meant to *refute*
or *supersede* the works of others.
> Is it because people have to work together in AUXLANG
> and disputes naturally arise, whereas
> CONLANGERS can work in isolation...but they sacrifice
> team effort and involvement?
No, I think not. Lojban was preeminently a team effort, with the
membership of the team fluctuating from time to time, and there
were plenty of disputes, but rather few flamewars. Advocacy *of*
a language seems to be different from technical disputes about the
details of the language itself.
Anyway, I object to the use of "conlang" to
exclude "auxlang"; there are auxlangs, artlangs, and some conlangs
which are neither. For example, Loglan/Lojban and L=E1adan are
"experimental" conlangs, and there are also "pedagogical" conlangs,
John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn.
You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn.
Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)