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Constructed natlangs

From:Brian Betty <bbetty@...>
Date:Friday, February 12, 1999, 15:18
On Thu, 11 Feb 1999, Kristian Jensen wrote: "I'm not sure if I remember
correctly, but there is suppose to be a dispute as to whether this secret
Lardil language is in fact a natural language. Some call it a language game
(or constructed language) played (or constructed) by men in the Lardil
tribe. The pronoun system isn't the only thing that is unusual. It has
clicks in its phonology, which is quite unique for an Australian language
(or any language outside Africa for that matter)."

On 2/12/99, =D8rjan wrote: "This leaves one to wonder:  maybe the clicks in
African languages once started as a language game as well?  For that
matter, maybe all languages have conlang elements."

If anyone wants info on Lardil, email I have a recent book
that discusses Lardil and issues of its artificiality ... lookit that!
Serious linguistics talking about a conlang that became a natlang! Would
you call Lardil a 'masclang?' A 'menlang?'

Which brings me to the issue of other 'constructed natlangs.' How would we
conlangers rate attested languages like women's languages (as in Chukchee)
[is this then a 'femlang?] or Eme-sal (some kind of 'constructed natlang'
or perhaps a 'femlang')

I think i like femlang because what we know of femlangs is that they are
spoken by persons not classified as male. If I remember correctly, the
Chukchee femlang is used by women and by transvestite m2f shamans, and it
seems from jokes, puns and texts that Eme-sal was used by women and
gala-mes (the plural of gala, a word meaning 'eunuch'). When it was
proposed in the seventies that Eme-sal was a femlang, it made a whole bunch
of Sumerian jokes suddenly both funny - and pretty randy.

Cites or quotes available to interested parties - email me at=


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