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Re: The Naturalist Manifesto revisited

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Sunday, March 14, 2004, 16:25

On Sat, 13 Mar 2004 12:46:27 -0500,
John Quijada <jq_ithkuil@...> wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote: > > >There are people here on the list (as well as elsewhere) who are > >interested in languages that are markedly different from anything ever > >spoken anywhere. The philosophical language movement, for example, > >may have been past its climax long ago, but it hasn't died out yet. > >There are people who design engelangs and don't care a shoot about > >naturalist conlangs. That's their right. Just because I prefer > >naturalist artlangs I wouldn't conclude that non-naturalist conlangs > >were bad art. They are simply not the same style of art. > > > > Well put. And there are those of us "engelangers" who DO CARE about > naturalist conlangs. It's just not where we're at in our conlanging art at > this point in our career.
Of course. It is one thing to appreciate conlangs of a particular school, and it is another thing to craft such conlangs oneself. Likewise, I prefer making naturalist conlangs, but that doesn't mean that I have no interest in engelangs and wouldn't appreciate them. I just feel little desire to *make* them.
> How do you compare, say, Michelangelo or a > Hudson Valley School master like Bierstadt with artists like Dali or > Picasso? The latter painters appreciated traditional painting as well as > the next artist, but their own desire was to push the limits of painting to > see what was possible.
> I myself created several natlangs back in the 70s > and early 80s (I particularly recall becoming obsessed upon studying > Swedish and immediately spent months designing a Swedish-influenced > natlang). I'm particularly fond of those conlangs that represent lost sub- > branches or offshoots of existing language families and groups.
So am I. One of my favourite other people's conlangs is Andrew Smith's Brithenig; my Germanech is a similar project, representing the kind of Romance that might have evolved in Germany if that country had been Romanized; Albic is a sister language to Indo-European: not really IE, but related.
> But, for > me, it wasn't enough. I had to see what more was possible with language > beyond what natural languages do.
This is a perfectly legitimate approach, and it is not my business to reject it just because I do things differently.
> A philosophical language presented as the > >language of a fictional ethnic group that lives God-knows-where would > >be a failure, because natural languages aren't like that. > > As for presenting a philosophical language as the language of a fictional > group, I personally have always been disappointed that the various versions > of "Vulcan" (the Star Trek culture) that have been offered up were not > philosophical languages or loglangs. Given the nature of Serak's logical > revolution which completely transformed Vulcan society (according to Star > Trek "history"), you'd think they'd include a *conscious* redesign of their > language to match their new ultra-logical philosophy and worldview. Just a > thought.
I should have added "unless the group has adopted an engineered language at some point of their history, for whichever reason". Of course it is conceivable that a certain society speaks, say, a loglang, if they have decided to adopt one. The Vulcans of _Star Trek_ are indeed a prime candidate for that. Likewise, a future transhumanist sect might adopt a speedtalk or loglang scheme. In a near-future history I am currently working on, there is a transhumanist sect that has adopted Lojban as their official language, though in practise they use Lojban and English side by side. Greetings, Jörg.