Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hi, Saluton. toki. coi. etc.

I am not properly in the language creation community. I have never created a language and have no intention of doing so.

I am rather an archetypical 'second reader,' the guy who turns up a the creator's door (or website) thinking he has some mastery of the language, as demonstrated by a 'translation' of some obscure text -- which was hard to understand in his native language even. That out of the way, he goes on to tell the creator why his language does not fit its declared purpose and how it can be improved. He becomes a fanatical follower until, on some imagined slight, he leaves to join the splinter group. You fill in the details.

I've done this, more or less, for several languages, so I have some knowledge of the field. I also have a degree in linguistics (granted, admittedly, when 'the whole world was of one language and one speech'). And I am a philosopher and logician by training, so able to fake objectivity and reasonableness in the midst of the controversies of the field.

I don't fit in in another way as well. As one of Carnap's last students, I am a perfect-language man. And the world of language creation has clearly moved from that to artlangs as variously defined. All I can say (well, not all -- see the next post, up eventually) is that, after LCC3, I am a believer and enthusiast in that area, too.

On this blog, I am going to do make an idiosyncratic survey of created languages and comment on issues that arise in the field. I'll start with what I know best and gradually expand as new items come to my attention (and thank you for bringing them up).

Quite by the way, who started using the Babel text as a display piece? I haven't found any cases used thus (rather than, say, as part of a translation of the whole Bible) earlier than my 1976 version in (old school) Loglan. But, since it is an obvious text to use, I suspect there are other, earlier cases.

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