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Re: How to name the languages of sentient beings?

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  • Henrik Theiling
    Hi! ... But maybe sentients languages ? **Henrik
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 1, 2005
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      Hi!

      Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> writes:
      > On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...> wrote:
      > > What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are meant
      > > for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding computer
      > > programming languages, data modelling languages, and so on, but including
      > > languages for aliens, and unusually smart hamsters, and what-have-you?
      > >
      > > "Human" languages is wrong, as is "natural". I'm rather at a loss.
      >
      > Maybe "people languages"? Or "sophont languages"?
      > ("Sentient languages" doesn't quite work, though it suggests
      > an interesting story idea....)

      But maybe "sentients' languages"?

      **Henrik
    • caeruleancentaur
      ... is natural . I m rather at a loss. I don t believe that any form of sentient is adequate. It seems to me that, in any given conculture, some sentient
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 1, 2005
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        On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@n...> wrote:
        >What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are
        >meant for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding
        >computer programming languages, data modelling languages, and so
        >on, >but including languages for aliens, and unusually smart
        >hamsters, >and what-have-you? "Human" languages is wrong, as
        is "natural". I'm >rather at a loss.

        I don't believe that any form of "sentient" is adequate. It seems
        to me that, in any given conculture, some sentient beings speak and
        some don't. "Sentient," after all, has nothing to do with the
        ability to speak, but the ability to feel.

        What is needed is a word (an adjective, it appears) that includes
        all the species that can communicate. Since anything is possible in
        a conculture, that could very well include animal as well as plant
        life (or any other form imagined). And the word has to distinguish
        between forms that can communicate and those that can't, _e.g._,
        oaks can communicate but elms can not. I don't believe there is
        such a word, at least in English.

        I found in the OED the word "loquent" meaning having the ability to
        speak, and that's the word I use in my conculture for the dragons
        and the six human-like races that can speak, the other life forms
        being merely sentient. I call these the loquent peoples or races or
        nations.

        Charlie
        http://wiki.frath.net/user:caeruleancentaur
      • veritosproject@gmail.com
        Watch reply-tos! Or need we have an exact English translation? I can think of several terms that are basically impossible to translate. Example French
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 1, 2005
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          Watch reply-tos!

          Or need we have an exact English translation? I can think of several
          terms that are basically impossible to translate. Example French
          "chez"--which can roughly mean "at the house of", "where (person)
          works", "at a place related to this task", etc.

          A term for this in an agglutinating language would be something like
          "think-person.GEN language".

          On 12/1/05, caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...> wrote:
          > On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@n...> wrote:
          > >What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are
          > >meant for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding
          > >computer programming languages, data modelling languages, and so
          > >on, >but including languages for aliens, and unusually smart
          > >hamsters, >and what-have-you? "Human" languages is wrong, as
          > is "natural". I'm >rather at a loss.
          >
          > I don't believe that any form of "sentient" is adequate. It seems
          > to me that, in any given conculture, some sentient beings speak and
          > some don't. "Sentient," after all, has nothing to do with the
          > ability to speak, but the ability to feel.
          >
          > What is needed is a word (an adjective, it appears) that includes
          > all the species that can communicate. Since anything is possible in
          > a conculture, that could very well include animal as well as plant
          > life (or any other form imagined). And the word has to distinguish
          > between forms that can communicate and those that can't, _e.g._,
          > oaks can communicate but elms can not. I don't believe there is
          > such a word, at least in English.
          >
          > I found in the OED the word "loquent" meaning having the ability to
          > speak, and that's the word I use in my conculture for the dragons
          > and the six human-like races that can speak, the other life forms
          > being merely sentient. I call these the loquent peoples or races or
          > nations.
          >
          > Charlie
          > http://wiki.frath.net/user:caeruleancentaur
          >
        • Aaron Grahn
          Elms can t communicate? Some of my best conversations have been with Elms. :) þ
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 1, 2005
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            Elms can't communicate? Some of my best conversations have been with
            Elms. :)

            þ

            caeruleancentaur wrote:

            >On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@n...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >>What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are
            >>meant for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding
            >>computer programming languages, data modelling languages, and so
            >>on, >but including languages for aliens, and unusually smart
            >>hamsters, >and what-have-you? "Human" languages is wrong, as
            >>
            >>
            >is "natural". I'm >rather at a loss.
            >
            >I don't believe that any form of "sentient" is adequate. It seems
            >to me that, in any given conculture, some sentient beings speak and
            >some don't. "Sentient," after all, has nothing to do with the
            >ability to speak, but the ability to feel.
            >
            >What is needed is a word (an adjective, it appears) that includes
            >all the species that can communicate. Since anything is possible in
            >a conculture, that could very well include animal as well as plant
            >life (or any other form imagined). And the word has to distinguish
            >between forms that can communicate and those that can't, _e.g._,
            >oaks can communicate but elms can not. I don't believe there is
            >such a word, at least in English.
            >
            >I found in the OED the word "loquent" meaning having the ability to
            >speak, and that's the word I use in my conculture for the dragons
            >and the six human-like races that can speak, the other life forms
            >being merely sentient. I call these the loquent peoples or races or
            >nations.
            >
            >Charlie
            >http://wiki.frath.net/user:caeruleancentaur
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Wesley Parish
            ... If the use of a conlang is fine with you, my Lakhabrech make a distinction between speaking beings and nonspeaking beings - nonspeaking beings are
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 2, 2005
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              On Fri, 02 Dec 2005 02:33, caeruleancentaur wrote:
              > On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@n...> wrote:
              > >What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are
              > >meant for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding
              > >computer programming languages, data modelling languages, and so
              > >on, >but including languages for aliens, and unusually smart
              > >hamsters, >and what-have-you? "Human" languages is wrong, as
              >
              > is "natural". I'm >rather at a loss.
              >
              > I don't believe that any form of "sentient" is adequate. It seems
              > to me that, in any given conculture, some sentient beings speak and
              > some don't. "Sentient," after all, has nothing to do with the
              > ability to speak, but the ability to feel.
              >
              > What is needed is a word (an adjective, it appears) that includes
              > all the species that can communicate. Since anything is possible in
              > a conculture, that could very well include animal as well as plant
              > life (or any other form imagined). And the word has to distinguish
              > between forms that can communicate and those that can't, _e.g._,
              > oaks can communicate but elms can not. I don't believe there is
              > such a word, at least in English.
              >
              > I found in the OED the word "loquent" meaning having the ability to
              > speak, and that's the word I use in my conculture for the dragons
              > and the six human-like races that can speak, the other life forms
              > being merely sentient. I call these the loquent peoples or races or
              > nations.

              If the use of a conlang is fine with you, my Lakhabrech make a distinction
              between "speaking beings" and "nonspeaking beings" - nonspeaking beings are
              legal prey, speaking beings aren't. (It's not really that much fun to eat
              your infuriatingly irritating neighbour, particularly when your
              midwife-chieftainess is going to publically gut you when she finds out, then
              leave you for the ants and wasps... ;)

              Consequently, taking humans - "hauk" - as the baseline, the definition: yhe
              hauk valaya, the speaking human-type beings; going for a more abstract term:
              yhe yayhe valaya - the speaking beings.

              Wesley Parish
              >
              > Charlie
              > http://wiki.frath.net/user:caeruleancentaur

              --
              Clinersterton beademung, with all of love - RIP James Blish
              -----
              Mau e ki, he aha te mea nui?
              You ask, what is the most important thing?
              Maku e ki, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
              I reply, it is people, it is people, it is people.
            • stevo
              Define language as a means of communication (or your favorite phrase) between sentient beings. That way all of the other so-called languages are just
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 19, 2010
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                Define language as a means of communication (or your favorite phrase) between sentient beings. That way all of the other so-called languages are just processing codes of one sort or another.

                stevo

                --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi!
                >
                > Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...> writes:
                > > On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...> wrote:
                > > > What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are meant
                > > > for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding computer
                > > > programming languages, data modelling languages, and so on, but including
                > > > languages for aliens, and unusually smart hamsters, and what-have-you?
                > > >
                > > > "Human" languages is wrong, as is "natural". I'm rather at a loss.
                > >
                > > Maybe "people languages"? Or "sophont languages"?
                > > ("Sentient languages" doesn't quite work, though it suggests
                > > an interesting story idea....)
                >
                > But maybe "sentients' languages"?
                >
                > **Henrik
                >
              • Charlie
                In using sentient , are you thus including communication between non-human animals and even the communication that s being discovered to take place among
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 19, 2010
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                  In using "sentient", are you thus including communication between non-human animals and even the communication that's being discovered to take place among plants?

                  "Sentient" = "having sense perception; experiencing feeling or sensation". (AHD)

                  In my conworld, I wanted an adjective to describe the six races of beings who spoke. I rejected "sentient" because of the above. In the OED I found an archaic word to use: loquent. Perhaps then, your definition could read, "Define language as a means of communication (or your favorite phrase) between loquent beings."

                  Charlie

                  --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, stevo <lytlesw@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Define language as a means of communication (or your favorite phrase) between sentient beings. That way all of the other so-called languages are just processing codes of one sort or another.
                  >
                  > stevo
                  >
                  > --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, Henrik Theiling <theiling@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi!
                  > >
                  > > Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@> writes:
                  > > > On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@> wrote:
                  > > > > What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that are meant
                  > > > > for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding computer
                  > > > > programming languages, data modelling languages, and so on, but including
                  > > > > languages for aliens, and unusually smart hamsters, and what-have-you?
                  > > > >
                  > > > > "Human" languages is wrong, as is "natural". I'm rather at a loss.
                  > > >
                  > > > Maybe "people languages"? Or "sophont languages"?
                  > > > ("Sentient languages" doesn't quite work, though it suggests
                  > > > an interesting story idea....)
                  > >
                  > > But maybe "sentients' languages"?
                  > >
                  > > **Henrik
                  > >
                  >
                • Kelvin Jackson
                  Except that loquent literally means speaking . So that definition becomes a means of communication used by beings capable of using language, and thus
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 19, 2010
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                    Except that "loquent" literally means "speaking". So that definition
                    becomes "a means of communication used by beings capable of using
                    language," and thus turns into a circular argument.

                    On Feb 19, 2010, at 8:02 AM, Charlie wrote:

                    > In using "sentient", are you thus including communication between
                    > non-human animals and even the communication that's being
                    > discovered to take place among plants?
                    >
                    > "Sentient" = "having sense perception; experiencing feeling or
                    > sensation". (AHD)
                    >
                    > In my conworld, I wanted an adjective to describe the six races of
                    > beings who spoke. I rejected "sentient" because of the above. In
                    > the OED I found an archaic word to use: loquent. Perhaps then,
                    > your definition could read, "Define language as a means of
                    > communication (or your favorite phrase) between loquent beings."
                    >
                    > Charlie
                    >
                    > --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, stevo <lytlesw@...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >> Define language as a means of communication (or your favorite
                    >> phrase) between sentient beings. That way all of the other so-
                    >> called languages are just processing codes of one sort or another.
                    >>
                    >> stevo
                    >>
                    >> --- In conlang@yahoogroups.com, Henrik Theiling <theiling@> wrote:
                    >>>
                    >>> Hi!
                    >>>
                    >>> Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@> writes:
                    >>>> On 11/30/05, Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@> wrote:
                    >>>>> What's a good word for the set of languages, nat and con, that
                    >>>>> are meant
                    >>>>> for communication between sentient beings -- i.e. excluding
                    >>>>> computer
                    >>>>> programming languages, data modelling languages, and so on, but
                    >>>>> including
                    >>>>> languages for aliens, and unusually smart hamsters, and what-
                    >>>>> have-you?
                    >>>>>
                    >>>>> "Human" languages is wrong, as is "natural". I'm rather at a loss.
                    >>>>
                    >>>> Maybe "people languages"? Or "sophont languages"?
                    >>>> ("Sentient languages" doesn't quite work, though it suggests
                    >>>> an interesting story idea....)
                    >>>
                    >>> But maybe "sentients' languages"?
                    >>>
                    >>> **Henrik
                    >>>
                    >>
                  • Lee
                    ... Why is The Happening now replaying in my head?... ... Doesn t loquent imply the ability to speak? (I d love to check the OED myself, but I m nowhere near a
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 19, 2010
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                      --- On Fri, 2/19/10, Charlie <caeruleancentaur@...> wrote:

                      > From: Charlie <caeruleancentaur@...>
                      > Subject: Re: How to name the languages of sentient beings?
                      > To: CONLANG@...
                      > Date: Friday, February 19, 2010, 7:02 AM
                      > In using "sentient", are you thus
                      > including communication between non-human animals and even
                      > the communication that's being discovered to take place
                      > among plants?

                      Why is The Happening now replaying in my head?...


                      >
                      > "Sentient" = "having sense perception; experiencing feeling
                      > or sensation". (AHD)
                      >
                      > In my conworld, I wanted an adjective to describe the six
                      > races of beings who spoke.  I rejected "sentient"
                      > because of the above.  In the OED I found an archaic
                      > word to use: loquent.  Perhaps then, your definition
                      > could read, "Define language as a means of communication (or
                      > your favorite phrase) between loquent beings."
                      >
                      > Charlie
                      >

                      Doesn't loquent imply the ability to speak? (I'd love to check the OED myself, but I'm nowhere near a physical copy, and my pockets are too shallow for the online version.)

                      Lee
                    • John Vertical
                      ... But nobody actually speaks in computer languages. I d be more worried about the exclusion of sign d and written-only languages. The antonym of the term
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 19, 2010
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                        On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 10:18:30 -0500, Kelvin Jackson wrote:
                        >On Feb 19, 2010, at 8:02 AM, Charlie wrote:
                        >> In my conworld, I wanted an adjective to describe the six races of
                        >> beings who spoke. I rejected "sentient" because of the above. In
                        >> the OED I found an archaic word to use: loquent. Perhaps then,
                        >> your definition could read, "Define language as a means of
                        >> communication (or your favorite phrase) between loquent beings."
                        >
                        >Except that "loquent" literally means "speaking". So that definition
                        >becomes "a means of communication used by beings capable of using
                        >language," and thus turns into a circular argument.

                        But nobody actually speaks in computer languages. I'd be more worried about
                        the exclusion of sign'd and written-only languages.

                        The antonym of the term we're looking for is "formal language", so that
                        suggests "informal language". Doesn't appear too good either, however.

                        I propose "semantic language".

                        FWIW, Wikipedia sorts formal languages as a subset of conlangs.

                        John Vertical
                      • MorphemeAddict
                        How about person language as a term for languages used by humans and other sentients? stevo
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 19, 2010
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                          How about "person language" as a term for languages used by humans and other
                          sentients?

                          stevo

                          On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 11:58 AM, John Vertical <johnvertical@...>wrote:

                          > On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 10:18:30 -0500, Kelvin Jackson wrote:
                          > >On Feb 19, 2010, at 8:02 AM, Charlie wrote:
                          > >> In my conworld, I wanted an adjective to describe the six races of
                          > >> beings who spoke. I rejected "sentient" because of the above. In
                          > >> the OED I found an archaic word to use: loquent. Perhaps then,
                          > >> your definition could read, "Define language as a means of
                          > >> communication (or your favorite phrase) between loquent beings."
                          > >
                          > >Except that "loquent" literally means "speaking". So that definition
                          > >becomes "a means of communication used by beings capable of using
                          > >language," and thus turns into a circular argument.
                          >
                          > But nobody actually speaks in computer languages. I'd be more worried about
                          > the exclusion of sign'd and written-only languages.
                          >
                          > The antonym of the term we're looking for is "formal language", so that
                          > suggests "informal language". Doesn't appear too good either, however.
                          >
                          > I propose "semantic language".
                          >
                          > FWIW, Wikipedia sorts formal languages as a subset of conlangs.
                          >
                          > John Vertical
                          >
                        • Kenner Gordon
                          He most likely meant sapient , i.e. having intelligence equal to or greater than that of a human. ... -- I don t really get the point of signatures.
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 19, 2010
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                            He most likely meant "sapient", i.e. having intelligence equal to or greater
                            than that of a human.

                            On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 6:02 AM, Charlie <caeruleancentaur@...> wrote:

                            > In using "sentient", are you thus including communication between non-human
                            > animals and even the communication that's being discovered to take place
                            > among plants?
                            >



                            --
                            I don't really get the point of signatures.
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