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Re: Exolanging (was: revisiting the artlang/engelang distinction)

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  • Jörg Rhiemeier
    Hallo conlangers! ... Yes, I remember that discussion. Stacks are indeed widely used in parsing programming languages and similar systems, not only those
    Message 1 of 185 , Aug 2, 2011
      Hallo conlangers!

      On Monday 01 August 2011 17:42:08, And Rosta wrote:

      > I think I mentioned when this was last discussed, that at least in some
      > commonsensical theories of natlang parsing (- I know too little to say more
      > than that), a stack (operating on audible forms) is a key ingredient.
      > Certainly it seems so logical a parsing device to use, that I think the
      > onus of evidentiary justification is on those who think stacks aren't
      > used. (If there are linear conlangs described as unsuitable for
      > stack-based parsing, that would be something interesting to discuss.)

      Yes, I remember that discussion. Stacks are indeed widely used
      in parsing programming languages and similar systems, not only
      those using RPN. Yet, I doubt that computer programs which parse
      languages (in a wider sense) are a good analogue for the way the
      human brain deals with language. The human mind is almost
      certainly not a von Neumann machine; the experience of free will
      we all have probably indicates that we are dealing with a
      nondeterministic quantum system here. (Which would also explain
      why attempts to deal with human languages by computational means
      have shown such a slow and mixed success so far.)

      > To make a further, different but related point, from our discussion of Fith
      > earlier this year I concluded that the basic grammatical mechanisms of Fith
      > are to be found in natlangs, and the exoticness of Fith resides not so much
      > in the language as in the powerful short-term memories of its speakers, who
      > would also be able to speak grammatical English sentences beyond the
      > parsing power of humans.

      Maybe that is indeed all the "magic" behind Fith ;) Indeed,
      I feel that Fith is not a very plausible exolang; however, it is
      a nice little gedankenexperiment about what a consequently stack-
      based language could look like.

      ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
      "Bêsel asa Êm, a Êm atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Êmel." - SiM 1:1
    • J=c3=b6rg_Rhiemeier
      Hallo conlangers! ... Yes. There are of course also mixed systems that follow first principles in some parts and natlangs in others. An example is AllNoun,
      Message 185 of 185 , Dec 22, 2015
        Hallo conlangers!

        On 22.12.2015 12:13, R A Brown wrote:

        > On 21/12/2015 17:43, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
        >> Hallo conlangers!
        >> [...]
        >> Certainly, the Quendian languages are not built from
        >> "first principles" and thus not a priori languages in
        >> the auxlang sense. But ...
        > Indeed not. The terms, as I'm sure we all know, are taken
        > from epistemology. It was Couturat and Leau who first used
        > these terms in describing auxlangs. They denoted the 18th
        > century 'philosophic' langs (and subsequent langs of the
        > same sort) as "a priori" since they considered them to be
        > built from first principles with no reference to natlangs;
        > and others like Esperanto, Ido, Novial etc were denoted as
        > "a posteriori" because they derived their vocabulary,
        > morphology and syntax (largely) from natlangs.
        > But the terms "a priori" and "a posteriori" *were applied to
        > _all_ aspects of the language*, not just to vocabulary.

        Yes. There are of course also mixed systems that follow "first
        principles" in some parts and natlangs in others. An example is AllNoun,
        which can be called a priori in terms of grammar and a posteriori in
        terms of vocabulary, I think (but the English vocabulary used in
        Breton's examples is secondary to the project).

        >>> But some use the terms simply to refer to vocabulary.
        >> Yes. I think this is already an established usage among
        >> artlangers by now that it is futile trying to decree
        >> that away.
        > One cannot decree it away. I have no authority to do so, nor
        > does any one person or any organization - not even the
        > Language Creation Society :)

        Right - we are stuck with this unfortunate polysemy of the terms "a
        priori" and "a posteriori" among auxlangers and artlangers. Things like
        that happen. Consider the different usage of "protolanguage" in
        historical linguistics and in language origins studies, which often
        leads to confusion in the popular press.

        >> The terms simply have *different meanings* when
        >> discussing auxlangs and when discussing artlangs.
        > Which IMO is very confusing - and confining it to refer just
        > to vocabulary and to no other aspect of the language IMHO is:
        > - not at all intuitive to anyone who knows the origin of the
        > terms;
        > - and is pointless.
        > I mean, if an one constructs artlang for Elves of Middle
        > Earth, for alien race(s) on another planet, or something
        > similar, then obviously the vocabulary will be original
        > (unless the creator is utterly incompetent); but a language
        > like Brithenig (or, if I get it finished, Britainese) or any
        > such other language, the vocabulary will obviously be
        > derived from natlang sources.

        Sure. Also, Brithenig is "a posteriori" in a very different way than
        Esperanto! It is perhaps better to avoid these loaded terms at all when
        talking about artlangs, speaking of "original" and "derived"
        vocabularies rather than "a priori" and "a posteriori". And where falls
        a project like my (abandoned) Nur-ellen, which was a fictional daughter
        language of Sindarin? I agree with you that these terms are not
        particularly useful in the realm of artlangs, even if it is of course
        legitimate and useful to classify artlangs by the origin of their
        vocabulary. A more useful notion is that of the *diachronic* conlang,
        which may have original (as Tolkien's elflangs) or derived vocabulary
        (as the many romlangs).

        Alas, the "wrong" usage is established by now, and none of us has the
        power to change it.

        >> I know how futile such a battle can be as I have wasted
        >> a lot of resources fighting "misuse" of music genre
        >> names in Internet forums with no appreciable results.
        > I'm not going to waste time fighting the issue. I have
        > stated my position on:
        > http://www.carolandray.plus.com/Glosso/Glossopoeia.html
        > What I have written, I have written. It is my own personal
        > opinion, period.

        Yep. And I concur with you on these matters.

        > [...]
        > Yes, quite so - e.g. how is "Languages Constructed for
        > Special Uses" the opposite of "International Auxiliary
        > Languages" or "Languages Constructed for Special Uses" the
        > opposite of "Artistic Languages"? In what what way are
        > "International Auxiliary Languages" more closely related to
        > "Conceptual ("engineered") Languages" and "Reform Projects
        > for Natural Languages" than to the other three categories?
        > It's just six categories. It is quite different in concept
        > from the Gnoli triangle (or the cube).

        Just that. There are no intermediate positions on van Steenbergen's list
        of categories. The beauty of the Gnoli triangle is that it accounts for
        such intermediate cases.

        ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
        "Bêsel asa Éam, a Éam atha cvanthal a cvanth atha Éamal." - SiM 1:1
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