Re: LANG: Lojban/AL

Damien Broderick (
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 12:04:24 +1000

At 04:44 PM 1/27/97 -0800, Lee Daniel wrote:

>It is already well known that /adults/ have great difficulty learning
>a new grammar, and somewhat less difficulty learning new vocabulary.
>I have seen no data at all to suggest that Lojban (the only variant
>worth considering--Brown's "official" TLI Loglan will probably die
>with him) is any different in this regard than other languages. In
>fact there are no studies at all on teaching Lojban to children or to

As I understand it, adults forced to adopt an alien tongue generate a
primitive pidgin. Their children then creolise this into a real language.
It is arguable that the kids do this by tailoring Chomsky menus during the
high-plasticity phases of acquisition. Since there are by definition no
`native users' of Lojban, no child is able to master its linguistics in the
standard effortless LAD way. I suppose if enough adults clumsily employed
Lojban around kids, their plastic brains might creolise what they hear with
the innate grammar structures and produce... a kind of Chomskyised Lojban,
with all the old deficits neatly reinstituted.

Damien Broderick