Re: Interlingua: Universal language?

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sun Apr 30 2000 - 05:18:42 MDT

We had a language seminar here yesterday, where us local
transhumanists talked about our favorite lamguages. One of the big
conclusions was that one cannot expect a language to suceed just
because it is neat, logical or good at something, it needs to be a
part of a working culture and co-evolve with it. Japanese is utterly
baroque in many ways (at least to our local sensibilities), but has
been quite successful. The same goes for the various sign
languages. Meanwhile Lojban just attracts a few enthusiasts - it has
no supporting culture that will find use for it and extend it, and it
doesn't fit in well enough with human thinking and grammar to be
easily adapted.

Overall, languages seem to be on the "edge of chaos" when it comes to
complexity, redundancy and information content. Too complex languages
get simplified, too simple languages grow in complexity (often against
the wishes of the language purists). Too redundant languages become
shortened, but too terse languages are hard to understand and get
affordances to help, introducing redundancy.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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