Lojban (was Copy paradox)

Lee Daniel Crocker (lcrocker@mercury.colossus.net)
Sun, 16 Nov 1997 18:11:43 -0800 (PST)

[Wesley Schwein]

> What are the qualifications of the creators of Lojban? Computer
> scientists, logicians? If they they think that a human mind can process
> "language" without nouns, etc., they are profoundly mistaken. Natural
> language does not refer to languages which are not concsiously created;
> natural language means a language which conforms to Universal Grammar;
> this includes created languages such as Esperanto, Ido, Volapuek and
> Interlingua. Nat.lang. is a category opposed to logical languages such as
> predicate calculus or to computer languages. Nouns, verbs, deixis,
> anaphor and other such principles are the algorithms and heuristics by
> which we make language. Never confuse language with thinking.

JCB and the other Loglanists are mostly linguists, and mostly
pre-Chomsky (which is a plus in my book). "Universal Grammar" is
the result of some very interesting empirical studies of human
language /as it is/ (the only way it can be empirical), but I do
not for a moment concede that it has anything to say about what /can
be/. The entire history of human language is a mere pittance of
a few millennia, and the serious study of linguistics a tiny
fraction of that. To draw any conclusions from such scant evidence
is the height of irresponsible scientific hubris.

Though the primary motivation of Loglan was to test Sapir-Whorf
effects (for which it still may find some use, despite the
weakness of current forms of the hypothesis), there are many other
practical uses and scientific uses for which it can serve well.
My own advocacy of the language is based on my own study and use;
I claim no credentials in the field, nor do I care what credentials
anyone else may have. I am not one who takes a such things as
degrees or books sales seriously; I judge the final product, and
for my money, the Lojban group has done about 10 times the valuable
work in linguistics than any modern Chomsky-worshipper I know.

Lee Daniel Crocker <lee@piclab.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC