25 votes

Why are sign languages considered to be natural rather than constructed languages?

The history of sign languages is more akin to that of creoles than that of a constructed language which later gained native speakers. Consider the following two examples: The grammar of Esperanto and ...
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  • 3,282
20 votes
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Is there any concept of "isomorphic" constructed languages?

There is the term relexification meaning that the words of a given language are replaced by new words without changing the structure of the starting language. Relexification does not only occur in ...
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18 votes

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

No. "Constructed languages" on this site refers to artificially created languages for intelligent beings, not machine languages. In the absence of another qualifier a "language" is, as I wrote on ...
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  • 3,521
17 votes
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What is the difference between tense and aspect?

When discussing tense, aspect, and mood, it's important to distinguish a given language's grammatical markers from the abstract concepts being described. Thus, linguists use the words temporal ...
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  • 3,271
11 votes

Why are sign languages considered to be natural rather than constructed languages?

The constructed versus natural language distinction is less of a binary opposition, and more of a continuum. There are many spoken languages as well that can partially qualify as 'constructed', ...
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  • 219
10 votes

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

Programming languages are constructed, but they are not languages, in the sense English or Esperanto or Klingon are languages, as curiousdannii shows. We cannot translate things like "I will be late ...
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10 votes
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What is the meaning of ANADEW?

ANADEW means "a natlang already did it even worse" or "a natlang already did it, except worse". In essence you thought of a strange feature for your conlang, but there is actually a natlang that has ...
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  • 1,051
9 votes
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What is a constructed variety of a natural language called?

That would be an a posteriori conlang, in contrast with an a priori one. Wikipedia. The process of changing a language through time is called diachronic conlanging. An example of a very well-done a ...
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8 votes

What is the difference between an Isolating and an Analytic language?

Isolating languages do not use inflectional morphology, i.e., using affixes or other manipulations of roots to create words--all words are seperate, and none contain multiple morphemes. Vietnamese is ...
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  • 1,285
8 votes

How to describe a purely symbolic writing system?

I think you're overthinking this a little. While what you're considering is unusual, I can't see any reason why it wouldn't just be a written language in a logographic script. is purely for reading ...
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7 votes

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

As a programmer and a conlanger, I'd say "no". As noted above, programming languages cannot convey metaphor, emotions, sensory impressions, and other such human-relevant messages. Abstraction they can ...
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7 votes
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Is there existing terminology for distinguishing multiple imperative moods?

I don't think there is any really reliable cross-linguistic labelling system that would include all of these. There are terms for most of them, but they're often used for only a few languages, and ...
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7 votes

Creation of Alphabets

Neography As with language invention, there are different names for fashioning writing systems. While "conscirpt" and other "con-" forms are current, their problems are numerous. ...
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6 votes

Syntactic word that carries no meaning - is there a name for that?

I am not aware of a generic term covering all instances of function words without meaning, but only some specific cases. The pronoun it in phrases like It's raining or It seems that ... is called a ...
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6 votes

Syntactic word that carries no meaning - is there a name for that?

One general term would be function words; these are words that do not carry any lexical meaning, but are used to link content words together and clarify their relationships (eg in the case of ...
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  • 3,466
5 votes

What is a constructed variety of a natural language called?

For naturalistic languages placed in an Alternative History setting the term Altlang (short from Alternative Language) is used. An example of such an Altlang is Alternese (an alternative history ...
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5 votes
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How is ANADEW pronounced?

As a native speaker of American English from the middle of the North American continent, I have always pronounced it as /ˈænədu/, like Xanadu (the movie), but with out the leading /z/. Visit https://...
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5 votes
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Term for the converse of "instrumental"

I think you're conflating a/o confusing a couple different things here. First, "cutter" is not "instrumental". (At least in English!) In English grammar, -er is (among zillions of other uses) the ...
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5 votes
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Name of a group of languages with has "less is more" property

These languages could be called minimalist conlangs. This term has been applied to languages like Toki Pona quite regularly, as a Google search will bear out. The term has also been used to describe a ...
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4 votes
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Is there a specific term for a constructed writing system purportedly used for a conlang but actually for a natlang?

I don't think there's already a word for this exact subset of scripts. However, I think such a term would be a useful one -- we certainly have to refer to these sorts of scripts in the conlanging ...
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4 votes

What is the difference between tense and aspect?

The difference is that tense refers to the time an action (or state or phenomenon) happened: I was slim. I am fat. I will be fatter. while aspect refers to the way an action (or state, or phenomenon)...
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4 votes

Language with contextual-free vocabulary

Firstly, I have thought about this too before. Actually, only one word is needed for all of I, you, this, there, tomorrow, etc. You can analyse these as I, (the person I am referring to), (the thing I ...
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4 votes
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How do you call a "stillborn language"?

You're describing a couple different and not totally related things with different terminology used for each: Classical Latin is an example of a literary language, a language used not really in ...
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3 votes

Is there a specific term for a substitution cipher language?

"code" or "coded language". Probably mostly used in conjunction with sign languages, where the signs replace the (spoken) words (e.g. Signing Exact English as opposed to "natural" signed languages), ...
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3 votes

Syntactic word that carries no meaning - is there a name for that?

A common term for such a word would be auxiliary. An example from the Australian language Walmajarri is ma-rna-n-ta-lu, where ma is the auxiliary to which the suffixes are attached. However as your ...
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  • 3,521
3 votes

Language with contextual-free vocabulary

All human communication is context-dependent. A context-independent language would be ununderstandable (by humans, at least). My anser to this question, Can all sentences be represented logically? ...
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3 votes

What is the difference between an Isolating and an Analytic language?

When I've seen a clear distinction made here, it has been the following: Isolating languages have a very low morpheme-per-word ratio Analytic languages have little inflection However, this ...
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  • 3,271
3 votes

How to describe a purely symbolic writing system?

I have a lot to say on this subject, as I've been working on such a project for 30 years. The terms vary, but "pasigraphy" is one of the terms, as you mentioned. "Ideographic writing" or "...
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3 votes
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What are auxlangs?

Auxlang is a short word for "auxiliary language", i.e., a language that is designed and promoted as a bridge language between people of different languages. There are International Auxiliary ...
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2 votes

Can programming languages be categorized as conlangs?

I'm trying to be Devil's Advocate here: In a way programming languages are constructed languages, but they are usually very specific and narrow in focus: one could view them as sublanguages aimed at ...
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