Re: pIqaD in actual use

From: Stephan Stiller <>
Date: Sat, 02 Mar 2013 17:45:22 -0800

>> Well, I suppose it's long enough since Klingon was invented that it's conceivable there are people that grew up as in homes with dedicated Klingon speakers such that they can reasonably be called native speakers.
>> But somehow I doubt it.
> This isn't all that hard to check; d'Armond Speers raised his child as
> a Klingon speaker, though he quit using it at about age 5. Given the
> size of the community, presumably any other cases would have earned
> mention in the same places that is.

Exactly my thoughts. (Did any constructed language besides Esperanto
ever have native speakers? Possibly Ido or Volap√ľk back in the day? Most
likely no others. (?) Unless you count languages like Modern Israeli
(Hebrew) or Indonesian; I'm mentioning these to point out that sometimes
these definitional distinctions are arbitrary and break down as soon as
one looks closely.)

But there is a different thing to consider here, as far as this thread
is serious. (The "serious" bit doesn't seem to be a const anyways for
such discussions. It's more like an ever-changing [0,1]-real intended to
confuse people.) Of course noone is taking the above-cited descriptions
on that website seriously, but there is a question about what
constitutes a native speaker. I don't think there is an agreed-upon
definition used by linguists, and assuming a definition like "learned to
speak it [how much of it?] from early on [approximately the onset of
speech? starting before the end of the supposed critical period?]" is
not very useful.

For example, the level of proficiency is often relatively low for
self-described native speakers of "heritage" languages. But the (very
important) question of the level of expressivity of a possible native
speaker aside: Even if one raises a child in one of those languages, one
can ask whether that person's competence level matches the /intended/
use of the language as envisioned or imagined by the inventor(s). Did
the kid learn the grammar of Klingon or what-have-you "correctly"? Would
he or she be able to live within the imagined universe for the language
without difficulty, if suddenly transplanted there? ;-) On the other
hand, given the absence of a /body/ of speakers who learned the language
in a natural environment (if it's only the household of two
mathematician parents, I wouldn't consider that environment
comprehensive enough to qualify), there is a relatively lower level of
idiomaticity (and a lower quantity of linguistic knowledge) in general
to acquire.


Received on Sat Mar 02 2013 - 19:48:59 CST

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