[tlhIngan Hol] Relevance of language ability to third person singular pronouns

Lawrence M. Schoen klingonguy at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 15:09:48 PDT 2018


On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 4:23 PM SuStel <sustel at trimboli.name> wrote:

>
> *You don't think that Okrand just got tired of saying "capable of using
> language" and shortened it to "communicate"?*
>
What I think is that you cannot have it both ways when it comes to the
whole "what Okrand says is canon" rule.

It's a very slippery slope when you (or anyone) starts guessing what Marc
meant.

For the record, yeah, I think you're probably right, and that works right
up until you start splitting hairs and ask about animals that most
linguists would agree communicate but do not possess language. And let's be
clear, what a card-carrying linguist means by a language is different from
what a layperson which is also different from what an amateur, self-taught
linguist might mean by the term.

Which is where the emphasis on what the speaker believes comes back into
play, because it finesses the whole question of what is actually a language
and reduces it to *does the speaker believe language is in play*.

See my earlier remark about kids and their imaginary friends' made up
'language'. It all still works. Damn, that Okrand, he's sneaky smart.
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