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[ontolog-forum] CNL's and ConLangs

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John Bottoms <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:02:51 -0400
Message-id: <544FDA4B.7000205@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
There have been a few discussions on www.reddit.com about "Constructed Languages". It surprised me that there are such graduate programs. There is also a reference to The Language Creation Society (www.conlang.org) Mostly, these studies apply to artificial natural languages such as Esperanto and Klingon.

Most of the Reddit discussions pertain to whether Constructed Languages are really languages. Some seem to believe that a language must have an evolved history and been in use by a community before it is meat for a linguistics discussion.

The linguistics community has no consensus on an appropriate criteria for acceptance as a language. However, for me, the overall discussion of Constructed Languages seems to touch on Controlled/Constrained Natural Languages. This is important, I believe, because we are in for an extended era of many CNL's as people partition core and technical vocabularies in various ways, trying to satisfy needs for particular disciplines and markets.

Chomsky defines a set of sets of languages that have formal grammars are a hierarchy.

The Chomsky hierarchy
Chomsky Formal Grammar Language Hierarchy
It seems to me that there should be a taxonomy that includes all languages and what I call "language shorthands" such as chemical, math, Feynman diagrams, etc. My question is whether ConLangs, shorthands and CNL's are entities of Chomsky's hierarchy of languages? He seems to say that there must be start and end symbols and these are not represented in mathematics notation. The difficulty with this is that in many shallow/deep constructions, the start and terminal symbols are understood according to some protocol. SGML allows <cr> as a terminal in some cases and  speech is terminated when someone stops talking, or it can be semantically terminated when someone says, "That's all I have to say."

Is there a more complete grammar in existance that includes additional forms of sentences? Should we define a super-set of all languages that is more inclusive such as might be found in semiotics? Finally, would we segregate the taxonomy and its elements in an ontology?

Image result for feynman diagram
A Feynman Diagram

-John Bottoms
 FirstStar Systems
 Concord, MA USA

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