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The first thing I did when I got the notification that the private beta was up was to look for question on conlangs (constructed languages), since that's the facet of the worldbuilding process I'm most interested in at the moment.

However, it took me a while to find anything, because the tag doesn't yet exist, only one question actually contained the word "conlang", and the questions that are about language construction so far are tagged under instead.

I envision language construction eventually becoming a significant part of this website. What do you think should we do about the scope of this tag? Is there enough that's relevant about linguistics other than conlangs to merit getting their own tag? Perhaps should be a synonym of ?

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    $\begingroup$ I suppose "conlang" means "constructed language". Is that it? Please note that while site language is english, there may be a good percentaje of non-english native speakers, so I would try to avoid abbreviatures like these. $\endgroup$ – Envite Sep 20 '14 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, "conlang" means "constructed language". $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Sep 20 '14 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Envite I'm a native English speaker and was unfamiliar with the word "conlang". Joe Z I recommend adding a link to the wikipedia page for conlangs so everyone is clear on this, and preferably also mention the full term "constructed languages" in the question at the first point "conlang" is mentioned. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Sep 21 '14 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ I did refer to "language construction", but okay, it's apparent that the jargon isn't prevalent enough. $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Sep 21 '14 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ A world builder might bring a question to this site about the sciences of a culture in their world; what if they want to address how the people of their world approach linguistics specifically? $\endgroup$ – echristopherson Oct 1 '14 at 20:37
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I like the idea of being a synonym of . is broader than , but on this site they are practically the same. But there are enough people who would want to use instead of , that's worth keeping it around.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree -- create the synonym so that people who start to type "conlang" will get to the right place, but until there is a clear distinction that merits having separate tags (questions where it being a constructed language makes a difference versus any other language), we shouldn't separate them. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 21 '14 at 21:06
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I feel I discussed this over in my answer to How should we tag questions about space?, but here it goes again. Tags should be used to provide meaningful question grouping. (Also consider Grace Note's answer over here.)

Does separating constructed-language questions specifically from non-constructed-language questions provide a benefit to those looking for questions, whether to learn or to answer?

If, as DonyorM wrote, on this site and would largely be the same, then again what's the benefit in separating them?

I'm not sure I see any benefit in such a separation, at least not at the moment. We currently have three questions tagged and nothing tagged "constructed language" or anything like that which I can find with a quick look through the used tags. (If there is such a tag and I'm missing it, please do point it out and I'll revise this...) Questions relating strictly to existing human languages are probably a better fit on the Linguistics SE than on Worldbuilders anyway. (If this site is to have any chance of making it, we need to focus its scope. Just because a topic might relate to worldbuilding doesn't mean this is necessarily the best place to ask about it.)

Also, like Envite pointed out in a comment, I'd suggest we avoid jargon if possible. We had a discussion about this on the Amateur Radio SE as well (besides outright technical terms, amateur radio is fairly jargon-heavy, and much of the jargon is international in nature) and while that site's Meta is not quite as active as ours here, more people felt jargon should be avoided if possible than otherwise. Tags can be named with up to 25 characters; if we need a tag specifically for constructed languages, I would strongly suggest simply calling it because that will be easy to find and understand the meaning of.

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  • $\begingroup$ Umm isn't this what I said, but just with a bit more words? Though the point of changing the name of con-lang is a good one. $\endgroup$ – DonyorM Sep 21 '14 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @DonyorM No, because you start out by saying that you like the idea of "conlang" being a synonym to "linguistics". That makes it impossible to use "conlang" (or whatever variant we'd end up with) in a manner that is not equal to "linguistics". I argue that we probably don't need both variants in the first place. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Sep 21 '14 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ I like the idea of using the full term "constructed-languages" for the tag. This will still show up if someone starts to type conlang, but will be readable to everybody. $\endgroup$ – trichoplax Sep 21 '14 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ On jargon, if a term is a common technical term within a field, then we should expect people to use it in searching the site or tagging questions. Synonyms can help with this, but we shouldn't be afraid of jargon, properly managed. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 21 '14 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ @MonicaCellio Absolutely. Specifically in this case, I was considering the term "conlang". I certainly have never heard of it before, and it seems like a lot of other people haven't either. Thus, it counts as an example of bad jargon usage. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Sep 22 '14 at 7:34
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling for what it's worth, I'd heard conlang before though I'm neither a linguist nor particularly into that aspect of world-building. I may have first heard it from people talking about Esperanto, actually (as opposed to Klingon or the like). Anyway, just one data point for what it's worth. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Sep 22 '14 at 13:35

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