meli pi toki pona li lon ma seme?

Community: Meet and greet, introductions, networking, gatherings, events, what's new in your life?
Komunumo: Interkoniĝo, sinprezentoj, socia retumado, renkontiĝoj, eventoj, kio novas en via vivo?
janMato
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Contact:

meli pi toki pona li lon ma seme?

Postby janMato » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:43 am

meli pi toki pona li lon ma seme?* mi pilin e ni. nanpa pi jan meli li lili lon ma pi toki pona. nanpa pi jan mije li suli lon ma pi toki pona.

Both in the toki pona census (in this forum) and the top posters list, women are highly underrepresented. What is up with that?


* seme ma li meli pi toki pona? Sounds okay to me because if seme can talk modifiers, seme ma would/could be "where" and "Where is Waldo" is a perfectly fine calque of a pattern findable in several languages.
Last edited by janMato on Fri May 21, 2010 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

janKipo
Posts: 3037
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: ma seme li meli pi toki pona?

Postby janKipo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:29 pm

That is because women generally have better things to do than be conlang geeks (or is it nerds?). Even in the realm of conlang creators the percentage of women is very small (though they are high up in quality and quantity). I'm not sure the leaven is enough to make decent gender neutral conlangs (across the board rather than just in the usual ways). The one (well, most famous and well-documented) feminist conlang was a bust in terms of raising an ongoing community, in spite of a reasonable sale of the related books and a decent website. Sorta sad -- for meetings if nothing else.

janMato
Posts: 1545
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Contact:

Re: ma seme li meli pi toki pona?

Postby janMato » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:53 pm

Yes, Láadan seems to be mostly dead right now (and Suzzette announcing the experiment was a failure after 10 years couldn't have helped), did get a unusual amount of interest from women, see the gender distribution of contributors on this page: http://www.laadanlanguage.org/pages/node/4

1) It was a sci-fi language, which has a mostly guys fan base.
2) According to "Land of the Invented Language," lesbians felt snubbed because it did start out with a vocabulary for the lesbian community. (Not that they didn't have the means to say it, I'm sure any language without a word for lesbian could assemble a phrase for the needed concepts)
3) This was a pre-internet language, so outside off the sci-fi fans, there wouldn't be a suitable audience.
4) It was an artlang with a conculture behind it. Can we expect anyone to adopt a conlang in their personal life if the culture of the language doesn't reflect their real life culture (unless they are a sci-fi fan into LARP)?

So maybe the language should have been embedded into a romance novel? Anyone up for writing the first lipu mute suli olin pi toki pona? Anyone know how to say "Pride and Prejudice" in toki pona?

janKipo
Posts: 3037
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: ma seme li meli pi toki pona?

Postby janKipo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:43 pm

Well, yes those are also factors, but given the high overlap between conlangers and scifi fans, I suspect that the low incidence of females in either is relevant. The occasional minilangs in romance novels (Clan of the Cave Bears et seq, say) has had no noticeable effect on conlanging (since few guys read that shit). As I say, when they take it up, women are generally pretty good at it, either as creators or learners/teachers/revisers, present language sorta included.

Logomachist
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 8:42 pm

It doesn't surprise me that Láadan failed to catch on.

Postby Logomachist » Wed May 19, 2010 10:22 pm

It seems to me that Láadan was doomed for several reasons. It's premise- that existing languages are biased against women- is absurd. Languages are spoken by women as much as they are by men, and women therefore have an equal chance to invent and adapt natural languages. GIven the thousands of natural languages that exist in the world, some are probably because of their history slightly biased against women, and some against men. But it would take some kind of act of God or a universal defect in biology or something to arrange it that every single existing natural language is inevitably skewed against one entire sex, in favor of the other.

But even more importantly... Láadan was doomed to failure simply because of its own demographics. Its premise seemed to be very much grounded in radical feminism, and you either fall in with an extreme feminist ideology, or you don't. And most women don't/didn't, and wouldn't want to be labeled as man-haters. Nor do men; although I could see how it might have attracted some curious males interested in seeming open-minded and supportive of the feminist cause, but again the whole radical feminist premise just about suggests that if men adopted it they would inevitably pollute it with their male-ness and that it would ruin everything. Even if it DID catch on within its target demographic, it's still a niche of a niche of a niche and would have a very difficult time staying alive.

It's best chance would have been, say, if liberal colleges with a strong woman's studies department got the linguistics department to add the language as an elective course, and then it snowballed from there. But even if you got them to do that- how many students do you think wold take the made up language when they could just as well take one of the natural languages that people actually spoke? Well, a lot if the Láadan course was easier. :) But it didn't happen as far as I know, and now it never will.

IMHO it was a product of its time, when Feminism carried enough sway that universities would accept this kind of abstract (otherwise unproductive) experimentation in the name of equality and women's lib. I think Lobjam stole some ideas from Láadan... hopefully they stole the best parts and have integrated them into a language not dependent on a language department buying into politically correct assumptions.

But if we can infer anything, Laadan's failure might as less about its own design and marketing, and more about languages generally not discriminating against women so much and the M-W Hypothosis being invalid.

jan musi pi len noka
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 3:43 pm

Re: It doesn't surprise me that Láadan failed to catch on.

Postby jan musi pi len noka » Thu May 20, 2010 12:29 am

Logomachist wrote:It's premise- that existing languages are biased against women- is absurd. Languages are spoken by women as much as they are by men, and women therefore have an equal chance to invent and adapt natural language


I concur women almost certainly contribute to the evolution of natural languages as much as men. But from what I've read, Suzette Haden Elgin has a more refined opinion, like most academics. I highly recommend her book "The Language Imperative" I found her take on S-W hypothesis, conlangs, ials and the like to be very even handed to all sides of the arguments.

Logomachist wrote:. Its premise seemed to be very much grounded in radical feminism, and you either fall in with an extreme feminist ideology, or you don't.

A political leaning is more of a "prestige" factor than a inherent quality of the language. [no matter how hard NewSpeak tried to be totalitarian, I doubt it could succeed in repressing thought of rebellion as Orwell imagined] Maybe the take a way lesson is the conlangers should think twice about picking politics as a prestige factor, since it's an issue that gets people hot under the collar. It's worked well for religion though-- sanskrit, latin and arabic seem to be surviving on a prestige factor that people tend to fight about.

Logomachist wrote:It's best chance would have been, say, if liberal colleges with a strong woman's studies department got the linguistics department to add the language as an elective course, and then it snowballed from there.

A short seminar for toki pona was/is offered at MIT. Despite MIT's prestige, I think tp is doing well mostly because jan Sonja is a online social networker extrordinaire, although she's since let her livejournal page go dark and doesn't seem to have the online presence she did a decade ago.

I think Lobjam stole some ideas from Láadan... hopefully they stole the best parts and have integrated them into a language not dependent on a language department buying into politically correct assumptions.

Evidentials, which in turn were borrowed from one of the many American Indian languages Mrs Elgin studied.

toki pona itself is considered to have a leftist bent, mostly because of the proverbs page, and at one time there was a econ blog that took time to criticize tp for being left leaning. At the moment, the community is large enough that it's hard to say tp is left or right any more than one could accuse Chinese or Russian as being communist languages (which would be really hard to argue that they were)

Logomachist
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 8:42 pm

Re: It doesn't surprise me that Láadan failed to catch on.

Postby Logomachist » Thu May 20, 2010 7:05 am

jan musi pi len noka wrote: It's worked well for religion though-- sanskrit, latin and arabic seem to be surviving on a prestige factor that people tend to fight about.


Hebrew too. And arguably Egyptian hieroglyphics. I guess religion really IS a good way to promote your language, although it must be an easier sell if it is/was a natural language and not just something you made up or were gifted by aliens.

jan musi pi len noka
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 3:43 pm

Re: It doesn't surprise me that Láadan failed to catch on.

Postby jan musi pi len noka » Thu May 20, 2010 7:28 am

Logomachist wrote:I guess religion really IS a good way to promote your language, although it must be an easier sell if it is/was a natural language and not just something you made up or were gifted by aliens.


The "Reformed Egyption" of Mormonism was almost a conlang, but Joseph Smith decided to translate the golden plates into English and then return them to the Angels, so the world doesn't have the source material anymore. Smith probably intended to create a language and rapidly found out it was more work than necessary.

janKipo
Posts: 3037
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:20 pm

Re: ma seme li meli pi toki pona?

Postby janKipo » Thu May 20, 2010 12:49 pm

As Harry Hoijer, my old professor in the S-W course at UCLA, said in his final lecture""Any way you slice it, it's still baloney/balogna". Elgin's point (in Laadan) is that women have had only a restricted and indirect influence on the development of (the standard) language and that, as a result, a mass of masculine stereotypes of women (negative) and me (positive) have been embedded. The case is easy to make at a trivial level, hard to make at a deeper level, and, in the end. of totally unclear significance (the usual S-W results). Has the language influenced our view of women adversely? Would changing the language to be "more favorable" to women improve our view? How would we ever figure this out? A conlang is one possibility, but then we have to demonstrate 1) that it does have a different spin on the feminine and 2) that people who speak the language are thereby changed. Simply put, language and culture march together, so that while there are obvious interrelationships, causality is almost impossible to ever isolate. My church allowed women to play a role before it changed its language, indeed, allowed them to be priest before the new Prayer Book came out that made room for this in the ordination rites. It has women as bishops already (indeed, the nominal head honcho is a woman) but still has not gotten very far with inclusive language. It is doing something similar now with long-term committed relationships between people of the same sex: having (sub rosa) blessed them for years, now saying -- after electing at least one bishop in such a relationship -- they are not a problem for holding ecclesiastical office, and finally commissioning rites for these blessings (yes, and marriage, too). All of which takes a lot of language juggling, but this come long after the facts on the ground. I know another church which did adopt inclusive language a long time ago but has not altered its position on forbidding women from any office in the church (well, some in the actual offices, of course), including teaching Sunday School to boys over 12.

jan-ante
Posts: 541
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:05 pm

Re: ma seme li meli pi toki pona?

Postby jan-ante » Thu May 20, 2010 3:09 pm

janMato wrote:ma seme li meli pi toki pona?

ken la sina wile toki e ni: "meli pi tp li lon seme?" ante la sina wile toki e ni: "meli pi tp li lon ma seme?". taso toki sina ni li pona ala: "ma seme li meli pi toki pona?" tan li ni: ma li meli ala lon tp. ma li meli lon tL.

taso ni li lon: meli pi tp li mute ala. ken la tan li ni: meli nasa li mute ala. taso mije nasa li mute. jan nasa li mama ike. meli li wile kama mama


Return to “jan pi toki pona”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron