Author: J. C. Brown
|Da cluva lopo da sucmi.
||He loves the mass of all events composed of his swimming. |
A sociologist named James Cooke Brown, who had just taken a position at the University of Florida in Gainesville, was paying close attention. In the winter of 1955, when classes let out for the holidays, he "sat down before a bright fire to commence what I hoped would be a short paper on the possibility of testing the social psychological implications of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis." He wanted to show that "the construction of a tiny model language, with a grammar borrowed from the rules of modern logic, taught to subjects of different nationalities in a laboratory setting under conditions of control, would permit a decisive test." If the problem with the Whorf Hypothesis experiment was that natural languages couldn't be disentangled from the cultures in which they were spoken, then why not avoid the problem by using an artificial language? This "tiny model language" became Loglan (from logical language), a project that would occupy the rest of his life. It would grow large enough to be used for original poetry, translations of works like Alice in Wonderland, and in one case, a proposal of marriage. It would bring Brown fame and disappointment, admirers and enemies, and a trip to Federal Court over the question of who rightfully owns a language – the man who invented it, or the people who use it?