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1. An invented language, such as Zamenhof's Esperanto, formed by blending elements of various Indo-European languages, or an adapted language, such as Ogden's Basic English, formed by radically reducing standard English. Hundreds of artefacts of this type have been created and many promoted over the last 150 years, mostly without success. Esperanto is, however, well known and its name serves virtually as a generic term for all kinds of artificial communication. Such languages are discussed in detail by Andrew Large in The Artificial Language Movement ( Blackwell, 1985).

2. A system of symbols constructed for a particular purpose, such as a computer language or a system of symbolic logic. Such ‘languages’ originated in the 17c, as part of a search for a universal logical system that would transcend all natural language. An early form was Real Character, a codelike writing system invented by Bishop John Wilkins, a member of the Royal Society. See AIRSPEAK, BASIC ENGLISH, CORNISH, INTERLANGUAGE, JESPERSEN, NEWSPEAK, RESTRICTED LANGUAGE, SEASPEAK.