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Point of Principle: there's no such thing as a private language![edit]

As anyone who has read the later works of Ludwig Wittgenstein will realize, the term private language is as ridiculous as is the idea of Kosher pork - it is simply a contradiction in terms. (I will concede that Wittgenstein here means logically private - but the point is still there: one might say that a language is of necessity public (in some everyday sense) whereas if something is private, whatever else it might be, it is not a language! (Language is a vehicle which conveys shared concepts and is hence necessarily public.)

To this end I have placed the offending term within quotation marks in the article. (talk) 14:57, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

It is not self-evident or NPOV that Ludwig Wittgenstein is right about everything. Whether talking about idioglossia or personal constructed languages (I think there's a distinction, but I'm not sure how to formulate it offhand), it's possible for a conceptual entity to have all the properties we normally associate with languages, but happen to be spoken by only one person. If that's the case, it makes sense to me to call it a private language, although logically speaking there's no reason in principle someone else couldn't learn it as well, if they wanted to learn it and the language's sole speaker was willing to teach it (or had documented it thoroughly enough that others could learn it without their help).

My own personal constructed language is private in the sense that no one else speaks it, and it is a vehicle for conveying shared concepts -- but only between my past self and my present self, or between various parts of my present self. I'm working on a study of people who are fluent in constructed languages of their own invention -- a phenomenon similar to but not identical with idioglossia; when I finish the paper and it's published, it might be relevant to reference it here.

This article needs to be cross-referenced with either Constructed language or one of the articles on specific kinds of constructed languages, perhaps Artistic language with its section on personal languages. --Jim Henry (talk) 22:53, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

This article has been revised in the past year to eliminate the word "private", thereby removing the controversy. Jim, I think the distinction between an idioglossia and a constructed language is that a constructed language is created by explicit choice on the part of the creator, whereas an idioglossia is seen as arising more "naturally" (hence its name, which shares its form with medical or psychiatric disorders). I definitely agree that a cross-reference or two would be a good idea. --- Control.valve (talk) 04:02, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Similarity to home sign[edit]

Home sign is the personal sign language developed by deaf children before being exposed to a standardized sign language. Sign languages are now recognized by linguists as legitimate languages, distinct from but equal to spoken languages, and home signs are often fully realized private languages. Because of this, I think there is a clear connection between idioglossia and home sign that ought to be included in this article. I made an edit including the following:

== See Also ==
* [[Home sign]], a similar phenomenon among [[sign language|sign languages]]

but it was reverted. I've instead included it here for consideration. -- Control.valve (talk) 04:59, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

It seems a relevant cross-reference to me. --Jim Henry (talk) 09:12, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Jim; I've restored it in the article with a better edit summary; hopefully it'll survive this time.

Is 'idioglossia' not the plural and 'idiogloss' the singular? I'm not sure, I'm just asking, as the former is used throughout the article as the singular.

"-ia" in this case is a suffix that denotes a class of behaviors, as in "glossolalia" and "anglophilia". If it were the "-ia" used to pluralize Greek-derived terms, the singular would be "idioglossium", which is not a real word. --- Control.valve (talk) 03:55, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for nearly ten years, and twice during that time I was shopping in supermarkets and overheard families, whom I suspected, by their appearance and demeanor, of being 'down out of the hills' using what I assumed to be a private language. In both cases, it sounded like 'baby talk' and was completely unintelligible to me.

I am surprised that this phenomenon has not been studied further. (talk) 16:20, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

What is and isn't Idioglossia in Music? This page needs an edit![edit]

There is no difference between what Lisa Gerrard is doing and what Karl Jenkins and Vonlenska have done as well.... I believe these are being judged incorrectly. If the voice is not mimicking an instrument such as in skat or Konnakol, then it is using tones and sounds as arranged and understood by some known culture (aka lyrics in a known language), or it would be Idioglossia like Lisa... But to say there is no meaning just because it was not dictated as such, well that's undermining what Idioglossia is in song---It is the song of the spirit. It comes from no specified guidance, it is just what is right to the person releasing the sounds.... Sounds are vibration and they have connection to feelings and concepts, so to say Karl's tones were merely instruments also doesn't give him enough credit. It has meaning, but not one that is dictated so that you are limited by your own imagination and feeling of what the music means to you. It's too bad the Icelandic band had to reduce it down to 'gibberish' to get people to understand what they were doing. Perhaps I am wrong for them and maybe it was only gibberish to them but everyone can do this in song and have their Idioglossia be entirely unique. And to each who listens, it is a song that speaks heart to heart. There is no boundary of words that separates the listener from the performer. Just like a child who hears a foreign song and makes up imagery in his or her mind of what is being said from the sounds of the music...

Now unless Lisa Gerrard cannot be considered Idioglossia? I am not sure that Lisa has a set standard either for what her Idioglossia means, meaning that she would have a set sound to a certain meaning. She does not translate her music for her fans so I cannot say that is true of her music, even if she has being singing this way since she was young. Again, I believe it is something we all can do with Spiritual meaning when it comes to music. It allows the voice to not be anything besides what the inner Spirit calls for, and that is a language of it's own. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:06, 13 February 2013 (UTC)