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From: "Donald J. HARLOW" <[log in to unmask]>
 
>Ah, but the people I'm talking about (and I personally believe they are 
>few!) would look at Interlingua and cry out in sheer anguish: "Eurocentric 
>scum, you have used 'io' instead of 'wo' for 'I'! You are therefore biased 
>and so non-neutral!" Of course, had Gode used "wo" (as he did in his sample 
>of intercontinental Interlingua), someone else would scream a vitriolic: 
>"Asiocentric scum, you have used 'wo' instead of 'io' for 'I'! You are 
>therefore incorrigibly biased against the European languages, and so 
>non-neutral."
 
I am one of those people, no doubt about that. I understand that this list is
a club for eurocentric IALs because no other type of IAL has made a
breakthrough yet. But that's because serious intercontinental interlanguages
haven't been implemented yet, not because it is inherently a bad idea. So for
the time being I am a dissident here, but that's bound to change (if there's
any justice in the world, hehe).
 
Of course the issue is not about one word only. I wouldn't call a person
racist if s/he didn't like a colored person. But if s/he dislikes all the
colored people then it's different. The fact is that non-European words are
almost non-existent in Esperanto and Interlingua and in many other auxlangs,
especially words for general concepts. Sure there are specific words like
sari, harem, etc. but that's a different thing.
 
The reason, as Don Harlow stated later in his message, can be traced to the
fact that "'cultural' neutrality is a relatively recent fashion; prior to the
middle 
sixties, nobody would have cared." It's just like the apartheid policy in
South Africa. Prior to certain moment nobody cared (at least in the West). But
it's not a valid justification and never was.
 
> What it basically comes down to is that, for these people, no 
>_a posteriori_ IAL can win ...
 
Many kinds of a posteriori IALs are fine. For example Ceqli has multicultural
vocabulary and Lojban too, in its own way. Dunia was based on multicultural
vocabulary too. They are all steps to the right direction.
 
 
>Incidentally, any judgement I might care to make might well be valid in 
>2005 but not valid in 2055. This whole thing about "linguistic" and 
>"cultural" neutrality is a relatively recent fashion; prior to the middle 
>sixties, nobody would have cared.
 
The change was caused by the shift to multicultural societies and the break
down of the colonial system, at last. Probably there's no turning back
anymore. I hope you don't yearn back to those days.
 
RK