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On 11/10/05, Todd Moody <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 5:13 pm, Risto Kupsala wrote:
> > 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.

> This is a sharp analogy, and I think it captures why Esperanto and other
> euroclones cannot hope to win acceptance in academia.  It will be seen
> as *morally* problematic to promote a language based on the great
> colonial languages as a world language.  In a word, it'll be seen as
> "hegemonic."  The irony is that, while any attempt promulgation of
> Esperanto or Interlingua will trigger this ethical scruple, the use of
> English is simply accepted as "practical."

Maybe this is an opportunity for the promoters of
Ceqli, Konya, etc., and would not be bad for Esperanto,
either; suppose such academics start promoting, say,
Ceqli, then the natural result is that most people
who hear from them about Ceqli will soon find
out that

1. Ceqli has scarcely any speakers and very little
literature, and

2. there's are other constructed languages -
particularly Esperanto - that have been around
longer, have more speakers and a larger
corpus of literature, -- everything except
the academic stamp of approval, in fact.

Of course, if some people do end
up learning to speak Ceqli and write and read
more stuff in it, that would be a good thing
too, but it would probably take several
decades of that, even with a large faction in
Western academia behind it, for it to
surpass Ido & Interlingua and start
rivaling Esperanto.

[For all of the above paragraphs,
feel free to substitute the name of Konya, SASXSEK,
or other non-Euroclone for "Ceqli".]

Seriously, if in talking to academics about
Esperanto I hear this kind of neutrality/fairness-based
objection, I would suggest they get behind one
of the non-Euroclone constructed auxlangs rather
than tacitly supporting English as an auxlang.  I don't
think growth in such small auxlangs,
at least in the short to medium term,
is any threat to Esperanto; their target markets
are somewhat different.   The IAL idea is
more important than any particular auxlang,
and if someone has serious objections
of this kind to Esperanto one's time might
be better spent nudging them toward
a more congenial auxlang than trying
to argue Esperanto's practical advantages
outweigh the perceived unfairness
because of its non-neutrality.

Of course, except in the AUXLANG list, I rarely
hear this kind of objection to Esperanto.
The more common objections in my experience
are "OK, sounds nice, but I'm too busy to learn
it" and "English works fine".

--
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/review/log.htm