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Je 06.33 ptm 2007.03.20, vi skribis


>On 3/20/07, auliuniv <<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Now, we want to throw in regular languages, not IALs to test?
>Well, if that is the suggestion to divert the reason for the test, 
>then by all means, Esperanto
>MUST be included.
>
>
>The reason for the test, since I suggested it, was to compare the 
>intelligibility of Interlingua and Occidental to people who have 
>studied neither.  It could be interesting to see if either language, 
>or both, would do better in that respect than any natural languages 
>such as Catalan, etc., but my only reason for suggesting it was to 
>compare Interlingua and Occidental in terms of their a prime vista 
>intelligibility.

Since both Occidental and Interlingua depend to a great extent on 
passive recognizability, I think it's worth seeing whether any 
natlangs in the Romance family do as well (in my personal experience, 
both Italian and Portuguese do, though Spanish and French do not). 
English and Esperanto do not, and it's hardly worth testing them 
(though with effort it's possible to write specific passages in 
Esperanto that are as easily recognizable -- at least to the English 
speaker -- as anything in Interlingua or Occidental; but ordinary 
Esperanto, selected at random out of a book or magazine or 
conversation, let's say, is not [*]).

Question would be then: if Italian, say, is as recognizable _a prime 
vista_ as Occidental or Interlingua -- what use Occidental or 
Interlingua? Immediate answer is that one can turn to _ease of 
learning_, since both languages have streamlined and regularized 
morphologies, which Italian and Portuguese do not. But unfortunately 
they then come into immediate conflict with Esperanto and Ido, which 
can also boast such regularized morphologies, as well as regularized 
and PRODUCTIVE word-formation systems, which Occidental and 
Interlingua lack (Occidental has a fairly regularized word-formation 
system, but it's not terribly productive, since it depends to a great 
extent on natural-language models; Interlingua doesn't, as far as I 
can tell, have a word-formation system at all, hence its relatively 
large dictionaries).

---

(*) When I was a kid and first ran across Interlingua, I started 
playing with something I called "Brittanic sin Brittanicosas", which 
was basically an _ad hoc_ equivalent of Interlingua developed out of 
English by throwing out the Germanic elements and replacing them with 
Romance elements, as needed. My conclusion is that you can also say 
or write passages in some variant of English that are as immediately 
recognizable to a certain clientele as such passages in Esperanto; 
but in both cases it requires a certain talent to do so. It's not 
something the ordinary speaker of English or Esperanto can do on the 
spur of the moment.


-- Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/don/don.html
Opinions (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/opinions/
Esperanto (in English): http://www.harlows.org/don/esperanto/
Literaturo (Esperante): http://donh.best.vwh.net/Esperanto/Literaturo