> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jens

> I thought you did, but just wanted to check. The
> problem is, I'm not sure even how much of a consensus
> there is on what makes a good IAL. Just as a personal
> example, I find it nearly possible to understand posts
> in Euroclones (to be honest, I can't really tell them
> apart), and the same is not true for Esperanto or Ido.
> But there is a good reason for it: I was brought up in
> France and am basically fluent in comprehension (not
> necessarily in speech though), and also am pretty good
> at Spanish. So I don't think the same would be true at
> all for say a Hindi speaker. 

I won't go as far as to say I can't tell the Euroclones apart,
but have to say it sometimes takes a minute or two to figure out
which language it is, and even then it can be confusing.
Esperanto has the hats to identify it, but if someone writes it
with the H-system it can be confused with Ido.  When I see other
Euroclones, I tend to identify them as Interlingua by default.

> The problem is, I'm not sure if there is really a lot
> of data available on what makes a good IAL for people
> outside of Europe. There have been speakers of
> Esperanto and Ido and Interlingua, but I don't think
> that much else has ever really been made available.
> Certainly, just to bring up my own little project, I
> know for almost certain that no Chinese has ever tried
> to learn it. One or two have heard of it (because I
> told them), but none has ever tried to actually learn
> it. So there's really no way to say whether it would
> be good for them. 

> To me there are a lot of things that really remain
> untested. One of my basic ideas in NP (and this is
> shared by Ceqli and Toki Pona) is that words should
> not be inflected. Is this a good thing or not? How can
> we know, since none of these languages have ever
> really spread that far. And another idea that I have
> adopted (along with a number of newer IAL proposals)
> is the idea of adopting an international vocabulary.
> But this is largely untested as well, outside of
> Europe I mean. 
> I think it is probably possible to make a pretty valid
> comparison between Esperanto and Ido and the big
> Euroclones and maybe Volapuk,* but for say Toki Pona,
> I don't think that there is really enough data to make
> a comparison.  
There are ways to figure out what issues may be encountered by
relating them to other languages.  Take your statement about
inflections for a good example.  It's true that nobody has
actually tested such a conlang on Chinese speakers, but you can
gather evidence by seeing the difficulties Chinese may have
speaking Western languages which are not so isolating.  L1
Chinese speakers do have a tendency to use those structures when
speaking English.  They frequently drop verb tense ending, or
sometimes just mark all verbs with "-ing".  The third-person
"-s" is also something that is often omitted.  I've even noticed
sometimes that they will mix up "he" and "she", something that
is probably the result of only one Mandarin only having a single
third-person pronoun, even though they seem to have no problem
distinguishing the inanimate "it".

Basically, it pays to check out different cross-language issues,
and look for the most common themes.  Here are a few examples,
but they all relate to English.  It would be best to look at
many other perspectives.

Also, I think the idea of looking at pidgins and creoles gives a
lot of insight into the cross-language situation. 

> -Jens Wilkinson
> * Actually, I just looked at the Chinese Wikipedia
> article on IALs, and there were five listed:
> Esperanto, Ido, Mondlango (understandable, as the
> creator is Chinese), Globish (modified English made by
> a Frenchman) and Basic English. Actually, there are
> more in the entry on constructed languages, but many
> of the languages are simply listed with no entry. 

ISTR reading about an auxlang created in Vietnam at one time.
(googling...)  Ah, found it.  It's called Frater, YAEC.