I've pretty much given up on trying to communicate here. Antonielly's endless 
ingenuity for misconstruing my arguments has lost its charm. So I've decided 
to make a few comments and go for the big finish on the lexical business. I 
also bring up a quote I'm sure Harlow will find amusing and the delightful topic 
of grammatical inconsistency.

On Sat, 19 May 2007 12:27:50 +0100, Antonielly Garcia Rodrigues 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Steve Rice <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> [...] I suppose you might say that
>> in your terms, I'm trying to expose the fallacy of Spirit 1 (Interlingua as
>> registration of international vocabulary) so that its users can be freed to
>> follow Spirit 2 (Interlingua as functioning auxlang) in a natural way, even 
>> it means turning from the path called for by Spirit 1.
>I do not think it is necessary to "destroy" spirit 1 in order to free
>users to follow spirit 2. I believe that both spirits can coexist, and
>I see no harm if spirit 2 (the non-standard language, but a language
>in itself) deviates along time from spirit 1 (the standard linguistic
>manifestation, but not a language in itself, as real languages are not
>subordinated to other languages). In fact, if beginners study
>pedagogical materials that follow spirit 2 ideologically but comply to
>the spirit 1 in vocabulary selection, I think this divergence will
>never harm mutual comprehensibility between both variations of the
>same language. And both spirits will be harmoniously kept alive in the
>same body. :)

This is like a man riding two horses at once, a foot on each horse. As long as 
they remain side by side it's possible, but if they diverge, he's in trouble. The 
interesting thing is that IG violates spirit 2 by giving "new derivations" in the 
section on affixes. If these neologisms are supported by the source languages, 
there is no longer a mere echo but independent life--and that must eventually 
move away from the model.

>I could give you another example of something that can be viewed
>differently if we consider different perspectives: the plural/singular
>distinction in Esperanto. We could consider "-o" as the noun ending,
>"-0" (null stem) as the singular ending, and "-j" as the plural
>ending. Alternatively, we could consider "-o" as the singular noun
>ending, and "-oj" as the plural noun ending. Which of the perspectives
>is the "correct"? Both, no matter what people say. Both of them
>satisfactory describe with the reality, so both are useful models.

No serious linguist who knew Esperanto would make such a claim. The two are 
not equivalent models, because saying that "-oj" is the plural noun ending 
ignores the nature of Esperanto grammar. In fact, "-j" is the plural, and it's 
used with more than just the noun ending. It pluralizes adjectives ("-aj"), some 
sui generis words ("unuj"), and tabelvortoj ("kiaj," "kiuj," ktp). Saying that "-oj" 
is the plural noun ending is true in a very limited sense, but it isn't particularly 
useful or true to the system of Eo grammar.

>* Then you attacked the idea that Interlingua is natural. The
>fragility of this argument is that there are many valid (and mutually
>incompatible) definitions of "natural" out there, and you failed to
>demonstrate that, for *all* the valid definitions of "natural",
>Interlingua is not natural.

If there were a Nobel Prize for silliness, I'd put this remark in the running. It 
amounts to saying that a statement is only true if it is true in every possible 
sense, which I doubt is ever the case. The question is not, "What 
*can* 'naturalness' mean?" but "What *did* 'naturalness' mean to Gode?" 
That's a far more limited field, and he did define it by example. Stay tuned.

>> Gode thought that Eo was artificial and claimed that
>> Interlingua was just hiding in the shadows of its source languages and 
>> to be brought out into the open, but his own method produced artificial 
>> It's just hypocrisy that's a problem for me. If he had said, "I have a better 
>> of deriving artificial forms than Eo," I might agree or not, but I couldn't fault
>> his honesty.
>Wooof!!! Accusing someone of intellectual dishonesty is very serious,
>specially when the accuser does not have strong proofs that this is
>true. Please, calm down. 

You're wanting me to calm down? You're the one who's woofing. And when you 
assume that I've no proof of my contention, of course I do. You do too. Read 
the Manifesto: he clearly states 

que secundo le philosophia fundamental de interlingua il es impossibile 
construer un lingua pro le previemente concipite objectivo de un simplification 
del communication international, sed il es ben possibile laborar pro le utilisation 
de un medio de communication international super le base del observation que 
un tal existe - ben que solo latentemente.

This is why he makes the statement (which I consider silly, false, and factually 
suicidal to his argument):

Pro appreciar le signification de iste aspecto - i. e. del aspecto sociologic del 
question sub discussion - nos debe solmente considerar que esperanto per 
exemplo non esseva, le die de su prime publication, un lingua international del 
toto. Illo esseva non mesmo un lingua sed solmente un projecto de lingua, un 
projecto de lingua international, proque illo non habeva lo que es le plus 
importante characteristica de omne lingua, international o altere: illo non 
habeva un communitate lingual. In un certe senso le historia de esperanto non 
es le historia de un lingua sed le historia del effortio (a vices heroic e quasi 
semper fanatic) de equipar un lingua con un communitate lingual.

[Cue Mr. Harlow]

The same thing was true of Interlingua when it was first published. To say 
that people could at-sight guess it is to say no more than could be said for 
Spanish or Portuguese. If all the speakers of these languages disappeared, a 
lot of Europeans and Americans (in the broad sense) could still read texts 
written in them. Just as no one said "Mi estas felicxa" before Zamenhof, no 
one said "Io es felice" before Gode. The sole difference is that Interlingua was 
quicker to bootstrap passively. There was no linguistic community for 
Interlingua initially--and even now, Esperanto has a far larger one. For 
a "linguistic community" surely is not simply those can understand a language 
passively, most of the time (in that case the linguistic community of 
Portuguese would include all hispanophones); it is the community of people 
who actually use the language, especially in an active way. So his argument 
here is either hypocritical or delusional.

But wait, there's more! This also relates to naturalness vs artificiality. For 
Gode, Interlingua already existed, if latently, in the source languages. This is 
what "natural" means in his usage: as I shall show, a form is natural if it is 
already present in the sources, at least by implication. And that is why I say 
that producing a form that doesn't exist even implicitly is unnatural, so doing it 
anyway is hypocritical--if the result is termed "natural."

This is also why I find the lack of a dual substantive series so curious--and 
unnatural. The consistent solution would be to follow the source languages 
and have two roots--one nominal and the other adjectival: cielo/celeste, 
tempo/temporal, etc. Why? Because it "prevents these [words] from assuming 
unnaturally distorted forms" (though they then add that the "unnatural" forms 
are still permissible). I'm just saying that a rule applied elsewhere should apply 
to the nouns I've mentioned, so they don't take on "unnaturally distorted 

In case you haven't figured it out, the quote is from _Interlingua Grammar_, 
App 1: Double-Stem Verbs. The whole reason for having two verb stems (one 
for conjugation, the other for derivation) is to prevent such "unnaturally 
distorted forms" as "scribitura, corrumpitive, incidition." Although these forms 
are permitted, they are also "unnaturally distorted." Sound familiar? So by 
analogy, the natural, undistorted forms should be cielo, tempo, etc., with 
secondary derivative forms celest-, tempor-, etc. If users want to back-form ?
celo, ?tempore, and so on, let 'em. But those are "unnaturally distorted."

Or should we follow the example of celo, tempore, etc.? Then the primary verb 
stem will be eliminated and the form be normed to the derivational stem, as 
often happens in Occidental. ?Scripter, ?corrumpter, ?inciser--any takers? Or 
are these forms unnaturally distorted?

Final point: I know this has gone on too long already, but I had hoped to cover 
another quirk of Interlingua. (I'll pick on Occidental next. Really.) I find it odd 
that majority rules for the lexicon (a form theoretically must exist in at least 
three source languages), but in the grammar, one negative overrules even a 
majority positive. I think this was done so English could act as a spoiler and 
eliminate certain undesirable features all the other sources had--subject-verb 
agreement, adjective-noun agreement, grammatical gender, etc. Think what 
would have happened had the majority ruled here as well!

But even here the method isn't consistently followed. All of the sources have 
subject-verb agreement (at least two verb forms) in the present tense; all 
have the imperfect/preterite distinction (though in English the distinction is 
often optional); and all but Russian have (more or less) a 
conditional/subjunctive distinction--and if Russian counted at all, there would 
be no articles, definite or indefinite. So technically, Interlingua should have 
some limited subject-verb agreement, an imperfect/preterite distinction, and 
separate conditional and subjunctive. For that matter, since there is no 
singular/plural distinction in standard English for the second person pronoun, 
the tu/vos distinction should be eliminated. There are other potential issues, 
but those should be a good start.