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--- [log in to unmask] wrote:

> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> steve rice
> 
> > There is some truth to that. What is striking
> about
> > worldlangs generally is the attitude, "This has
> had
> > very limited success. Let's try something much
> > harder--it's sure to work!"
> 
> Worldlangs are only harder for the one group that's
> already favored
> by the existing glut of Euroclones.  For the
> majority it will make
> things easier because they now have find a least a
> few
> familiarities.  Euroclone supporters are just afraid
> to leave their
> own comfort zone.

I'm not talking about ease of learning. As the context
shows, I mean the ease of propagation. With a standard
auxlang, your initial demographics are good: not only
do you have a large-enough group of potential users to
work with, most of those active internationally know
at least one of your source languages.

With a worldlang, your demographic, though
theoretically large overall, is scattered both
globally and lexically: the incentive and ease for
individuals is much lower than it is for a traditional
auxlang's target audience. So someone from Africa may
get 30% help from the lexicon (unlikely, though),
while anyone with even a smattering of English or
Spanish can get well over 50% (good odds). You aren't
helping your target group as much as the traditional
auxlangs help theirs.
 
> > However evil it may be to draw vocabulary in
> > particular from a few privileged (and very widely
> > spoken) languages, at least it provides leverage.
> To
> > diffuse support is to defuse support.
> 
> Then why bother at all?  We already have English. 
> It's already
> established a strong base, and is growing very
> quickly.  If we can't
> have an element of neutrality, then let's just stick
> with the status
> quo.

But it's a difficult status quo. That's why it makes
sense to use English vocabulary, which is widely known
at least for common concepts, but not the spelling or
grammar.

> 
> > Now, this leads to the question, "Why has a
> > focused-leverage method not done any better?" But
> the
> > answer is not a priori, "Because it doesn't work."
> If
> > focused leverage doesn't work, diffuse leverage
> > certainly won't.
> >
> > This is where Dave, Don, and many others say,
> "What if
> > the obstacle isn't the language as such? What if
> it's
> > popular bias and resistance to novelty?" Have you
> > answered that question? Can you answer it in such
> a
> > way that the greater novelty and lesser track
> record
> > of your approach does not become a liability?
> 
> So far, worldlangs have no track record at all so
> it's far too early
> to judge.  Eurolangs have had 120 years and really
> haven't seen any
> significant market penetration.  Insanity is doing
> the same thing
> over and over and expecting a different result. 
> Let's try something
> a little different.

You could bang your head with a rock and hope the
vibrations would usher in a golden era of peace. That
would be different, I bet. "Different" alone isn't
enough. Different and smarter might be. For the
reasons I've given above, I don't see that the
worldlang approach is smarter. There are at least two
unanswered questions here:

1. Again, what if the problem is not truly linguistic?
In that case, changing the language is precisely doing
the same thing over and over while expecting a
different result. The fact that Eo has been used in
practically every conceivable way for well over a
hundred years argues that it would work as a WAL. That
strongly suggests a non-linguistic problem.

2. What about the incremental approach? A simpler
grammar might prove helpful, especially if the
language is designed to add non-Western roots later.
But start with Western roots, which will give you the
initial traction of the traditional method, and adopt
non-Western roots as the language spreads. That is
both different and rational. Starting out as though
you were a century in the future is not.

Steve

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