steve rice wrote, Sat, 3 Nov 2007 18:23:20 -0700
> This is the weakness of the worldlang approach:
> without a specific base, it about has to take the
> entire planet by storm or fail. A regional auxlang,
> even if the region is as ambiguous as "the West," has
> a natural base. Once the auxlang has maximized its
> voluntary user base there, it can extend beyond its
> original area, adding new vocabulary as necessary to
> appeal to its next base. It's like building wealth
> through careful investment over time rather than
> through a get-rich-quick scheme.

I was impressed by your argument earlier in the thread but you’ve lost me here. The 
“planetisation of mankind” is now reality, or approaching reality, in so many ways - race, 
politics, economics, religion, philanthropy, law, technology, currency, weights & measures 
etc. - that one might well ask why a truly global IAL isn’t also on the cards.

Squillions of bytes of information are flashing to every corner of the world as I write: do we 
really need to progress the IAL in incremental geographical stages? Having already reached 
a global platform in so many fields of human endeavour, will we nevertheless require 
separate IALs for Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia en route?

The real danger is that the process wouldn’t work as you envisage. You know the story of the 
small town where believers from two churches decided to found a “united church” - there 
were then three churches!

So yes, let’s “take the entire planet”, but definitely not “by storm”. A core vocabulary - a 
gentle and inoffensive expedient - is a very well proven proposition, whether individually, 
regionally or nationally - so why not globally? According to successful precedent there should 
be NO grammatical rules to begin with - not until users have actually mastered the core 
vocabulary, and grammar is therefore an issue. 

Realism is surely to use the IAL model which has proved most successful in the past: the 
jargon -> pidgin -> vernacular progression. Your proposal to use elements from English is 
entirely in conformity with this model, as I have explained.

As for Esperanto, you suggest that the reason for it's relative failure is non-linguistic. I'd 
agree with that, if failure to countenance the possibility of fundamental reform is a non-
linguistic attribute. Society changed but Esperanto didn't - so it's been left high and dry with 
a fairly complex synthetic grammar. 

Esperanto doesn't meet the present need: an entry-level IAL for non-linguists. It remains a 
great language, though, and I dare say many of its features would enter a "global pidgin" IAL 
which began to vernacularise at the second level.

Antony Alexander