> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of MacLeod Dave > -The myth that vocabulary is the most important part of a language in > terms of its neutrality (it's not, word formation is much more > important and when learning a language where you can find words from > your mother tongue interspersed willy-nilly but other related terms > don't exist you're likely to be more confused than relieved). That > means that if I'm Japanese and I see a word like denwa (telephone) in > a language I'm probably going to want to say 'do telephone' (denwa > suru) for 'make a telephone call', but if the language has a separate > verb for telephone then the Japanese speaker is going to have to learn > something new anyway, that the word denwa exists in the language but > in this IAL you have to learn to use it in a different way, thereby > defeating the purpose. Or maybe there'll be the word ulusal for > national to appeal to Turks but not its root word ulus for nation > (which might be kantri or something), and the word ara for between, > but lot uluslararası for international, which is a blending of those > terms. Whenever I look at wordlangs I see a lot of haphazard mixing > and matching from one language to another, resulting in a system that > is no easier to the speakers of these languages since usage is > completely different, and related terms are not brought in as they > should be. Vocabulary isn't the only part, but is still of great importance because it's easy to create a syntax and system of word-building that's easy to learn and use. Vocabulary is the single most time-consuming part of learning a language. The Japanese speak doesn't need to learn anything separate if he knows "denwa" means telephone, he will quickly commit that word to memory because of its similarity to the word he already knows. He may not be able to use "denwa suru" as a standalone phrase from his L1, but he will learn the equivalent of "suru" (we'll use "fa" for this example) so he could say "fa denwa" or "denwa fa" depending on the syntax of the auxlang. At least he only had to learn one "foreign" term and not two. As far a semantics goes, there really is no exact parallel in meaning even in words that use what appear to be the same labels. That's just the nature of learning a language, you will still need to learn the *words* (=their scope and usage), not just the labels attached to the word. > -The myth that languages should always assume that people know less > than they probably actually know, and that they can't pronounce > certain words that they actually can. Koreans for example do use their > throat in a kind of kkhhh sound for emphasis but you'll never find it > in the script, and a person creating an IAL would make the mistake of > assuming they don't know that sound when looking at hangul when in > reality they know how to make it. Yes, they can make that sound, but how easily can they learn to use it phonemically. It's not unlike the tonal discussion that we just had. Europeans do use tonal qualities in speech, but not as a phonemic property. We have tonal patterns for a range of things: emphasis, word stress, interrogatives, sarcasm, etc. > There's also a large assumption that > everybody speaks just their own mother tongue, can't pronounce > anything from any other languages and that nobody knows any terms > besides those found in their mother tongue. That also is a myth. With > too much pandering to a person's mother tongue you're liable to insult > people that are perfectly capable of pronouncing or memorizing words > you assume they can't. Just because someone speaks another language, doesn't mean they speak it well. Your L1 is the foundation of your speech habits. The point of an auxlang is to provide people with *one* simple language to learn so they don't have to struggle with learning "someone else's" language. To much pandering to a single group of speakers is likely to insult everyone else. > -The myth that everybody wants a perfectly neutral language and that > Euroclones spring from European superiority. Euroclones come from > European linguistic similarities and a higher standard of living > (which equals more time for hobbies, more time on the internet, more > time to learn about things like IALs). If European superiority was the > main factor in Euroclones you'd see a lot more Germanic words and > squabbling over who gets to have words from their native tongue in IAL > x, but that is nonexistent. The only squabbling is over which word is > common to the most languages. That is actually a big problem with "Euroclones", they aren't just biased in favor of Europeans, but biased toward Latino-Romance. At least Esperanto and Ido have a few Germanic awords for good measure, though none of them really do the Slavic languages justice. Now if someone said we need to make sure to include words from Irish, then there would be a good argument against it because of the small number of speakers, and because it is a language that exists in the shadow of another. If you want true neutrality, without any linguistic baggage, then I suggest the a priori approach.