Print

Print


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

> On Sun, 23 Mar 2008 19:32:01 -0500, Dana Nutter wrote:
> 
> >I think of these more as *planned*" languages, not just
constructed
> >or artificial.  Letting a bunch of people just use the language
in
> >just any way would cause them to become irregular and
inconsistent
> >just like natural languages, and it's more likely that one
powerful
> >group of speakers would pull the language in their own direction
> >making it something less than neutral.  At that point you've lost
> >the benefits that a well-planned language has to offer.  The most
> >cited benefits being simplicity and neutrality.   Even a
> >well-planned language will evolve into something new over time,
but
> >it will still offer a solid foundation.
> 
> ...
> 
> Your last sentence "Even a well-planned language will 
> evolve into something new over time...." might read
> "Even a well-planned language that actually succeeds as 
> the global IAL will evolve into something new over time...."!

No, it doesn't even have to succeed in becoming a true global
language.  Even if it only reaches cult status like Esperanto, it
still has enough of a user base to start evolving.

> And yes, I fully accept that the pidgins have severe 
> limitations as models for an IAL paradigm on a global 
> scale. However, so far as I can see they are the best 
> model available, since some of them penetrated 
> throughout their societies and became the mother 
> tongues of a significant proportion of the population. 
> No modern planned IAL including Esperanto has achieved 
> anything like that success within its target area.

Actually, look at the numbers.  Pidgins and creoles are a very small
minority among the 6000+ languages and 6.5B people on the planet.
The reason we need to study them though is because they are good
examples of what happens when speakers of diverse languages merge
into a single population and need to communicate, which is exactly
what an auxlang is intended to do only in a more orderly fashion. 

> I think the key to this success was ownership: the 
> people felt they owned their own language. Itís hardly 
> likely that some pidgins would have developed 
> intuitively as first languages otherwise.

The point of an auxlang isn't really *ownership*, it just the
opposite.  The neutrality comes from the fact that nobody really
owns the language so everyone is just sharing it.  Of course, a
successful global language is likely to undergo a nativization
process over generations where it will be some speakers' L1.  At
that point there will be a group that "owns" the language, but it's
likely to be a scattered group belonging to no particular nation or
culture.