On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 12:36 PM, Mark Allen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I'd like help in deciding if interlingua is the right language for me to study based on my interests.  Other possibilities I'm considering are ido, novial, and occidental.  I have very limited linguistic ability, and don't feel I can reasonably hope to study multiple artificial languages so I'd like to start in the right place.

My understanding of english (which is my native language) comes almost entirely from osmosis, not an actual linguistic understanding of all the grammar rules.

I'm good at technical subjects but back in school I always found a technical understanding of english to be too frustrating to attempt because of all the arbitrary rules and inconsistencies.  When diagramming sentences I would occasionally start to get excited thinking there was a logical order behind things, but such euphoric moments were always short lived as further study of grammar rules invariably deteriorated into pointless memorization of complex constructs and exceptions rather than a mathematically precise application of simple rules to attain complex results.

I'm of course not an expert and can't even give examples of the above, I just remember always having any trace of enthusiasm crushed right out of me whenever I would attempt to understand english at any technical level.

So I'm interested in an artificial language that I can use to gain a more technical understanding of grammar without being punished for being logical.

All I know so far about interlingua is what the wikipedia entry says, so for example it omits a feature if any of its several control languages lack it.  I'm not sure if I like that or not.. it depends on whether that feature is an arbitrary and pointless rule or if it's something uniquely meaningful.

So doing away with noun-adjective agreement in number (black cat vs blacks cats) I can heartily agree with.  As someone who had never considered the possibility of modifying an adjective to match the noun, that idea may amuse me for a moment, but it doesn't expand my horizons to any new and insightful idea I hadn't considered before, so I'm happy to not have that unnecessary complexity in the language.

On the other hand I'm not so sure about doing away with the subjunctive case.  I still don't know what that is exactly, but if it expresses a legitimate concept then I'd hate to have it axed.

And going further with that idea, if a language took note of a detailed philosophical study on the concept of opposites, or probably hundreds of other interesting topics like that and incorporated that into their grammar in a methodical and organized manner, that would be highly enlightening to learn even if no natural language is as precise and organized.

So I believe I've actually listed two separate interests I have in artificial languages:
1. simplified and regular grammar that resembles english that I can learn to gain a better technical understanding of grammar rules which I otherwise only understand intuitively from osmosis
2. any philosophically interesting organization of concepts that show up as more of a hodge podge in natural languages

I'm interested in the technical merits of the language, although I have to recognize that a discussion of such merits is likely to be largely beyond my comprehension.

- Mark
I am glade to know a friend 'good at technical subjects', for I regard language as a sort of technical subject. We know the computer can update its hardware to accelerate its running speed and increase its memory. Human being can't do this in their brain that is the most interesting thing for human being to find the same result of updating computer. The only solution is exploiting our sense, especially the sense of hearing. By this exploitation we can get the same result as computer.

Cheng-Zhong Su