steve rice wrote: > --- On Sun, 1/18/09, Risto Kupsala <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > >> Steve Rice wrote: >>> However, as Dana said, the power of English goes beyond the >>> historic Anglosphere at this point. It must be acknowledged. >> >> It is unimportant in my opinion. In fact, it is unwise to couple >> your language with the destiny of English or any other natural >> language. The ups and downs of different international language are >> evident in here in Europe. We have seen the rise of English, we're >> close to the peak now, and the decline is inevitable. > > And Europe is the world? Back to Occidental, then... > >> But that's not the only reason why I think that the current, >> transient popularity of English is unimportant. > > Both "current" and "transient," like a hobo drifting downstream > toward the waterfall. How idyllic. How wistful. How wishful. > > This particular hobo comes in groups of a billion or more, which > could clog the falls considerably. Dana is right: English has both > size and momentum to keep going even if the US and Britain suddenly > vanish. It's the most leverageable language there is. > The difference now is that mass communication and the web arrived while English is dominant. >> The more important reason is that regardless of how many people are >> estimated to speak English, ½ billion or 1½ billion, there are >> many many words that are more international than the corresponding >> English words. They are cognate words, loan words and >> coincidentally similar words. Those words are found by comparing >> vocabularies of different languages of the world. English has left >> its mark to many languages, so consequently there will be many >> English words in worldlang too. > > There is more to a language than just words. You have a discontinuous > hodgepodge of lexical items--actually of mere orthographic or > phonological entities--while English is an organic whole. Between a > living organism and a physiological scrap heap, guess which wins? > >> An ideal worldlang is more international, more durable and more >> neutral than any narrowly based IAL. It's all there, it's only a >> matter of time before somebody manages to put it together. >> > Your thinking is simply Gode writ globally: it already exists; if we > put it together, like Frankenstein's creature, it will come alive > and take over the world. Notice how well that concept has worked for > Interlingua in Europe and America. > What you want is a language which feels like a natural and organic whole, yet is regular and not so much like an existing language that it is dragged towards that language. Interlingua feels like a natural language, yet it's too close to the romance languages and their irregularies, so it's dragged towards them. Occidental feels more like a mixture (like English?), so it's less likely to be dragged towards one of them.