On Sat, 28 Dec 2013 17:50:28 -0500, Stephen Rice <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> [trimmed for brevity]

> Jespersen died April 30 1943, so in "death + 70" countries (much of
> the world), his work is now public domain. So AIL could be legally
> hosted online in a number of countries. [...]

Yes, that would be much of the world. One of the vexing issues of  
copyright in this day and age of worldwide electronic communications is  
that laws differ, whereas the internet is universal. Also, who retains  
copyright to what, and are copyright holders of old works even willing,  
let alone able, to enforce their rights? The world has moved on in ways  
that the originators of the principle of copyright may never have been  
able to conceive.

> I admit I have the typical reformer's itch concerning Novial--that it
> could be even better if I implemented some of my own clever ideas. And
> perhaps it would be, and since it's effectively moribund anyway, I
> wouldn't be harming it. But too many people decide to "fix" a language
> before actually learning it, and I certainly am not fluent in Novial,
> though of course I read it well enough. And I doubt its detractors
> have bothered to learn it either. [...]

Yes, this is an all too familiar phenomenon. I will "fix" it, even if I am  
not fluent in it. I know better than its fluent users. (Admittedly, were  
there ever any fluent users of Novial other than J himself?)

I used to hold to the "big three" objections to Esperanto, but the more  
familiar I got with the language, the more I realized that those  
objections have little weight or merit. Esperanto ain't broke, and I am no  
longer going to try to fix it. It works very well as it has for the last  
126 years. In fact, I am coming to like E-o more and more (although I sill  
like Interlingua) and, at the head of another thread I started, I pondered  
whether E-o might be the only conIAL that has a ghost of a chance,  
regardless of what its detractors think of it.

> Do I think Novial can become viable?

I recall that a decade and a half ago there was a (flash in the pan?)  
reform project for "Novial 98" (I think that was the target date), but  
apparently it fizzled out before long. Can Novial become viable? I am  
skeptical that *any* conIAL can become viable other than Esperanto and,  
just barely, barely, barely maybe in the west, IALA Interlingua. The older  
I get, the less hope I have for anything.

> I'm not sure, but at-sight
> projects are easy to use passively, and it is possible to learn them
> passively as well, so they're seldom far from making a comeback. It's
> worth a try, and Novial lacks the orthographic and phonological
> problems that beset the other at-sight westlangs.

At-sight, but at-sight for whom? Well educated WENSA speakers (or,  
especially, readers)? Who else? There are quite a few non-Indo-European  
users of Esperanto for whom western "at-sight" languages would be  
relatively incomprehensible. (However, I have not had any opportunity to  
look at substantial texts in Novial.)

Paul Bartlett