Second try at this.  I've since done some exploring of Inlis (which I
like) and Globish (which I don't, for a wide variety of reasons).  But
I'll spare you my analysis unless it comes up as a result of a future

Mon May 26, 2014 9:32 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Jeffrey Brown"

> Recently, I have been thinking about the predilection amongst auxlangers
for a constructed auxlang to be an International Auxiliary Language. I have
been wondering about the pros and cons of a natlang to be selected as an
IAL, versus a constructed language.

Long time lurker, first time poster (I've actually been waiting months
for this subject to come up again since I missed all the earlier
debates!)  I'm not a language expert per se, but instead an engineer
by nature and a cognitive psychologist by training.  Native speaker of
English, but with some facility in French, Spanish, and Chinese (my
wife is from Taiwan and we spent two months there this past winter).

> Before you jump to a conclusion about what the remainder of this note says,
let me assure you that I am not about to promote the use of English or
French or Esperanto or Ido or any other language. I have read a lifetime’s
worth of tendentious messages hawking the superiority of this or that
language as an IAL, and I would rather prefer not to read any more, and I
am not writing one.

The major problem I see is that *all* natlangs are crap, from an
engineering perspective.  This is because they evolved rather than
were designed, leading to all sorts of inefficiencies including:

1) redundancies: How many words/phrases for "puke" does English really
need, anyway?

2) bizarre spelling: Again, this rules out English as the auxlang.

3) Non-phonetic orthography: Rules out most Asian languages.

3) dependencies on the particular wiring of people's brains: Tones are
the best example of that, but there are a lot of phonemes that some
languages just don't have and so are extremely difficult to produce or
understand for people who didn't have exposure to them at the plastic
stage of their development (i.e., before age 5).

4) Noun genders: WTF?  Are these just some sort of systemic shibboleth?

5) Verb tenses: Chinese gets along fine without these, using modifier
words instead, which is a vastly simpler and more efficient design
(too bad about the rest of the language, though ;-)

I don't want to hijack your thread, but wanted to throw in my two
cents on your proposal (thumbs down!) and to give advance warning that
when we're finished with it I'll go ahead and make my proposal, which
is basically to take what we know about linguistics, human learning,
and engineering principles and use our technology (statistics,
computers+Internet, and democracy/crowd sourcing) to develop a new
language that is more optimal for our species to use as an auxlang,
something that many (especially children) will come to prefer over
even their own natlangs.  I realize that this has been tried many times
before and always failed, but there are a few differences in my proposal
that may give it a better chance of succeeding...