I apologize in advance for this. Most of you should probably just
ignore it. I admit I should have simply ignored the baiting and stuck
to the linguistic issues, and I'll do so hereafter.

On 5/28/16, Riku Kivelä <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 2016-05-26 22:35 GMT+03:00 Stephen Rice <[log in to unmask]>:

[trimmed for trimness]

> Good global planned auxlang would bring fairness and neutrality.

"Enable," yes; "bring," no. Human factors (greed, bigotry, etc.) would
continue to hamper such developments.

> scientists publish their works in journals based in England. Only persons
> to profit from Finland-Greece -agreement about (partial) loan "collaterals"
> were English language natives from England, who collected millions for
> their services. That agreement text is only valid in English according to
> the contract. Parliament of Finland approved a contract they could not
> fully understand. Finnish government has bought many outside reports --
> invariably from England. England sells their content and services very much
> because of their language and its position. With good global planned
> auxlang major scientific journals could be based more evenly.

So Finland, like the US, UK. Canada, and EU, is a morocracy. I suppose
it's comforting to know we aren't alone.

Let's review my argument for most people not needing an auxlang:

1. Some people don't feel a need for any language(s) they grew up
with. This includes especially native anglophones and people who
simply haven't much contact with other languages--or these days, who
(think they) can get by with a translation program.

2. Some people need only to learn one or more specific languages, and
often an auxlang wouldn't affect this. Whoever wants to become an
authority on Homer should study Greek; someone who intends to emigrate
to Finland should learn Finnish.

Currently English is an example of this: someone who wants to be
active internationally needs to learn it. I'm not saying this is good
or permanent; it is simply a fact right now. An auxlang could
eventually replace English, but not in the near future, and we must
acknowledge current reality. Most of the auxlangs discussed here would
be better than English, but that doesn't lead people to give up
English for those auxlangs. In fact, if you mentioned your favorite
auxlang to someone in this category, the answer would be, "I don't
need your auxlang! I need English!"

That is what we must change, and I have seen no realistic strategies
for doing it.

3. There are people whose contact with multiple languages is very
scripted: giving directions, listing goods and services, responding to
items from a Frequently Asked Questions list, and so on. They can do
this in quite a few languages, and while an auxlang would make matters
easier, it wouldn't make a great difference. People do what is
easiest, and that is usually what is already established. A novelty
must confer great advantages to replace the status quo.

By contrast, the people who do need an auxlang are primarily those who
need to interact at a deep level in multiple languages. Others may
find an auxlang useful once it is widely implemented and accepted, but
these are the ones who need it. They are currently using English and a
few other languages, and they are comparatively few compared to the
rest of the global population. Fewer still are those of them who admit
that the natlangs really aren't a good solution, so even from this
group I think most would say they have no felt need of an auxlang; the
status quo is good enough. So "very few" remain.

> There are people with bad or no job only because of high English
> requirements. Good global planned auxlang/replacelang would be easier to
> learn and use. In company meetings people with great English get more of
> their thinking accepted than people with bad-sounding English but better
> ideas.

I think we all agree with this and have known it for years. But there
are people who aren't eloquent in any language, and some are simply
socially awkward. An auxlang won't help them, and as for the people it
would help--well, a pragmatist would probably say that there are
millions who can function within the status quo, and it's just too bad
for those who can't. I don't agree with this, but it is the obvious

> Talent would be more evenly spread (and U.S.A., England, Canada, Australia,
> New Zealand, Singapore...etc. would suffer because of that).

Back to the Wall of Text. Seriously, the above is a bullet point: separate it.

I doubt anyone here disagrees with your idea. I just doubt it would
convince most people to learn and promote an auxlang: too  much bother
for an outcome dependent on other people's choices. What if I learn it
but no one else does?

> education times (less time spent learning languages), longer careers.

Another bullet point.

> migration of employees. Unemployed Spaniards and Finns would more easily
> move to another country --> boost to EU economy. This assumes of course
> that it would be possible to live in other countries with only the auxlang.
> It would be possible in places like Finland which for low self-esteem
> reasons make everything available in auxlang/replacelang. Even when local
> language is a must to live in a country X, there would be more migration,
> because the replacelang dominates work-life. One could learn local language
> only to a necessary degree to survive, whereas if it was needed in
> workplaces, it would need to be learned to a better level.

But the immigrants would be cutting themselves off from their
neighbors, and that isn't a good thing. I  already said that if I
emigrated to Finland I would learn Finnish. Suppose I didn't, though:
suppose I I learned just enough to survive. I could probably find and
join an anglophone enclave--presumably one of many: Arabic,
hispanophone, etc. But I wouldn't really belong. I couldn't understand
what you were saying. And even with only an average degree of
paranoia, I would begin to suspect some of your jokes were about me.
Do you think you're better, just because you know the local language?

And so I feel about you and my new country as non-anglophones may feel
about their new anglophone country and neighbors. That is what
over-reliance on an auxlang would lead to. It should be for contact
between different peoples, not between neighbors.

>> Also, the existing infrastructures would not disappear. Even if the
>> Anglosphere vanished, English is too entrenched to fade away quickly.
>> Any major change would require several years, and most people don't
>> feel they have that long.
> If the Anglosphere vanished, English would fade away.

Eventually, yes. But so many outside the Anglosphere have invested so
much in English that it would take a generation or so to disappear. In
fact, the removal of the Anglosphere might enhance the neutrality of
English and keep it going indefinitely.

> Several years? That doesn't sound a lot.

It depends who you are. If you are young and relatively well-off,
perhaps it isn't. If you're older or poorer, it may be too much. Most
people want results now or in the very near future. And again, English
may become like medieval Latin: a dead and therefore usefully neutral
language, persisting for a century or more.

>> > The auxlang aspect of the auxlang would not make a major improvement in
>> > most people's lives. It would still be worthwhile. It would release
>> > more
>> > time to do work that is productive. It would boost world trade and thus
>> > improve economies. It would reduce poverty!
>> I never said an auxlang would be worthless; I said essentially what
>> you said in your first sentence.
>> I did not say that you said that. Do you agree that an auxlang releases
> more time to do work that is productive? That is what is happening with
> English. With better auxlang replacing English, this phenomenon would be
> enhanced.

There are at least two problems with your argument:

1. The increase in efficiency, free time, etc., probably wouldn't be
as great as you imagine. Real languages are roughly equal in
complexity and difficulty; they just  distribute the load differently.
Now, there are unnecessary difficulties, such as English spelling and
phonology, but removing these would not, I think, be the game-changer
you suppose. Bear in mind that spelling reform has been  championed by
many influential people over the last century or so, but the
anticipated gains have not persuaded the majority to risk temporary
chaos or even mere annoyance.

2. Nature abhors a vacuum, so any time gained would be claimed by some
other waste. This happened with the tech revolution, which was
supposed to set us free--for selfies, moronic micro-messages, and cat
videos. (I admit I like cat pictures and videos myself...) I don't
foresee a net gain.

>> Increased participation in global trade makes country's people richer on
>> > average. North Korea has been trying to be self-sufficient. Without
>> > that
>> > policy they would be richer now.
>> Agreed. But again, such a policy is not a linguistic matter. I think
>> the US could single-handedly eliminate hunger throughout the world if
>> we wanted to and certain other countries allowed it. I don't foresee
>> North Korea  accepting actual aid to help its poor, regardless of the
>> languages involved.
>> North Korea has accepted food aid over many years.

And given it to the needy rather than to the party aristocracy? Such
dictatorships may accept charity, but they seldom distribute it to
each according to his need.

>> > To combat hunger and poverty population growth should be addressed.
>> Yes, by increasing it. Most First-World countries are reproducing
>> below replacement rate, which diminishes demand and devalues output,
>> leading to poverty. Also, fewer taxpayers means higher tax rates
>> without spending reforms, and Greece shows how that works.
>> Population of Sub-Saharan Africa in 1950 according to UN estimate was 179
> 680 000. So, about 180 million. It was 371 058 000 in 1980. It was 962 287
> 000 in 2015.
> Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with most hunger and poverty. Stephen Rice
> wants to increase population growth to combat hunger and poverty.

I wasn't aware that Sub-Saharan Africa was a First-World country.

I'll state it another way: industrialized countries are like major
factories, producing wealth that (slightly) enriches even those far
away. But the factories are losing workers to run them: the richer,
industrialized countries are generally reproducing below replacement
rate. So the factories will shut down. This loss of production will
not help the poor anywhere.

The European solution has been to import replacement workers, which is
why they've been so eager for immigration. But they've also promoted
multiculturalism over assimilation, so the new workers don't
understand the corporate culture or how the local machines work, and
thus they are relying on the cultural and mechanical lore from their
old homes. That hinders productivity and leads to social strife.

Immigration with assimilation wouldn't be as bad, but the real problem
is that the societal malaise that has led to the population implosion
must be overcome. Industrialized countries need to regain an interest
in life and posterity, and that will naturally lead to healthy
reproductive rates. Malthus was wrong: prosperity does not lead to
unbridled population growth that must be countered by disaster.
Instead, prosperous civilizations tend to stabilize their population.

And that is how to resolve Third-World overpopulation: help them to
prosper and level out. Improve productivity, leading to hope and
prosperity, leading to healthy (not panicky) reproduction rates. And
when their prosperity increases, they will be better able to support
the population that may currently tax their resources.

>> >>> Anyway, I beg to differ, with the "few" concept.
>> >> >> I believe everyone on the Internet today needs an IAL for wider
>> >> >> communication.
>> >>
>> >> No. We have more breadth than we know what to do with already. As
>> >> things now stand, using only English and YouTube, I have access to
>> >> more data than I could possibly wade through. With Facebook, I can
>> >> (again using only English or any other major natlang) interact with
>> >> far too many people.
>> >
>> > This is not true for most people. It is a hopeless task to search
>> > YouTube
>> > videos in Finnish about subjects I'm interested. Or the www generally.
>> > There are only a handful of languages with content about all things.


>> This is an area where an auxlang would be especially helpful, though I
>> suspect that it's still more a want than a need in most cases. Also
>> there may be other factors involved--population (both general and
>> Web-using), the general isolation of Finnish compared to the Germanic
>> and Romance communities to the West, and so on. Does this problem also
>> occur in Spanish, French, German, etc.?
>> What you mean by "general isolation of Finnish compared to the Germanic
> and Romance communities to the West"? How that manifests itself in my
> YouTube search?

There's some mutual  intelligibility among Germanic languages and
among Romance languages. Finnish and Estonian are closely related,
though I don't know about mutual intelligibility. Spanish, French, and
German each has more speakers than Finnish and Estonian combined, and
factoring in mutual intelligibility the numbers will be higher.
Finnish simply lacks the numbers for good coverage. As I noted, an
auxlang would help here, and if it is immediately intelligible to some
group, that might be a good marketing strategy. I hadn't thought of
that, though it's similar to an idea Dave Macleod had some years ago.

> I don't understand Spanish, French or German, so somebody else should
> comment on that. But when making my comment "*There are only a handful of
> languages with content about all things. Most people don't know any of them
> at a good level.*" I looked at a list of top languages by number of
> speakers and concluded that. Top ten languages are spoken by a minority of
> world population.

Your "minority of [the] world population" seems to be in the same
class with my "very few"--even allowing for overlap, the speakers of
the top ten languages account for two or three billion people, as I
recall. Technically, that's a minority, but it's also a fairly strong

>> > A few observations:
>> >>
>> >> 1. Would you mind paragraphing instead of producing a text wall?
>> >> (Yes, that's a bit petulant. It's also heartfelt.)
>> >  I was taught in school that one paragraph per thought. I see one
>> > possibility of 'Enter press', not more in the "text wall". I will try
>> > to
>> > use more spaces, if it is your heartfelt wish.
>> It isn't. Your paragraphing has improved, though. Imagine that you are
>> giving a PowerPoint presentation: would you take up an entire slide
>> with one of your "one thought" paragraphs? Wouldn't you break the
>> paragraph into sections (e.g., bullet points) on one slide or  even
>> several separate slides? The same approach here would help.
> Why you lied?

I do not understand this charge. I have not lied; I just meant I
didn't want you to insert space at random. Unfortunately you are
producing more walls; I broke up one above to demonstrate the idea.

>> Do you see that it is inevitable that well-developed and
> fit-for-all-purposes global auxlang will be used like I described in the
> "text wall" because of its "snob value"?

Of course, but that's a distant hope for any auxlang at the moment.

> Is it inevitable that well-developed and fit-for-all-purposes global
> auxlang will have high-prestige status, high level of respect?
> Should the planned auxlang be fit-for-all-purposes (all areas of science,
> music)?

A global auxlang will probably see use in all areas, but if, as I
suppose, there are a few auxlangs, each will probably develop
specialized fields. One may be used for science or law, another for
literature, and so on. It would be very difficult to design a language
that could excel in all areas.

> Is requirement that words end always the same with regard to their part of
> speech a problem for music? I like this feature of Esperanto, but I
> identified it as a problem for music (not all genres).

It can be a challenge, but I think it's offset by free word order.

> In any case, I've encountered good Eo translations of English-language
>> songs, and if good translations are possible, so are good originals.
>> Can you name?

PEJNO Simono did some fairly good ones:

I haven't kept up with his work. And I've seen translations of hymns
and Christmas carols online that worked well.

>> > In North and South America interlinguistic communication can appear to
>> > be
>> > quite rare phenomenon for the common man in the world. But in EEA
>> > Europe,
>> > Sub-Saharan Africa and many but not all parts of Asia I feel the
>> situation
>> > is different. For example, basic set of countries where normal Finnish
>> > companies operate or are planning to expand first are other Nordic
>> > countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway (often not including Iceland)) and
>> > Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). Russia, Poland and Germany
>> are
>> > very often in the group also. Companies operate or already in their
>> infancy
>> > aim to operate in several countries with several languages. In this
>> context
>> > I have never seen a company without "English supremacy" policy. Typical
>> > medium-to-small sized Usonian company has only U.S.A. in its mind?
>> In this situation, English is the neutral choice: none of those
>> involved are native speakers, so it's more or less equally foreign to
>> all of them.
> This tells that people appreciate neutrality. That is good thing for
> auxlangers. When the company expands to England, it will still continue to
> use English even though neutrality is lost.

Defining neutrality is the current controversy. It used to be that
"neutrality" involved outcome: everyone can achieve effectively native
fluency more quickly and easily than with a natlang. But now some
define it in terms of starting point or overall effort: achieving
fluency should require roughly the same amount of time and effort for
everyone. I don't consider that practical, though an a-priori auxlang
(which I would prefer) can come fairly close.

Inlis helps native anglophones in some ways and hinders us in others,
so I think it is fairly neutral. To the extent that it gives anyone an
unfair advantage, it is probably someone who knows a little English
and speaks it badly.

>> > By the way, are you confident that you will someday publish Inlis? When
>> > that could be?
>> I've mentioned already that I've been meaning to explain the current
>> state of the project here. I simply dislike going public with an
>> incomplete proposal--it risks alienating potential users. But I have
>> resolved the vast majority of phonological, orthographic, and
>> importation problems, and the semantic and syntactic issues seem
>> resolvable as well. Somewhat like Toki Pona, Inlis has its own mindset
>> that I think will tend to encourage clear thinking, and once you've
>> adopted that mindset, the problems tend to resolve themselves.
>> OK. This year, next?

I would have done it by now, but for responding to e-mails. Why, yes,
that is petulant; thanks for noticing.

>> I understood that you did not believe in clear planned auxlang leader. I
> would be happy to see good planned auxlang replace English in all of its
> current places (except as a normal language of natives).

That's roughly what I would like to see, except that I think there
will be more than one auxlang in general use.

What is total
> adoption? Is total adoption a situation where every school-goer faces
> obligatorily good planned auxlang in school even though some will not learn
> it (even though they attend classes)? And adoption by international science
> community?

It would be everyone's second language. Again, that's the usual idea, not mine.