The current trend in IAL proposals seems to be toward what
might be termed 'Maximal Syntactic Simplification'. My question is:
how far can this go?

   Say we begin with a sentence in Esperanto:
          La hundo nigra cxasis rapide katojn blankajn.
          (The black dog rapidly chased white cats)

   Firstly, we can remove tense and number markings. This gives:
          La hundo nigra cxasi rapide katon blankan.

   Next, replace the -N ending with an accusative preposition, and
while we're at it, introduce a nominative preposition, and make
articles optional:
          Bai hundo nigra cxasi rapide Na kato blanka.  OR
          CXasi rapide Ba hundo nigra Na kato blanka.  etc.

   The adverb -E ending can safely become -A:
          Bai hundo nigra cxasi rapida Na kato blanka.

   This leaves us with three word classes - Noun (-O), Verb (-I),
and Adjective/Adverb (-A). However, in parallel with the loss of
the Adverb/Adjective destinction, we can remove the Verb/Noun
destinction, with the introduction of a preposition which
preceeds a verb clause:
          Bai hundo nigra Du cxaso rapida Na kato blanka.

   What else could be simplified? Well, how about removing the
Head/Modifier destinction? This might give:
          Bai hunda nigra du cxasa rapida Na kata blanka

   Of course, now we have no need for grammar-coding at all, so
the word-class suffixes can be removed:
          Bai hund nigr du cxas rapid na kat blank

   To my mind, the final sentence is easy to parse, and has a grammar
far easier to learn AND USE even than Esperanto. The stems are even
still largely recognizable as derived from natlangs.
   I imagine that few of you reading the above reduction would have
objected strongly to the loss of number marking, or the adverb/adjective
dstinction, or the introduction of an accusative preposition (although
Zamenhof himself experimented with such a preposition and rejected it).
   The Nominative (I should really say Agential) will raise a few
eyebrows, and may be objected to because it adds to the length of the
sentence. But Japanese has a Subject Postposition, so why not?
   It is I suspect the verbal preposition that would be most strongly
obejected to, because it it so UN-NATLANG-ISH. Some might even say
that it voilates a Linguistic Universal.
   I'm not so sure. If a conlang were to violate a linguistic
universal, surely it would be very difficult to use, and be incapable
of expressing utterances other than the most simple. It may even be
impossible to say anything at all in a lang that voilates a genuine
The reductive system outlined above would, I suggest, be easier to
learn, easier to use, easier to parse be computer, less ambigious,
less tangled in syntax than (say) Esperanto or any of the other

   But then again, perhaps I've overlooked something crucial, and am
talking rubbish. What do you think?

Kapitano Eglefino
Kapitano Eglefino