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Bruce, & al,
Here is l final installment of Novial criticism in l BE book. I have copied the
text and pasted it into this email. Therefore, it is not an attachment. And, I am
sending it with the Netscape program. Hope this works for everybody just fine. My
fingers are X'd.

Al l sue, & stu mote
Bob

"Obviously, a 'hum,' symbolized by the addition of the diminutive ending -ete to
kant (root of song), is not a small song in the same sense as a kavalete, or pony,
is a small horse.  A glasiere, or glacier, is not a bearer of ice as a pomiere, or
apple-tree, is a bearer of apples-but an object made of ice.  Clearly the suffix
has here been unable to impose its definition on a familiar word.  Similarly a
person who is glut-osi, i.e. has a tendency to swallow or gulp, is scarcely
convicted of greed, yet glutosi is translated as' gluttonous.' The -a verb suffix,
we are told, may only be added to a noun when the meaning of a verb so formed
could be inferred without hesitation.  Nevertheless, beside brosa (= to brush) and
klefa (= to lock) one finds bersa (from cradle, = rock) and folia (from leaf, =
turn over leaves).  It is, in fact, almost impossible to devise endings which will
function with mechanical regularity.
A further objection to the Novial suffixes is a vagueness of function tending to
create ambiguity.  Lot us examine, for example, the account given by Professor
Jespersen of words ending in -ione.  " They do not," he says, " like those in -o
denote simply the action of the verb, but partly the result (as a whole) or the
resulting state, partly the way or manner in which something is done." It is not
clear why he did not confine the meaning to "the result or resulting state,"since
the rest is covered by the gerund. That is not all,however.  In addition to a
suffix denoting action and another signifying the result of an action, Jespersen
introduces a third ending, -um, which is to be employed " when the product of the
action is specially meant, as distinct from the way in which it is done." Thus we
have fabrikatum = a manufactured article; kreatum = a thing created; kopiatum = a
thing copied (distinct, we are informed, from kopie, the copy).  Finally there is
a suffix -uro, " to denote the result or product as distinct from the act itself."
The differentiation of -ione, -um, and -uro substantives, in the light of
Jespersen's examples, is, to say the least of it, puzzling.  It is clear that
evolutione, opinione, lektione, all belong to the first group.  But how does
inventione differ, for example, from kreatum which

seems quite arbitrarily to have been placed in the second?  And why is texura
(= a thing woven) in the third group if fabrikatum is in the second?  Again, why,
if folografure = photo, carefully distinguished from fotografatum = thing
photographed (a second group word), is in the third group, should printatum =
printed matter, i.e. the actual product of printing, and therefore the equivalent
of the fotografure which is the actual product of photography, be placed in a
different group ? The shades of meaning which justify the separate existence of
these three groups are so fine, if they exist at all, that only an expert of
Jespersen's standing could detect them.  As a working system of word-formation for
the plain man, they are useless.  For the plain man can only grasp distinctions of
the most obvious kind.  He might, for example, be able to manipulate the Novial
endings according to some such rearrangement as the following:

1. The action, e.g. kanto.
2. The state produced by the action,
e.g. isolatione, diminutione.
3. Object produced by action, e.g.
fotografure, texure.

4. Object involved in the action but
not produced by it, e.g. fotografatum, trovatum.
But further problems would still remain to baffle him : why a baker (bakere) is a
person who does baking, while an artist (artiste) is a person addicted to art ;
why a courageous (kurajosi) person possesses courage, while a credulous (kredasi)
one merely has a tendency or inclination to credulity ; or why, again, we should
simplify (simplifika) things by causing them to be simple, but sterilize
(stetilisa) a room by supplying it with sterility.  This last distinction, however
I , need not disturb him greatly, for he will find that Professor Jespersen, with
an obliging disregard for consistency, allows him to make the distinction or not
as his capacities and inclination permit-an attitude which is characteristic of a
language that has already made such a dubious surrender to the spirit of
compromise.

In short, Novial is neither a theoretical nor a practical contribution to the
problem of an international auxiliary language.  It will not help to convert the
supporters of Esperanto from the error of their ways and in spite of his
significant borrowings from English Professor Jespersen has failed to appreciate
the reasons which have led other philologists (including many of his own disciples
in the philological field) to adopt the Basic solution.  One of these reasons is
that it provides the first detailed treatment of idiom in an international setting
;(1). yet in condemning Basic as " altogether unfit " for its purpose,(2) he
declares that the translator of Carl and Anna " uses a great number of phrases
without considering that a foreigner [continued after the footnotes]

(1) The ABC of Basic English, pages 100-162.
(2) In a letter published in an Esperanto propaganda volume in Iceland (1933).
His other main objection seems to be that " an Englishman would have to work hard
to remember what words are permitted "-as though he could more readily remember
the hybrid vocabulary of Novial! In the same volume, Professor Collinson of
Liverpool speaks of the " personal (sic) prejudice " of Mr. Ogden against
inflected languages (as if Comenius had never existed, not to mention the 450
millions of China), and adds " It is noteworthy that Basic English arouses more
interest abroad than with us.  On the other band the Esperanto movement has made
good progress here since the meeting at Oxford in 1930, and now we have in
Liverpool University the first lectureship in Esperanto in England." Though this
was written before the advocacy of Basic by The Times (June 12, 1935), the
progress of the Esperanto movement in England is a feature of the international
situation from which Basic is equally prepared to draw controversial
conclusions-in Liverpool or elsewhere.  See page 95, above.

does not understand them without help." The italics are mine, for they suggest
that the inventor of Novial's promised anim-adversions on Basic, " in Mondo or
some other magazine," will not be more damaging than those of Dr. Michael West.(1)

It is to be hoped that when he comes to study the Basic literature more seriously
Professor Jespersen will see fit to revise his hasty judgment; or, alternatively,
to eliminate from Novial those elements which differentiate it from the Basic,
structure with which it has so many interesting aspects in common.


(1)See Counter-Offensive, An Exposure of Some Misrepresentations of Basic English;
published by the orthological Institute, Cambridge and Peking, 1935.