Don Harlow skripted:

> James, Interlingua -- and its supporters -- are no more likely to do
> anything of the sort than Esperanto and its supporters, Ido and its
> supporters, or Novial and its supporters. (I expect to see a new crop of
> Occidentalists appear on the net any day now, to keep company with the
> supporters of Volapuk already there. In fact -- Arthur Maass, where are
> you? -- I would not be surprised to see a Neo home page appear before
> long.)

Actually, one of the things I've been half-expecting for some time now
is that a group of people would try to revive Occidental.  Jay Bowks is
doing it with Lsf, Bruce Gilson started quite some time ago with Novial.
Interglossa was dug up years ago.  I think that, as more information
becomes available (and I see no reason to *hide* it), some new
movement might be started.  This might not be a bad thing.  At least
Occ would probably be preferable to the Interlingua which seems to have
taken its place.  The largest collection of Occ information is at
Morten Svendsen's site, as far as I know, and I also have a little bit,
for those interested.

> One of the main theses of many supporters of Interlingua is that evolution
> of the fashion in planned languages since the beginning of the century has
> not been _away_ from "naturalism" but _toward_ it. They are correct.
> Esperanto was more "natural" than Volapuk, Ido somewhat more "natural" than
> Esperanto, Occidental considerably more "natural" than Ido, and Interlingua
> most "natural" of them all. You are wrong to refer to Interlingua as an
> "aberration"; it is, in fact, a natural product of this development -- some
> might call it a natural culmination.

You may be right, from a certain point of view.  There have been shifts
towards naturalness during this century.  I would deny that Ido is more
naturalistic than Esp - it's just less artificial.  But Occ came along
to challenge Ido in 1922.  Then Novial did the same thing in 1928.
When Novial seemed to have the better of Occ, then that started to move
towards naturalness, with ON in 1934 and then the gradual Occidentalization
of the language up to 1939.
But if one looks at the situation before WW2, one imagines, I think, that
if the war hadn't happened, the whole movement (with the possible
exception of the Espists) might gradually have consolidated around
something like Novial, perhaps a bit less naturalistic to keep the Idists
happy (indeed, very much like the Novial I am just starting to develop).
Interlingua came along in 1951, as everybody else was still picking up the
pieces after the war, and pulled the whole thing emphatically in the
naturalistic direction, and with at least an apparent authority in the
This development I can only regard as an aberration in the whole
evolution, which may well have had just as damaging an effect on the
prospects for an early solution of the language problem as any
amount of Esperantist intransigence ever did.

James Chandler
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