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On Tue, 5 May 1998, Julian Pardoe wrote:
 
> So you would agree with the observation that the word-derivation rules
> of Ido might be too much of a straitjacket?  That was my point.  I
> haven't got the relevant message any more, but I think that in it you
> reported that Thomas Wood argued that rules should be loosened and said
> that you went along with that.
 
Let us be clear about exactly which aspect of the Ido derivation system we
are discussing here.  As we all know (I think) by now, whereas in
Esperanto it is permitted to change at will the POS ending of a word to
derive a new word, in Ido such swaps are only permitted in certain cases
and the meaning of the resulting word is always precisely determined.  If
you want to go from one POS to another and get a word with a different
meaning as the result, you are required to use an affix.
There is one direction, however, in which this general rule seems to
produce inevitable problems.  If I am to allow direct derivation of sbs
from vbs, I need to give a constant meaning to that derivation.  In Ido,
the meaning is "the (simple) act or state implied by the vb".  In other
words, the verbal noun or nexus sb.  A moments reflection will probably
tell you that this is really the only choice available if a single tightly
circumscribed meaning is to be assigned.
But now, let's say I want the word for "snow" or "rain", meaning the
substance that falls.  I look these up in an Ido dictionary, and find NIVO
from NIVAR and PLUVO from PLUVAR.  But the substance is not an act or a
state, as we are all well aware.  So what else: NIVAJO, "that which
snows"?  NIVURO, "product of snowing"?  Neither of those seems right
either.  So Idists quitely use NIVO, as the most concise of the wrong
options.
How about a "thought"?  This is not really an act or state, but the Ido
dictionaries give PENSO.  PENSAJO?  Maybe, but is "think" transitive?.
PENSURO?  Not quite.  PENSATO?  By this stage most Idists are thoroughly
confused and just follow the dictionary.
This is, if you will, the fallout from Couturat's system.  None of it is
really catastrophic, and the language just goes on being used regardless.
Let me say here and now that I believe the Ido derivation to be a great
improvement on the Esp, in which in too many cases regrettably the meaning
of the result of derivation goes completely undefined.  My view is the
Jespersen found the correct solution in his -e/a/o system, and that is
something I believe that, in some form at least, it is now incumbent on
the Idists to adopt.  But that rests on convincing the Idists that there
actually is a problem with their system, and there is no guarantee that
any amount of logical argument will have that effect.
 
James Chandler
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http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/5037