Print

Print


At 11:44 AM 14 09 98 -0700, charles wrote:
>On Mon, 14 Sep 1998, Michael Farris wrote:
>
>> Carlos Eugenio Thompson Pinz=C3=B3n wrote:
>
>> > inmertion in  their environmental language is corrective.  Creoles
seems to
>> > show some of that natural programming so the suggestion of using a=
 Creole
>> > grammar with the vocabulary extracted from an existing auxlang like
>> > Occidental, Interlingua or Glossa, is a good one.
 
I think so too. In fact, it might make a good joint project for proponents
of different IALs in this group. After all, you can argue that every IAL
*needs* a creole-like collateral form. The key to making such a project
work would be to focus on structural issues and not to worry about mapping
the lexicon onto one or another existing vocabulary. In the end, you could
probably define several standards - a Novial version, an Ia version, an Eo
version - with essentially trivial differences between them.=20
 
I've acquired a book on Tok Pisan. I don't whether that's considered a
pidgin or a creole, or both. It's less regular than I expected. It also
seems to lack a lot of the coordinating mechanisms we use in Western
languages, especially in expository prose. Perhaps that's a function of it
being a pidgin rather than a creole.
 
Anyway, when I get a chance, I'll put together some samples of an
IALA-based Parla Pidgin.
 
>I was reading that a "complete" Latin vocabulary is approximately
>15000 words, with 3000 sufficient for 99% of the time; obviously
>these are fuzzy numbers, but compare about equally well with Esperanto
>and Glosa, as opposed to English where vocabulary is much larger.
>Interlingua seems unnecessarily large (around 25000), in accordance
>with its "a posteriori" nature.=20
 
You have to compare apples with apples. The 3000-word figure you quote for
Eo probably refers to root words only, while the majority of the 27,000
words in the IED are compound words. Actually, 27,000 was a more-or-less
arbitrary cut-off point for purposes of compiling the Dictionary. Even in
1951 the total Interlingua vocabulary - i.e., the number of international
words eligible under IALA's selection criteria - was estimated at more than
100,000, the vast majority being obscure neo-Latin scientific and technical
terms. By now it must be close to a million.
 
Determining the true number of minimal lexical units in Interlingua is
hard, of course since many apparent compounds are unconnected, or tenuously
connected, with the meanings suggested by their components. For example,
when "capitano" refers to the military rank of "captain", it seems to be a
basic lexical unit. But when it's used in its general sense of "leader",
the apparent meaning of "head person" (capite + -ano) makes sense.
 
I'd guess that the 27,000 words in the IED would boil down to something
less than 10,000 minimal lexical units. But there's nothing to stop you or
me from defining a more limited set for some purpose. Anyway, if you were
constructing an IALA-style artificial creole, you'd eliminate a lot of
vocabulary automatically. For example, all simple noun/verb/adjective sets
would collapse into a single form: e.g., scripto, scriptura / scriber /
scripte > *skribe.
 
>The key to rapid/easy learning
>must be a small and well-chosen vocabulary, in order to serve
>more than just the European-language speakers. Whether that
>vocabulary is used analytically or synthetically, may not matter.
 
I wonder how far you can really reduce vocabulary. The IALA methodology
(and here I'm talking about whole project from 1934 on, not just Gode and
Stillman's later efforts) assumed that you need a word for each and every
internationally current concept. So, if you want to talk about Philippe
Schmitter's concept of neo-corporatism, you need a word for "corporatism".
And there's no way to construct a *self-evident* compound word that will
distinguish his concept of corporatism from his concept of pluralism. Or
consider "economics". I guess that the etymological meaning is something
like "rules of household management", but that, of course, is only a
pointer the real meaning, which is defined by the discourse of economists.
The German translation, "Wirtschaft", from the archaic verb "wirten", seems
to mean "taking care of something", but again that's just a pointer to the
real concept. I don't how you can create a self-evident word for
"economics" that's not at best a partial and misleading definition.
 
It seems to me that attempts to minimize vocabulary may be more of a
hindrance than a help to the learner. Inevitably you will encode complicate
concepts in deceptively simple forms. Think of "gestalt". In English, it's
a psychological term with a strictly defined, rather arcane meaning. In
German, it's that and *as well* an ordinary word meaning "form" among other
things. Now, an English-speaking layman who encounters "gestalt" may not
understand it, but at least he *knows* he doesn't understand it. A
German-speaking layman is likely to make blunder because he doesn't suspect
the secondary, arcane meaning.=20
 
(I'm not implying, by the way, that Ia's approach is ideal for all IAL
projects, of course, since *it* doesn't even try to reduce vocabulary. As
Gode said, Ia doesn't "legislate" for the international vocabulary.)=20
 
>> > Signed languages have a feature difficult to find in talked or written
>> > languages (I would say English is a talked language with a written
form and
>> > Interlingua is a written language one can talk):=20
 
Interesting definition. It certainly applies to Interlingua at present, but
do you think it's impossible that you one could, say, run a university
department in Interlingua? Would that change its status for you?
 
>> >use of spatial
>> > relationships which are more clear than the use of prepositions or case
>> > markers in a talked/written language.  These spatial relationships help
>> > showing grammatical relationships of verbs and concepts.
>
 
Amicalmente,
 
Chris Burd