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At 09:04 PM 10/31/98 -0500, Paul Bartlett wrote:
>On Fri, 30 Oct 1998, Robin Gaskell wrote (excerpt):
>
>>      I will agree with Paul Bartlett and Bill Patterson that somewhere in
>> the 2000 - 3000 range might be a better size of lexicon for a person's
>> first contact with a new auxiliary language.
>
>    As I recall (it has been a while), I at least was arguing for a
>general vocabulary, apart from proper names and specialist terminology,
>in the 1500 - 2000 range -- period.  Except for mining material if
>needed to flesh out slightly the general vocabulary, I suggested
>putting "Glosa 6000" on the shelf and more or less ignoring it.  This
>has been a matter of disagreement between Robin and I, and I thought
>that he might be leaving a mistaken impression of my position.
>
*   Possibly I did not make it as clear as I might have: that half of the
6000-word dictionary was my preference ( -50% of 6000); while Paul stated
that the the basic dictionary only needed another half, to reach full
strength ( +50% of 1000).
 
    The basic difference in gearing between us is that Paul feels a 1500
word lexicon is a sufficient burdon on memory, while I feel that a greater
lexicon gives a much more satisfactory range for stylistic expression.
 
    What does the panel think?
 
    What are the factors that should be taken into account when determining
a suitable length for a (first) dictionary for learners of a planned language?
  . memory load
  . stylistic expression
  . economics of publication
  . the thesaurus of concepts
  . the average size of the lexicon of an unwritten native language ?
 
   Then there is the other question: if a language is to be used as a
global auxiliary, what size of lexicon will it ultimately need?
  # enough concepts for communication until help arrives
  # sufficient for the average globe-trotting tourist or diplomat
  # all vocabularies that could be needed for international disaster
   management
  # the vocabulary of world government
  # the lexicon of international agreements
  # similar to that of The Concise Oxford English Dictionary
  # all of scientific terminology for global publication of science ?
 
Maybe these are seriousquestions.
 
Saluta,
 Robin