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Donald J. HARLOW wrote:
>
> Je 03:59 atm 11/24/98 +0000, charles skribis:
 
> >Basing an IAL on roots with complex consonant clusters
> >is a loser, since most people cannot pronounce it.
> >
> Define "loser", please. And compared to what?
 
OK, it's a bad idea that will never be adopted by
the world at large, meaning not in the next 100 years
will there be even a billion speakers. It might reach
10 million or 37.5 million, which is great, but still.
I feel very safe in this wild-assed-guess.
 
> >Man can't fly but his machines do. Now machines
> >are capable of parsing language. Nobody really
> >has to fly, and nobody needs a computer, today,
> >but that's where things are headed.
> >
> It is a happy fact that human beings, when they create technology, adjust
> it to fit _their_ preferences; they don't adjust themselves to fit _its_
> preferences. People won't change their linguistic habits to make it easier
> to communicate with machines; they'll change the machines so that they can
> communicate more easily with people.
 
Actually, the telephone and tv have changed human
communication greatly. So did writing, and printing.
Out tools do change us, and our environment. And the
biggest changes are coming in the next few years.
 
> You will see machines using
> complicated, kludgy programs that can understand, for instance, Chinese,
> long before you will find people going to the effort of learning to speak
> in "C".
 
C is far, far easier than any human language.
So are all existing computer langs I know.
But they are too limited.
 
I imagine human language being re-invented and even
re-engineered, to become perhaps more mathematical
and machine-tractable. Actually, it was Zamenhof
who first showed the way (invented a complete and
usable language superior to natlangs). But to stop
progress now would be impossible.
 
Just my opinion, but I'll stand by it.