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Paul Bartlett and I were talking and >Paul said:
 
 
>From: Paul O Bartlett <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      Re: Orthography in Eo and Ia: Re: prototypes and questions
 
>On Sun, 3 Jan 1999, STAN MULAIK wrote:
 
[snip]
 
>> That an equally rational approach to a solution was to investigate
>> the other Romance languages just in the particle case as it was to
>> go to Latin?
>
>    One can make the case that your method is "equally rational."  I
>just don't think that it's worth it -- or consistent.
>
>>               That it would be unnecessarily laborious for no
>> gain, and maybe some loss by determining more romance solutions than
>> widely international solutions if they included all the Romance
>> languages in the source languages for all the words?
>
>    I'm not quite sure I follow this entirely.  However, if it is an
>"international solution" to exclude some Romance languages from the
>general vocabulary, then how can it be legitimate to include more
>languages just for a small subset of the languages?  Simply put, your
>position seem highly inconsistent to me.  Either use additional Romance
>languages for everything or nothing.
 
Let's back up and go to the Introduction to the IED to see why they
chose the source languages they did.
 
"The reasoning in favor of a restricted sphere of assemblage of
international words does not preclude the possibility of shifting its
boundaries in the interest of a richer haul.  In lieu of one or two
of the languages of the Anglo-Romance group one or two other languages of
at least equal significance in the international field may be included,
provided, of course, that the items examined are still held together
by a common basis, which means, that their center of gravity remains
in the Anglo-Romance sphere.  In the compilation of this Dictionary the
sphere of research has been  permitted to shift only so as to include
German or Russian or both. The decision not to use the same procedure
for other languages was reached after ample tests had demonstrated
that the consequent complication of our methodology would not have
affected the results in any appreciable way."
 
In other words, if they had included a larger selection of languages
in the group of languages to search, they would have increased the
labor and complication of searching these additional languages but the
resulting outcome would have not been appreciably different. Those
additional languages would have pretty much the same international
words in them, leading back to the same prototypes, and the result
wouldn't be significantly different, but the increase in work would
have been scarcely worth whatever little gain would have resulted.
 
One thing that including English, German and Russian in the source
languages does is force the solutions to be of a much more international
nature.  And it just happens that the Latin forms are the more
international.  If only Romance languages had been chosen to search,
you would have gotten a language that is far more Romance, and it
would have been less recognizable to English and German speakers
because the words in it would have been less Latin and more Romance.
But English has many more Latin forms than Romance forms in its
vocabulary.  But the Romance forms share with English the Latin
forms that are common to them all, the reason for their similarity.
I also suspect that even with German and Russian in there, including
say Catalan and Rumanian might have in many cases tipped the scales
toward words that were only common to three of the Romance languages
but not at all to the wider group of languages, so the overall
vocabulary would have been more purely Romance.
 
But with the particles it's another matter. Once you decide that the
framework of the language is to be Romance and you are to use
Romance particles, then searching only three Romance languages to
find common particles, and further requiring that three languages
must agree to determine an eligible word, you are bound to end up
frequently with no solutions for the grammatical particles when only
two of the three Romance languages agree, which is often.  English,
German, and Russian would not contribute particles that would join
up sufficiently with the Romance languages to make any contribution
to the solutions.  They are effectively irrelevant as far as the
particles are concerned.  So, the rule of three, which works fine
for the broader vocabulary, is inadequate for determining the
particles in more than, say, (I guess) 80% of the cases.  You would
likely get 97% (I guess) with a search of all the Romance language
particles.
 
>> But now you change the subject:
>> Well, I think I've convinced a few in Latin America.
>
>    Even if so, you risk dialectizing a workable language to no useful
>purpose, as I see it.
 
What's wrong with dialectization?  You can come down South and you can
still understand the Southern dialect of English, even though you encounter
sometimes some unusual expressions.  The reason there are collateral
variants already in Interlingua is because of dialectical differences
in Latin that evolved into languages and produced often parallel forms
in the over all language.  Sometimes you get along better if you go into
an area where there is another dialect if you can shift your speech into
that dialect.  When I lived for 6 months in Brooklyn in 1961 I found that
by the end of my time there I had a slight Brooklyn accent.  Now after
living 30 years in the South (North Carolina and then Georgia), I've
picked up a slight Southern accent.  After leaving Utah and hearing
Southern speech, I could then hear the slight Utah accent in my Utah
friends, which I never heard before growing up there. Nothing wrong with
dialects.  They enrichen a language.  So, if I were using Interlingua
with Spaniards in Toledo, or Catalans in Barcelona, or Italians in
Rome, I would "aquelle" instead of "ille" because it would be closer
to their accustomed "aquel, aquella" (Spanish), "aquell, aquella"
(Catalan), "quel, quello, quell, quella" (Italian).  It wouldn't
matter if you used "ille" or "aquelle" with the English or Germans,
but it would make a big difference to your audience in these Romance
languages--in fact, most of the Romance languages.  So you adjust
your dialect to your listeners.
 
Perhaps you don't appreciate this because you haven't tried to use
your Interlingua to communicate directly with Romance speakers, or
used it to try to understand them as well.  But I do this all the time.
 
I was over at Kinkos the other day xeroxing some pages out of Bourciez'
"Elements de Linguistique Romance" [Elements of Romance Linguistics].
And as I came to the checkout counter, I had the book on the counter.
As I was about to leave, a rather attractive woman who had been
standing behind me said, in a strong French accent, "You speak French?"
"No," I said, "I read French. I can't speak hardly a word of it. No
one ever taught me how to speak it. I just taught myself to read it."
She looked perplexed.  Then I explained I was interested in Interlingua
and this book was relevant to that interest, and I had used Interlingua
to help me learn to read French (along with a little study of some
French grammars, and a study of Romance particles and their etymology).
She said she was from France and was trying to go into business here,
and what I said was very unusual for her.  But I have to tell you.
After studying Interlingua and reading a few French grammars, I was
able in 1962 to pass a French exam and a German exam on two successive
days to fulfill my language requirements for the Ph.D.. But I have never
had a course in French. I had German for two years in high school and
a couple of quarters in college.  I also have taught myself to read
newspaper Spanish as well, although I think I do best at French. I have
also communicated with Italians in Interlingua and they in Italian, and
with a dictionary handy, I've been able to understand them.  And I have
no trouble communicating with Spanish and Catalans in Interlingua. I
once carried on a discussion in the net about the problems in Quebec with a
French Canadian, he in French, and I in Interlingua. I'd likely have
more problems trying to do so speaking to him than writing to him. So,
I hope you see there is a purpose to trying to introduce forms that are
more recognized by Romance speakers.  I think I will encounter more of
them than I will Roman Catholic priests who speak Latin.
 
>
>>                                                      But
>> that doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned. What matters is what
>> Gode said matters,
>
>    I do not take Alexander Gode as some sort of auxlang pope making
>infallible ex cathedra pronouncements.
 
His "pronouncements" are not ex cathedra.  They have a very sound
rationale to them, and that's what convinces me.  Its the rationale
for the language, without which, it's just another language.
 
>
>>  that we get the international vocabulary objectively
>> right,
>
>    As Tolkien pointed out (paraphrasing), there is more to an
>auxiliary language than just being a "factory product" (his term).
>You still have not justified to me (and perhaps to James Chandler, as
>I seem to understand him) why this "objectively right" international
>vocabulary is worth the effort.  I'm not saying that it isn't: I just
>saying that it has to be justified for use in an auxiliary language,
>not taken as some sort of Platonic something "out there" Writ Large in
>the Nature of the Cosmos.
 
Well, if there is no objective reality that you can ground the language
in and develop methods to reveal that objective reality, then everything
boils down to subjective impressions and the inevitable subjective
differences between individuals that entails when trying to determine
what is international and recognizable.  That's why the linguists of
the Committee on Agreement of IALA decided that the language to be
developed had to be based on objective methods and an objective reality.
That's why Stillman took the philological route and hired only linguists
who never heard of auxiliary languages and didn't represent any of
them, so they could conduct their work without the subjective impressionistic
preconceptions partisans of one or the other system would have brought to
their work. It wasn't just Gode's idea to go this way.  But he was
instrumental to seeing the idea through to fruition.
 
 
>
>>        and if IALA's methods failed to do that, then the important thing
>> is to focus on what is objectively right and adjust our methods so they
>> capture it.
>
>    First you discuss IALA's methods as "objective" and then talk about
>failure of their methods   Which is it?  There was a completely
>workable solution.  Why upset the applecart now?  Why is it more
>"objectively right" to use source languages inconsistently?
 
That this seems inconsistent is likely because you see "objective" as
simply an agreed-upon method.  But you can't even have an "agreed-upon"
method without an objective reality by which it is implemented so that
everyone can see, independently of themselves, that what is being done
is being done according to the method.  But when your aim is to recover
an objective external reality independent of yourself as an observer,
then you can distinguish between your methods for revealing it and the
reality.  If you can find other methods that reveal a coherence,
an invariance in what is observed from different points of view to
compare with results of your original methods, you often can discover
that what you thought was revealing objective reality to you, was giving
you something distorted by the instruments of observation.  We can show
that across the full range of the Romance languages there is an
"invariance" that is seen that is not seen if you only look at French,
Spanish/Portugese and Italian in the case of the demonstrative adjectives.
So, we can discover that our instrument--the methods used by IALA
to determine the eligibility and standardization of the vocabulary--
don't always work if you only use French, Spanish/Portugese and Italian as
your source languages--in the case of the particles. They don't recover
the common international reality in those cases.
 
>
>>              Whether users use one variant or another is a matter of
>> choice, just as its a choice of whether I say "you" or "ya'll".
>
>    And also risks dialectization of the standard language, which I
>consider a Bad Thing for an auxiliary language.  One might use
>non-standard forms in literature, along the lines of one of my other
>posts, but that is not the same as dialectizing a working standard
>language.
 
I urge you to loosen up a bit and consider that mild dialectalization
is not such a bad thing. It leads to variety in life. When there
are dialects with which to communicate, being able to have dialects that
match them better, increases your chance of communicating.
 
>
>>                                                                 For
>> the prospective millions of Romance speakers beyond the French (and
>> maybe even them), for them to have confidence that IALA produced an
>> objectively valid account of the international vocabulary, we need to
>> make available to them, as our knowledge improves, those forms that
>> are legitimate international forms, especially in the case of the
>> particles, which they will know are right because they are so close
>> to their own forms.
>
>    Given the stated principles of IALA regarding their source
>languages, I do not consider the '*aqu-' forms you are promoting to be
>any more "legitimate[ly] international" than than the forms that have
>been in use for decades.
 
But what is international is to be determined by a rationale, and my
rationale for calling these forms international is completely consistent
with the methods and rationale used by interlingua to find its other
international words--but extended to a special group of languages
for a special kind of vocabulary that coheres with the remaining
vocabulary.
 
  It seems that you are almost saying that the
>only people who count in Interlingua are non-francophone Romance
>speakers.
 
The French count, but they are less numerous than the Spanish/Portuguese,
Italians, Catalans, and Romananians combined. And they are the ones
who will immediately recognize the meaning of the *aqu- words. And I
don't think the French will have too many problems with them either.
 
Cordially,
 
Stan Mulaik