STAN MULAIK wrote: > Just articles? I think there was no problem with "le" and "un" > in interlingua. We are talking about all of the little grammatical > words, like "that", "there', "here", "on", "when", "in", "from", > "of", etc. Yes, I meant that only those grammatical particles should be admitted that meet the rules of inclusion for open-class words. I assume that "la" would be admitted as an article, not "le"; but that specific example is not important. > None of the source languages live without words with which > to express the grammatical functions they all share. They have > just settled on different ones. If there is no prototype, how can they be admitted? I wonder if the rules also result in certain lacunae among the open-class words, if those rules are followed. I actually like the idea of an objective, scientific algorithm for word selection. > In the "General Report" of IALA in 1945 it is said: > "The distinguishing characteristic of an auxliary vocabulary > of the naturalistic type is that it follows closely words > as they actually exist in the ethnic languages. OK! > IALA reasoned thusly: > > "In order to use the standardized vocabulary in a language > it is, of course, necessary toprovide also a grammatical > apparatus." > > "In working out a grammatical system we have benefitted from > the wealth of experience of older auxiliary languages. Some > constructed languages have simple and ingenious grammatical > systems devised without much reference to the forms used in > natural languages. Others take their grammatical forms from > English and the Romance languages." > > "Our guiding idea for supplying grammatical forms is to > provide from the Romance languages forms for functions found > in all the control languages." > > "English has a special role in working out a simple system > of grammar, as the trend toward simplicity in the evolution > of languages has advanced farther in English than in the > Romance languages. > > "In our system the Romanic form is simplified to a slightly > greater extent than English has simplified the Teutonic > norm." > > To eliminate certain grammatical words from the grammar would > have entailed an unnatural grammar, which would require forms > of expression to deal with the missing particles that would > be unfamiliar to all the source languages that the natural > language attempts to be a bridge to and between. > > This doesn't deny that your idea would be possible in some > language, but it would not be a Romance-like language in its > grammatical structure. It retains only grammatical features > common to all of the source languages, including the Germanic > ones--but the forms are Romance. This is arguable, since it *assumes* the need for a "Romance-like" structure. The actual common international vocabulary does not support it, so you change the rules to get what you really wanted all along?? If you followed the rules, you might have 50% or 80% of the "Romantic" particles anyway, and never miss the rest. The grammar would be that much more international (not less), just as it is improved by elimination of gender.