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>James Chandler responded to >>Stan Mulaik:
 
>> English and German contribute to the stems -trah- and -tract- and have
>> nearly the same regularity as Interlingua.  Similar regularity is not
>> found in the Romance languages.  -trah- is contracted [sic] to -tra-
>> in the Romance languages.
>
>Stan, pray tell, what earthly use is all of this to the ordinary English
>speaker, unversed in etymology and Latin derivational patterns?
 
In this particular series based on trah-/tract- it probably doesn't make
much difference for the English speaker. But it can make a difference for
the German or the Romance speakers.  I was more interested in showing in
this case how -tract- in English preserves the Latin supinal stem but is
grossly distorted in the various Romance languages. Hence because Interlingua
uniformly retains the supinal stem where appropritate, it more closely
approximates English in those cases than the Romance languages, which
diverge more from one another in this respect.
 
>
>English doesn't have any forms in -trah-: it doesn't have extrah-, it
>doesn't have contrah-, and it doesn't have detrah-.  These forms are just
>baffling to the English speaker, unless he happens to be "sophisticated"
>in the right ways.
>
>German may have two of the three forms in -trah-, but it also has the
>equivalents in -trakt-.  So the obvious way to proceed is to take the forms
>in -trakt- or -tract-, which will be familiar to evrybody.  This is why
>Ido has abstrakt-a, -igar, kontrakt-ar, extrakt-ar.  Novial has abstrakt-i,
>-e, kontrakte, extrakte.  By selecting the most international form of root
>in this way we make the language as familiar as possible to the greatest
>number.
 
Dr. Gode wrote me once that it is alright to form your verbs around the
supinal stem if you add -ar to them (as Ido does).  But you should
be prepared to accept in those cases "extractar" > "extractation" as
legitimate derivatives, on a parallel with "concentrar" > "concentration".
The rule, which goes back to Latin, is add -ion to the past participle
form (after stripping its -e) -at-:  "concentrar" > "concentrate" >
"concentration".  This works fine when you regard the supine stem as
a past participle form, as it is in Latin.  So extraher > extracte >
extraction. (Interlingua allows you to write the past participle in two
ways: in general you can write simply extraher > extrahite, and then
be prepared for extrahition.  Or you can write extraher > extracte >
extraction.  If you accept only the supinal stems as your roots, then
you can't get from extractar > extraction without having a separate rule
for this word that allows you to distinguish it from handling concentrar >
concentration.
 
The general issue is whether to retain the double stems across the board,
in the case of all roots where they occur. If you do, you follow the natural
schema from Latin found in various vestigial forms in the modern languages.
Otherwise if you try to "regularize" around a single stem in the case
of double stem roots, you run into conflicts in your rules, or you generate
unfamiliar, unnatural forms, and you tend to lose on recognizability.
 
The case is better illustrated for English speakers in the case of
the stems -cip-/-cept-.
 
receive  receivable recipient, receipt  reception  receptive
conceive, conceivable, inconceivable, concept, conception
deceive, deception  deceptive
 
Interlingua parallels that with
 
reciper (-cip-/-cept-) recipibile, recipiente, recepta reception receptive
conciper (-cip-/-cept-) concipibile, inconcipibile, concepto, conception
deciper, deception, deceptive
 
So the English speaker learns that -ceiv- > -cip-, but -cept- > -cept-
in Interlingua.  It's just a matter of matching your variant of the stem
to the prototype stem and learning to make the substitution. The learner
doesn't need to derive his vocabulary, just transform it.
 
>Learners of an IL should not be presumed to have a knowledge of etymology
>or Latin derivation patterns; nor is it the job of the IL to teach these
>things to people.
>
 
For people who speak English or the Romance languages, we don't have to
teach Interlingua by deriving their vocabularies for them from fundamental
roots.  We just show them the words in Interlingua and match them up with
similar formed words in their own languages.  F. P. Gopsill's marvelous
little beginner's text "Interlingua Today" just begins showing you
some vocabulary that looks very similar to the corresponding English
words, and then gives you a text in that vocabulary.  You don't derive
words from roots. You learn a little easy grammar as you go along.
You may be able to do this to some extent with German speakers or
Russian speakers, although you may (as you would in teaching them English)
point out the meaning of certain roots and affixes).  But when I took
German in high school no one taught us roots and affixes and how to
derive the German vocabulary.  But if I were to teach Germans
Interlingua I would point out to them calque translations from Latin to
German in their language so they could see the parallel in the Interlingua
word to their own, e.g.,  aus+dru"cken < ex+primer, Ein+fluss < in+fluer,
Hand+schrift < manu+scripto, durch+sicht+ig < per+spic+ue, etc.
I'd also point out how some Latin words in their language are part of
larger derivational series in Interlingua that reflect the Latin series.
Take for example, extrahieren, Extrakt, abstrahieren, Abstrakt, etc.
So, the derivational system, while there, is nothing the ordinary speaker
needs to learn to learn the vocabulary. But it is there to maintain the
naturalness and regularity of the language.  And in certain cases, if one
wanted to teach the language the derivational way, you could do it. But
it is unnecessary to do so for European speakers.
 
>James Chandler.
 
Stan Mulaik