At 11:46 am -0700 10/6/99, Charles wrote:
>If you mean the notorious LSD, I have found his criticisms always
>to be both fair and reasonable. He would (and still does) decry
>mandatory marking of tense and number, and the rather complex
>Indo-European style grammar, and the Euro-based vocabulary,
>in what purports to be a neutral world auxiliary language.

I don't know the guy [LSD once meant 'librae, solidi, denarii' when I was
young & innocent - then in the 70s it aquired a different meaning] but I
largely agree with him.  I questioned many times on AUXLANG why the
'Euroclonists' (by no means only esperantists) insisted on maintaining
complex IE-style grammar & deliberately Eurocentric vocab in what purports
to be a neutral world auxiliary language.

Yes, I _know_ a lot of European vocabulary has been spread around the globe
as the result of technology - but we've taken from elsewhere also, think of
'coffee', 'tea', 'babana', 'potato', 'tomato', 'sugar' - they're all of
non-IE origin.  Leo Moser's Bahasan project shows that it is possible to
get together a credible a_posteriori vocab by taking a _global_ approach.

>And I don't mean to argue or import AUXLANG discussion here.

Indeed, which is why I'm trying to tread carefully.  But the auxlang issue
has been brought here and it has been argued before on this list, rather
vociferously, that we should never exclude _any_ constructed language from
discussion on this list.

>Rather, this points out the relatively (in some ways) simpler
>and elegant grammar of East Asian natlangs, and a healthy regard
>and respect for non-IE languages in addition to the IE-type.

Though I think the first part of your sentence is arguable, I most
certainly agree with the latter part & have stated a similar opinion many

>Note that Chinese, English, and the sorta-conlang Bahasa Indonesia
>share the SVO and isolating type of grammar that Bickerton claims
>is universal in pidgins/creoles, and that Lingua Franca and Swahili
>and other trade langs follow this pattern.

And IMHO serious auxlangers could do a lot worse than examine such languages.

>(In my correspondence with the "wacko", he made various other
>interesting points as well. Let's not be attacking people so
>lightly, particularly when they put forward a minority view.
>They are like trace elements, essential to a healthy diet.)

Yes, indeed, let's not on this list, at least, flame them out of existence.