Steve wrote:For the past 20+ years, I have been involved with conlangs (specifically, IALs) in one form or another. The closest that I have come to learning an IAL has been Ido. However, there are some aspects of Ido (as far as I have learned) that just befuddle me to the point where I have given up trying to learn the language. Before I endeavor to introduce my own reforms of the language, though, I would like some perspective from others to see if my concerns are founded or not.
If you haven't already, do join the Auxlang list, which I think might be more in tune with your serious IAL interests more than CBB which seems mostly to be the domain of artlangers and world builders. https://listserv.brown.edu/archives/auxlang.html
- I have no idea what the decision was to end most adverbs with -e but not all of them. I understand that there are 'natural' and 'derived' adverbs and that the derived adverbs all end in -e but why not all of them? If all of the adjectives end in -a and most of the adverbs end in -e, why not just have all of them end in -e?
I would hazard the guess, judging from the (possibly incomplete) list of Ido adverbs at Wiktionary, that etymology
accounts for most if not all instances of null ending adverbs. Mem
< Fr. mème; jus
< Engl just. Maxim
are a bit of a poser, as there are already Latin adverbs maxime and minime...so who knows!? Perhaps they were imitating Latin adverbs in -im, but I see no statim, etc. Ja
is clearly descended from Latin iam, and I can only guess that they didn't like the looks of either *jae or *jame! Tro
is clearly, ultimately, a pronunciation borrowing from French trop. Many seem to be taken directly from E-o (as I understand it, Ido's direct ancestor), so no worries there.
These are just knock-on effects of "reforming" and borrowing words from natural languages like French or, anymore, Esperanto. The only way to get around these things is to either come up with your own perfect IAL (and for Pete sake, don't propagandise its perfection here!) or else join the movement of some already existing IAL and spearhead a reform movement from within. If enough people like your ideas, you'll be at the head of your own reformed IAL! And, in time, if enough people are still using your language, they will change it all around to suit the needs of the community, as we see with E-o.
[*] Practically all pre-Internet IALs use the Long Scale form of counting numbers. As someone coming from a nation that uses Short Scale, this is unacceptable and, dare I write, unacceptable to a lot of other people. People can bend over backwards for a lot of things when learning a language but being forced to use "miliardo" (or some form of that) instead of "biliono" is just a deal-breaker. Why not have something that accommodates both scales?
Again, I would hazard the guess that this is because the hot-house of the IAL movement in general is Europe and not North America. Given that that is the native counting scale in countries where the IAL movement is oldest, and where the first widely spread IALs were made, it stands to reason that that counting scale is what is found in those IALs.
I do agree with you, however, that a truly international auxlang ought to a) conform itself to some kind of scientific standards and b) allow for different regionalisms such as already exist.
[*] In Ido, -n can be used to mark the object when the sentence is not strictly SVO. However, this rule isn't evenly applied with question words. Only the question word qua/qui/quo needs this ending when the question word represents the object but the others don't even when representing the object. In my view, a rule should apply evenly or not be used at all, especially in a constructed IAL that doesn't rely on legacy natural language rules.[/list]
As I wrote, perhaps I just need a different perspective on this and am wondering what those perspectives might be. Thank you.
Hope I was able to shed at least some light or bring a slightly different perspective to your queries! Well, my perspective is that of an artlanger. I have absolutely zero interest in auxlang politics (which is largely why I have steered clear of the Auxlang list for the last fifteen plus years or so); though I have often found auxlang design and construction discussions at times amusing or even interesting.
I did the E-o postal course maybe 20 years ago or so, so I am not entirely unconnected to Auxland; just don't have any use for IALs. I satisfied myself years ago that no constructed auxlang will ever defeat an already existing natural language for intercommunity or international communications without hiring its own army and taking over the world by force. Right now the premier auxlang du jour is English, and the only thing that will ever shift it from that position is a clear change of social, economic, political & military hegemony from the US (and its natively English speaking allies) to some other great power bloc.
I also believe that it is unlikely that, among constructed IALs, that any will ever truly unseat E-o from its position. It has time on its side, as well as a vast and native literature and native speakers. It may not be the best, but it seems to me that it is the strongest and best known.