The only substantial arguments for the accord of adjectives with their
substantives are: (1) That such is the linguistic usage of certain peoples;
(2) that it is useful to show the plural number in cases where the adjective
is unaccompanied by the noun-form it qualifies.
Against it is the fact that it serves no logical purpose (except possibly in the substantive use) and that it is a bit of grammatical lumber which encumbers the language without compensating advantages. Dr. Zamenhof in 1894 called it "superfluous ballast" (see p. 71), and proposed its abolition in his proposals of 1906 (see p. 76). No member of the Delegation Committee attempted to speak in its defense. The fact that the English has no such usage is an overwhelming practical demonstration of its futility. We do not find it necessary to speak of "the good(s) fathers (la bonaj patroj), or to say: Many(s) competent(s) persons are convinced that some(s) changes and betterments are desirable(s) and even necessary(s). The retention is contrary to the evolution of languages by the sloughing off of archaic grammatical forms. It is a very considerable practical embarrassment to the student unlearned in the classic languages or to one whose native tongue contains no such forms. It multiplies the forest of "j's" and thus disfigures the text to a majority of Europeans.
The Ido Academy permitted its retention in cases of plural adjectives unaccompanied by their proper substantives until 1913, when it was decided that the plural could best be indicated in some other manner, as by the plural article le or some suitable indefinite pronoun (uli, kelki).
The following comparative text shows better than any argument the wisdom of the Delegation Committee in suppressing such use:
|Multaj kompetentaj personoj estas konvinkitaj, ke kelkaj s'ang'oj kaj plibonigoj estas dezirindaj, kaj ec' necesaj. Exemple, la multaj groteskaj kaj absurdaj finaj 'j' devas esti aboliciitaj. Tiaj kaj aliaj malbelaj'oj kaj malfacilaj'oj estas aboliciitaj de la lnternaciona Lingva Delegacio.||Multa kompetenta personi esas konvinkita, ke kelka chanji e plubonigi esas dezirinda, e mem necesa. Exemple, la multa groteska ed absurda finala 'j' devas esar abolisita. Tala ed altra ledaji e desfacilaji esas abolisita da la Internaciona Linguala Delegitaro.|
The only argument, worthy of consideration, for the retention of the
obligatory use of the accusative is that it permits freedom of word arrangement,
permitting each linguistic group to place the words of a sentence in the
idiomatic manner to which it is accustomed, thus preserving the spirit
of the national literary works and facilitating the writing of poetry.
In order not to befog the issue, it should be clearly understood that
what the Delegation objected to was not the permissive use of the
accusative, but its compulsory use. Ido uses the accusative
forms with relative pronouns in the same manner that it is used in the
English and Romance languages where it is necessary to distinguish the
accusative from the nominative (la viro quan vu vidis, etc.), and
it permits, though does not recommend its use with nouns.
The absence of the accusative inflection in the English, Scandinavian, French and other Romance languages, shows that the compulsory use is not a necessity for logical expression. In German, even, the accusative differs from the nominative neither in the plural nor the feminine nor the neuter. Therefore, following the postulate of "greatest internationality", the obligatory accusative has no place in the I. L.. The classic languages with their agreements of words in number, gender, case permitted and treasured a word order very different from the modern style. Prof. Meillet, the eminent linguist, states that all European languages are tending toward the normal uniformity of word order (subject, verb, complement) found in the less inflected languages, as English and French.
As to its suitability for writing poetry and for the word for word translation of literary "gems", it suffices to say that the primary value of an I. L. is that it can render logical thoughts in a universally intelligible manner; that the writing of poetry and literal translation of elegant diction are subsidiary considerations. One of the great practical mistakes of the Espists is that they use their language mainly for the translation of these literary gems (even Shakespear) where the natural languages will always remain supreme. It is the translation of scientific works, books of social import, business letters, which have chief utility to the intellect, not to the sentiments, that constitutes the chief value of an I. L.. However, it is not just to underestimate the value of the I. L. as a literary expression. It has far greater possibilities in that direction than it is ordinarily credited with. But its main purpose is to convey thought. To put one's thought into such a logically coherent form as to be clearly and exactly understood by peoples of varying linguistic origin is no mean job. We express ourselves by customary sentences, rather than by logically building up our sentences out of the separate words. The greatest obstacle to writing the I. L. comes from the tendency to follow literally purely nationalistic idioms. To get the best results, one must put the idea to be expressed into the simple, logical form of subject, verb, complement, modifying words next to the words they modify - a true mental gymnastic. Now a permissively illogical word order tends to follow the idiomatic usages which sometimes makes the meaning completely obscure to the foreigner. Clear intelligibility, unambiguity of expression is a fundamental demand on an I. L. translation. We cannot get lucidity and precision of expression in the long, loosely constructed sentences wherein the accusative inflections precede the nominative.
The following examples of use are more convincing than argument: La bonaj patrinoj amas la belajn infanojn. In Ido, we write: La bona matri amas la bela infanti. To literally Anglicize the Esp. text, we should have to write: The good(s) mothers love the beautiful(sn) children(n). Atendante vian baldauan respondon seems as absurd to the English as it would be to write, "Awaiting-your(n) early(n) response(n)." Zamenhof wrote: "Shi envolvis sin en siajn densajn longajn harojn," (In Ido: El envolvis su en sua densa longa hari.) To anglicize the Esp. text: She wrapped herself in her(n) thick(sn) long(sn) hair(n). Are such constructions logically necessary? Do they aid in the understanding of the meaning of the sentences? Do they embellish the text or add to its euphony? Leave the answers to the good sense of the reader.
In conclusion I give the two following excerpts from the 'Bulletin Français-Ido', page 114, which show the use the accusative:
|Kaj ili prenu bluan tukon kaj kovru la kandelabron de lumigado kaj ghiajn lucerlojn, kaj ghiajn prenilojn, kaj ghiajn cindrujojn, kaj chiujn ghiajn oleujojn, kiuj estas uzataj che ghi. (151 letters, 12 accusatives, 29 words.)(2)||E li prenez la blua tuko e kovrez la lumizal kandelabro e lua lampi e lua pinci e lua cindruyi ed omna lua oleuyi qui uzesas por lu. (103 letters, 0 accusative, 29 words.)|
|Malgrau chiuj niaj petegoj, defendoj au kontraubataloj, la morto nepre rabos nin chiujn iam, nepovajn kaj senigitajn, - junulojn kaj maljunulojn, richulojn kaj malrichulojn, scienculojn kaj malklerulojn, fortulojn kaj malfortulojn, humilulojn kaj malhumilulojn, senkulpulojn kaj kulpulojn, bonulojn kaj malbonulojn, malshparemulojn kaj avarulojn, nesatigeblulojn kaj supersatigitojn, felichulojn kaj mafelichulojn. (350 letters, 24 accusatives, 47 words.)(3)||Malgre omna nia supliki, defensi o rezisti, la morto infalible raptos ni omna ultempe, senpova e spolita, -- yuni ed oldi, richi e povri, ciencozi e nulsavanti, forti e febli, humili e superbi, inocenti e kulpozi, boni e mali, prodiganti ed avari, nesaturebli e blaziti, felici e desfelici... (228 letters, 0 accusative, 47 words.)|
The logical relations shown by the Esp. correlative words (ia, chia, kia, nenia, tia etc.) have a certain attractiveness to logical minds which appeals at first sight. The table was, however, unanimously rejected by the Delegation Committee, largely because of the unnecessary burden it places upon the memory. It belongs essentially to the a priori forms of I. L. which indicate related ideas by one arbitrary root form and differentiate them by the change of one or more terminal letters (see p.39). Practical experience shows that the memorizing of these arbitrary forms with their slight differences is a greater task than the learning of entirely different words which have their base in the natural languages. It may be asserted that the tax on the memory of keeping forty-five significations firmly in mind is greater than the tax of memory of learning the whole of the Esp. grammar. Their facile use is only possible to those who constantly use the language. The presence of these artificial creations in almost every sentence gives the Esp. unnatural appearance which is out of place in an a posteriori form of language.
In view of the fact that international words or phrases can be substituted
for these arbitrary forms, it is contrary to the spirit of maximum facility
to retain them.
Several other objections (phonetic, etc.) have been raised against this table which may be found by those interested in the "Conclusions of the Report" presented by the Secretaries of the Delegation Committee.
These forms do not, in my opinion, constitute as important a detriment to the language as do the other fundamental defects discussed in this paper, but they are sufficiently important to justify separate mention.
Said Prof. Couturat:
"The system of derivation in Esp. is incontestably the most characteristic feature of that language. More than anything else, it gives an aspect of logical simplicity and lucidity, which at the same time seduces the theorist and makes the language very easily learnable and practicable even for persons of but little education. This system is also a font of richness and makes the language living and autonomous."(4)
We have as a word basis the invariable morpheme or stem (ordinarily
termed "root") which, at least in Ido, is selected on the principle of
maximum internationality or facility. Disregarding the particles and adverbial
forms, these roots fall naturally for the most part into three categories:
(1) Verbal roots, indicating an action such as: ir(ar), bat(ar), parol(ar),
salt(ar), dorm(ar). (2) Nominal roots as: dom(o), hom(o), puer(o).
(3) Adjectival roots, expressing a quality, as: bon(a), facil(a), avar(a).
These roots, plus the appropriate terminal letters: -ar, -o, -a,
constitute the fundamental grammatical forms of the words. The addition
of the grammatical finals: -o, -a, -ar, is usually termed "immediate"
or "direct" derivation. "Mediate" or "indirect" derivation is accomplished
by means of affixes (prefixes or suffixes), such as anti-, retro-, -estr-,
-in-. The sum of the words that can logically be formed from
any one root by immediate or mediate derivation constitutes the "word family".
An I. L. is therefore natural in its vocabulary and philosophical in its
grammar and derivation.
Natural languages express some of the relationship of ideas in a similar manner, but because they result from a natural and uncontrolled growth, the terminal forms and affixes are very often irregular and arbitrary. Sometimes the same affix is used to express different meanings, sometimes several affixes are used to express the same meaning. An example of fairly regular use in English is the -er as in sleeper, and the -less in sleepless. We often change the form of root, as from peace to pacify, or even use an entirely different word to express a related idea, as dormitory, as a sleeping place or use the same form of word indifferently as noun, verb or adjective (see note p. 28). We understand these arbitrary and formless words because we are familiar with the diction. In an international language intended to be easily understood by all peoples they are inadmissible.
A logical system of derivation, word-building, makes not only for economy
and precision of statement and consequent intelligibility, but permits
a fecundity in the coining of new words to express certain shades of meaning
which the affixes and dictional forms of the natural languages do not permit.
In other words, we get both richness and economy which means a conserving
of energy and the maximum of simplicity of expression compatible with the
clear and exact expression of thought. For example, in Ido, we have the
word dorm-o to express the idea of sleep; dorm-eto, lit.
a little or short sleep, translates logically and clearly the idea which
the English expresses by the separate word "nap"; such a derivative form,
therefore, makes for intelligibility and facility on the part of the non-English
speaker. In Ido, the word hom-o: stands simply for the idea of a
human being, either man or woman, hom-ulo signifies only a person
of the male sex; hom-ino only a person of the female sex.
In English, we can express the first of these ideas by the use of the two
words, human being (homo), and are compelled to resort to the two
differing words man and woman to express the related ideas -which Ido expresses
through the two common affixes applied to the same root. Suspekt-ema
does not only translate the English word "suspicious", but the related
It is fundamental principle (theoretical in Esp., theoretical and practical in Ido) that a root expresses one basic signification, modified as it may be by the different affixes each of which in turn carries one invariable sense. One root, one meaning; one affix, one meaning. Knowing the form (spelling) and meaning of a root, we can logically and clearly express all related ideas by the use of the proper affix. This characteristic is termed the principle of "unasenceso": one sense, one word, uniqueness in signification, unambiguity, which was so clearly formulated by Prof. Ostwald.
For example, the fundamental idea of music is expressed in Ido by the
root: muzik-, this idea of music therefore is carried in all forms
of the root, nouns, adjectives or what not. The suffix -ist indicates
a person occupied professionally with something. Muzik-isto can
only therefore signify a (professional) musician. Given the verbal
root: dorm-ar, to sleep, we know that the substantive form is dorm-o
and means sleep. The noun form can only end in -o (or -ado)
and cannot mean indifferently sleep, sleeper or a place for sleeping, but
can only refer to sleep, as a substantive. As Ostwald stated: "There exists
a unique and reciprocal correspondence between the ideas and the morphemes
which express them."
Now this reciprocal relation of form and sense logically carries with
it a second principle, that of reversibility, which Couturat formulates
"Every derivation must be reversible; that is to say, if one
passes (forward) from one word to another of the same family by virtue
of a certain rule, one must be able to pass inversely from the second to
the first in virtue of the rule which is exactly the reverse of the preceding."
Given pac-o: peace, pac-ar can only signify to be at peace,
be in a state of peace. Pac-ar cannot signify: to pacify, because
if it did the substantive: pac-o would only mean pacification, the
making of peace. To express the idea of pacification, we must add
the suffix -ig- which adds to the root the idea of: to make, render,
cause to be: pac-ig-ar therefore logically expresses the idea of
to pacify, and pac-ig-o translates pacification.
If we depart from the substantive: kron-o: a crown, the verbal
form kron-ar (kron-i in Esp.) could only logically signify
"being a crown", like the form pac-ar. Kronar (as derived from krono)
cannot logically express the idea of: to crown (someone), because the meaning
of the substantive inversely derived from "to crown" is and can
only logically be: coronation, the act of crowning, not the crown itself.
As will be shown more in detail hereafter, Esp. does have this illogical
derivation in this and hundreds of other words, but it is not logical or
sensible. Ido having the suffix -iz- which adds the idea to the
root of covering, furnishing, providing, logically expresses the idea of
"to crown" by kron-iz-ar: kron (crown), -izar to cover with.
Working back from the verbal form kron-izar one logically gets kron-izo
meaning coronation. If Esp. were consistent in its derivation, lacking
as it does an appropriate suffix to express this special idea of: to cover
with, it would start with the verbal kron-i as the fundamental form;
then kron-o would logically signify coronation, and kron-ilo,
the instrument for crowning, the crown itself.
The capability of reversing a derivative form and arriving at the original
meaning is the practical test of the rightness of a derived form. A
substantive derived form a verb can logically only stand for the idea of
the state or action expressed by the verb.
The above-described system of derivation, dictated though it be by logic
and common sense, is but imperfectly carried out in Esp. As Couturat stated:
"The Esp. textbooks inform us how from a given root one can derive
a substantive by adding -o to it, or an adjective by the addition
of -a, etc. but it does not inform us what is the meaning of
the word thus formed. Yet this is an essential part of derivation;
for it is entirely useless to form new words if one does not know exactly
their sense. Each form of derivation should correspond to the special
sense (or change in sense); that is the simple consequence of the
principle of unasenceso: unambiguity."
Now Zamenhof, mislead by the example of many words in the natural languages,
often assigned significations to the derivative forms which the grammatical
finals or affixes did not logically justify. As a consequence, in Esp.
one has to burden the memory with these arbitrary significations or, if
one wishes to be certain as to a meaning, consult the dictionary. Again,
lacking as it is in certain affixes, Esp. simply cannot give unambiguous
and logical forms to certain derived meanings which logic and the accurate
use of language demand, much less permit the student to work out the meanings
in the inverse direction from certain derived forms. These illogical
derived word-forms in Esp. are not to be found in a few isolated cases,
but abound throughout the language. It is impossible in a paper of this
length to discuss all phases of the subject or to discuss exhaustively
any one point. I shall confine myself to a few instances of incorrect
immediate derivation which will be sufficient to demonstrate how impossible
it is to accept the Esp. derivation as it stands.
The Ido system of derivation is mainly the work of Prof. Couturat. He
arrived at his conclusions, not by a priori methods but by a long exhaustive
examination of the requirements of the vocabulary. Recognizing the many
excellencies of primitive Esp. and desiring no break with its adherents,
he accepted the Esp. system of affixes and by rearrangement and addition
worked out a system which satisfies the demands of logic and common sense.
It is an obvious fact that a substantive derived from verb can have
logically no other meaning than the state or action expressed by the verb
and, consequently, no verb can be directly derived from a noun unless the
noun expresses an act or condition, in which case the verb must signify
to do that act or be in such a condition. Dormar: to sleep, can
only have as a substantive the word sleep or sleeping, expressive of the
act. Frapar: to strike, can only produce frapo meaning a
blow. Paco in verbal form can only mean to be at peace, and
cannot mean to pacify because the substantive form of to pacify is pacification,
a different idea than peace. If krono refers to the object crown,
we cannot logically derive the act "to crown" from it, because, working
back from "to crown" to the substantive form, we do not get the idea of
the object "crown" but a substantive expressive of the act, namely "coronation",
which is a different idea from "crown".(5)
Given a certain verb in Esp., we have no logical certainty as to what
may be the meaning of a substantive derived from this verb, or, conversely,
the meaning of the verb derived from the substantive or adjective. As one
of the Esp. textbooks informs the student: "The nouns, adjectives,
etc. obtained from these (grammatical) endings are not always of the same
kind. It follows that the exact meanings of nouns, adjectives, verbs, have
to be looked up in the dictionary. It is not safe to form, for instance,
from a given verb a noun by changing -i into -o."
For example, in Esp. the substantive form derived from a verb may mean
a person: friponi: to cheat, swindle, but fripono does not signify
as it logically should the act of cheating, swindling, but, according to
the Esp. dictionaries, it means a rogue, knave, rascal! Other examples
of this sort are: gast-i: to board, be a guest, visit, but gasto
has a dictionary signification of "guest, border" though it should logically
refer to the act of boarding, visiting. Profet-i means to
prophesy, but profet-o does not refer to the act of prophecy, but
the prophet himself.
The substantive of a verb may denote a substance: or-i signifies
to gild, plate, cover with gold; but or-o does not signify the act
of gilding, plating, but the gold itself! Sal-i means to salt, but
sal-o does not refer to salting, but the substance salt. Gudr-i
means to tar, but gudr-o does not signify tarring, but the tar itself.
Kolor-i means to paint, but kolor-o refers to color as an
impression on the eye, a hue, and kolor-ilo means the painting substance.
Vest-i means to dress, clothe; vest-o does not refer to the
act of clothing but to an article of clothing, such as a coat, trousers,
Now if the above illogical derivations did not permit of correction
by reason of the imperfections of our mental processes or our language,
or were even very difficult to correct, we should have to let them stand
as illogical, arbitrary forms. In the case of fripon-i, -o, for
example, a mistake arises in the first place by coupling together two ideas
which are not necessarily connected. A rogue by no means always exhibits
his roguery by swindling. Such use exhibits a poverty of vocabulary. Ido
adopts a root (eskrokar) for the idea of to swindle and retains
fripono for the idea of a rogue. If the Idist finds it desirable
to verbalize the substantive form, he does not proceed by blindly tacking
on the verbal termination -ar without stopping to consider that such a
verbal form must logically signify; -ar added to fripon-o would
have no practical meaning (to rogue!); but -esar added thereto clearly
expresses the idea of being a rogue. For the class of roots indicated above
which primarily refer to substances, Ido provides a logical derivation
by the use of the suffix -iz- which is added to substantive roots
to signify: to cover, supply, furnish, provide with. Such an affix
is simply indispensable for the accurate translation of thought and to
provide a logical way to verbalize such words. There are thousands of cases
where such an affix is necessary. Applying it to or-o: gold,
the verbal idea signifying to gild, to plate is logically formed by or-izar
and the substantive derived from orizar can only be or-izo signifying
the act of plating. There is thus permitted a logical derivation both forward
and backward. And so on throughout the list. It may be said, however, that
in the last word given: koloro that color is by no means always
synonymous with the idea of paint, therefore paint needs a separate root.
This is another case of poverty of vocabulary, as in the case of friponi.
Ido uses separate substantives for paint, as used on buildings, on the
face, etc. and verbalizes the root by means of -iz- as in the other cases.
There is nothing difficult in the comprehension or use of the few additional
affixes which the Idists have been compelled by logic and common sense
to add to the existing stock of primitive Esp.
There is another large class of roots in Esp. which are directly verbalized by the simply addition of -i to indicate the intransitive idea of: to produce, generate the substance or thing denoted by the nominal roots: gherm-o: germ, -i: to germify; burghon-o: bud, -i: to bud; flor-o: flower, -i: to flower, bloom; vers-o: verse, -i: to versify; urin-o: urine, -i: to urinate; nest-o: nest, -i: to build a nest, and nest-ighi to nestle(!); fum-o: smoke, fum-i: to smoke (a pipe, cigar; subject being a person!); fum-ajhi: to smoke-dry (subject being fish, beef!); fum-ighi: to emit smoke (subject being a chimney!). Disregarding the illogical and arbitrary meanings which Esp. attempts to express by such forms as nest-ighi: to nestle, and confining our attention to the immediate derivative forms, we find that we are unable to work back inversely from the verbal forms ending in -i to the logical meanings of the substantives. Firmly bearing in mind that a substantive derived from a verbal root can only express the state or action corresponding to the act, we see that gherm-o, burghon-o, flor-o, etc. as the substantive forms of the verbs, can only signify: germinating, budding, flowering, etc, and not the objects: germ, bud, flower.
To obviate such illogical attempts at derivation, Ido uses with such
words -- they are very numerous -- the intransitive suffix -if-
joining it to nominal roots to denote generation.(6) The introduction of
this new suffix gives precision and clarity to the derivation but also
enables the primitive -ig- suffix to be used only with a transitive
sense (not both intransitively and transitively as in Esp.). In Ido therefore,
burjon-o: is the bud, burjon-ifar: to bud (produce buds),
and burjon-ifo logically signifies the act of budding; urin-o:
urine; urin-ifar: to urinate; urin-ifo: urinating, etc.
This suffix is also particularly useful to indicate the manufacture
of tools and other articles: martel-o: a hammer, -ifar: to
make hammers (to hammer something is expressed by martel-agar) -if-isto:
a hammer-maker (in Esp.: martel-fabrik-isto). In Ido, we find klov-o:
a nail; (klov-) if-isto: a nail-maker; -agar: to nail up
(a box, etc.); -izar, to stud, garnish (something) with nails. In
Esp., we find najl-o, a nail; najl-i, to nail (thus making
impossible the inverse derivation), and chirkau-najli (!) to garnish
The correct use of -ifar, -igar, -izar may be indicated by the
following examples: pom-ifar: to bear, produce apples; sudor-ifar:
to perspire (produce sweat); a salt works sal-ifas, i.e. produces
salt; the chemist salifies (sal-igas) a certain base to transform
it into a salt, or we may convert ordinary water into brine by salification
(sal-igo); we salt (sal-izar) or butter (butr-izas)
our food to give it the proper flavor, or we may salt (sal-izas:
put salt on) fish to preserve them.(8) The suffixes -izar and -igar
have therefore a transitive sense; -ifar an intransitive sense.
Another class of verbs in Esp. are derived from the names of the instruments
themselves: bros-o: a brush, bros-i: to brush; martel-o:
a hammer, martel-i: to hammer; baston-o: a stick, baston-i:
to cudgle; kanon-o: cannon, kanon-i: to fire a cannon; shraub-o:
a screw, shraubi: to screw; tambur-o: a drum, tambur-i:
to drum, etc. Here is another case where an inverse derivation is impossible,
because inversely the substantive of the verb denotes an action, not an
instrument. Derived from the verb: bros-o logically denotes a stroke
of the brush (and bros-ado, brushing, the continued action); and
not the instrument brush; martel-o: logically indicates a stroke
of the hammer, not the instrument hammer. The unrightness of the
derivative senses as given in the Esp. dictionaries is therefore apparent
and is in fact unnecessary in this class of words even with the affixes
afforded by primitive Esp. To be sure, the primitive idea may properly
be considered to be the instrument itself and therefore the fundamental
derivative form as shown in the dictionaries should be the instrument,
rather than the verb denoting the act. But in view of the fact that Esp.
does not pretend to be absolutely logical, it would have been better for
Esp. if the verb had been regarded as the primitive word and then the name
of the instrument derived from the verb by means of the suffix -ilo:
In fact, in some words, Zamenhof did this: komb-i: to comb, komb-ilo:
a comb; raz-i: to shave, raz-ilo: a razor; fajf-i:
to whistle, fajf-ilo: a whistle; plug-i: to plough, plug-ilo:
a plough, etc. Why such derivation was not consistently carried throughout
the language is not evident. Bros-i, -ilo; martel-i, -ilo would
then be in logical agreement with komb-i, -ilo, and the other words.
In view of the fact that in most cases, the instrument, the object,
may be regarded as more fundamental than the act performed by means of
the instrument, Ido has as the primitive word the name of the implement
and adds the verbal suffix -ag- (the stem of the verb: agar:
to do, act) using it in the sense 'to make use of' the substantive to which
it is added: martel-agar: to hammer; kanon-agar (or -pafar):
to shoot a cannon; manu-agar: to handle; kruc-agar: to crucify.
In a few cases, however, the act, rather than the implement has been taken
as the primitive word: raz-ar: to shave, raz-ilo: a razor.
In other case, the Ido derivation is consistent and reversible which is
not the case in Esp. words where the implement is the foundation form.
There are many other instances of illogically derived verbal forms which
are difficult to classify. I shall only mention a few: afish-i:
means to placard, but afish-o: does not refer to the posting but
the bill, poster, itself; broshur-i: to stitch together (in pamphlet
form), broshur-o: does not refer to the stitching but to the brochure,
tract; form-i: to form, form-o: the form, shape itself, not
the forming; silab-o signifies a syllable, but silab-i means
To perpetuate such absurdities and illogical forms of derivation because they are found in the natural languages, or because Zamenhof introduced them without consciousness of their imperfections, or because mistakes once made in the sacrosanct Fundamento must forever be preserved, or because it would hurt Esp. propaganda to acknowledge the fact that the language is far from perfect, or because it would be an expense to the publishers to get out new textbooks and dictionaries, were not reasons which appealed very strongly to the Delegation Committee, nor do they appeal very strongly to the common sense of the average person.
1 - The Espists also use the arbitrary accusative form, instead of the
appropriate preposition, to indicate 'direction' (mi iras Roman),
and for words expressing date, weight, measure, price and duration, and
even in words of salutation (bona tagon, sinjoro).
2 - This text is taken from a translation by Zamenhof.
3 - This is a translation of the following French text : "En dépit de toutes nos supplications, défenses ou résistances la mort nous emportera tous un jour infailliblement, impuissants et dépoullés - jeunes et vieux, riches et pauvres, savants et ignorants, forts et faibles, humbles et orgueilleux, innocents et coupables, bons et mauvais, prodigues et avares, insatiables et blasés, heureux et malheureux..."
4 - 'Studio pri la Derivado en la Linguo Internaciona'. Delagrave, Paris, 1910. This brochure should be studied by those who desire to make a thorough study of the subject.
5 - Espists sometimes attempt to avoid this obvious error in such words as kron-i, -o, by using the suffix -ado in place of -o. Such use of -ado is only an illogical makeshift not permissive by the definition of that suffix as shown by the Esp. Fundamento or present Esp. dictionaries where we find that it denotes: continuation or repetition of an act. A classic illustration of the meaning is: paf-i: to shoot, paf-o a single shot, paf-ado signifying repeated discharge, a volley. Frap-o refers to a single blow; frap-ado to a beating. Now applying the above to kron-i, we find that kron-ado can only logically refer to a continuous crowning or the crowning of several persons and cannot refer to the single act involved in coronation.
6 - We find this suffix in English in such words as fructify, liquify, etc. though it is often used transitively in such words as beautify, glorify (a person, etc.) and in such words as crucify has another meaning altogether and certainly does not mean "to produce crosses" -- an example of illogical, "natural" use.
7 - The old suffix -ig- cannot be properly used in such connections because -igar has the sense of to transform something into another, or to impregnate something with something". It is very often difficult in Esp. to determine whether a given verbal form is to be used transitively or intransitively because the proper usage is not indicated in the dictionaries -- this makes for inaccurate use and difficulty of comprehension.
8 - Because Esp. lacks proper affixes and suffers from a general poverty of vocabulary, it often attempts to remedy these defects by illogical and unjustified use of the primitive affixes: for instance, kulp-a: guilty has the derivative form kulp-igi which is translated to accuse (of). Now kulp-igar can only logically mean: to make guilty which is a far different idea from "to accuse". This arbitrary translation was used simply because "to accuse" was an ordinary conception for which an official word was lacking in the vocabulary. It may be added that to use a word which logically signifies that the accused is guilty is contrary to the spirit of modern jurisprudence.
Pages 1 to 24
Pages 24 to 54
54 to 74
Pages 74 to 85
Pages 86 to 101
Pages 101 to 124
Pages 121 to 139
Pages 140 to the end
The International Language
IDO - Reformed Esperanto