Recently G. de Reynold in two remarkable articles (in the Revue de Genève, May and June 1925) - after a scathing criticism of the barbarisms of Esperanto and after a condemnation of the idea of an artificial language, which in my view is exaggerated and unjust - brought forward the proposal to use as an international language not classical Latin, but the Latin of the Middle Ages, with its simplified sentence constructions (quod instead of infinite clauses, etc.) and even further modernizations: he thinks it will be easy for a conference of philologists and experts of all countries to agree on a system for adapting Latin forms and phraseology to contemporary uses. This is to my mind much more Utopian than such a scheme as that advocated below: for where is such a conference to begin, and where to end? Irregular verbs? I think most lovers of Latin will object to a simplification of sum, es, est, and where are we to draw the line in the use of the subjunctive and the ablative, etc. etc.? Further as to the meanings and uses of words: is bellum classium to mean naval warfare or war of the classes in the modern sense? Redactio, sociologia, eventualitas, fixatio, realismus, radicalismus, jurista, vegetarianus and similar coinages would, of course, have to be admitted in spite of the protests of classicists, but what is to be done with radium and radio, not as case forms of radius, but as independent words? Hundreds of similar questions would inevitably arise, and the conference would probably split up into small groups representing the most diverging standpoints - some advocating the Latin of the Vulgate, others that of Erasmus, while some would simplify inflexions in a few points and others in a great many more, even down to partisans of Peano's Latino sine flexione, which in the eyes of not a few scholars is a barbarous profanation of the Latin they love, and which is evidently very far from de Reynold's idea. Even after a repeated reading of his eloquent plea I cannot help looking on Latin as irretrievably dead, at any rate for our purposes, which should cover the interests not only of scholars, but also of merchants, technicians, politicians and other men of the practical world. It is no use saying that Latin culture and through it the Latin language has pervaded and is pervading modern life in thousands of ways: no one denies that, and therefore great parts of the Latin language must necessarily be incorporated in our Interlanguage of the future - but only those parts which have proved their vitality by surviving in the languages actually now spoken - that is the test of what we can use and what not.
The decisive reason, however, why we must oppose the adoption of one of the existing languages, living or dead, is that each of them is several times more difficult than a constructed language need be and than those constructed languages are already which have any chance of being selected; while in Part II I shall try to show that it is possible in some respects to go further in simplification than most of the proposed artificial languages have gone. It will now be our task to consider those objections which are constantly raised against the idea of a constructed language and to show that they are far from being conclusive.
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