AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE
In this special part I venture to sketch new Interlanguage which I have tried
to construct on the basis of a lifelong study of various national languages
and a study begun in 1903 of the best schemes of artificial languages. I
have found the problem an extremely complicated one, and cannot pretend in
every detail to have hit upon the best solution. My attitude has been the
scientific one of not issuing ukases, but rather of stating arguments
wherever I deviate from my predecessors. To these I owe, of course, a great
debt, both for showing me practicable roads and negatively for striking paths
which to my mind would land us in impasses. I might have contented myself
with criticizing previous schemes and throwing out some scattered new
proposals, but I have thought it more valuable to show how my ideas fit
together as an aggregate whole: I have therefore given a sufficient number of
specimens for the reader to form an idea of the looks and sounds of the first
interlanguage ever framed by a professional philologist. Among novel features
I may mention the perfect agreement in flexion between between substantives
and pronouns, the use of the ground-form of verbs even in the perfect and
passive, the elimination of c and z, and the e/a/o-words. Some
of my suggestions may be accepted singly and worked into other schemes, but
others are so intimately knit together that they must be taken or rejected
jointly. Though I have tried to work as far as possible on scientific lines,
i.e. objectively, it has not been possible totally to exclude individual
tastes and preferences; my hope is that thing which at first may look
unpleasant will be found less so on closer inspection; that, at any rate, has
been my own experience with some of my forms. In regard to some points I have
hesitated a good deal before deciding on the form here proposed, and am
perfectly willing to accept criticism and new suggestions: though, as I have
said in Part I, we are approaching a period of agreement on the principle of
language-construction, that period has not yet arrived, and interlinguists
must therefore show the widest toleration of each other's systems and
provisionally admit alternative forms, which will have to be tested thoroughly
in practice before the bad ones are weeded out finally. I shall be happy if it
is recognized that I have contributed in some slight measure to bring about the
victory of the idea in general and to give its final shape to the International
Auxiliary Language of the future.
In this part the following abbreviations have been used:
D = German (Deutsch).
E = English.
F = French.
I = Italian.
L = Latin.
P = Portuguese.
R = Russian.
S = Spanish.
Esp = Esperanto.
N = Novial.
Occ = Occidental.
Z = Zamenhof, i.e. Esperanto.
adj = adjective.
adv = adverb.
sb = substantive.
vb = verb.
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