Number of Proposed Languages

A criticism which is much more serious in its consequences is this: people will never agree on one single artificial language to be used everywhere. A great many interlanguages have been proposed, and new ones spring up on all sides. One of these may be just as good as another, and if some have had a certain vogue and have gathered a troop of adherents, this success has in each case been only temporary, so that each new scheme must be prepared to share the fate of Volapük, which had its heyday of triumph forty years ago and is now totally forgotten.

This objection would certainly be decisive, if the construction of an interlanguage were entirely arbitrary and dependent on an inventor's fancy, and if, on the other hand, the choice between various schemes depended exclusively on the public's whimsical preferences. But fortunately neither of these premises is correct, as we shall see when we cast a glance at the history of the international language movement, and more particularly at its more recent phases.

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James Chandler 1997.