This book describes the development of a problem which has long been in man's mind, the gradual simplification of a means by which we can overcome language differences through the creation of a planned auxiliary language. The question has often been presented through interested bodies pleading for the acceptance of their own particular system. Here the author reviews dispassionately and objectively the linguistic details of the chief systems of demonstrated usefulness. The grammar of each system is clearly presented and in such a way that the reader may easily make a comparative study and arrive at a balanced judgement of their respective merits. It includes a full list of affixes and the rules governing their use.
In part II the most important features of 'language building' - the principles of structure, root selection, neologisms, and the definition of meaning, the principles of phonetic or historic spelling, the place of logic and accepted convention in language, are simply and thoroughly discussed. Part III makes the reader familiar with developments up to the present time, reviewing the proposals of the Sovietrussian Academy of Sciences, the Federation of National Standardizing Associations and the researches undertaken by I.A.L.A. for the formulation of a planned language based on the Latin-derived European tongues.
Since Couturat's and Leau's standard work, the Histoire de la Langue Universelle - now only found in the British Museum and some private collections - the present book is the first systematic presentation of existing systems with an analysis of the principles of language making.
What is there fantastic or impractical in the suggestion that every nation should teach in its schools its own language and one other - that one to be the same everywhere? - SIR HUGH DOWDING, Air Chief Marshal, in Sunday Chronicle
There is, therefore, much to be said in favour of the proposal made by the British Association Committee on Post-War University Education that the learning of an international auxiliary language would be best undertaken as a long vacation study in the university (and presumably in evening classes by non-university students). - Nature
For the adoption of an international language would be an unmixed good. - RAYMOND POSTGATE in The Political Quarterly
For my own part, though I have spent most of my life studying different languages, I have sometimes been obliged to lay aside as unread books and papers which I should have liked very much to study, but which happened to be written in a tongue with which I was not sufficiently familiar. - PROF. OTTO JESPERSEN, in An International Language, London 1928 (Allen & Unwin)
Apart altogether from the academic study of language and literature, every university should require its students to be able to make themselves understood, by speech and writing, in some one auxiliary means of international communication. - Interim Report on POST-WAR UNIVERSITY EDUCATION, British Association for the Advancement of Science, October 1942
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