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Re: To Christophe (Uusisuom and Esperanto)

From:Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>
Date:Thursday, April 26, 2001, 12:42
On Thu, 26 Apr 2001, Daniel44 wrote:

> Well, on the basis of that logic, I find Esperanto completely inadequate. > For one thing, I think it looks ugly. For another, it appears too much like > rehashed Latin or a bastardised form of Spanish and for another, the various > accents and marks make it awkward for feeding the language into computers, > word processing systems and the net, the most important communications > system in the world.
Hmm. I like Latin (and there are a lot of conRomancelangs on this list last I checked) so rehashed Latin doesn't bother me, and while I agree that lots of diacriticals are awkward for the computer, I *like* diacriticals. All to say, different people, different preferences.
> Here, Christophe, is the difference between 'u' and 'y': > > 'u' pronounced like the 'u' in 'pUt' > 'y' pronounced like the 'ui' in 'sUIt' > > Just because you may have some trouble distinguishing between these two > sounds, does not automatically mean they are not two valid and distinct > sounds and that other people automatically have trouble pronouncing them. > You are assuming too much.
Ano...anyone have statistics on the percentage of vowel systems that do make that distinction? A Korean could do it easily. Most English-speakers probably could (in the U.S., anyway...?). I don't know about a Japanese speaker who has ieaou for his/her vowel system, or an Arabic speaker who has aiu for his/her vowel system. Perhaps it would be worth surveying the existing speaker base and asking how many find that distinction easy/hard?
> Doubled letters are not particularly difficult either - simply 'hold' the > letter for a little longer if it appears doubled than if it is single. It's > worth pointing out that the word 'kekko' has no rival such as 'keko' to > complicate things, same for the word 'jaani' which has no 'jani' to compete > against. Therefore, in theory, if you really can't pronounce letters > doubled, you will be understood if you say 'keko' and 'jani' instead of > 'kekko' and 'jaani'. And in case you are wondering why use doubled letters > at all, it is because they help for one thing to distinguish between > nouns/adjectives on the one hand and verbs on the other which never contain > doubled letters.
That fact *is* useful, but telling someone "it's easy, just do this" often doesn't work. I have a singer-friend who keeps telling me how easy it is to roll r's the Spanish way, and I still can't quite get my tongue to do it. (I don't know why I picked up the German uvular trill relatively fast--for me, anyway.) I come mainly from Korean and English, neither of which has those lovely trills. I *know* how the sound is produced. That doesn't mean my tongue is athletic enough to produce it. And judging from the number of my classmates in intro German who never got the German r and used the English approximant, it just isn't something everyone's gonna pick up quickly. I suspect that any auxlang designer will have to deal with the fact that some people, due to difficulties in learning to produce whatever sounds, are going to produce their own variants. Though I think auxlang dialects (though for an auxlang I suppose it'd be desirable for them to be mutually comprehensible) would be rather neat.
> 'I found more negative points than positive ones (about Uusisuom)' > > Somehow, I just can't believe that's true, however biased against Uusisuom > you might be. There are some things that Esperanto can offer that Uusisuom > cannot, but there are many things that Uusisuom can offer that Esperanto > can't. Ultimately, it comes down a lot to personal taste and preference.
<puzzled look> I don't have the original message anymore, but I thought Christophe was saying "negative points" about Uusisuom by itself, *not* "negative as compared to Esperanto." Does it have to be a comparison?
> criticise Uusisuom if it keeps you busy, it makes no odds with me. Just > promise to criticise it until there are 1,000 speakers, or if that isn't > good enough for you, please criticise it until there are 10,000 speakers. > The real test of an objector is not to criticise a project when it is new > and young but to criticise it once it has fulfilled its potential and is > great and strong. If you can criticise Uusisuom when there are 10,000 > speakers of the language throughout the globe, you will have earned my > respect for your integrity if nothing else.
Eh...I don't know how many speakers Esperanto has, but surely there are still Esperanto critics. I would think it'd be possible for an IAL to have all the speakers in the world and still have critics on various aspects. I mean, look at the number of English-speakers and look at the number of people who hate English orthography. :-) YHL


J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>