Ease of learning (was: Unilang: the Lexicon)
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, April 23, 2001, 5:39|
At 3:39 pm -0400 21/4/01, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Oskar Gudlaugsson wrote:
>> I've never seen a unilang created by anyone from the domain of a non-
>> Western lingua franca.
>I've *heard* of an auxlang called "Afrihili" which was designed as an
>African auxiliary language.
Yep - I'd forgotten that one.
>I don't know any details, tho.
Nor I. Anyone on this list have info on this? It would be interesting to
>> The problem with an a priori ("out-of-thin-air") lexicon is its
>> basic "unattractiveness" to the layman.
>I'm of the opinion that "ease of learning" and the like is over-rated in
So am I which, I guess, I was trying to say in my email that caused a stir:
a conlang which in theory is easier than another one does not always do
The conIALs that have got considerably further than the drawing-board and
had a sizeable following at one time or another - SolReSol, Volapük,
Esperanto - have all in some way or other not conformed entirely to the
"ease of learning" dogma that was touted on Auxlang when I was there.
Indeed, it's interesting to see how Uusisuom & Unilang are both adopting
very different approaches to the problem. Get on and design it the way you
want, I say.
>Languages become dominant not because of any inherent
>superiority, but because it's spoken by a powerful people, whether
>that's political or military or economic power.
Yes - by far and away the most successful IAL at present is English.
Imagine the reaction if someone proposed a constructed IAL with similar
orthography and all those idiomatic phrasal verbs that cause learners so
>If an artificial
>auxlang were ever to win out, I suspect it would be because a large
>number of nations in a region (say, the European Union) decided to
>require their children to learn the language, thus, after a generation
>or two, that language became the regional lingua franca, and, due to
>that region's economic importance, became an important language outside
Yep - if an conIAL were to win out, I'm quite sure linguistic
considerations will not be one of the criteria affecting its choice. It
will be political & economic factors that determine the choice.
Who knows? Maybe in the 21st cent. Africa will become stable and its
economy prosper, while western & far-eastern economies stagnate, and
Afrihili become the global IAL ;)
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]