Open thread June 3 2008

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hypothesized emotional response of human subjects is plotted against anthropomorphism of a robot, following Mori's statements. The uncanny valley is the region of negative emotional response towards robots that seem "almost human". Movement amplifies the emotional response.
A topic I've been curious about for a while: after 100+ years of trying to promote easy-to-learn auxlangs, is it time to admit defeat and go for reconstructed languages instead in the name of neutrality, grammatical warts and all? Hebrew was chosen as the language of the state of Israel even after Esperanto was invented and had been around for quite some time, in spite of being that much more difficult to learn. Does the average person have an inherent aversion towards the idea of a constructed language, and does this cancel out any inherent ease of learning in most IALs?

There was a post today by one of the people on that stated the following:

...also, if you speak English in the UK, German in Germany, French in France, or Czech in Czechia, even mastering quite well the regional language, you’ll never get the same reaction as if a Catalan (from a Catalan-speaking region) speaks Spanish in, say, Galicia (a Galician-Portuguese speaking region), as both use a language (Spanish) common to both of them. That was also the idea behind the first Esperanto out there, probably Volapük, and it has been the idea behind every conlang trying to be THE International Auxiliary Language since then; and none has succeeded. That was also the idea behind Hebrew revival in Israel, for speakers of a hundred different languages living in the same territory: they had other modern, common languages to choose instead of an ancient, partially incomplete, and “difficult” (in Esperantist terms) one, too, and it succeeded.


Anonymous said...

Most people don't know about IALs, and those that know about them usually make fun of them ("they have no culture") and then forget about them.

They never make fun of languages like Latin or Sanskrit though, even though they're mostly dead.

Barcodex said...

Being abstract from cultural context is the biggest weakness of IAL vs Hebrew. Hebrew was also uniting people under idea of having a safe place to live while being a true instrument of making Jewish people feel Jewish. Funny enough, Esperanto was persecuted by Stalin and Hitler regimes in large extent thanks to its "nearly-Jewish" image that Esperanto had despite of all Zamenhof's efforts to avoid this.
I think that 30s and 40s and 50s were the main reason why AIL never gained the popularity they deserved. In 30s and 40s most enthusiasts were exterminated, and in 50s world divided to two camps with obvious raise of English and other major languages into the glory...
I think that AILs (unfortunately) will have no chance to raise on the same ideas as 100 years ago. Internationalism is so out of fashion. If AILs will rebrand themselves in globalisation world, they have chance.
Also, they are way too many of them. Linux would succeed more if it there were less distributions, but freedom to make a new distribution is the main point of GPL - the same with AILs. Their "open-source" nature is the main obstacle to succeed

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