Discussion on sci.lang about Modern Indo-European (Dnghu.org)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yesterday a large discussion on sci.lang began here on Dnghu.org, the group devoted to a revived and modern Proto-Indo-European language as the official language of Europe. The thread so far has 109 messages and it's definitely worth a read for the insight it gives into the reaction one sometimes sees online when the subject comes up.

At about the third page though the discussion goes off topic. It's still not over though so it might get back to Indo-European again.

Two notes about the discussion: one of the posters seems very adamant that anyone interested in supporting an auxlang must either go with Esperanto or nothing because of the momentum Esperanto has managed to retain over the years, while all the rest are tiny in comparison:

I completely agree that if you want to promote an international auxlang these days, you must promote Esperanto. This is pure realpolitik: that particular slot has been filled by Esperanto, and new proposals won't succeed.

While true that Esperanto is huge compared to all other IALs, it's also true that Esperanto has never managed to attain real support from any government, and any language or project that managed to do so would already have succeeded in doing something that neither Esperanto nor any other auxlang ever has. Even if a country as small as Malta or Luxembourg decided to give its full support to a language, that would be the largest success an auxlang has ever had.

I also don't agree that the "slot has been filled by Esperanto". The only thing the two projects (Esperanto and Modern Indo-European) have in common is the quest to become an auxiliary language, but Esperanto markets itself through ease and grammatical simplicity while Modern Indo-European is more about common heritage, so something more along the lines of Hebrew but much more vague of course since we have no written records of the original Indo-European language(s). Vague can be a good thing though, since this heritage can be (re)constructed as one goes along, based upon modern democratic principles and with only a slight nod to the values of the past.

This part of the discussion is also interesting:

I don't think there's much risk that anyone will adopt a language where "Give us this day our daily bread" is:

Qāqodjūtenom bharsiom ṇseróm edjḗw dasdhi-nos.
Really? Well, in most cases it would simply look like this: Qaqodjutenom bharsiom nserom edjew dasdhi-nos, (the accents are for those learning the language) and it really doesn't look any weirder than any other language. Czech for example looks like this:
Víte, že po objevu exempláře Tomášova evangelia roku 1945 v Egyptě se zvažovala možnost jeho kanonizace?
and login/create an account in Czech looks like this:
Přihlášení / vytvoření účtu
 Is that any weirder than the above?

3 comments:

mundialecter said...

Or we can say:
Dah nos hoyd nies cadadien dvan...

Brian Barker said...

I agree. The momentum certainly is towards Esperanto.

See for example http://eurotalk.com/en/store/learn/esperanto

Beowulf said...

Here in Brazil, the Spiritists always promote Esperanto, but I don't know anybody that's speaks it. Well, maybe because I don't see many Spiritists in my town.
Anyway, I like the ideia of an universal language, but I think that English is that language, we don't need to search for another world idiom.

That's my opinion, of course.

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