Second thoughts on Universalglot

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I still haven't taken that close a look at the grammar and dictionary of Universalglot but there was some more discussion on Auxlang about it today, specifically its age (older even than Volapük), and how it inspired other projects later on. Edgar de Wahl was particularly inspired by it:

As for the vocabulary it is often said, by Esperantists and antagonists alike, that Zamenhof's genius showed itself in the way in which he took words with hardly any change from existing languages. This, of course, is the reason why a page of Esperanto looks ever so much more familiar than a page of Volapük. But Zamenhof was not the first to take his words from the best-known languages, and I must here especially mention Pirro, whose book written in 1868 is very little known, but is one to which I constantly recur with the greatest admiration, because it embodies principles which were not recognized till much later. Let me give one little illustration, which will show how much more modern this language looks than Esperanto:

Nos habe el honor, meni senior, informaten evos ke nos habe kreated in dit plats un kommmerkant-haus sub el nom de N. Nos vove enos exklauslit ad exsekutsion de li konmitsion ex fremd, tant per kauf ke per vend de li merkantnes.

In spite of this, however, Esperantists tend to have a fondness for the IALs that preceded it (Volapük in particular), and they enjoy keeping a record of their history. Which has given rise to an idea: to improve the Wikipedia page on the language, bring it to featured article status, and give the little-known language the spotlight of the world's encyclopedia for a day (plus three more days as a smaller link below in the same area). I was able to do the same for the article on Ido in 2005, and a page on the much less threatening Universalglot should be able to enjoy the contributions from a much broader swath of the IAL universe.

Tentative timeline for this: within the next six months. It is nothing that needs to be rushed. And if you are an active user or administrator on a Wikipedia in another language, feel free to do the same there.


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