https://www.duolingo.com/MartinKieler

What do You think about my theory claiming that naturalistic conlangs have been more successful???

I would say that Esperanto enjoys its position as most often spoken conlang due to its historical advantage of being the first relatively adequate conlang. Esperanto is a special exception, so it must be "calculated" out of the statistic.

When I say "successful conlang" I mean a planned language, that was used during a certain period of time. There are numerous examples of living conlangs that have died out, but all of them were worthy opponents against Esperanto while they were in use.

So I think that the small niche of other conlangs can be regarded as the true linguistic competition one could compare to a perfect market economy. Esperanto could be considered a monopol of a planned economy or should I say a monopol of planned languages.

It's like a good invention coming from an ingenious scientist who has got no chance against the established monopol from the very beginning.

The experience of the past has demonstrated that a conlang dies out quickly, when a more naturalistic counterpart emerges out of nothing. Ido (less schematic than Eperanto) was repressed by Occidental and Novial, which are classified as moderately naturalistic conlangs.

Later the Occidental prevailed but was repressed by the highly naturalistic Interlingua when it was published in 1951.

Today Interlingua is the only mentionable and worthy opponent against Esperanto, because it possesses the optimal grade of naturalness that a conlang could have.

All the following competitors against Interlingua had no chances, due to the fact that they were less naturalistic than Interlingua. Such as Neo, INTAL or Lingua Franca Nova.

My theory that naturalistic conlangs are more successful gets confirmed by the history of Slovio and Interslavic. Slovio is an easteuropean conlang based on the same schematic grammar that Esperanto is renowned for.

Slovio had a great and notable success but it was repressed very quickly by the highly naturalistic Interslavic. So all Slovio activities have vanished completely over the years.

But considering the young age of Interslavic, it can be regarded as an even bigger success than Esperanto.

So that's my point of view: In order to make Esperanto more successful, one must make it more naturalistic over time.

The way many Esperantists deal with other Esperantists using the language in a more natural style hinders the language from evolving and establishing.

But that's not the key point of my theory.

3/30/2018, 5:57:52 PM

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JasonMey
  • 21
  • 19
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 19

I disagree. I think Esperanto's success comes from its community's rejection of reforms. This is the one factor that Esperanto has that no other competitor has. And its advantage is both obvious and huge: it creates a stationary target to aim for so that anyone can learn the language from multiple sources and be understood by any speaker.

3/30/2018, 6:32:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Mirson8

By looking at this wiki page, this makes sense. Every nation would like to conform conlang to their own wishes, leading to incomprehensible dialects. Any successful conlang needs compromises from all nations and it seems that so far I don't know any better than Esperanto. (but there are some chances to invent a better one).

3/30/2018, 8:10:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/salivanto
  • 23
  • 22
  • 14
  • 10
  • 8
  • 1152

It's not clear to me what you're saying here. When you say you're calculating Esperanto out of the statistic, do you mean that you're asking people to only compare the other Auxlang projects? I also question your implication that any of these projects were used. What do we mean by "used" and why are you putting it in the past tense? What evidence is there that the usage has changed over time distinct from "someone had an idea then died"?

It's quite possible (I'd even say likely) that Esperanto's success here comes down to luck - and not because it was the first "good enough" language. I've heard the argument before. It boils down to "If Esperanto would only get out of the way, then my pet project would be able to take off." I don't buy it for a second. It's not even a theory. It's just pointless whining.

Most people don't know what Esperanto is. There's plenty of ground out there to spread your message to. My sense here is that the world is just not interested in languages like Interlingua. The Interlinguans claim to have a different target audience anyway. It's difficult to see how Esperanto is holding Interlingua back. (Now, Ido, on the other hand, is a different story.)

All the following competitors against Interlingua had no chances, due to the fact that they were less naturalistic than Interlingua. Such as Neo, INTAL or Lingua Franca Nova.

You're splitting hairs here. There are schematic variations of Interlingua which to me read exactly the same as these other languages. Intal, by the way, is cool in the sense that no matter which dictionary you start with, the resulting text is more or less the same. When you say "naturalistic" you're really talking about minor differences in spelling. It's not a big deal.

I would love to hear you expand on the "success" of Slovio. My sense is that a few people talked about it for a while, then stopped talking about it. As a side note, I'm drawn to the idea of an interslavic language, but I'll probably put my effort (if any) into Croatian simply because the learning materials are better and the end result is almost the same.

So that's my point of view: In order to make Esperanto more successful, one must make it more naturalistic over time.

A nutty suggestion. I strongly disagree. The whole point of learning a language is to talk to the people who speak it. In order to make Esperanto more successful, one must make increasingly interesting materials in Esperanto - and do increasingly interesting things while speaking Esperanto.

3/31/2018, 1:52:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Danielconcasco
  • 24
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 4

"The whole point of learning a language is to talk to the people who speak it. In order to make Esperanto more successful, one must make increasingly interesting materials in Esperanto - and do increasingly interesting things while speaking Esperanto."

That comes back to my one of my earlier thought. Esperanto doesn't need reforms, it needs people to simply use it. Using it will do more for the community than any reform could. Besides, who on earth would want to start over?

3/31/2018, 3:48:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
Plus
  • 25
  • 19
  • 18
  • 17
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I don't think it's really fair to compare things to Interslavic - in my experience, a kind of natural междуславянский is something that gets used between speakers of Slavic languages without the need for it to be organised, so Interslavic is capitalising on something that already exists and simply formalising it. It's not really like someone made up a brand new naturalistic conlang so much as someone put words and rules and structure around something that already exists and tried to make it as comprehensible for as many native speakers of Slavic languages as they could.

... okay, I did a little googling:

The language has a long history, predating constructed languages like Volapük and Esperanto by centuries: the oldest description, written by the Croatian priest Juraj Križanić, goes back to the years 1659–1666. In its current form, Interslavic was created in 2006 under the name Slovianski. In 2011, Slovianski underwent a thorough reform and merged with two other projects, simultaneously changing its name to "Interslavic", a name that was first proposed by the Czech Ignac Hošek in 1908.

(That's not even accounting for the similarities with OCS, which dates back to the 9th century.)

So yeah... honestly, I don't think you're comparing like with like when you contrast Slovio with Interslavic. I don't even know if Interslavic is exactly a conlang. It seems less like a conlang and more like a codifying and streamlining of a preexisting language, especially with how much it has drawn from OCS.

(As a reasonably fluent speaker of Russian with a smattering of numerous other Slavic languages, both of them are pretty easy to follow. Interslavic in Cyrillic throws me a little because of the use of some letters which aren't standard in any of the Cyrillic-using alphabets I've found, but it's still not hard to follow.

I think that is one thing that Interslavic definitely has in common with Interlingua (in that if memory serves, comprehension of Interlingua is eerily easy even if you can't put together a sentence as long as you have a reasonable grasp of two or more European languages), but at least in my experience, Slovio is easier to follow without studying for me as a non-native fluent speaker than Esperanto was before I studied it. even though I speak French and English and have a smattering of several other European languages.)

3/30/2018, 7:34:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRealMaestro

The successful examples you cite (Interlingua and Interslavic) have something in common: they are polished versions of their source languages' shared ancestors. Interlingua is more or less Vulgar Latin without the nasty bits; Interslavic is the same for Church Slavonic. An Italian's natural style is not too distinct from a Spaniard's, nor is a Pole's from a Russian's; thus to aid communication within these related folks, more can be assumed as familiar and left in the language. Esperanto's grammar is however flexible enough to accommodate a wide array of unrelated styles: otherwise Esperanto would fracture into regional dialects as nations find their own habits natural, rather destroying Esperanto's reason to exist.

3/31/2018, 12:20:42 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Vanege
  • 16
  • 13
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

My point of view: Esperanto is more sucessful than naturalistic languages. If naturalistic languages want to be more sucessful, they need to be more like Esperanto. If Esperanto wants to be more sucessful, it needs do distance itself from naturalistic properties that made naturalistc languages less sucessful.

3/30/2018, 8:54:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

"In order to make Esperanto more successful, one must make it more naturalistic over time." A major problem with most conlangs is that someone "makes" it this way or that way and expects everyone else to obey orders. A major strength of Esperanto is that anyone can make it any way they want and see if the community uses it or ignores it. Esperanto is a natural language.

4/1/2018, 7:57:11 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Danielconcasco
  • 24
  • 15
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 4

I would say it became a natural language ;)

4/1/2018, 8:03:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

Good point!

4/2/2018, 4:02:23 PM
Learn Esperanto in just 5 minutes a day. For free.