Friday, January 23, 2009

Esperanto requires agreement but not where it matters

I downloaded Kurso de Esperanto training program. It is excellent, BTW.
It did remind me of why I stopped learning Esperanto.

Grand-a Vir-in-o. Big Woman.
Plural: Granaj virinoy. Big(s) Woman(s).
Always la article not le la les.
Well thank heaven for that.
But the article would be easier than the adjective!
As an Anglophone, my head hurts trying to form the adjective.

Wait- it gets better.
Mi lavas la novan tason. I wash the new cup.
That's right - you must overtly indicate the direct object too.
Cuz, don't you know, Latin is sooooo easy for most folks with all its infixes. Reaeeeaaallly...
Of course, SVO word order would ensure clear meaning.
Mi lavas la novo taso. I wash the new cup.
Of course, this means we cannot pick random work order.
La novo taso lavas mi. The new cup washes me.

Esperanto claims this is a benefit. We can mix up word order.
La novon tason lavas mi. The new cup wash I.
... ...
1) infixes are hard for many people
2) agreement between word parts is hard
3) 1) AND 2) is unbearable!
Not bad for a Latin-esque Euro interlang. (Still hard though.)
Disaster as an IAL for world usage!

Still, I do admire the standard CV combinations in noun word endings.
All nouns are -O. Plural -OY. Object -ON. Plural object -OYN.
Similar with adjective -A.

With Esperanto, you can see a bit of vision.
Too bad it was so sporadic and under-applied.

If agreement is desired, then French-style article agreement would be easier.
Le la, les. Preferably a neuter default. Optional gender. Optional plural.
Notably, man 'viro' to woman virino would be unnecessary with a female article.
La viro. The (feminine) man (so woman).
Better: persono, with optional masc. and fem.
Still, a language made a century ago should not be held to modern politically-correct notions.

I am more interested in the explicit detail than any P.C. notions.


English quirk of the day:

Fossil word

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A fossil word is an obsolete word which remains in currency because it is contained within an idiom still in use.

English language examples

  • Ulterior, as in 'ulterior motives'
  • Fro, as in 'to and fro'
  • Sleight, as in 'sleight of hand'
  • Scantily, as in 'scantily clad'
  • Cranny, as in 'nook and cranny'
  • Yore, as in 'days of yore'
  • Coign, as in 'coign of vantage'
  • Craw, as in 'sticks in one's craw' [3]
  • Fettle, as in 'fine fettle'[4]
  • Kith, as in 'kith and kin' [5]
  • Spick, as in 'spick and span'
  • Loggerheads as in 'at loggerheads' [6]
  • Offing, as in 'in the offing' [7]
  • Shrift, as in 'short shrift'[8]

[edit] See also

1 comment:

Bill Chapman said...

I wish you well but I think you're being a litte unfair on Esperanto. It works and although one could tinker with it, it meets the "good enough" criteria for me.

Bondezirojn el Kamerunio!