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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Pioneers of Language Planning           465
(German Plug = flight), knob (German Knabe = boy), htgl (German
Rugel = sphere)
Striking illustrations of ZamenhoFs fear of national susceptibility,
and his desire to keep an even balance, are the Esperanto words for
dog* yz&r> haw, and school For dog, one naturally expects kano (cane
in Italian, cdo in Portuguese, chien in French) corresponding to our
adjective canine In deference to German and Scandinavian sentiment,
it is hundo For year the Swedish equivalent is &, German Jahr,
French an, Italian anno, Spanish ano, Portuguese ano There is clearly
no agreement between the Romance and the Teutonic word-form,
but the root ann~ is common to annual (English), annuel (French),
Annalen (German) Zamenhof selected the German form, jar The
word for hair illustrates the same absurdity In Swedish it is hdr,
German Haar, Italian capello, Spanish cdbello, Portuguese cabelo,
French cheveu Again we have an international root in our technical
words capillary or capillarity, corresponding to the German Kapillaró
(Kapillargefass, Kapillautaf) Zamenhof chose the purely Teutonic
form har One of the most international words in daily speech is school
(Latin schola, Italian scuola, French ecole, German Schule, Swedish
skola). Zamenhof chose lernqo
From such roots as raw materials of his dictionary., the Esperanust
builds new words by simple juxtaposition, as in vaporsipo (steamboat),
fervojo (railway), or by adding prefixes and suffixes. Some of the affixes
come from other languages with a native halo of vagueness Others are
whims of Dr Zamenhof himself Thus the prefix bo- signifies relation
through marriage, as in bopatro (father-in-law), the suffix -et is diminu-
tive, as in venteto, breeze (from vento, wind), and -eg is augmentative,
as in ventego (gale) Even among the votaries the prefix mal- has never
been popular. The uninitiated European would naturally assume that
it means ill or bad, as in many international words In Esperanto mal-
denotes the opposite of, hence such strange bed-fellows as malbona (bad),
malamiko (enemy), malfermi (to open). The derivative affixes of Espe-
ranto have a characteristic absent from other constructed languages
They can lead their own lives if protected by an ending to signify a
part of speech deemed suitable for philosophic abstractions This trick
is encouraging to philosophers who indulge in the m-ness of a one-ship
which fills the us-dom with anti-ty
Esperanto claims to be an auxiliary which satisfies human needs on
an international scale, yet is easier to learn than any natural language
One should think that such a claim involves existence of a vocabulary