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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

466               The Loom of Language
free from redundancies and local oddities The sad truth is that neither
Zamenhof nor his disciples have ever made an intelligent attempt at
rationalization of word material Unless one is a gourmet, a horti-
culturist, or a bird-watcher, it is difficult to see why a 36-page
English-Esperanto dictionary should be encumbered by entries such
as artichoke  artisoko., artichoke (Jerusalem) = hehanto., nightshade
(deadly) = beladono> nightshade (woody) = dolcamaro In the same
opus nursing of the sick (Esperanto flegi.> from German pflegeri) is
differentiated from nursing of children (Esperanto zw&, from German
warteti) when an Esperanto equivalent of to look after would have
covered both The Key to Esperanto pushes specialization further
by listing kiso = kiss, and smaco = noisy kiss If I shake a bottle
Esperanto calls it skw, but if I shake my friend's hand it is manpremt
When a chamois leaps into the Esperanto world it turns into a camo.>
but the stuff with which I get the dirt off my window is not a compound
of chamois and leather, as you might think, it is samo
Esperanto fostered several rival projects, and their appearance gave
rise to anxiety. The year 1900 was the foundation of the Delegation of
the Adoption of an International Auxiliary Language This body, which
had the support of leaders in the academic world, including the chemist
Ostwald, the philologist Jespersen, the logician Couturat, approached
a large number of scientific bodies and individual men of science with
the suggestion that some competent institution, preferably the Inter-
national Association ofAcademieSy should take over the task of pronoun-
cing )udgment on rival claimants The Association refused to do so,
and the Delegation itself eventually appointed a committee with this
object in 1907 Initially discussion focussed on two schemes, Esperanto
itself and Idiom Neutral (p 460) The delegates then received a third
proposal under the pseudonym Ido The author of this bolt from
the blue was Louis de Beaufroat> till then a leading French Espe-
ranast The Committee decided in favour of Esperanto with the
proviso that reforms were necessary on the lines suggested by Ido The
Esperantists officially refused to collaborate with the delegation in the
work of reform, and the delegation then adopted the reformed product
which took the pseudonym of its author In some ways Ido is better,
but it has the same defective foundations as Esperanto It has dropped
adjectival concord but retains the accusative form of the noun as an op-
tional device The accented consonants of Esperanto have disappeared
The vocabulary of Ido contains a much higher proportion of Latin
roots? and is well-nigh free of Slavonic ingredients The roots them-