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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

468                The Loom of Language
and third Volapuk Congress The Acaderma was a meeting-ground for
people interested in applied linguistics Any enthusiast could join and
contribute to its organ in any artificial language which his fellow-
travellers could easily understand The aim was to discover what is
most international among the existing welter of European languages
Since 1903 Peano had been publishing his research in a simplified
foim of Latin He did not know that Leibniz (p 451) had proposed
something similar,, till one of his pupils came across the German philo-
sopher's observations on rational grammar and a universal language
On January 3, 1908, Peano did something quite unprofessonal He
read a paper to the Academia delle Scienze di Torino It began in con-
ventional Latin and ended in Peanese Qtmg Leibniz, he emphasized
the superfluities of Latin grammar As he discussed and justified each
innovation he advocated, he incorporated it in the idiom of his dis-
course forthwith. Grammar-book Latin underwent a metamorphosis on
the spot What emerged from the chrysalis was a language which any
well-educated European can read at first sight
Interlmgua aims at a vocabulary of Latin elements which enjoy
widest currency in the living European languages of to-day It there-
fore includes all words with which we ourselves are already familiar,
together with latinized Greek stems which have contributed to inter-
national terminology Of itself this does not distinguish Interlmgua from
some other auxiliaries Five out of six words in the Esperanto dictionary
have roots taken from Latin, directly or indirectly The Latin bias of
Ido, Occidental^ or Romanal is even stronger What distinguishes
Interlmgua from Esperanto and its relatives is the garb which the
international root word wears In Zamenhof's scheme the borrowed
word had to conform with the author's ideas about spelling, pronun-
ciation, and flexional appendices After clipping and adding, the end-
product often defies lecogmtion on an international scale Peano
followed a different plan He did not mutilate his pickings The Latin
word has the stem-form, that is, roughly the form in which we meet it
in modern languages
What Peano regards as the stem of a noun, adjective, or pronoun is
the ablative (p 315) form, e g. argento, campo, arte, carne, monte, parte,
plebe, pnnape, celebre, audace, novo Every one of these words occurs in
Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese We ourselves are familiar with them
in argentine, camp, artist,, carnivorous, mountain, part, plebeian,
principal, celebrity, audacious, novelty In this way Latin words preserve
their final vowels The stem-form of the Peano verb is the Latin im-