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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Language Planning for a New Order     493
qualifies, the second because it follows and qualifies the word fat.
Unless we have some fiexional mark such as the much-abused English
-ly to label the adverb as qualifier of the succeeding adjective, a rigid
rule concerning the position of two qualifiers is the only way of showing
if one qualifies the other or both may qualify a third English has rigid
rules of word-order, but the rules are not simple For every combina-
tion of a particular adverb of place with a particular adverb of time
usage is fixed, but no straight-forward regulation of precedence in
favour of one or the other covers all cases
A constructive conclusion which emerges from the preceding dis-
cussion is the need for a comparative study of word-order both as a
safeguard of meaning and as an aid to ready recognition At present we
have htde material evidence to guide a decision about (a) the advan-
tages ofpre- and post- position of directives or qualifiers, (6) the most
satisfactory way of distinguishing which word is qualified by each of a
sequence of qualifiers, (c) how best to express interrogation, in speech
and in script; (d) what latitude of word-order for purpose of emphasis
is consistent with clarity and ease of recognition, (e) what empty words
are necessary sign-posts of sentence landscape. These are themes to
clarify before the grammar of an interlanguage pruned of flexional
irrelevance and redundancy assumes a firm outline.
In this and other ways, a more sympathetic attitude toward the need
for a constructed auxiliary would open fields of enquiry which have
been neglected by linguists in the past. Because they accept languages
as products of growth our scholars have for too long sacrificed the
study of functional efficiency to the task of recording what is irregular,
irrational, and uneconomical in speech A more lively interest in lan-
guage planning would direct their efforts towards new tasks. One which
is of special importance has been formulated by Edward Sapir in
International Communication.
It is highly desirable that along with the practical labour of getting
wader recognition of the international language idea, there go hand in
hand comparative researches which aim to lay bare tne logical structures
that are inadequately symbolized in our present-day languages, in order
that we, may see more clearly than we have yet been able to see how much
of psychological insight and logical rigour have been and can be expressed
in linguistic form One of the most ambitious and important tasks that
can be undertaken is the attempt to work out the relation between logic
and usage in a number of national and constructed languages, in order
that the eventual problem of adequately symbolizing thought may be
seen as the problem it still is.
(EDWARD SAPIRJ in International Communication )