Novial/AIL Occidental

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After Ido
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Conclusions

Occidental[edit]

A little more space must be given to E. de Wahl, who had for many years given much thought to the problem, which he had followed through all the phases of Volapük, Esperanto, Idiom Neutral, Reform-Neutral, Ido, before bringing out his own Occidental in 1922. The name indicates his principal idea: he wants to make a language for use in the Occidental world with no immediate thought of catering for the people of the Orient, and he therefore bases his scheme on the Occidental languages, chiefly the Romanic ones. This of course is what most recent interlinguists have done, though perhaps not so consistently and consciously as de Wahl; but what is in his own eyes the chief merit of Occidental, is the way in which the formation of words has been built up on the actual use of suffixes, etc., used in the existing modern languages. It forms in that respect a continuation of Neutral and especially of Rosenberger's Reform-Neutral, but is based on more thorough study. He thus does away with the arbitrary word elements of the other languages, but in his pronounced endeavour to have "natural" forms he is obliged largely to abandon ease and regularity of formation, admitting in many cases two root-forms for the same word to be used in different derivatives, e.g. vid "see", vis-ion; curr- "run", curs-iv. It is true that in this way he obtains not a few words which when framed according to his rules agree with the forms actually found in many languages; but in spite of the rules being more complicated than is usual in a constructed language he does not in every case obtain perfect agreement with the forms in national languages; in a few pages I find, for instance, the following words: scrition, analysation, interprension (enterprise), descovrition, which have no equivalents in existing languages. (Other examples will be mentioned in the special part.) The countless irregularities in the word-formation of national languages make it impossible to follow them through thick and thin in a language whose raison d'être should be that it is essentially easier than existing languages: perfect regularity and perfect naturalness cannot possibly be combined, we must compromise here and there, but as I hope to show in Part II, it is possible to much more natural forms than those of Ido, and yet at the same time a much greater regularity than is found in Occidental. Through regularity of word-formation we take into consideration the interests of those who know only their own language - but I am afraid that when Occidental is praised as very easy, it is chiefly by people who are already familiar with two or three of the great European languages.