Esper/Open Source Language

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Just what is the Esper' language? It is a naturally evolving, open-source spoken and written language for human communication. Okay, so doesn't that describe every natural language out there? Not really, but in a way, yes. You see, the languages we were born into evolved before we got here and have been manipulated into what they are — mainly by those with the power to dictate what is legitimate and what is not, and with the influence to cause change on a massive scale. Many of the changes that have been made to English were attempts to fix various irregularities in it, which is a nice idea but not suitable for the English language because there is simply too much to fix. The Esper' language is a simplified and regularized variety of the Esperanto language, intended to coexist side-by-side with the international language Esperanto, its more stable counterpart, with Esper' being more of the linguistic playground next door.

This is not to say that the Esper' language should be changed drastically at every opportunity, but that it is bound by the need to function as an easy-to-learn, living, open-source language rather than by a strict set of immutable rules. The Esperanto language does evolve, and only time will tell whether Esper' will become more like Esperanto or Esperanto will become more like Esper', but there are some features of the Esper' language which may be very helpful to those wishing the idea of everyone being able to share a language in common to succeed in any reasonable time. For one, it takes the idea of regularity to a ridiculous extreme, allowing faster learning, and it also allows groups of people who share a language in common to start out with a dialect of the Esper' language which takes advantage of the spoken and written vocabulary they already have, so that they can concentrate on the language itself rather than huge lists of words to memorize.

Yes, there are plenty of words, but not so much to memorize. It's a bit like the concept behind an alphabet. The English alphabet has 26 letters. Including upper and lower case, there are 52 written symbols. Counting both print and script, it brings the number to just over a hundred. Then there are the digits, punctuation marks and so on, but the point is that it's a very small list compared to the number of irregular spellings you need to memorize, the number of irregular verb conjugations and irregular noun/pronoun declensions you need to memorize, and so on.

In the Esper' language, you will use the same letters as in the English language, so — at least for literate English speakers — nothing new to learn there. The sounds of more of the letters will also be familiar. We'll cover that in more details in the Alphabet chapter. But the Esper' language breaks the learning into smaller chunks, much like learning 26 letters to spell out many thousands of words. The Esper' alphabet is broken into 5 little alphabets, and words are made up of distinct word elements, which don't change their forms into something else to memorize just because they get reused in new places.

Although it started as a layer of the Pont' language, Esper' has evolved into a regularized version of Esperanto, which was created by Ludoviko Lazaro Zamenhof, whose name is also known by several roughly similar variations. The creator of the Esper' language recognized this as one of the problems faced by many people switching from one language to another, since names from one language do not always fit into another. The Esper' language has an imperfect solution, inherited from the Pont' language, in that the Esper' language can accept any "foreign word," whether fully inflected or in a simplified form, as a word stem. This allows names from many languages to be treated as "foreign words" if their owners so desire, by placing them in parentheses or otherwise indicating that they are meant to be sounded out in a system other than that of the Esper' language. This is part of a system of trans-lingual dialects which may be touched upon in one or more sections of this book but is not intended to be a main topic of this particular book; the community would be better served if each of the major dialects were to eventually have a full textbook specifically dedicated to it.