Misleading "Neutral" Languages

Kabam   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 09:51 GMT
>>> Like it or lump it, the international language is English. English didn't come to be the international language because someone thought it should be. I was not the product of a campaign to make it a well known language. Nobody set out with a plan to make English the international language. Natural forces made it so.<<<

I love English so I'm not disturbed by the fact it's the international language. However, I can't figure out which natural forces you're speaking about. English is widespread because of the past colonisation and because the current most powerful country speaks it. So, a political power has played a great role in spreading it and now, economical power is reinforcing it all. I think that the fact that English is more flexible than French counts for only 10% in this spreading.
I think a political will could impose ANY not to hard language as the very international communication tool. But I doubt all the country leaders would come to an agreement on this.

>>> Yes, Jim, we know that the only IL will be chosen from natural selection. We (the people of the world) are not going to say tomorrow, "all right, let's make Afrikaans the IL."<<<

Latin wasn't chosen from a natural selection during Antiquity. We can say this is more or less the same thing for English. I doubt a language can become an international communication tool whithout a political will.
Clark   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 18:50 GMT
I agree Kabam. Perhaps I should have explained myself more. Latin, English and French all became ILs because of politics. And these countries came to power through a "natural selection" process. If this is not true, why did Mongolia not become a major word power instead of the United States? See what I am getting at?
Dorian   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 23:13 GMT
Population 200 to 2,000 people who speak it as first language (1996); 2,000,000 users (1999 WA).
Region Speakers in about 115 countries, used most widely in central and eastern Europe, China and other countries in eastern Asia, certain areas of South America and southwest Asia.
I've never heard two people speaking esperanto. Has anybody ever heard this language in a daily conversation ?
Fred   Thursday, June 26, 2003, 23:25 GMT

>>>If this is not true, why did Mongolia not become a major word power instead of the United States? See what I am getting at? >>>

Maybe the people of Mongolia adopted culture, religion, language of their invaded countries. So, the Mongolia did not become a major word power. But the US don't need to adopt language of anything else of Irak or Afghanistan. Do they ?
Jim   Friday, June 27, 2003, 00:04 GMT

The natural forces I was writing about are just those which you call political and economical power. English became the international language because of the power of the countries which speak it. However, the governments of these countries didn't impose English on their citizens. The people were already speaking English. I believe a political will would have a very difficult time trying to impose a language on its citizens. Perhaps it would be impossible. In a democracy it's almost inconceivable.

Like Clark says it's a process of natural selection which brings groups to power. English, like Latin before it, rode the sucess of the people who spoke it. This success came about via the forces of natural selection. So, indirectly, Latin was chosen by natural selection during Antiquity and the same is true for English today.
Jack   Friday, June 27, 2003, 07:42 GMT
Ok I'll take that as a yes Kabam( that you are from Moroco).
niki   Friday, June 27, 2003, 15:25 GMT
where are you from ?
Kabam   Friday, June 27, 2003, 15:42 GMT
No I'm not from Marroco, Jack. Kabam is just a fictitious name. My father is italian (well, his parents are) and my mother is half-French, half-British (his father was British). But you're right, I could have been from Marocco or another country in which Islam is widespread. (5 millions of French citizens out of 60 millions are moslim).
And you, Jack were are you from?
niki   Friday, June 27, 2003, 18:03 GMT
yes Jack,

where are you from ?
Jack   Monday, June 30, 2003, 07:20 GMT
New Zealand
Kabam   Monday, June 30, 2003, 10:06 GMT
oops ...her father was british...

You're from New-Zealand Jack. How would you describe the accent people have in your country? What are the most remarkable peculiarities, according to you?
Tremmert   Friday, July 04, 2003, 18:21 GMT
One way you could make a truly neutral language - get a computer to model the possible sounds a human can make and randomly choose a few of them. Then randomly combine these to form words ... well that wouldn't include grammar but it's a start for a neutral language ;)
Jim   Monday, July 07, 2003, 00:59 GMT
Tremmert says you could "get a computer to model the possible sounds a human can make and randomly choose a few of them. Then randomly combine these to form words ..." but someone has to program the computer and this person will be infulenced by the language(s) around him/her.