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WAITK Suppose a congress to be assembled composed of eminent philologists and linguists, representing the following ten languages: The assemblage thus convened, representing as it would, all the most important Indo-Germanic Languages, might well assume to act for the entire family in the formation of a common language. If some lan- guages in the same family are omitted, it is because those languages, though of equal importance with some of those named in the foregoing list, do not harmonize with the ten languages to the same extent that the ten do with each other.
The affinity though it exists, is not so apparent. This is particularly the case with the modem Greek. Those who use this language, might, in addition to it, be induced to adopt another, with such changes as they should choose to make. And so of those using the other unrepresented languages. After a common Indo-Germanic language should have been formed, each of the other families could, should it think proper to do so, form a common language of its own ; after which, the thirteen or more families could send representatives to a congress, and frame what might truly be called a world-language.
All this being premised, I will now, for the benefit of the general reader, proceed to make clear the fact that the ten languages named do all belong to the Aryan or Indo-Germanic family.
The lines below represent other dispersions. Where else than to the very languages already in common use by the ten peoples represented in the congress?
The congress would represent not only the ten languages but the ten peoples using those languages; and simple justice to their con- stituents would require that the members should see to it that a language is not built up over the heads of the people, in disregard of their own words already in common usea In the first place there is a large body of words, each of which has not only a like meaning, but nearly the same sound in every one of the ten languages, and this is manifestly the first place to go to for root words.
There are over two thousand words of this character in common use, every one homophonic in all of the ten languages. When these words shall have been exhausted, the next source of supply would be those words which would similarly run through nine of the ten languages; then those which would run through eight; then seven ; and so on down.
Should this course be pursued, long before reaching the limit of a single language, the sources of supply for root words would be practically inexhaustible ; since every list of words thus obtained would be larger than any previous one.
The number of such words which would be found in a majority of these languages, could be counted by the tens of thousands. This must be looked upon as nothing less than evidence of a desire on the part of these peoples to come together as nearly as possible in their modes of expression. They have been constantly reaching out toward each other, and adopting each other's words. That the words, many of them, are merely borrowed, makes the evidence so much the stronger.
Why should they borrow words from other languages, except that they want a language in common with the people whose words they borrow? They were not obliged to borrow these words. They could easily manufacture from their own languages, words to express the meaning desired. This can be done by giving them a common language, based upon the principle above explained, and it can be done in no other way.
When you can give them, in a new language, words which they have been accustomed to all their lives, would it not be the height of folly to offer them words entirely new, or which not more than one in ten of those interested can understand? Yet this was precisely what was done when the Volaptik was presented to the public of Europe and of this coun- try.
The foregoing list was prepared without any reference to that lan- guage. A comparison of these words with the corresponding words of the Volaptik will illustrate that system, and disclose some of its peculi- arities, and will at the same time furnish some suggestions for the con- struction of a common Indo-Germanic language. The list consists of 21 nouns, 5 verbs, 2 adjectives, and 2 numerals. We will commence with the verbs: This ending is purely arbitrary. No one of the ten languages has it.
Why Schleyer adopted ''on" for the infinitive it is difficult to understand, unless it was to show his independence of existing languages. But he could not afford to be independent of them. The fundamental prin- ciple of a new language must be, dependence upon existing languages. The suflSx "on" is to be added to the root word. That, then, mtist first be obtained. Before getting the verb for "to form," the Volapiikist must have the noun for "form.
We have the syllable "form" in 9 of the 10 languages, and "vorm" in thie other, while "fom" occurs in no one of them. The root word should have been "form," and the infinitive ending should have been "en" or "ar.
Instead of "fomon," therefore, the verb shotild have been "formar. Then from this he formed the verb "nomon," "to regulate. Is it strange that his language had to fail? But there is no intimation that it was adopted for that reason.
In the case of the numerals, the homophonic principle was disre- garded entirely. Certain syllables were taken for the numerals i to 9, thus: Then to bal i, was added s, making bals, These were combined for the higher numbers.
Thus 40 being "fols" and 3 being "kil," 43 is "folsekil. But is it any more scientific than "forty-three" in English, or "quaranta tre" in Italian? Any new system of numerals would differ from the systems of some of the other languages. But is that any reason why it should have nothing in com- mon with any of them?
We come now to the nouns: Of the 21 nouns in this list, the Volapiik roots of 9, viz: But here, as in the case of the adjective endings, it is to be noticed that the homophonic character of these syllables is not given as a reason for taking them.
The author of the Volapiik is careful not to acknowl- edge any dependence upon existing languages. On the contrary, he expressly declares his independence of them. In a note to the Volapiik grammar we have this singular announcement: Why it was inserted it is difficult to say, since it does not occur in that position in any one of the ten languages. The same remark may be made with double force in regard to " tied " for tea ; there being here two superfluous letters.
In the word for dgar, the " ziga" is perfectly intelligible, though c ors would have been much better than z. But why was the ''d" added, making the word " zigad? Each has several meanings. I have sought in vain to find a meaning which could be translated by the word "rice," nor is any light thrown upon it in the Volapiik dictionary.
It is divided thus: So we may guess that " konam " means a story with a point to it. In the names of the months we find a little relief. In no one of the six words last mentioned, is there any homophonic analogy between the Volapiik and any one of the ten languages.
The result of the entire analysis is, to bring us to the conclusion, that the author of the Volapiik failed entirely to comprehend the true principle on which the root words of a common language should be con- structed. Before leaving the subject, we will illustrate it further by the ex- ample of a single word. Yet Professor Schleyer, ignoring these eight languages, and these eight peoples, took his root word from a single language.
Schleyer go to any language for this root word? Why not take any syllable at random and call it thread? The same rea- son would make it important that it should be familiar to as many people as possible. Upon the subject of a universal language Max Miiller says: But that the problem itself ad- mits of a solution, and of a perfect solution, cannot be doubted.
And it is equally plain that the first step in that solu- tion is the formation of a common Indo-Germanic language. This can only be done by co-operation on the part of those who are using the Indo-Germanic languages. As co-operation by all the nations and peoples using these languages, is scarcely to be expected, and per- haps not at first to be desired, it is obvious the first Congress should be composed of delegates representing either the languages named, or about the like number of the languages of the most enlightened nations of the world.
Probably the ten languages named comprise more homophonic words than any other ten. That the most enlightened nations should be included is too plain for argument. Professor Whitney has pointed out, that as in everything else, so in language, civilization tends to unity. Since culture has become incontestably the dominant power in human history, the unifying forces in language have also been stronger than the diversi- fying ; and with culture at its full height, and spread equally to every land and race, one universal language, like one universal community, is not an absurdity or theoretic impossibility, but only a Utopian or mil- lennial dream.
Much has been done toward unifying the race since this state- ment was made ; and it is not too much to expect that ere long a univer- sal language, instead of being a mere Utopian or millennial dream, will become a glorious realization.
WAITE This little book is, as its title indicates, based upon the similarity in sonnd and in signification of the principal words used in the sentences. That this will aid the memory is undeniable. Cannot a person remembtr a word in a foreign language which sounds like one in his own and which means the same thing, more easily than he can one which sounds differ- ently?
When these like sounding words have been learned, others of a dif- ferent character can be substituted, the construction of the sentences re- maining the same. The conversations are arranged under different headings: Also covering the various situa- tions and emergencies in travel: Also cardinal and ordinal numbers and divisions of time are given, whether homo- phonic or not.
Nearly homophonic words are used, an alphabetical table of which is added, giving the form of the word in each language. The basic idea is well conceived and well carried out. It is a step in the right direction. By con- stantly interchanging words having a certain similarity in sound and meaning, one gains a simultaneous working knowledge of necessary and useful sentences in all four tongues. Time is saved, the memory is more retentive, and learning is made a pleasure.
The book is absolutely of limitless value to beginners. It should be on every one's book-shelf, and is sure to become widely used. A secure guide for Italians traveling abroad. Senn '' I know of no book as well adapted to the needs of the traveler as this one.
Yours very truly, N. Warren Robinson, Instructor in Wisconsin School for the Deaf " A deaf mute could use it with great benefit in his own country. Once the robot cars take over human drivers I will cry but then there may be an efficient business modle to invest in. Lyft takes care of their drivers. They have a credible company and business model. Lyft is also working on automated cars - with General Motors.
Sadly, this seems to be the way of the future. You will have to pay more to drive your own car because insurance will be much higher. I'm not sold on this idea. Can a robot put out a fire if the car catches fire?
I choose human drivers even if it costs more money. Uber is not listed on any stock exchange in the world. It is a world's most valuable startup, having a valuation of around 68 billion USD. Ask New Question Sign In. What is Uber's stock price? Uber is not public, not yet.
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