Latino sine flexione, Peano´s Interlingua: a linguistic bridge
Walter A. Carnielli *
In 1903 the Italian logician Giuseppe Peano, preceded in his ideas by Descartes and Leibniz, published in the "Revue de Mathématiques" vol. 8, no. 3, at pages 74-83 the article “De Latino Sine Flexione” , later called Interlingua, a form of modern Latin without
declensions particularly adapted for use in science
The principle behind Peano's
Interlingua is that
it is classical Latin
with a minimum grammar. Interlingua is based on the idea that there exists an
international vocabulary in the languages of Europe which suffices for most communication, specially for scientific communication. . These are words that occur in at least three languages in similar forms and with the same meanings.
By limiting the search just to the major European languages (English, French, German,
Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian) one can
capture more than 99 % of the international vocabulary. The
form by which words, roots, and affixes are to be standardized are the theoretical or historical prototypes
for these from which their counterparts in
the source languages of Interlingua are transformations according
to the characteristics of those languages.
Because Latin (and the Greek conveyed through Latin) is the source for
much of the international vocabulary, notably in science, the prototype forms are often very close to classical Latin forms. There are, however, modern international words borrowed from the modern languages like "software", "shopping", "computer"
(from English), or “robot” ("slave labor", from Slavic roots), or "sushi" (from Japanese), and these enter into
Interlingua in those forms. Interlingua furthermore does not focus just on individual words, but on
word families built around common roots like 'currer' (run), 'prender' (take), 'caper' (grasp) and a common set of prototypic affixes (ad-, pre-, pro-, -ion, -ive, -ura, etc.). Often these
word families are not clearly represented in individual source languages, so Interlingua re-establishes them in their entirety,
and thus can be seen as a valuable tools in languages
learning. This creates considerable regularity along with a complete naturality.
In 1924 the "International Auxiliary Language
Association" , IALA was created in the United States as a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering
Interlingua as an international language. Interlingua of IALA (the International Auxiliary
Language Association) and Interlingua of Peano (Latino sine Flexione) are quite similar in appearance, but they have differences in grammar: Peano favored the abolition of grammar, while IALA´s convention reduced it to a minimum, both however using
a common Latin base. Peano took a single existing language Latin and gave it a
highly simplified minimum grammar. Interlingua looked for the
forms from which the similar international words were derived and established an
international vocabulary. This vocabulary was then
given a minimum "romance-like" grammar for use of the vocabulary.
Although the concept of what constitutes a minimum grammar differs between
IALA's Interlingua and that of Peano´s
Interlingua, the common idea behind Interlingua argues for itself: more than
80% of this text is just Interlingua with slightly different spelling.
* This note was
compiled from Internet sources
SEE THE INTERLINGUA VERSION FOR LIN
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