AskDefine | Define interlingua

Dictionary Definition

Interlingua n : an artificial language proposed for use as an auxiliary international language; based on words common to English and the Romance languages

User Contributed Dictionary

Catalan

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Czech

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Danish

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

English

Noun

  1. an interlanguage
See also Interlingua

Interlingua

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Italian

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Kashubian

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Polish

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Spanish

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Swedish

Noun

interlingua
  1. Interlingua

Extensive Definition

Interlingua is an international auxiliary language (IAL) published in 1951 by the International Auxiliary Language Association (IALA). Despite no estimate of speakers, it is regarded as the most widely spoken naturalistic auxiliary language. Interlingua was developed to combine a simple, regular grammar with a vocabulary common to the widest possible range of languages, making it unusually easy to learn. Conversely, it is used as a rapid introduction to many natural languages. who speak a Romance language.

Etymology

The name Interlingua comes from the Latin words inter, meaning between, and lingua, meaning tongue or language. These morphemes are identical in Interlingua. Thus, Interlingua would be "between language".

Rationale

The expansive movements of science, technology, trade, diplomacy, and the arts, combined with the historical dominance of the Greek and Latin languages have resulted in a large common vocabulary among Western languages. With Interlingua an objective procedure is used to extract and standardize the most widespread word or words for a concept found in a set of control languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, with German and Russian as secondary references. Words from any language are eligible for inclusion, so long as their internationality is shown by their presence in these control languages. Hence, Interlingua includes such diverse word forms as Japanese geisha and samurai, Arabic califa, Aboriginal kanguru, and Finnish sauna. The immediate comprehension of Interlingua, in turn, makes it unusually easy to learn. Speakers of other languages can also learn to speak and write Interlingua in a short time, thanks to its simple grammar and regular word formation using a small number of roots and affixes.
Once learned, Interlingua can be used to learn other related languages quickly and easily, and in some studies, even to understand them immediately. Research with Swedish students has shown that, after learning Interlingua, they can translate elementary texts from Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. In one 1974 study, an Interlingua class translated a Spanish text that students who had taken 150 hours of Spanish found too difficult to understand. Gopsill

International Auxiliary Language Association

The IALA became a major supporter of mainstream American linguistics, funding, for example, numerous studies by Sapir, Collinson, and Morris Swadesh in the 1930s and 1940s. Morris herself edited several of these studies and provided much of IALA's financial support. IALA also received support from such prestigious groups as the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
In its early years, IALA concerned itself with three tasks: finding other organizations around the world with similar goals; building a library of books about languages and interlinguistics; and comparing extant IALs, including Esperanto, Esperanto II, Ido, Latino Sine Flexione, Novial, and Occidental. In pursuit of the last goal, it conducted parallel studies of these languages, with comparative studies of national languages, under the direction of scholars at American and European universities.
To that point, much of the debate had been equivocal on the decision to use naturalistic (e.g., Novial and Occidental) or systematic (e.g., Esperanto and Ido) words. During the war years, proponents of a naturalistic interlanguage won out. The first support was Dr. Thorndike's paper; the second was a concession by proponents of the systematic languages that thousands of words were already present in many – or even a majority – of the European languages. Their argument was that systematic derivation of words was a Procrustian bed, forcing the learner to unlearn and re-memorize a new derivation scheme when a usable vocabulary was already available. This finally convinced supporters of the systematic languages, and IALA from that point assumed the position that a naturalistic language would be best.
Four models were canvassed: In 1954 Interlingua was used at the Second World Cardiological Congress, in Washington DC, for both written summaries and oral interpretation. Within a few years, it found similar use at nine further medical congresses. Between the mid-1950s and the late 1970s, some thirty scientific and especially medical journals provided article summaries in Interlingua. Science Service, the publisher of Science Newsletter at the time, published a monthly column in Interlingua from the early 1950s until Gode's death in 1970. In 1967, the powerful International Organization for Standardization, which normalizes terminology, voted almost unanimously to adopt Interlingua as the basis for its dictionaries. Its role in promoting Interlingua was largely taken on by Science Service, Hugh E. Blair, Gode's close friend and colleague, became his assistant. A successor organization, the Interlingua Institute, was founded in 1970 to promote Interlingua in the US and Canada. The new institute supported the work of other linguistic organizations, made considerable scholarly contributions and produced Interlingua precis for scholarly and medical publications. One of its largest achievements was two immense volumes on phytopathology produced by the American Phytopathological Society in 1976 and 1977.
Interlingua had attracted many former adherents of other international-language projects, notably Occidental and Ido. The former Occidentalist Ric Berger founded The Union Mundial pro Interlingua (UMI) in 1955, Several Scandinavian schools undertook projects that used Interlingua as a means of teaching the international scientific and intellectual vocabulary.
In 2000, the Interlingua Institute was dissolved amid funding disputes with the UMI; the American Interlingua Society, established the following year, succeeded the institute and responded to new interest emerging in Mexico. In Czechoslovakia, Július Tomin received threatening letters after his first article on Interlingua was published. Despite continuing persecution, he went on to become the Czech Interlingua representative, teach Interlingua in the school system, and author a long series of published articles and books.

Interlingua today

See also: Community, below
Today, interest in Interlingua has expanded from the scientific community to the general public. Individuals, governments, and private companies use Interlingua for learning and instruction, travel, online publishing, and communication across language barriers. Interlingua is promoted internationally by the Union Mundial pro Interlingua. Periodicals and books are produced by many national organizations, such as the Societate American pro Interlingua, the Svenska Sällskapet för Interlingua, and the Brazilian Union for Interlingua.
Interlingua has active speakers on all continents, especially in South America and in Eastern and Northern Europe, most notably Scandinavia; also in Russia and Ukraine. In Africa, Interlingua has official representation in the Republic of the Congo. There are copious Interlingua web pages, including editions of Wikipedia and Wiktionary, and a number of periodicals, including Panorama in Interlingua from the Union Mundial pro Interlingua (UMI) and magazines of the national societies allied with it. There are several active mailing lists, and Interlingua is also in use in certain Usenet newsgroups, particularly in the europa.* hierarchy. Interlingua is presented on CDs, radio, and television. In recent years, samples of Interlingua have also been seen in music and anime.
Interlingua is taught in many high schools and universities, sometimes as a means of teaching other languages quickly, presenting interlinguistics, or introducing the international vocabulary. The prestigious University of Granada in Spain, for example, offers an Interlingua course in collaboration with the Centro de Formación Continua.
Every two years, the UMI organizes an international conference in a different country. In the year between, the Scandinavian Interlingua societies co-organize a conference in Sweden. National organizations such as the Union Brazilian pro Interlingua also organize regular conferences. although /ei/ and /oi/ are rare.

Stress

The general rule is that stress falls on the vowel before the last consonant (e.g., lingua, esser, requirimento, 'language', 'to be', 'requirement'), and where that isn't possible, on the first vowel (via, 'way', io crea, 'I create'). There are a few exceptions, and the following rules account for most of them:
  • Adjectives and nouns ending in a vowel followed by -le, -ne, or -re are stressed on the third-last syllable (fragile, margine, altere 'other', but illa impone 'she imposes').
  • Words ending in -ica/-ico, -ide/-ido and -ula/-ulo, are stressed on the third-last syllable (politica, scientifico, rapide, stupido, capitula, seculo 'century').
  • Words ending in -ic are stressed on the second-last syllable (cubic).
Speakers may pronounce all words according to the general rule mentioned above. For example, kilometro is acceptable, although kilometro is more common.

Loanwords

Unassimilated foreign loanwords, or borrowed words, are pronounced and spelled as in their language of origin. Their spelling may contain diacritics, or accent marks. If the diacritics do not affect pronunciation, they are removed. as long as their internationality is verified by their presence in seven control languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and English, with German and Russian acting as secondary controls. These are the most widely spoken Romance, Germanic, and Slavic languages, respectively. Because of their close relationship, Spanish and Portuguese are treated as one unit. The largest number of Interlingua words are of Latin origin, with the Greek and Germanic languages providing the second and third largest number. The remainder of the vocabulary originates in Slavic and non-Western languages. In some cases, the archaic or potential presence of a word can contribute to its eligibility.
A word can be potentially present in a language when a derivative is present, but the word itself is not. English proximity, for example, gives support to Interlingua proxime, meaning 'near, close'. This counts as long as one or more control languages actually have this basic root word. Potentiality also occurs when a concept is represented as a compound or derivative in a control language, the morphemes that make it up are themselves international, and the combination adequately conveys the meaning of the larger word. An example is Italian fiammifero (lit. flamebearer), meaning "match, lucifer", which leads to Interlingua flammifero, or "match". This word is thus said to be potentially present in the other languages although they may represent the meaning with a single morpheme.
The language-specific characteristics are closely related to the sound laws of the individual languages; the resulting words are often close or even identical to the most recent form common to the contributing words. This sometimes corresponds with that of Vulgar Latin. At other times, it is much more recent or even contemporary. It is never older than the classical period. Instead, the remaining base words and especially the derivatives determine the form oculo found in Interlingua. Plurals are formed by adding -s, or -es after a final consonant.
Verbs take the same form for all persons (io, tu, illa vive, 'I live', 'you live', 'she lives'). The indicative (pare, 'appear', 'appears') is the same as the imperative (pare! 'appear!'), and there is no subjunctive.
There are four simple tenses (present, past, future, and conditional), three compound tenses (past, future, and conditional), and the passive voice. The compound structures employ an auxiliary plus the infinitive or the past participle (e.g., Ille ha arrivate, 'He has arrived').
Word order is Subject–Verb–Object, except that a direct object pronoun or reflexive pronoun comes before the verb (Io les vide, 'I see them')

Criticisms and controversies

While Interlingua is a successful auxiliary language, it has been criticised, often by proponents of other auxiliary languages. This may be partly because both supporters and opponents see Interlingua as a candidate for being the universal, neutral second language for the world to use. Its vocabulary would be "familiar to the largest possible number of people with different mother tongues", and its grammatical structure would possess "a high degree of simplicity and regularity". Thus, it would have advantages for people all over the world. In 1978, Dr. Stefano Bakonyi argued at length that Interlingua was the ideal candidate for universal language.
Interlingua has detached itself from the movement for the development and introduction of a universal language for all humanity. Whether or not one believes that a language for all humanity is possible, whether or not one believes that Interlingua will become such a language is totally irrelevant from the point of view of Interlingua itself. The only fact that matters (from the point of view of Interlingua itself) is that Interlingua, thanks to its ambition of reflecting the cultural and thus linguistic homogeneity of the West, is capable of rendering tangible services at this precise moment in the history of the world. It is by its present contributions and not by the promises of its adherents that Interlingua wishes to be judged.

References

Sources

  • Falk, Julia S. Women, Language and Linguistics: Three American stories from the first half of the twentieth century. Routledge, London & New York: 1999.
  • Interlingua-English; a dictionary of the international language
  • Pei, Mario. One Language for the World and How To Achieve It. Devin-Adair, New York; 1958.
  • Union Mundial pro Interlingua (UMI). Interlingua 2001: communication sin frontieras durante 50 annos (in Interlingua). Accessed 17 August 2006.

External links

* The Open Directory site at Open Directory Project * Manifesto de Interlingua (by Alexander Gode)
interlingua in Arabic: إنترلينغوا
interlingua in Aragonese: Interlingua
interlingua in Catalan: Interlingua
interlingua in Chuvash: Интерлингва
interlingua in Czech: Interlingua
interlingua in Welsh: Interlingua
interlingua in German: Interlingua
interlingua in Spanish: Interlingua
interlingua in Esperanto: Interlingvao
interlingua in Basque: Interlingua
interlingua in Persian: اینترلینگوا
interlingua in French: Interlingua
interlingua in Galician: Interlingua (lingua artificial)
interlingua in Korean: 인테르링구아
interlingua in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Interlingua
interlingua in Italian: Interlingua
interlingua in Hebrew: אינטרלינגואה
interlingua in Georgian: ინტერლინგუა
interlingua in Kashubian: Interlingua
interlingua in Latin: Interlingua
interlingua in Lithuanian: Interlingua
interlingua in Hungarian: Interlingva nyelv
interlingua in Dutch: Interlingua
interlingua in Japanese: インターリングア
interlingua in Norwegian: Interlingua
interlingua in Novial: Interlingua
interlingua in Polish: Interlingua
interlingua in Portuguese: Interlíngua
interlingua in Romanian: Interlingua
interlingua in Russian: Интерлингва
interlingua in Albanian: Gjuha interlingua
interlingua in Simple English: Interlingua
interlingua in Swati: Sí-Nterlingua
interlingua in Slovak: Interlingua
interlingua in Serbian: Интерлингва
interlingua in Serbo-Croatian: Interlingva
interlingua in Finnish: Interlingua
interlingua in Swedish: Interlingua
interlingua in Thai: ภาษาอินเทอร์ลิงกวา
interlingua in Turkish: İnterlingua
interlingua in Ukrainian: Інтерлінгва
interlingua in Volapük: Interlingua
interlingua in Zamboanga Chavacano: Interlingua
interlingua in Chinese: 国际语
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