Thursday, November 1, 2012

Occidental Interlingue

    So, after my previous post about Esperanto I was asked if I knew about Occidental also known as Interlingue (Note the "e" at the end of the word not to be confused with Interlingua with an "a" at the end word, a separate language)

  Edgar de Wahl was born on 11th August 1867 in Olwiopol (Ukraine) He studied Volapük and Esperanto
In 1894 he looked into a naturalistic solution of the problem and collaborated in 1906-7 with Rosenberger, the then president of the Akademi Internasional de lingu universal. His idea was the construction of an auxiliary language without submitting a complete language. The principal ideas in his memorandum were,
  1. that none of the existing systems is satisfactory;
  2. that the international language to be constructed, be founded on the international linguistic material;
  3. that such project should have its own system of word formation, i.e., really international words should be obtained through a number of rules formulated for that purpose;
  4. that it should possess a grammar which produces no unnatural forms, i.e., forms deviating from the ethnic languages; and
  5. that it should possess an international orthography.
    These are the ideas to which de Wahl imparted in his new language idea: 
  1. It should be an organic, autonomous entity, living and growing according to its own laws, harmonizing and assimilating new elements, and not be a conglomeration of different words put together at random.
  2. For our special purpose it should be based on the international forms common to the European languages in phonetics, spelling, and mode of expression.
To further its introduction it should also have the following qualities,
  1. it should be comprehensible at first sight and without previous instruction to all civilized Europeans,
  2. it should not shock the public through incomprehensible forms but should have the aspect of an almost natural language, and
  3. to secure adoption and use it should not only be easy to read, but also easy for practical use, and easy in its grammatical structure.
    Since 1922 the theories of the Wahl have attracted serious minds and have influenced Jespersen and his Novial to some extent. IALA (The international Auxiliary Language Association) has classified it as one of the systems of demonstrated usefulness.

Below is a concise but short grammar of Occidental:




2. Grammar

The alphabet comprises 26 letters, y fulfilling a double rфle as consonant and vowel. The vowels are a [pr. as in father], e [fкte], i [machine], o [most], u [rule], y [F u, or D ь]. The 21 consonants are b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z. Several consonants have two pronunciations [c hard as "k" before a, o, u, or any consonant; soft as "ts" before e, i, yg hard as in gold before a, o, u, or any consonant, soft as in general before e, i, yt as "ts" before ie, ia, io].

The stress falls on the vowel before the last consonant. The plural endings [-(e)s] and the adverbial endings [-bil, -ic, -im, - ul, -um] remain unstressed. Further exceptions not falling under any of these rules are marked with the accent [ґ, or `]. The length of the vowels varies. Unstressed syllables have the short vowel [a in fane in bendi in fito in dropu in full]. Stressed vowels followed by two consonants are short. The rest are long except in some short words, mainly prepositions.

Occidental has four diphthongs, au, ay, ey, oy, as well as eu in D ц.
The definite article is li for all genders and numbers. The indefinite article is unlu may be used for as an article if an adjective is used alone as an abstract conception.
The singular noun has no specific grammatical ending. The plural is formed by adding -s to the words ending in vowels, or in -c, -g, -um; -es to words ending in other consonants. An exception, however, is -e, -o, -a, respectively used to distinguish neuter, masculine, and feminine [camarad/e, /o, /a].

The pronouns are yo, tu, Vu, il, illa, it; noi, vu, ili. the reflexive pronoun is se.
The possessive pronouns are mi, tu(i), su; nor, vor, lor.

The verb in the infinitive ends in -r [ama/r]. The present indicative is obtained by removing the infinitive ending [yo ama, tu ama, il ama].
The imperative form is the same as the present indicative, followed by a mark of exclamation [!]. The composite imperative is formed with ples plus the infinitive [audi! ples audir].
The past tense is obtained by adding -t to the present tense [yo ama/t].
The future tense is formed by employing the auxiliary va where English used either "shall" or "will" [yo va ear = I shall go].
The conditional is formed by employing the auxiliary vell where English used either "should" or "would" [illa vell ear si yo vell consentir = she would go if I should consent].

The optative is distinguished from the imperative by using mey with the infinitive [que il mey trovar it = that he may find it]. The hortative is formed with the word lass and the infinitive [lass nos ear in li citй].
Two auxiliary verbs are used, ha/r (an abbreviation of have/r), and esse/r, for the latter the abbreviated form es as an auxiliary and for the present tense.

The perfect and pluperfect are formed by the auxiliary verbs preceding the past participle [yo ha amat = I have loved].
The passive voice is formed with the verb esse/r [yo es vocat, yo es videt = I am seen; yo esset videt = I was seen].
The conjugation of esse/r = to be is:
present tensepast tensefuture tense
yo es (esse)yo essetyo va esser
tu (Vu) es (esse)tu (Vu) essettu (Vu) va esser
il es (esse)il essetil va esser
illa (or ella) es (esse)illa (or ella) essetilla (or ella) va esser
it es (esse)it essetit va esser
noi es (esse)noi essetnoi va esser
vu es (esse)vu essetvu va esser
ili es (esse)ili essetili va esser
The present participle is essent; the past and passive participle is esset.
The adjectives are invariable in number and gender [litt, bon, micri].
The adverbs have no one grammatical ending. Some adjectives may be used as adverbs without alteration [tу esset bon fat = that was well done]. The adverbial endings -men, -li, -ъ may be used, but a number of adverbs have no particular grammatical ending.

The cardinal numbers are: un, du, tri, quar, quin, six, sett, ott, nin, deci, deci-ъn or ъundeci, deci-dъ or dъdeci; duant = 20, triant, quarant; cent, ducent, sixcent, etc.
The ordinal numbers are formed by the use of the suffix -esim [unesim, duesim, etc.].
The degrees of comparison are bon, plu bon, max bon; bell, minu bell, minim bell.

In word derivation Occidental accepts both the principle of direct and indirect derivation. Direct derivation is limited to certain cases which are indicated in the complete list of affixes below. For direct derivation we must apply the three rules of the Wahl. To form nouns from verbal roots we detach the infinitive -r or -e/r [vid, vid-e/r] to obtain the perfect stem.
  • Rule 1: If, after removing the grammatical ending [-r, -e/r] the stem ends in a vowel, add -t or change -y into -t [crea/r, crea/t, crea/t/or; atiny-e/r, atin/t, atin/t/ion].
  • Rule 2: If the final consonant of the stem should be either d or r, the letters are changed into -s [decide/r, deci/s, deci/s/ion].
  • Rule 3: In all other cases, except those especially cited below, the removal of the infinitive -r (or -er gives the required perfect stem [duct/e/r, duct-, duct/ion]. The six exceptions are cede/r, perfect stem cess-sede/r, sess-; move/r, mot-; tene/r, tent-; verte/r, vers-; veni/r, vent-.
To form verbs from nouns and adjectives, we remove the endings and obtain the perfect stem. By adding -r or -er we will obtain, in most cases, the verb [decora/t/ion, decora/t, decora/r].

Syntax: The ordinary word order is subject-verb-object. [li monument es plazzat avan li palazzo = the monument is (placed) in front of the palace]. Short adjectives generally precede the noun [un bon idй = a good idea]; long adjectives may follow the noun [li lingue international = the international language]. The interrogative phrase begins with esque [esque vu va promenar? = are you going to walk?] or any other interrogative pronoun or adverb [qui, quo, quande]. Inversion may be used without the interrogative esque [have vu li libre? = have you the book?]. The negation is indicated by the word ne [il ne ha fat it = he has not done it].



Here are some examples of Occidental Interlingue:


Li material civilisation, li scientie, e mem li arte unifica se plu e plu. Li cultivat europano senti se quasi in hem in omni landes queles have europan civilisation, it es, plu e plu, in li tot munde. Hodie presc omni states guerrea per li sam armes. Sin cessa li medies de intercommunication ameliora se, e in consecuentie de to li terra sembla diminuer se. Un Parisano es nu plu proxim a un angleso o a un germano quam il esset ante cent annus a un paisano frances.

Material civilization, science, and even art unify themselves more and more. The educated European feels himself almost at home in all lands that have European civilization, that is, more and more, in the entire world. Today almost all states war with the same armaments. Without pause the modes of intercommunication improve, and in consequence from that the world seems to decrease. A Parisian is now closer to an Englishman or a German than he was a hundred years before to a French peasant.



Hodíe yo labora ci.

Today I work here.

Yer yo ha arivat.


Yesterday I have arrived.


Yo arivat per li tren de Paris, u yo hat laborat antey.

I arrived by the train from Paris, where I had worked before.


Deman yo va departer per auto pos har finit mi labor.

Tomorrow I will depart by car after having finished my work.


Yo vell restar plu long, ma on telegrafat me: Veni tam bentost quam possibil! Dunc lass nos finir nor maxim urgent labores.

I would rest longer, but one telegraphed me: Come as quick as possible! So let us finish our most urgent work.


Li altri labores queles yo ancor vell har devet far, yo va dever far plu tard; ples excusar to.

The other work that I still would have done, I will have to do later; please excuse that.


Quande yo fa bon mi labores, yo es estimat e yo va esser bon payat.

When I do my work well I am appreciated and I will be well-paid.


In Paris yo hat esset honorat per un special premie. To mey suficer.

In Paris I had been honoured by a special prize. That may suffice.

A concise grammar can be found here, a Yahoo group exists here and there is even a wikipedia in Occidental!