leaps and bounds since the time of Zamenhof, are not the only facts about the impact of Science on speech relevant to choice of satisfactory word-material for a properly constructed auxiliary. Equally important is the fact that this existing international vocabulary rings the changes on certain roots which have established firm claims to further use. Consequently we know which way the cat will jump. We can forecast with some assurance what roots of given meaning can or cannot come into general use through the increasing infiltration of new technical terms into daily speech. If need arises to adopt a new technical term to label waterproof autograph forms for water-polo champions, it is highly likely to contain necto, which turns up in many biological names for swimming organisms. If a special root for swimming appliances invades daily speech on a world-wide scale, it is not likely to recall the French word nager or its Esperanto equivalent.
Essential Features of Interglossa
From this brief commentary upon the defects of artificial languages exposed by contrast with the considerable merits of Basic English, we now turn to a brief summary of the essential features of Interglossa.
(i) Interglossa is a purely isolating language. It admits many compounds built from bricks which are independent elements, but it has no dead affixes prescribed in accordance with a priori considerations. In so far as it is a flexionless language, it resembles Chinese (or Peanese), but it differs from P because it has a large stock-in-trade of compounds sufficiently explicit in an appropriate context to anyone who knows or can recognize their parts. It also differs from P with respect to the remaining characteristics specified below.
The reader may here ask whether an isolating language has any advantage over a language of the agglutinative type, i.e. a flexional language like Esperanto with no irregularities. There are three sufficient reasons for preferring the former:
(a) Mass production in language tuition calls for maximum division of labour in the plant. That is to say, maximum word-economy in the sense defined above implies maximum mobility of all the elements of meaning.
(b) Familiarity breeds contempt. That is to say, flexion, however regular, forces units of meaning into situations where they are irrelevant and therefore more liable to semantic erosion.
(c) The grammar of an isolating (analytical) language is the highest common factor of all grammar. It is the native idiom