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- Country: Canada
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kannouteki_neko (User's profile) June 2, 2005, 12:26:13 AM
Here is my post again so it will show under my name hopefully ><
"While I'm on the subject, if you had enough money, could you buy a permanant chunk of the US away and make it your own country?(Say for....300 billion dollars) "
Well, you can purchase *land* thats *for sale* hehe. But I know thats not what you mean. As far as I know, purchasing a huge chunk of the United States or Canada or what have you, can't be done. Best you can do with your 300 billion is to buy up people's houses and land in an entire area and make it your own area, but I do not believe you could make it your own country. It would require nothing less than an act of God on that one, I can't see the US of all places allowing a piece of their United States to go out and form their own country, heh.
In Canada, this is exactly what Quebec is trying to do.. or has tried to do twice in the past anyway. They want to separate from the union of canadian provinces and become an independent land of their own. To do this, they need a clear majority vote in a referendum. There have been two such referendums so far and there was *just* under 50% of the province who voted in favor of seperation. Thus they cannot seperate.
If they ever succeed in a referendum? Then they have the option to seperate, but it would be a LONG hard road to complete independence. They could no longer share Canadian money, social institutions (medical, social, educational, etc.), etc etc etc.. they would be building a whole new system of their own from the ground up. That ain't easy.
I'm not sure what the United States' policy is if any state wanted to seperate from the union. The president would have to recognize a referendum vote I'm assuming.. and I just don't see that happening
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Dezirito (User's profile) June 3, 2005, 7:20:44 PM
Esperanto is not perfect, but its reform isn't a current problem. The point is to convince people using any effective international language. Esperanto is effective, it is rather neutral, and we are sure it works. I don't like a lot its odd letters and this terrible word, "virino" (we can absolutely use "ino", and consider "virino" is an "arhxaismo"). But it is not important.
The 3 infinitive forms in Ido are useless and complicated. Its words are too french or latine. The coming back of "Qu" is an odd esthetic choice. Its optional accusative form makes it less clear. And so on.
Ido, Facile (which is not easy, not at all...), &c. make ridiculous our ideal. Their improvements are not worth. Reforms are followed by reforms and division. When Esperanto is used widely, an international official meeting will be usefully reform it. But it is not our current problem.
Note: Sorry for my bad English.
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boy-o (User's profile) June 11, 2005, 4:35:29 PM
It was all a hoax though. The contest was really just a publicity stunt so the man that was supposed to be the champion of Esperanto could promote his language, in which all he really did was french-up Esperanto. Many many esperantists didn't like this and refused to switch. Those that did soon found themselves hated by their former colleagues. The two groups have been bitter towards each other ever since. I was once in an esperanto chat room where a few Idists decided to stir things up. The -aĉ- (grotesque, disgusting, awful) suffix was used almost exclusively.
And to pinto about an Usona state seceding: The U.S. does have a policy to deal with states that want to leave the Union. Its called war. Happened once in the 1860s and hasn't happened since. I'm not sure why no one has thought about it since, but I think it has something to do with the +600,000 American casualties that died within a five year period. Thats more than all other American casualties in every other war combined.
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michel (User's profile) June 14, 2005, 6:09:08 PM
"I'm intrigued by this and wonder why, if Esperanto was to proveed to truly being a 'simple, international language, easy to learn', why do people continue to press upon it complex grammar. Such as objects.. for instance: La knabo vidas la hundon (The boy sees the dog). The object (dog) ends in an 'n' because it is a direct object.. why not eliminate this? All it does is confuse people really, although the idea of direct objects may seem simple to some, to others grammar is complex to learn and picking out the direct object is not always easy in order to end it in 'n'."
To the contrary, I think removing the accusative case would cause more confusion than keeping it in. The reason it is confusing to you is because your native language is one that doesn't use it 99% of the time. But to someone else, for example the 300m people who speak Russian, it is actually much, much simpler (for example, instead of having to remember accusative endings for both singular and plural forms of the male, neuter, and female nouns and adjectives they only have to remember one ending for everything). So while it may be a little hard to understand the functionality and reasons behind having an accusative case to someone who uses a main language where it is rare, remember that Esperanto was not invented for the convenience of somebody who uses Language A or B, but for anyone who speaks any language. And considering that we cannot predict how English or any other "natural" language may change its syntactic structures a century from now, do not be so quick to criticize a more or less concrete universal language. It would be like inventing an international language in 1200AD based on the complaints of people who speak dialects from that period and then wondering why the hell it's so archaic to use now.
FYI, as I mentioned earlier, English does have an accusative case, you just don't think about it very often because we only usually see it with pronouns. But if you really think that getting rid of accusative-case modifications makes a language easier to understand, perhaps you want to suggest that instead of changing "I" to "me" and "she" to "her," we should go around saying things like, "I love she and she loves I." Would that make English less confusing, or more so? From someone who proposes such an idea, an argument could be made that it would only be confusing for a little while and only because we aren't used to structuring our sentences this way. But that very same argument could be given here as to why Esperanto has an accusative ending.
I think we should be glad it has one, and also be glad that we don't have a genitive, dative, instrumental, prepositional or vocative case to worry about. Only including an accusative does the two-fold job of preventing Esperanto from resembling Latin, Greek, etc., while making it robust enough to change word orders when we want to emphasize something. You used the example "La knabo vidas la hundon." Well, if I wrote "La hundon vidas la knabo," or "La hundon la knabo vidas" there is a subtle additional meaning to that which a phrase like "La knabo vidas la hundon" would only be able to replicate by adding additional words and making the sentence longer. If you see the direct object at the beginning of the sentence rather than the end, most likely it is for a reason (and not, as you might think, to confuse you). You also mentioned that it is hard for you to know which word to use the direct object for sometimes. Well, this gives you a good opportunity to learn a little about basic grammar which, trust me, will transfer over into your understanding of your native language. When you learn the differences between accusative, dative, etc. in another language, you begin to see them in your own even if there are no actual changes to the words. Ten minutes of studying languages that use a dative case gave me a hundred times better understanding why "to him" in the sentence "I gave the gift to him" was called the indirect object than 12 years of English grammar at school ever could.
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trojo (User's profile) June 15, 2005, 1:49:21 AM
First, I would like to point out that Ido does in fact have an "optional" accusative ending. So not only do you still have to learn the grammatical marker that indicates direct objects, you must also memorize the situations in which it is arbitrarily deemed necessary or unnecessary. To me, this seems more complicated than Esperanto rather than less. So that argument supposedly in favor of Ido is out.
But let's set aside Ido specifically for the moment and look, more broadly, at the problem of grammatically identifying the object of a sentence. Doing so in some way is not optional for any language intended to be more advanced than caveman-style pointing and grunting. Grammatically marking the object can be done through prepositional (or postpositional) words flagging a noun as the direct object; it can be done through the order of words in the sentence as a whole, where the direct object is required to always be in the same place in that sentence; or it can be done by inflecting or agglutinating a noun in some way, marking it as the direct object. But one way or another a language will have to be able to unambiguously differentiate between the subject and object of a verb if you want to convey anything resembling actual meaning. Most languages, including English and Esperanto (and Ido) use some combination of several of the above methods to allow some flexibility of expression rather than rigidly holding to just one of them.
But what about a hypothetical constructed language that would be purely positional, i.e. rigidly enforcing the SVO (subject, verb, object) structure for all sentences, and thus always clearly identifying the object without the need for any sort of ending, inflection, preposition, or postposition? This would certainly be a simpler structure than Esperanto (and for that matter simpler than Ido, since Ido isn't purely positional either), but would this result in a more natural-seeming language than Esperanto? I don't think so.
Consider if your sample sentence ("the boy saw the dog") were an answer to the question, "what did the boy see?". Despite my background as a native English speaker (in which I was brainwashed into thinking of SVO as the "correct" way to structure a sentence), my first impulse is to start off my response to that question with "The dog...", because the dog is what's relevent to the question at hand. To put the answering part of my response first still seems natural to me despite having been told all my life that it's wrong. And as for the rest of the sentence, let's assume I want to communicate in complete thoughts rather than disjointed sentence fragments: in English then, my choices for completing my response are "the dog is what he saw" or "the dog was seen by him", both of which are not only awkward-sounding but grammatically more complex than "la hundon li vidis" (which to me is the most natural way to phrase the answer to the question, "kion vidis la knabo?"--and notice that "kion vidis la knabo?" is out of order also!).
And at least constructions like "the dog was seen by the boy" are allowed in English, even if they do come across a bit stilted. In a language that was purely positional--that truly enforced SVO--"the dog was seen by the boy" would not even be allowed, since it is shoehorning a preposition and a "helping verb" into service as ad hoc grammatical markers in order to bend the sacred SVO order. And if a language does allow the use of prepositions, postpositions, special verbs, and/or whatever for the purpose of bending its nominally unbendable sentence order, then it really hasn't simplified anything, has it? A preposition is not inherently simpler than a single letter ending; it just seems that way to some because of the way their native language happens to be structured.