Occidental language

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The language Occidental, later Interlingue, is a planned language created by the Balto-German naval officer and teacher Edgar de Wahl and published in 1922.

Occidental is devised so that many of its derived word forms reflect the similar forms common to a number of Western European languages. This was done through application of de Wahl's rule which is a set of rules for converting verb infinitives into derived nouns and adjectives. The result is a language easy to understand at first sight for individuals acquainted with several Western European languages. Coupled with a simplified grammar, this made Occidental exceptionally popular in Europe during the 15 years before World War II, and it is believed that it was at its height the fourth most popular planned language, after Volapük, Esperanto and perhaps Ido in order of appearance.

But some have believed that its intentional emphasis on European forms coupled with a Eurocentric philosophy espoused by several of its leading lights hindered its spread elsewhere.[1] Still, Occidental gained adherents in many nations including Asian nations. Before WWII it had grown to become the second largest international auxiliary language in numbers of adherents, after Esperanto. A majority of Ido adherents took up Occidental in place of Ido.[2]

Occidental survived World War II, undergoing a name change to Interlingue, but faded into insignificance following the appearance of a competing naturalistic project, Interlingua, in the early 1950s.

Contents

Alphabet and pronunciation

The alphabet of Occidental is:

Pronunciation:

  • a: like father. IPA: /a/
  • c: before e, i, y it is ts, otherwise k. IPA: /t͡s/ & /k/ respectively
  • cc: before e, i, y it is kt͡s, otherwise geminated k. IPA: /kt͡s/ & /k/ respectively
  • ch: like English sh; ch in church is also permitted but not preferred. IPA: /ʃ/ & /t͡ʃ/ respectively
  • g: like English j before e, i, y, otherwise it's hard. IPA: /d͡ʒ/ & /ɡ/ respectively
  • gg: like English j before e, i, y , otherwise a geminated g. IPA: /d͡ʒ/ & /ɡ/ respectively
  • gu: before vowels gw, otherwise gu. IPA: /ɡw/ & /ɡu/ respectively
  • j: just like English. IPA: /d͡ʒ/
  • ni: before vowels like Spanish ñ, otherwise ni. IPA: /ɲ/ & /ni/ respectively
  • ph: f
  • qu: same as English. IPA: /kw/
  • s: between vowels z, otherwise s. IPA: /z/ & /s/ respectively
  • sh: English sh. IPA: /ʃ/
  • sch: English sh. IPA: /ʃ/
  • t: plus i and another vowel, it is like s (as in French), otherwise t. IPA: /sj*/ & /t/ respectively
  • th: same as English. IPA: /θ/
  • w: same as English. IPA: /w/
  • y: same as English. IPA: /j/
  • zz: tts. IPA: /ts/

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