Edgar de Wahl

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Edgar von Wahl
Edgar von Wahl (cropped).jpg
Edgar de Wahl
Born(1867-08-23)23 August 1867
Died9 March 1948(1948-03-09) (aged 80)
CitizenshipRussia (1867 – 1918)
Estonia (1917 – 1948)
Known forInventor of Occidental
Coat of arms of the Wahl family of 1795, in the Baltic Coat of arms book [et] by Carl Arvid von Klingspor [de] in 1882.[1]

Edgar Alexei Robert von[2] Wahl or de Wahl (23 August 1867 – 9 March 1948) was a Baltic German teacher, mathematician and linguist. He is most famous for being the creator of Occidental, a naturalistic constructed language based on the Indo-European languages, which was initially published in 1922. An Estonian of ethnic Baltic German origin, he studied in Saint Petersburg and spent most of his later professional life in Tallinn, Estonia.

He was born at Olwiopol, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire (now part of Pervomaisk, Mykolaiv Oblast, Ukraine).

At first an adherent of Volapük, de Wahl later became one of the first users of Esperanto in 1888[3] and advised Ludwig Zamenhof on some points of grammar and vocabulary of that language. After several years he abandoned Esperanto after the failed vote to reform the language in 1894 (de Wahl was one of the few that voted for a completely new reform), and in the following decades he worked on the problem of the ideal form of an international auxiliary language.

In 1922 he published a "key" to a new language, Occidental, and the first number of a periodical entitled Kosmoglott (later Cosmoglotta), written in that language. In following years, de Wahl participated in discussions about Occidental, and allowed the language to develop gradually as a result of the recommendations of its users. After World War II started in 1939, he had only intermittent contacts with the Occidentalist movement, which had become centred in Switzerland. He became a member of the Committee of Linguistic Advisors, part of the International Auxiliary Language Association, which would present Interlingua in 1951.

The last years of his life were spent in a sanatorium in Tallinn, Estonia, where he died in 1948. Shortly afterwards, in 1949, the name of Occidental was changed to Interlingue. Later, in 1951, Interlingua was unveiled; this led to the present insignificance of Interlingue (Occidental).

See also[edit]


  • Edgar von Wahl. Flexion und Begriffsspaltung. – Linguist 1896, nr 10.
  • Edgar von Wahl. Ausnahmen. – Linguist 1897, nr 3.
  • Edgar de Wahl. [Idiom neutral reformed]. – Progres 1906, nr 6.
  • Julian Prorók. Ketzereien: Keimzellen einer Philosophie. Tartu, Leipzig 1906.
  • Edgar de Wahl. AULI = Auxiliari lingue International. – Discussiones 1909, nr 1-2.
  • Edgar de Wahl. L leges de derivation en verbes. – Lingua Internationale 1911, nr 1.
  • Edgar von Wahl. Kaiserlicher Estländischer See-Yacht-Club: historische Übersicht 1888-1913. Tallinn 1913.
  • Edgar de Wahl. Qual instructiones da nos li historie de lingue universal. – Kosmoglott 1922, nr 1, lk 6–8.
  • Edgar de Wahl. Radicarium directiv del lingue international (occidental): in 8 lingues. Tallinn 1925.
  • Edgar de Wahl. Interlinguistic reminiscenties. – Cosmoglotta 1927, nr 41, lk 54–64.
  • Edgar de Wahl. Occidental: gemeinverständliche europäische Kultursprache für internationalen Verkehr: Begründung, Grammatik, Wortbildung, vergleichende textproben. Tallinn, Viin 1928.
  • Edgar de Wahl, Otto Jespersen. Discussiones inter E. de Wahl e O. Jespersen. Chapelle 1935.
  • Edgar de Wahl. Spiritu de interlingue. Cheseaux/Lausanne, 1953.


  1. ^ Carl Arvid von Klingspor (1882). Baltisches Wappenbuch. Stockholm. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-543-98710-5. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  2. ^ In German personal names, von is a preposition which approximately means of or from and usually denotes some sort of nobility. While von (always lower case) is part of the family name or territorial designation, not a first or middle name, if the noble is referred to by surname alone in English, use Schiller or Clausewitz or Goethe, not von Schiller, etc.
  3. ^ "ÖNB-ANNO - Kosmoglott (Serie A)". anno.onb.ac.at. Retrieved 2019-01-05.