An Esperantido is any language project based on or inspired by Esperanto. The term "Esperantido" is used mainly within the Esperanto and constructed-language communities and originally referred to the language of that name, which later came to be known as Ido. The word Esperantido is derived from Esperanto plus the suffix -id (a descendant). Hence, "Esperantido" literally means "an offspring of Esperanto".
A number of Esperantidos have been created to address a number of perceived flaws or weaknesses of Esperanto, or of other Esperantidos, attempting to improve their lexicon, grammar, pronunciation, and orthography. (See common objections.) Others were created as language games or to add variety to Esperanto literature. The only Esperantido in common use is Ido.
- 1 Language reforms
- 2 Esperantidos for amusement
- 3 Esperanto specializations
- 4 Esperantidos used in literature
- 5 Comparison of Esperanto, Ido, Esperant', and Arcaicam Esperantom
- 6 References
These attempted improvements were intended to replace Esperanto. Limited suggestions for improvement within the framework of Esperanto, such as orthographic reforms and riism, are not considered Esperantidos.
Mundolinco (1888) was the first Esperantido, created in 1888. Changes from Esperanto include combining the adjective and adverb under the suffix -e, loss of the accusative and adjectival agreement, changes to the verb conjugations, eliminating the diacritics, and bringing the vocabulary closer to Latin, for example with superlative -osim- to replace the Esperanto particle plej "most".
Zamenhof himself proposed several changes in the language in 1894, which were rejected by the Esperanto community and subsequently abandoned by Zamenhof himself.
Ido (1907), the foremost of the Esperantidos, sought to bring Esperanto into closer alignment with Western European expectations of an ideal language, based on familiarity with French, English, and Italian. Reforms included changing the spelling by removing non-Roman letters such as ĉ and re-introducing the k/q dichotomy; removing a couple of the more obscure phonemic contrasts (one of which, [x], has been effectively removed from standard Esperanto); ending the infinitives in -r and the plurals in -i like Italian; eliminating adjectival agreement, and removing the need for the accusative case by setting up a fixed default word order; reducing the amount of inherent gender in the vocabulary, providing a masculine suffix and an epicene third-person singular pronoun; replacing the pronouns and correlatives with forms more similar to the Romance languages; adding new roots where Esperanto uses the antonymic prefix mal-; replacing much of Esperanto's other regular derivation with separate roots, which are thought to be easier for Westerners to remember; and replacing much of the Germanic and Slavic vocabulary with Romance forms, such as navo for English-derived ŝipo. See the Ido Pater noster below.
Ido spawned its own idos, the first being Adjuvilo (1908), which was created by an Esperantist to sow dissent in the Ido community.
René de Saussure (brother of linguist Ferdinand de Saussure) published numerous Esperantido proposals, starting with a response to Ido later called Antido 1 ("Anti-Ido 1") in 1907, which increasingly diverged from Esperanto before finishing with a more conservative Esperanto II in 1937. Esperanto II replaced j with y, kv with q, kz with x, and diacritic letters with j (ĵ and ĝ), w (ŭ), and digraphs sh (ŝ), ch (ĉ); replaced the passive in -iĝ- with -ev-, the indefinite ending -aŭ with adverbial -e, the accusative -on on nouns with -u, and the plural on nouns with -n (so membrun for membrojn "members"); dropped adjectival agreement; broke up the table of concords, changed other small grammatical words such as ey for kaj "and", and treated pronouns more like nouns, so that the plural of li "he" is lin rather than ili "they", and the accusative of ĝi "it" is ju.
Romániço (1991) is designed to be more intuitive for native speakers of English. It replaces vocabulary and some grammar with Romance constructions, allows a somewhat more irregular orthography, and eliminates some criticized points such as case, adjectival agreement, verbal inflection for tense and mood, and inherent gender, but retains the o, a, e suffixes for parts of speech and an agglutinative morphology. It is intended as a compromise between Esperanto and naturalistic conlangs such as Interlingua.
Esperanto sen Fleksio
Esperanto sen Fleksio (Esperanto without inflexion), proposed under this name by Richard Harrison in 1996 but based on long-term complaints from Asian Esperantists, is an experimental and unfinished proposal for a morphologically reduced variety of Esperanto. The main changes are:
- Loss of the plural (the suffix -j), except in the new plural definite article laj (short for la jo) and possibly in a plural accusative preposition naj; singular number is marked by unu or la, plural by the new words jo and laj (la jo) (and maybe naj)
- Replacement of the accusative case (the suffix -n) with either subject–verb–object word order or with a new preposition na for other word orders
- Loss of verb tense: past, present, and future are all subsumed under the infinitive ending -i, though the imperative, conditional, and a single active and passive participle (-anta and -ita) remain
- Shift from copula-plus-adjective to verb, for example boni instead of esti bona
In an earlier version, the letter ŭ was replaced with w, but the more recent version uses the same alphabet as regular Esperanto.
While most Esperantidos aim to simplify Esperanto, Poliespo ("polysynthetic Esperanto", c. 1993) makes it considerably more complex. Besides the polysynthetic morphology, it incorporates much of the phonology and vocabulary of the Cherokee language. It has fourteen vowels, six of them nasalized, and three tones.
Esperantidos for amusement
There are also extensions of Esperanto created primarily for amusement.
One of the more interesting Esperantidos, grammatically, is Universal (1923–1928). It adds a schwa to break up consonant clusters, marks the accusative case with a nasal vowel, has inclusive and exclusive pronouns, uses partial reduplication for the plural (tablo "table", tatablo "tables"), and inversion for antonyms (mega "big", gema "little"; donu "give", nodu "receive"; tela "far", leta "near"). Inversion can be seen in:
- Al gefinu o fargu kaj la egnifu o grafu.
- He finished reading [lit. 'to read'] and she started to write.
The antonyms are al "he" and la "she" (compare li "s/he"), the ge- (completive) and eg- (inchoative) aspects, fin- "to finish" and nif- "to begin", and graf- "to write" and farg- "to read".
The Universal reduplicated plural and inverted antonyms are reminiscent of the musical language Solresol.
Esperant’ (c. 1998) is a style of speech that twists but does not quite violate the grammar of Esperanto.
The changes are morphological:
- The nominal suffix -o is removed, as in poetry. Knabo becomes knab’.
- The plural ending -oj is replaced with the collective suffix -ar-. Knaboj becomes knabar’.
- Adjectives lose their -a suffixes and combine with their head nouns. Bela knabino becomes belknabin’.
- In direct objects, the accusative suffix -n is replaced with the preposition je. Knabon becomes je knab’.
- Verbs become nouns, and their erstwhile tense and mood suffixes move elsewhere:
- This may be an adverb or prepositional phrase: donu hodiaŭ becomes hodiaŭu don’, and estas en la ĉielo becomes est’ ĉielas.
- If the verb contains a valency suffix, this may detach from the verb: fariĝu becomes iĝu far’.
- If none of these options is available, jen may be used as a placeholder: amas becomes jenas am’. The choice of where the tense suffix ends up is largely a stylistic choice.
- Subjects of the erstwhile verb take the preposition de if nouns, or became possessives if pronouns: knabo amas becomes am’ de knab’, and kiu estas becomes kies est’.
- The article la becomes l’ whenever the preceding word ends in a vowel.
- Boys love the pretty girl.
- Esperanto: Knaboj amas la belan knabinon.
- Esperant’: Jenas am’ de knabar’ je l’ belknabin’.
Literally, "Behold (the) love of group of boys to the pretty-girl."
See the Esperant’ Pater noster below.
Esperantidos used in literature
Esperanto has little in the way of the slang, dialectical variation, or archaisms found in natural languages. Several authors have felt a need for such variation, either for effect in original literature, or to translate such variation from national literature.
Archaism and Arcaicam Esperantom
Proto-Esperanto would theoretically fulfill the need for archaism, but too little survives for it to be used extensively. In 1931 Kalman Kalocsay published a translation of the Funeral Sermon and Prayer, the first Hungarian text (12th century), in which he created fictitious archaic forms as though Esperanto were a Romance language deriving from Vulgar Latin.
Manuel Halvelik went further in 1969 with a book on Arcaicam Esperantom, where he laid out the grammar of a fictitious ancestor of modern Esperanto. It echoes Proto-Esperanto in a more complex set of inflections, including dative and genitive cases ending in -d and -es and separate verbal inflections for person and number, as well as "retention" of digraphs such as ph and tz, writing c for [k], and the use of the letters q, y, w.
Dialects and Popido
Occasionally, reform projects have been used by Esperanto authors to play the role of dialects, for example standard Esperanto and Ido to translate a play written in two dialects of Italian. Halvelik (1973) created Popido ("Popular Idiom") to play the role of a substandard register of Esperanto that, among other things, does away with much of Esperanto's inflectional system. For example, standard Esperanto
- Redonu al tiu viro lian pafilon.
- "Give that man back his gun."
is in Popido,
- Redonu al tu vir la pistol.
("la" is the Popido equivalent of "lia"; the article in Popido is "lo")
Comparison of Esperanto, Ido, Esperant', and Arcaicam Esperantom
The Esperanto Pater noster follows, compared to the Ido, Esperant’ and Arcaicam Esperantom versions.
- Pitt, Arnold D. N. (1987). "The Spelling of Esperanto". Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society. p. 13. ISSN 0950-9585. Archived from the original on 9 March 2013.
- Some of the more common letter substitutions are:
- The English and French values of ts, w, and y for c, ŭ, and j, and either English zh and j or French j and dj for ĵ and ĝ
- X for ĥ, reflecting its use in Spanish and the IPA; other proposals follow common usage and eliminate the rare letter ĥ entirely, and use x for ks and kz
- Qu for kv
- Single letters for the fricatives and digraphs for the affricates. Generally in such proposals j and dj stand in for ĵ and ĝ ([ʒ] and [dʒ]). For ŝ and ĉ ([ʃ] and [tʃ]), there are two principal approaches, either c or x for ŝ and therefore either tc or tx for ĉ. The c, tc approach is reminiscent of French ch, tch for the same values, while the x, tx approach is found in Basque and to a lesser extent in Catalan and Portuguese (with tx in native Brazilian names).
- Esperanto sen fleksio
- Kennaway, Richard; Some Internet resources relating to constructed languages; 7 January 2005; retrieved on 29 July 2008
- Esperanto sen Fleksio; Allverbs; retrieved on 29 July 2008
- МОВЫ СВЕТУ; Languages of the world; retrieved on 29 July 2008
- Libert, Alan (2008). Daughters of Esperanto. Lincom. ISBN 978-3895867484.
- Harrison, Rick (2004). "Esperanto sen Fleksio". Artificial Language Lab. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
- Desquilbet, Jérôme (25 November 2004). "Esperanto sen Fleksio" (in French). Archived from the original on 4 October 2011.
- "Lernu je Esperant'". Meeuw.org. 1999-05-17. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- Elektronika Bulteno de EASL includes the short story La Mezepoka Esperanto from Lingvo Stilo Formo, 2nd cheap edition, Kalman Kalocsay, Budapest, Literatura Mondo, 1931.