Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ido: Reforming Esperanto

A few days ago, we covered the constructed language of Esperanto. As a result, it got us thinking about constructed languages and international auxiliary languages. As we said, Esperanto is the world's most popular constructed language. Ido, however, is not.

The flag of Ido
Ido was created in the early 20th century following complaints about Esperanto. The language was designed to address the flaws in Esperanto and to correct them. The Ido movement never really garnered much support, and it wasn't until the age of the internet that Ido actually gained any momentum. Even now, it only has a couple hundred speakers and still lacks support.

The first of Ido's changes to Esperanto was removing all diacritics from the alphabet. Ido's alphabet is identical to the Latin alphabet as used in the English language. The 26 letters represent 26 individual sounds. There are also three digraphs, ch, qu, and sh, which are used.

The phonology of Esperanto always used a stress on the penultimate syllable. Ido, however, does not always follow this rule, instead opting to change the stress for verb infinitives to the last syllable. In terms of vocabulary, Ido prefers to retain nouns as gender-neutral rather than defining words such as occupations as gender-specific.

Even though constructed languages are man-made inventions, one could say that they are still subject to evolution and even revolution.