Natural and Artificial International Languages: a Typosogist's Assessment

Bernard Comrie 1 ,
Author Information & Copyright
1University of Southern California
Corresponding Author : Bernard Comrie, Linguistics Deportment, University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 90089-1693

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


For the purposes of this paper, I will make certain assumptions. I will assume that it is a good thing that there should be an international language, serving the purpose of communication among the peoples and nations of the world I will further assume that the purpose of an international language is best served by there being a single such language, such that representatives of all the world's peoples and nations who wish to engage in international communication would be able to do so by learning a single international language.



Bickerton, Derek & Givon, Talmy. (1976). 'Pidginization and syntactic change: from SXV and VSX to SVX'. In Sanford B. Steever, Carol A. Walker, & Salicoco S. Mufwene (eds): Papers from the Parasession on Diachronic Syntax, 9-39. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.


Comrie, Bernard. (1989). Language universals and linguistic typology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell/Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Comrie, Bernard. Forthcoming. 'How exotic are European languages: The case of the relative clause'. In Ekkehard Konig & Martin Haspelmath (eds.): EURPTYP, vol. 10. Berlin: Mounton de Gruyter.


Eco, Umberto. (1993). La ricerca della lingua perfetta [The search for the perfect language ].(Fare l'Europa.) Roma/Bari: Laterza.


Forster, Peter G. (1982). The Esperanto movement. (Contributions to the Sociology of Language, 32.) The Hague/Paris/New York: Mouton


Grimes. Barbara F. (ed.). (1992). Ethnologue: Languages of the world. 12th ed. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.


Hyman, Larry M. & Comrie, Bernard. (1981). 'Logophoric reference in Gokana'. Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 3:19-37)


Janton, Pierre. (1993). Esperanto : Language, literature, and community. Albany: State University of New York Press Jones, B. J. & Rhie, Gene S. (1991). Standard English-Korean Korean-English dictionary for foreigners. Seoul and Elizabeth, NJ: Hollym.


Kraus, Michael. (1992). "The world's languages in crisis". Language 68: 4- 10


Maxwell, Dan. (1989). 'Principles for constructing planned languages'. In Schubert (ed.), 101-119


Piron, Clause. (1989). 'A few notes on the evolution of Esperanto1. In Schubert (ed.), 129-142.


Schubert, Klaus (ed.). (1989). Interlinguistics: Aspects of the science of planned languages. (Trends in Linguistics: Studies and Monographs, 42). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter


Sohn, Ho-min. (1994). Korean. (Routledge Dscriptive Grammars.) London/New York: Routledge.


Wells. J.C. (1974). Concise Esperanto and English dictionary. (Teach Yourself Books.) London: Hodder & Stoughton/Lincolnwood, IL NTC.


Wood, Richard E (1979). 'A voluntary non-ethnic and non-territorial speech community'.


In William Francis Mackey & Jacob Ornstein (eds.) :Sociolinguistic studies in language contact: Methods and cases. (Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monogrphs, 6.) The Hague/Paris/New York: Mouton.


World almanac and book of facts 1995.1994. Mahwah, NJ: World Almanac.