Neutrality of International Languages

Haitao Liu 1
Author Information & Copyright
1Communication University of China

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


This paper focuses on the neutrality of international languages. First, a derivation of the concept of “neutral language” from “inter- national communicative act” is provided; it is argued that an acceptable neutral language for international communication can only be an artificial language. Certain characterizations of consciously created languages are discussed. The paper distinguishes two types of neutrality: communicative neutrality and linguistic neutrality. All planned languages are communicatively neutral, but their linguistic neutrality varies, reflecting the diversity of language design principles. Given that absolute linguistic neutrality unattainable, it becomes reasonable to construct a language based on certain control languages plus linguistic universals. We introduce the term “deneutralization” to designate a process whereby a neutral language changes into an ordinary language. The paper also shows that Esperanto has not become deneutralized.

Keywords: international language; neutrality; deneutralization; artificial language; planned language; universal language; Esperanto



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