Johann Schleyer, inventor of VolapukI am grateful to sundry correspondents for most of the material references given below. Particular mention should go to Jim Henry, Don Harlow, Sergio Meira and D.P.Finch for their contributions to my knowledge of Volapük material.

I make absolutely no judgement on any of the material cited.

The portrait beside us here, incidentally, is of Johann Schleyer, inventor of Volapük.

Material relating to Volapük:

Title page of the Italian edition of the Volapük grammar

Material on the history of the International Language movement:

  • For satisfying numbers of links to relevant material, see http://www.omniglot.com/links/conlangs.htm
  • A speech by the New Yorker Daniel Brinton in 1888, and three articles in 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica written by Henry Sweet. Both men, while rejecting the candidates on offer, found the idea of a planned IAL practical and desirable: http://www.acadon.com (from the leftside menu)
  • For information on anarchist-socialist-communist Esperantism, especially in the early and middle 1920s - consider the 'anationalist' movement around E. Lanti (and the entry on him in Wikipedia)
  • Chapters 11 and 12 of Frederick Bodmer's 1944 book The Loom of Language -- still in print -- are said to be worth looking at.
  • Don Harlow's article 'How to Build a Language' is highly entertaining - http://donh.best.vwh.net/Esperanto/EBook/chap03.html
  • Richard Harrison's 'Bibliography of Planned Languages (excluding Esperanto)' at http://www.lingviko.net/biblio.html is voluminous.
  • Dénes Szilágyi's 'Principios de Interlinguistica Generale' (from his two-part 'Versus Interlinguistica', written in Latino Sine Flexione, published in 1931. Theses 18-20 from this are provided below - thanks to D.P.Finch. (There is an authorised German translation of all 22 points in Barandovska-Frank, Vera (1996): Versus Interlinguistica/Aus der Geschichte der Interlinguistik, grkg/Humankybernetik 37/2, S. 71-82.)

Other material on the present state of the International Language movement:

  • About 10 years ago, there were two projects: at the Eufo-Institut in Regensburg, 'KOD' (now demised?); and at Sejong University in Korea, 'Unish'. The relevant url for the latter is www.unish.net
  • Helpful is the web-site of the Gesellschaft für Interlinguistik: http://www.interlinguistik-gil.de

And finally for your unalloyed enjoyment

The following paragraphs are written in Latino Sine Flexione. I make no claims for that language, but it is surprisingly easy to read!

Theses 18~20 of Dénes Szilágyi's 'Principios de Interlinguistica Generale'

18. De puncto de vista de sociologia, es observando, quod vita in gruppos interlinguista praesenta exemplos classico pro studio de gruppos organizato. Hic nos vol da aliquo indicationes ad isto thema. Volapük, adhaerentes de que forma uno secta satis fanatico, debe peri pro persona nimis severo de suo ductore. Charactere de clemente patre de suo auctore, redde possibile pro Esperanto de supervive uno 'reformatione' (de Ido); et isto ultimo praesenta imagine characteristico de omne reformatione, concepto secundum schema de surrectione contra patre. Caeterum, apud Esperanto no pote seque, in modo optimo, analogia de movementos religioso; et observa etiam genesi de rituale, cerimoniale, et, usque certo gradu, de mytho. Alio systemas de interlingua, etsi provisto pre prefecto motivatione rationalistico, debi peri pro impaternale persona ducente, et pro particularitate de ultra-individualistico adhaerentes, qui non pote indentifica-se, in modo sufficiente, cum ductore. Exploratione dialectico de situazione de ductore futuro, et de gruppo interlinguista ipso, in societate, es jam initiato (E. Drezen).
19. De puncto de vista de psychologia de individuo, studio interlinguistico es forsan de maximo fecunditate. Nos pote suppone, quod motores de creatione linguistico dicto artificiale, es identico ad illos de creatione 'naturale'. Sed apud artificiale productos linguistico, factores individuale es multo plus manifesto, ergo multo melius accessibile, quam apud idiomas determinato in phylogenesi, quem vix nos pote perseque, aut quam apud evolutione infantile hodierno, ubi nos es reducto ad conjecturas vix fundabile in modo exacto.
20. Quid es primo impressione, quem nos habe, post lectura de historia de interlinguas? Probabile illo, quod productione, in parte sine dubio inutile, de circa 500 interlingua non pote es opere de frigido ratione calculante. Cum multo meliore jure nos pote suppone, quod isto productione, ultimo analysi, es regressione ad uno modo infantile de satisfac instinctus, post superato per acceptione de lingua sociale, regressione ad gradu infantile de evolutione, quando etiam regna principio de voluptate. Super isto gradu, apparatu vocale funge solum sicut zona erogeneo, sed post, cum graduale accomodatione ad realitate, isto apparatu fi instrumentu de lingua sociale. Suo usu, per interdictiones externo et renuntiationes interno, es relativo pauco restricto, propter isto apparatu es occupato, in modo facile, per tale instinctus, quid subi processu de sublimatione dum evolutione individuale. Ita isto apparatu et functiones affine nunc servi pro satisfac, ultra erotica originale orale, erotica anale ('ludo' cum lingua; forsan motivo fundamentale generale de activitate creativo linguistico), pro symbolico violatione de interdictione de incestu (lingua, symbole de matre intangible), pro voluptuoso augmento de sensu de potentia ( cognitione de linguas, in symbolo, aequale potentia; si nos disce uno ex facile intelinguas, isto significa augmento facile, ergo oeconomico utile, de potentia), etiam motivo de superatione de patre habe parte non negligible, quamquam usque hodie pauco considerato (ergo parte de coflictu de Oedipo, etiam pro lingua individuale, ex aequatione symbolico lingua: infante; lingua es facto iterum, de novo, es facto melius, es genito melius). Post progressivo rationalizatione, etiam interlinguas praetende de es res practico, et illos in parte fi, nam etiam illos subi accomodatione ad realitate, vero tale.