by doing so increases confidence in the prospect of further progress.

To say this does not mean that the existence of such terminals or the acceptance of morphological categories characteristic of the Aryan and Finno-Ugrian families is the only or the best way of achieving the same result. There are other devices. Two are: (i) a fixed pattern of word-order; (ii) the existence of empty words, such as the French article which sticks to the noun with the same Romantic fidelity as the substantive suffix of E, arid is therefore a signpost pointing to an oncoming substantive.

Because P is the isolating offspring of its highly flexional parent, Latin, it has a poor equipment of empty words, and an aristocratic indifference to the necessity for simple rules of sentence-construction. The fact is that no pioneer of language-planning— least of all Peano— has undertaken the task of investigating what rules of word-order contribute most to intrinsic clarity of meaning and ease of recognition. Like Jespersen, and like his predecessors, all of whom had adopted a much more conservative attitude to structural grammar, Peano never got to grips with the essentials of syntax. The essentials of international syntax include: (a) a sentence-landscape designed in conformity with straightforward rules; (b) elimination of different word-forms with the same semantic content, and other redundant modes of expression.


Authors of all projects mentioned above underestimated the difficulty of mastering an unnecessarily large vocabulary, and failed to understand the need for semantic spring-cleaning as a prelude to any effective policy for mitigating it. None of them attempted analysis of the irreducible minimum of vocables essential for self-expression. The fact that Ogden has done so, rather than any intrinsic merit of English itself, is one sufficient reason for the popularity of Basic and for its appeal to those who regard projects for an artificial auxiliary with little favour. Peano, who was mainly concerned with the needs of science and technology, made no attempt to keep an essential word-list within the limits of what ordinary people without a large vocabulary of technical terms can easily learn. The authors of V, E, I.N., I and N made a half-hearted attempt which has justly earned the vigorous criticism of Ogden and of some of his supporters.

What word-economy recent designers of constructed auxiliaries have aimed at achieving is of one sort only. On what seem to be purely a priori grounds, they have chosen