The use of psychologically live word-material necessarily limits an ideal solution of the phonetic difficulties of learning languages. Fortunately the Mediterranean vowel battery is small, but Greek abounds in consonant-clusters which offer great difficulties to people who speak Japanese, Chinese, Bantu or Polynesian dialects. Where equivalent Greek and Latin roots are internationally current, this fact should guide the choice of the designer and that of the beginner (see p. 30). We can take advantage of Latin and Greek alternatives to exclude homophones (cf. the root homophones sol in solar and solitary). The root xero in many botanical and horticultural terms (e.g. xerophyte) would be a near-homophone to zero, because many people find it difficult to pronounce an initial x as ks or z as ts. So it cannot have first choice as the equivalent word for dry.
If we aim at easy recognition and easy association, it is fatal to maltreat roots for the sake of uniform spelling. Uniformity is less important than consistency. It does not matter whether one sound always has one symbol. What does matter is whether the same symbol stands for only one sound (cf. the vagaries of G and J, S and Z in English). The main difficulty about the spelling conventions of a Latin-Greek stock-in-trade of words is that different nations do not follow the same plan with respect to Romanization of Greek roots, e.g. French, German and English have PH where Scandinavians and Italians use the F. Since the international binomial nomenclature of systematic biology, and that of anatomy and chemistry, stick to the older forms, Interglossa provisionally adopts them. As Ogden has emphasized, spelling is a secondary issue, if a language has great potential word-economy.¹
(iv) Interglossa has a system of word-economy which takes full advantage of its analytical grammar, and hence combines features characteristic of Basic English and of Chinese. To clarify the principles involved, two terms are useful. As we call identical vocables which mean different things homophones, we may call different vocables with the same semantic content homosemes. Likewise we may call words with a common element of meaning coenosemes. Thus ascend (go up) and descend (go down) are coenosemes, as are study (work-