Summary and Info
This book provides a detailed description of Esperanto for linguists who are not familiar with the language. Its main aim is to demonstrate that Esperanto not only has complex system of etymology and word formation, but also of syntax and phraseology. Another aim is to determine to what extent the language has extended beyond its original conception in 1887. This work presents for the first time statistical and contextual analysis from a representative computer-based text archive using the latest techniques of corpus linguistics. Esperanto is an ideal object of study for linguists since it is the most widespread and best known example of an artificial language. In theory, Esperanto represents a regular, easily assimilated language designed for international use. Yet the language also came to be used socially among fellow enthusiasts, intellectually as a literary forum and politically for propaganda, especially in the communist era. Conservative estimates indicate 50,000 speakers, which is large by minority language standards. Yet Esperanto's status as a second language and ideological project has only recently attracted socio-linguistic fieldwork (Stocker 1995) and the language has undergone almost no critical linguistic analysis. This volume outlines a linguistic description of the particularities of the language, from the morphosyntax to elements of phraseolgy. The description is based on a computational analysis of a written text archive (a corpus of 350 000 words). The corpus analysis reveals consistent patterns of phraseology which point to linguistic richness and dynamism. These patterns belie the receivced wisdom that artificial languages cannot really display natural complexity. Contents: 0 Historical and social background. 1 Phonology 2 Morphology 3 Syntax 4 Phraseology 5 Interlinear transcription Appendices: corpus statistics and word lists.
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