Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

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Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby Stan » 2005-04-24, 0:58

How Riismo modifies Esperanto

According to the Prezento de Riismo, in Riismo:

* The pronoun ri replaces the pronouns li and ŝi. One does not use the pronouns li and ŝi.
* The suffix -iĉ- is used symmetrically with the suffix -in-. One uses them only in order to emphasize the sex or specify it, when necessary.
* Generally roots without a suffix -iĉ- or -in- do not indicate a sex. Also the twenty words, which traditionally indicate only males, and which have corresponding female forms with the attached -in-, must be treated as sexless. However, if there is danger of confusion, for example when speaking to a liisto, one may attach the prefix ge-, with neither of the suffixes -iĉ- or -in- used. For example, dentisto is dentistiĉo or dentistino; (ge)patro is patriĉo or patrino.


What do you think? I'm not quite sure what my stance on this issue is. I used to be very opposed to this, because things like this would possibly open the floodgates for more so-called "reforms" such as the horrid proposal that the diacritics be eliminated or the proposal that the accusative case be eliminated. But now I seemed to have become quite neutral to this particular issue. At first I thought the idea of getting rid of the "he" and "she" words to be a little ridiculous, but then I realized that both Finnish and Chinese don't differentiate between "he" and "she". :wink: But I disagree with the assumption that -o means something male, because it does not. There are certain words in which the -o ending does mean something male, but most words that end in -o can mean both something male or female. For example, patro means "father" but "instruisto" can mean a male or female teacher. That's how I've always understood it. I rarely use the -in- suffix and I advise one to avoid the usage of -in- when it is not necessary. Esperanto is a genderless language, despite what some claim. So I guess I'm currently neutral about this issue.

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Postby Pradd » 2005-04-24, 7:22

Sure, Esperanto isn't a genderless language (it was your example "patro") because people can't use genderless language.

...No, I'll start again...

Sure, Esperanto has all necessary to be a genderless language, but people (thinking and speaking too much about feminism and other things) can't just begin to use "patro" as "genderless parent", not just "father". It's a common problem for many languages, where "man" is equal to "male" and "human".

But my opinion is - it isn't worth to talk about. Don't speak it, just do it.
Sorry for my English.
Please feel free to correct my mistakes.

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Postby ekalin » 2005-04-24, 11:44

As silly as some proposed "reforms" to English to make it "less sexist", such as having to write "chairperson" to refer to a chairman (ops, a chairman or a chairwoman) gender-neutrally. :roll:
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Postby Nukalurk » 2005-04-24, 12:54

I totally support ekalin's answer! :)

Mi suportas la respondon de ekalin totale. :)

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Postby rotzi » 2005-04-25, 6:31

ekalin wrote:As silly as some proposed "reforms" to English to make it "less sexist", such as having to write "chairperson" to refer to a chairman (ops, a chairman or a chairwoman) gender-neutrally. :roll:


I don't think so. The main difference is that Esperanto is a fairly young constructed language -- So why not change what really many perceive as the number-one fault of Esperanto and a correct a wrong decision made in the first place? Just this one?

I know that quite a few people are scared away when they learn that the creator of Esperanto has not thought of avoiding a problem that many natural languages have. I really had trouble with this some 10 years ago. But over the course time this has changed -- I now think that you can't blame the author for this, he simply had other worries... Plus, I think that in Esperanto many means exist that natural languages lack to make the language very genderly neutral.

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Postby Nukalurk » 2005-04-25, 6:33

In most cases, the so-called male form can express both, but the women have the advantage that they have a form solely designated for them, so what's the problem? ;)

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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby rotzi » 2005-04-25, 6:51

Stancel wrote:How Riismo modifies Esperanto
[...]
What do you think? I'm not quite sure what my stance on this issue is. I used to be very opposed to this, because things like this would possibly open the floodgates for more so-called "reforms" such as the horrid proposal that the diacritics be eliminated or the proposal that the accusative case be eliminated.


Well, I think that the changes riismo proposes are really minor compared to abolishing the accusative or getting rid of Esperanto's special letters (which I think is a total non-issue these days).

Mutual understanding between a "riisto" and a "fundamentisto" is unproblematic, because riismo simply adds to the foundation and alters very little.
Ex.: "Ri vizitas rian patron." = "He/She visits his/her father/mother."
The fundamentisto might understand "father" instead of "father/mother". So what? Personally as a riisto I would be very careful not to apply those new concepts fully from the beginning -- in the above sentence I'd simply say "Ri vizitas rian patriĉon aŭ patrinon."
Given time the sound of "patriĉo" will/would become familiar and people will/would start to associate "father" with "patriĉo", and would stop to think about how "patro" is really meant in some context when they hear this word.

Stancel wrote:But now I seemed to have become quite neutral to this particular issue. At first I thought the idea of getting rid of the "he" and "she" words to be a little ridiculous, but then I realized that both Finnish and Chinese don't differentiate between "he" and "she".


IMHO, this is not intended in riismo. If you want to say "he", you can say "li". If you don't want to say it, you use "ri".

Stancel wrote:[...] I rarely use the -in- suffix and I advise one to avoid the usage of -in- when it is not necessary. Esperanto is a genderless language, despite what some claim. So I guess I'm currently neutral about this issue.


I totally agree!
In my opinion, too, -in- should not be overused. If I give every description of a woman or girl the -in- suffix when I talk about them, women
a) are treated specially -- and why should they?
b) are gradually isolated from the actually gender-neutral meaning of the word without suffix.

I'm neutral about this issue, too, I certainly wouldn't frown upon anyone practising riismo. But I'm not too sure I would use it myself -- I tried and later had to speak more about how I say stuff than about what I have to say.

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Postby rotzi » 2005-04-25, 6:57

Amikeco wrote:In most cases, the so-called male form can express both, but the women have the advantage that they have a form solely designated for them, so what's the problem? ;)


They don't have any advantage...
IMHO they are doomed to be either included in the general audience's perception of the male term (which may be unlikely for something like "rubforigisto" or "inĝeniero") or to be mentioned specially on occasion, which makes them all the more exotic.

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Postby Nukalurk » 2005-04-25, 7:14

Hm, this is a good point, maybe the proposal isn't as dumb as I thought...

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Postby ekalin » 2005-04-25, 12:00

rotzi wrote:
ekalin wrote:As silly as some proposed "reforms" to English to make it "less sexist", such as having to write "chairperson" to refer to a chairman (ops, a chairman or a chairwoman) gender-neutrally. :roll:


I don't think so. The main difference is that Esperanto is a fairly young constructed language -- So why not change what really many perceive as the number-one fault of Esperanto and a correct a wrong decision made in the first place? Just this one?


But that's is not a fault, and it isn't even true that Esperanto is "sexist". Except for very few words which obviously refer to males, such as viro or knabo, nouns are gender-neutral and can be used for both sexes. If you need to specify that it is female, use the -in- suffix. And there isn't even a need for another suffix to mark that a noun refers to a male, because there is already the vir- prefix for that. So you can specify the gender if necessary, but if you do not, the word is neutral.
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Postby Guest » 2005-06-08, 8:00

Mi ne havas problemojn koncerne li kaj ŝi ktp. Tute normalas tiel en lingvoj, eĉ pli malfaciliĝas kiam ŝanĝiĝas...

Mi, E-isto ekde malpli ol duonjaro, malamas tiun riismon...

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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby JuxtapositionQMan » 2013-12-24, 18:43

A gender neutral pronoun would be nice, but why eiminate he and she?
Well, that was a thing.
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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby coopermidnight » 2013-12-30, 5:12

JuxtapositionQMan wrote:A gender neutral pronoun would be nice, but why eiminate he and she?

I agree with this.

I like the -iĉ and -in distinctions. As someone who started learning Esperanto in 2013, I feel like the whole idea of inherently male words with optional, female suffixes seems really archaic. Yes, I'm aware that this happens in English as well. It's harder to remedy in English due to all the irregularities.

I know a lot of die-hard Esperantists don't tolerate any reform ideas, and I can understand it. Dropping the accusative, as an example, would be horrible because (I imagine) it would greatly restrict sentence form due to ambiguities. However, I think the gender-related things are a good idea. I especially would like to have a genderless 3rd person; as an English speaker I already know very well how awkward sentences can get, regarding this matter.

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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby qpzil » 2014-02-09, 18:14

Mi konsentas kun JuxtapositionQMan ankaŭ.

From a strictly literal point of view, sometimes distinction does need to be made between he and she. I'm all for using a genderless 3rd person pronoun, but I don't find it offensive or archaic to have li/ŝi in the language.

For that matter though, why not use ĝi for a genderless 3d person pronoun? It exists in the language already. Or would that give the impression of, I don't know, dehumanizing the subject?


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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby JuxtapositionQMan » 2014-02-09, 19:45

qpzil wrote:For that matter though, why not use ĝi for a genderless 3d person pronoun? It exists in the language already. Or would that give the impression of, I don't know, dehumanizing the subject?

yeah, that's basically the extent of it.
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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby Swalf » 2014-03-31, 13:56

If you think Esperanto like artificial language in development a smart question can be "how to reform pronoun system in simple solid system?"
for example I think pretty system like this:

mi - first person singular
vi - second person singular
li - third person singular (animated subject)
ĝi - third person singular (inanimated subject)

imi, ivi, ili, iĝi - same of previus, but in plural form.

if you need gender specification, 'vira li' and 'ina li' can be use according to general Esperanto system.

But when we talk about Esperanto, we can't forget that is still not an artificial language in development.
It is now a real language, spoken around the world. We can only use compatible changes and hope that rest of community likes our changes and it adopts them.

Even Zamenhoff, in front at gender pronoun problem, suggests use 'ĝi' for genderless pronoun, even animated. Esperanto isn't a perfect language. Dr. Z surely already knows that, He and esperantist never wanted a "perfect" language or a language following an infinite path of optimization. On the web there are hundreds of these type of language, maybe with 10 speaker each. They wanted a good language like Esperanto is. In Esperanto way, spirit of humanity is more strong that mathematical perfection and neutrality. I believe that Esperanto can really be enjoyable as it is.
Gender is technically a problem, but in practice we can roughly overpass it by 'ĝi'.

I like iĉismo also, but I like more unity of Esperanto community, I can use iĉismo in informal place, adding a clarifying note in case of ambiguity. Or I can use 'vira homo' or 'ina homo' for 'viro' and 'virino' respectively.
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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby JuxtapositionQMan » 2014-03-31, 14:26

First of all, thank you for posting. It's been ages since someone posted something.
Second, "real" languages get reformed all the time (Think eszett rule).
Swalf wrote:I like iĉismo also, but I like more unity of Esperanto community, I can use iĉismo in informal place, adding a clarifying note in case of ambiguity. Or I can use 'vira homo' or 'ina homo' for 'viro' and 'virino' respectively.
Not happenin'. The Esperanto community is mostly linguists, purists, and reformers. No matter what you do, there will be a divide, so the only reform that will help is that which pulls more people into Esperanto to compensate for the inevitable split.
Also, it's Viro/Femo, and it's a lot easier to use -in- -iĉ- as the suffixes they were intended to be (Homino/Homiĉo).
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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby Swalf » 2014-04-14, 22:07

Swalf wrote:Not happenin'. The Esperanto community is mostly linguists, purists, and reformers. No matter what you do, there will be a divide, so the only reform that will help is that which pulls more people into Esperanto to compensate for the inevitable split.


I don't know with which type of Esperantist you have to deal with. Linguists, purists and reformers there are, this is clear, but in my experience they are not a significant amount in the Esperanto community.
Esperanto world, Esperantujo, is very very multi-colored but roughly a lot of non-newbie goes beyond easy idisms.
This is the only way that allow Esperantujo to survive and slowly grow.

If you evaluate Esperanto music, there is who uses slangs, neologisms (the terrible "olda", IMHO :D ) icism and who is more "conservative". But everyone of these feels another ones as part of unique Esperanto community. Everyone can understand each others and not many spend time to debate others' choices.
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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby JuxtapositionQMan » 2014-04-15, 2:55

Hmmm, so it's like Espdialektoj... :)
I was just talking about what's considered "proper Esperanto". A lot of people are going to argue about that. What you said is valid, though. It's just that every Espparolanto I'þ met outside of Unilang have been in those categories; they're the crazy fanatics who people point to when they're saying Esperanto is a religion or some crap like that, and they're the sole reason I never go to r/Esperanto anymore. I hate those f**antajn Espistojn. :evil: As long as no-one's telling me how to Esperanto, I'm good. :wink:
EDIT: I gave r/Esperanto a second try. It's working out pretty well, especially since I know which topics to stay away from to not run into the Espistoj. I hope this keeps up. :D
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Re: Riismo - The Debate over whether to reform Esperanto

Postby yasmin-kasumi » 2014-05-11, 0:29

Linguistic gender equality is good and important and seeing that most are behind it, its at the top of the list, but what about antonym reform? I love esperanto, I hate the gender inequality but I'm no where near alone with reforming it (at least to the point that our reforms wont be labeled esperantido), but I am bugged so much by seeing mal- everywhere just pisses me off. Mahella, malgranda, it's just linguistically lazy as hell!!! Is anyone besides poets up for doing some more coinages???
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