Welcome to the main page of the Wikiversity resource on the Esper language. Please use the associated Talk:Esper discussion page.
The Esper' language started as, and remain, a layer of the Pont' language, but both have been intentionally evolved into variants of the Esperanto language in order to support rather than compete with the International Language of Doctor Esperanto, which so far has been the most successful attempt to create a universal second language for everybody, with its active speakers now numbering at an estimated ten million or so individuals, including at least a few thousand native speakers.
The Esper' language may or may not "replace" the Esperanto language some day, but there is no need to hope for such a thing to happen, nor to fear the possibility of it. All living languages eventually effect each other's long term development and as such, if sufficiently successful, the Esper' language will doubtless effect the long term development of the Esperanto language just as many other languages have done and continue to do, but that is not the PURPOSE of the Esper' language.
The Purpose of the Esper' Language
Over the course of human history there have been various attempts to make it possible for everyone to communicate with each other. One rather noteworthy attempt was the Volapük language, which was released back in 1879 and still has some speakers today, and was a major factor in the invention of the Esperanto language which is now the most successful such attempt to date and has itself inspired many other attempts, none of which can really ever be called a "failure" as long as SOMEBODY out there is still trying to make it succeed, because its lifespan is not over. The Esperanto language in particular is actually quite successful as a language, considering the number of speakers it has gained in its short existence, now one and a quarter centuries. However, for any language to finally realize the dreams of those who would like to see everyone able to communicate with each other world-wide, it's number of speakers needs to "catch up" with the world-wide population. This was about one and a half billion people at the time of Esperanto's creation, and is now over seven billion. Even languages like English, Spanish, and French, come nowhere close to being known by the majority of the world's population despite considerable resources spent and many lives forfeit in their respective fights for "world dominance" and the great number of people who thinks each such language SHOULD dominate the world. But do we really need to be DOMINATED? Obviously if any of us would like to see a single language accepted world wide by the majority of the population OUT OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL AND PERSONAL CHOICE TO LEARN IT, something has to come along which can be learned EXTREMELY EASILY by most people, allows sufficient personal freedom of expression, can handle modern human communication across all cultures, and is supported by people who encourage others to learn it without discouraging them from making their own decisions, including decisions like whether to learn the language as it is presented to them or attempt to make their own personal modifications, and decisions like whether to support the language, stand against it, or simply wait and see what happens. For this reason, the Esper' language is an OPEN SOURCE language. Anyone can speak or write their own version of it if that person so chooses and may encourage others to learn their version as well. If it becomes popular enough, eventually those with money and power can be expected to present their own resources on the language, but in the mean time the rest of us have an opportunity to beat them to the punch so that when any such work is presented as an authority on the language it will be up to each individual speaker of the language how much "authority" to give it.
The Esper' language has some tricks up its sleeve to help facilitate the rapid "easy language acquisition" needed to help realize the dreams of people like L. L. Zamenhof, for a world with better communication to facilitate better understanding across any boarders.
How the Esper' Language Came Into Existence
The language Pont' was started around 1970, originally named Esper', meaning "hope" as in "hope for humanity", which turned out to be an interesting coincidence since the author had not yet heard of Esperanto at that time, but the name was changed to Pont' early on because it was more in line with the main intention behind the language, which was to provide the world with a language which could connect all human communication languages together as if they were mere dialects of a "super-language" which could ultimately support all of their differences at once while maintaining regularized bridges between them to facilitate the learning of any spoken or written language by those familiar with any other spoken or written language. The name Pont' means "bridge", and when support for the Esperanto language was added, the language underwent some major changes to more directly support it, and that new bridge was called the Esperant'onto dialect, with the original name of the language revived in the form of a pseudo-language called Esper' which was developed to serve as the "midpoint" along the bridge, intended to facilitate bringing the main Pont' dialect closer to the Esperanto language by acting as if it were to that pair of languages what the Pont' language was intended to be for other pairs of languages. As the Pont' language continued to develope over the years, that bridge was made shorter and shorter, dragging the "island of Pont'", as it were, into closer and closer proximity with the Esperanto language, until it became practically indistinguishable.
The dream of the Pont' language bridging other languages together was never meant to be fully realized by the work of a single individual. It was intended from the start to be a community project. As such, the author of the Pont' language tried to make connections with the Esperanto community over the years, but found that the scars from the split caused by the Ido language had not healed and ran so deep within the collective consciousness of the community that most members tended to treat any attempts at "creating a language" as if the sole intention behind them was to smash their collective dream. As a result, it was a difficult decision whether to continue to look for ways to make Pont' better support the Esperanto language specifically, or to abandon that path and return to the original idea of making it as completely neutral as possible. Eventually the creator of the Pont' language did manage to get a few Esperanto speaking friends over the Internet, but for the most part continued to find that the idea of any intentionally invented language other than Esperanto tended to quickly drive them away. At one point in time, the president of the World Esperanto Association expressed an interest in the work being done on the Pont' language, comparing it to hybrid languages in India and calling it a formalization of something beautiful which has been mainly hidden over the years due to a common cultural perspective of seeing such linguistic mixtures as some sort of abominations, which were very useful to know but were generally neither discussed nor admitted openly in general public. As a result of this one person's encouragement and a consequence of continued political persecution due to years spent promoting an electoral reform that would put the main power of governments in the hands of the people, the decision was made to concentrate specifically on the Esper' language, iron out any incompatibilities with it had with the Esperanto language, and get it released to the general public, leaving the concepts behind the Pont' language to be evolved by the community at large, as they should have been in the first place.
Differences and Similarities Between Esper' and Esperanto
At this stage it is strongly recommendable that the Esper' language support the Esperanto language, both so that it does not further split the community of people who are attempting to support the idea of an international auxiliary language and due to the fact that the Esperanto language has been in use long enough to have already gotten much of the problems worked out. However, this is not to say that there can be no distinction between them. The Esper' language uses an orthography which is more universally supported by modern technology and has at its core the idea that any "rule" should be applicable without exception, or should not be considered a rule. It is of course up to each of us which "rules" we choose to follow, and which ones we choose to personally treat as mere suggestions or utter nonsense, and it's perfectly fine for Esperanto speakers and Esper' speakers to converse with each other by speaking or writing in the variant of their own preference just as Esperanto speakers currently type or write to each other using in their own choice of orthography variant due to the lack of sufficient support by modern technology for Esperanto's "default" orthography. In fact, Esper' orthography is so close to Esperanto's that it takes almost no getting used to, and Esperanto written in Esper' orthography is practically indistinguishable from pure informal Esper' writing. For example, the formally written Esper' phrase "la' kat'o kur'as", can be written informally as "la kato kuras", which is identical in Esperanto. The "formal" written form of Esper' is not meant to be reserved for "formal communication" but rather is intended for any communication in which you wish your writing to be more accurately understood or any situation where you wish your writing to help people learning the Esper' language to learn more quickly and easily. The inventor of the Esperanto language had himself proposed a similar system of separating word elements, using small commas, which would have made that example phrase look something like "la kat,o kur,as", except that the commas should be "smaller" but try as I might, I couldn't find a way to type what it "should look like" correctly. Even Unicode character FE50 which is named "SMALL COMMA" didn't look right. (It actually looked BIGGER than a normal comma when I managed to produce it, and that took some doing because I have no numeric keypad on this computer and the Character Map applet doesn't list it.) The original idea of the small commas in Esperanto was that they would separate ALL the elements of a word. Every prefix, stem, suffix, and ending, or however you would like to classify them, had to have a small comma after it if another element was to follow it in the same word. This was sensible at the time since Esperanto was mainly designed to be hand written and a little comma wouldn't be that difficult to throw in... although in my experience most people I know like to do their hand writing in cursive, which would not lend itself well to all those little commas. In formally written Esper', the apostrophe comes at the end of the last part of the word which is not part of the grammatical ending. Usually this will be just before the final vowel. This is because most words end in "a" marking the word as an adjective, "e" marking the word as an adverb, "i" marking the word as an infinitive, "o" marking the word as a noun, "u" marking the word as a suggestive or imperative, "os" marking the word as a general future tense verb, "as" marking the word as a general present tense verb, "is" marking the word as a general present tense verb, or "us" marking the word as a general conditional tense verb. Pronouns are marked by an "i" at the end of the stem, so they get their apostrophe at the end of the word, causing that last letter to be stressed, distinguishing them both in spoken and formal written form from infinitives which terminate in a destressed "i", written AFTER the apostrophe.
Purpose of This Resource
The main plan for this Wikiversity resource is to cover such things as some of the known problematic areas of the Esper' language, known concerns of Esperantists, differences between Esperanto and Esper', as well as reasons and ideas for supporting the languages. If you have a concern which you would like addressed in this resource, please consider bringing it up on the discussion page first, so that it can be talked about before being presented here as part of this resource. That way we hopefully can keep such things more "community based" and a little less "personal" within the resource itself. Thanks.
Here's a link to the discussion page. Talk:Esper
Due to current Wiki limitations at the time of the creation of this resource, the vocabulary list will be split up into smaller lists. This could have been done a number of ways, but in the hopes of allowing faster learning the list has been divided by Rhyme Points.
Each Rhyme Point consists of the last vowel before any role ending, and the consonant which immediately follows it, if any. This is a crude ordering but tends to together words which are related by a similarity in the stressed syllable and often also by root or final suffix. It's imperfect, but should at least give a point of association for pattern recognition.