The Phenomenon of Esperanto is the title of a special issue of the journal Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems (INDECS), published recently in Croatia. The collection, edited by Professor Humphrey Tonkin and Dr. Veronika Poór, is issue 2 of volume 13 of INDECS (2015). The collection is in English with summaries in Croatian.
Twelve articles provide a comprehensive scholarly approach to the international language Esperanto, including a review of the literature by Detlev Blanke (Gesellschaft für Interlinguistik, Berlin) and a broad introduction by Humphrey Tonkin (University of Hartford). Sabine Fiedler (University of Leipzig) provides a contribution on Esperanto phraseology, Wim Jansen(University of Amsterdam) examines Esperanto grammar, and Duncan Charters (Principia College, USA) explores the teaching of Esperanto.
The functionality of Esperanto as a planned language is addressed in four articles. Ilona Koutny (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland) asks whether complexity can be planned, Federico Gobbo (University of Amsterdam) examines the use of Esperanto in machine translation, and Detlev Blanke and Wera Blanke (Gesellschaft für Interlinguistik) explore the history and potential of Esperanto as a language for scholarly communication. Humphrey Tonkin asks how research on planned languages can be applied to language planning in general.
In examining the role of Esperanto in the flow of ideas in early twentieth-century Japan, Sho Konishi (Oxford University) offers a specific analysis of a particularly interesting question in the history of ideas, namely how Esperanto and related ideas of linguistic democracy have influenced thought and politics in various parts of the world.
The question of the size and vitality of the movement for Esperanto is explored in two articles leading to very different conclusions. Krunoslav Puškar (University of Zagreb) looks at the core beliefs of the declining traditional Esperanto movement in Croatia, while Amri Wandel (Hebrew University) examines the rapid worldwide expansion of Esperanto on the Internet, revealing a sharp split between “traditional” structures and the new approaches to Esperanto and its use taken by more youthful learners and users unaffiliated with traditional Esperanto organizations.
INDECS is published in Zagreb by the Croatian Interdisciplinary Society with support from the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sport.