Interlinguistics deals with forms, problems and solutions related to the linguistic aspect of international communication. International communication occurs between people or groups with different languages and cultural backgrounds. The field of interlinguistics, in a broad sense, embraces:

  • world languages, that is ethnic languages functioning as lingua francas
  • languages spontaneously born in international communication at the local level: pidgins and creoles as well as
  • languages created for this purpose: international auxiliary languages, which are also called planned languages

In a narrow sense, interlinguistics studies the history, structure, creation and use of planned languages. It is closely related to fields such as philosophy of language and language planning and modeling.

Conscious interventions in ethnic languages take place at a number of different levels (from orthography and grammar reform through the modernization of vocabulary to language standardization). Language planning also includes the revival of languages (such as Modern Hebrew) as well as the planning of new languages. Therefore natural and planned languages can both be placed on a scale between the extremes of an ideal untouched natural language and a completely artificial language.

Picture of the natural – artificial continuum

  • Ideal natural language

  • Korean, Japanese

  • Hungarian

  • Norwegian

  • Modern Hebrew, Indonesian

  • Esperanto, Novial, Ido

  • Volapük

  • Solresol

  • Language of Leibniz

  • Artificial language, language of logic, programming language

Planned languages can be either a priori or a posteriori.

The most widespread planned language is Esperanto, an alternative tool in international communication with a worldwide speech community. Esperantology or esperanto studies as part of interlinguistics deals with different aspects of the international language Esperanto.