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International Volapük Academy

The International Academy of Volapük (Volapük: Kadem bevünetik volapüka) was a ruling body established at the second Volapük congress in Munich in August 1887 with the goal of preservation and improvement of Volapük.

Its aim was to help the creator of Volapük, Johann Martin Schleyer, in the propagation of the language itself. Tazio Carlevaro set the original hierarchical committee, with Schleyer himself as Leader (cifal) along with the great French Volapük-pioneer Auguste Kerckhoffs as the business guide (or director: dilekel). Seventeen language specialists from twelve countries were elected as first-class academy-members (kademals), and the appointment was envisioned of second-class academy-members (kademels') and of corresponding academy-members (kademans) totaling 31 members in the academy. The headquarters of the academy was established in Paris.

Schleyer conceded to Kerckhoffs that the organizational form determined in Munich should be considered only as an interim and that defining (or transformation) of the academic structure should be decided in the aftermath of the International Congress which was to be held in Paris in the 1889. In addition, Kerckhoffs received from Schleyer permission to appoint seven of the seventeen kademals of people to be selected by him. The medium of communication of the Academy was circulars from the director (Zulags), as well as Kerckhoffs' own journal Le Volapük.

Kerckhoffs' grammars published since 1887 differed fundamentally from the Volapük of Schleyer. With the intention of ending the strife between them, Kerckhoffs organized the third congress of the movement in Paris on 19–21 August 1889. This Third International Congress of Volapük took place in Paris. This Congress passed new statutes of the Academy, according to which the subject of the Academy was to complete and improve the grammar and vocabulary of Volapük. However, even before 1889, a conflict arose between Schleyer and Kerckhoffs. Though Schleyer wanted a maximum enrichment of Volapük and to reform it radically in order to simplify the language, Kerckhoffs managed to remove Schleyer's right of veto within the Academy. Schleyer himself never agreed with this essential limitation of his copyright, and when Kerckhoffs offered to block reform of Volapük, Schleyer dismissed in its entirety the whole Academy.

The Academy, created under the name Kadem bevünetik volapüka (International Academy of Volapük) at a congress in Munich in August 1887, was set up to conserve and perfect the auxiliary language Volapük. Under Rosenberger, who became the Academy’s director in 1892, the group began to make considerable changes in the grammar and vocabulary of Volapük. The vocabulary was almost completely replaced by words more closely resembling those used in Western European languages, and a number of grammatical forms unfamiliar to Western Europeans were discarded. It was understood that the changes effectively resulted in the creation of a new language, which was named “Idiom Neutral” (which means “the neutral idiom” or “the neutral language”). The name of the Academy was changed to Akademi Internasional de Lingu Universal in 1898 and the circulars of the Academy were written in the new language from that year.



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