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Mycernius
11-06-05, 19:20
I have just been looking at Lexicos thread about 'Language Extiction by 2060?'
and it has got me thinking, especially the post by Duff o dosh

if languages go extinct japanese will be one of them do to the popularity of learning other languages in japan. all people do is talk about korean, chinese and english.
It seems with the dominance of English on the world could put healthy languages into the endangered zone. It has already done this to local native languages in North America and Australia. It strikes me that only languages that are widely spoken outside their native country could resist the onslaught of the English language. There only two or three that I can think of that can achieve this, one being Spanish and the other Arabic. What I would like to know are which languages that appear to be healthy today could be classed as endangered in the next 100 to 150 years. Also in the future with only a handful of dominant languages being spoken could they merge together and form a new language. Already a lot of languages borrow from others and these words eventually become part of that language. English is one example of how different languages can merge to become a seperate one ie: Germanic based + Latin based = English.
As Duff o dosh said Japanese could become a dying language in 100 to 150 years time as more natives take to learning English. It could even happen to Chinese. After all there are more than one spoken language in China. English is becoming the common language within the country, as it is in India ,for easier communication between different language groups.

lexico
11-06-05, 21:43
I haven't been to the topic for a while, and basically I have no idea what I think or what I should think about it. But your rephrasing the idea gives me a chance to think differently.

The basic idea was that the current 5,000-6,000 languages will be reduced to about 100 or less within two generations for the simple reason that

1) Parents are spending less and less time with their children for enough language and culture to be transmitted to their children. Unabomber Ted Kazinski (sp.?) also spoke of 'mother deprivation' due to strengthened state/corporate control on women in the guise of feminism.

2) With the school institution being the primary means of education, politically weak or outnumbered minority languages will quickly face insufficient transmission and marginalization within two generations.

3) The remaining 100 or fewer languages will also merge their boundaries, compete for dominance, leaving a handful of live languages that will be redistributed over the globe.

Two factors that might have an impact on this language extinction phenomenon:

A. Transition from fossil-based, exploitation-based, growth-oriented economy to sun-based, equilibrium-based, homeostatic economy would prefer smaller cities, minimum transportation, and localized production-consumption cultures.

B. Whereas internationalized economy prefers verbal communication in a common language, the localized cultures might just do with written communication via the internet. This might leave the spoken medium intact from language colonization.

If the low environmental stock of fossil fuel can effectively put enough pressure on our production-consumption ideology for it to transform into a new, sustainable priciple, then the increasingly localized future societies might have a better chance of preserving more of the languages than what are now predicted to disappear under the classical exploitation model of economy. Of course, English or some other common means of potentially global communication would not be necessary, and even it were so, with enough people fluent in their native tongues in the spoken and in English in the written, languages in clusters of say 10,000 speakers and above might have a much longer life than predicted in the other 'Language Extinction by 2060 ?' thread. How will it be ? :-)

edit: You have interesting points that I haven't given proper attention, Mycernius. Let me return to those shortly.

ralian
12-06-05, 07:32
Although English is not an easy language to learn due to its irregularities, probably it will stay.
I just remembered that in the movie "Blade Runner", the detective spoke street language. This language is a mixture of Spanish and Asian languages.
I wonder such new language will emerge... Maybe in 200 -300 years time?

lexico
12-06-05, 09:11
if languages go extinct japanese will be one of them do to the popularity of learning other languages in japan. all people do is talk about korean, chinese and english.I believe all those talks about other languages are being conducted in Japanese ? If indeed the trend is established that Japanese be the intermediate language of language learning, then just that can be enough cause to keep Japanese alive; but there should be other reasons as valid as that.
It seems with the dominance of English on the world could put healthy languages into the endangered zone. It has already done this to local native languages in North America and Australia. It strikes me that only languages that are widely spoken outside their native country could resist the onslaught of the English language. There only two or three that I can think of that can achieve this, one being Spanish and the other Arabic.The dominance of English language alone seems to have a weak foundation by itself unless it is already well established as the preferred language of communication. Interpreting English as the Anglo-Saxon or British people by blood may have more substance than language alone, yet still lacks something. The superior material technology and economy that drives people to move around and negotiate superior deals, whether forceful or diplomatic, seems to have made both the English nation and language successful imo. As for other wiespread languages, how does Chinese fare, either Mandarin or Cantonese ? They have the higher ethnic barrier, yet that may change with time.
What I would like to know are which languages that appear to be healthy today could be classed as endangered in the next 100 to 150 years.Should economic blocs bring speakers of two languages together for intensive, long-term interaction, and there is even a slight preference due to population ratio or certain priviledged stutus, the minority or underpriviledged language will lose out in the end.
Also in the future with only a handful of dominant languages being spoken could they merge together and form a new language. Already a lot of languages borrow from others and these words eventually become part of that language. English is one example of how different languages can merge to become a seperate one ie: Germanic based + Latin based = English.Two or more languages merged in the !st generation of speakers are pidgin, 2nd generation and after speaking it as a native tongue is creole; the pacific islands have experience pidgin/creole English earlier in history in the 19-20th century. (year ?)
As duff o josh said Japanese could become a dying language in 100 to 150 years time as more natives take to learning English. It could even happen to Chinese. After all there are more than one spoken language in China. English is becoming the common language within the country, as it is in India, for easier communication between different language groups.Although some degree of normative statement, and all its varieties of Chinese and non-Chinese lanaguages are often mutually unintelligible, China's people have achieved a high degree of communication ability in Mandarin throughout the regions often on top of the local languages. Mandarin has already taken firm roots as the mutually understood language, also called beifang putonghua kʘb or guanhua b. If the political unity is dissolved and conpulsory education in Mandarin is discontinued, highly unlikely at the moment, then English might become an option for the peoples of China.

edit: Sorry about the misspelling, duff o josh ! :gomen:

lexico
12-06-05, 10:28
n the movie "Blade Runner", the detective spoke street language. This language is a mixture of Spanish and Asian languages.
I wonder such new language will emerge... Maybe in 200 -300 years time?Interesting scene you quote; I almost forgot that part of the movie.

Let us suppose that Americans from N & S Americas have a lot of business/tourism/teaching/etc. to do in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, HK, or Hanoi and take up roughly 20% of the population for a long period. Each would start copying words, expressions, accents, and tiny bits of grammar from the other. Eventually they would speak a pidgin crossed from English-Portuguese-Spanish-Japanese-Korean-Mandarin-Shanghainese-Taiwanese-Cantonese-Vietnamese or a select subset thereof. ;-)
Any kids born into those pidgin speaking cities will become native speakers of whatever pidgin ! Sounds exciting, doesn't it ?

Wang
12-06-05, 15:35
Language extinction is only a real danger for the languages that are spoken by fewer then 100,000 people which is about 90% of all the languages in the world.
However Japanese language is one of the largest and most used of all languages. Ofcourse it will survive together with other major world languages.


Linguists estimate that there are 6,809 "living" languages in the world today, but 90 per cent of them are spoken by fewer than 100,000 people, and some languages are even rarer – 46 are known to have just one native speaker. "There are 357 languages with under 50 speakers. Rare languages are more likely to show evidence of decline than commoner ones," Professor Sutherland said.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0515-05.htm

duff_o_josh
12-06-05, 17:08
i wish one of you would have typed my name correctly. another thing isnt china working hard to have english as a second language by 2008 for the olympics?

lexico
12-06-05, 19:33
I looked around for "second language" "English" "2008 Olympics" but couldn't find a meanigful match. Since Japan and Korea have considered haveing English as the 2nd offical language, there might have been similar plan for a 2nd language in China, though.

What is true is that English will be the standard language for international participants and international guests. That can be done without having Englsh as a second language. They are training/recruiting people to serve as interpreters during the games.

Duo
12-06-05, 20:27
I hope that we don't have any languages die out in our modern era.... it would be a loss to civilization and to the overall culture of mankind.

bossel
12-06-05, 21:15
Any kids born into those pidgin speaking cities will become native speakers of whatever pidgin ! Sounds exciting, doesn't it ?
For the definition I learned, as soon as a language has native speakers (IE becomes a mother tongue) it is no pidgin anymore. Merging 2 languages doesn't constitute a pidgin either, AFAIK.
Several pidgins derived from English, but English itself has never been a pidgin.

For the general topic of language extinction, I can't really see the problem. It seems people put too much importance in language. It's just a communications tool.
When languages die out, that doesn't mean that any related culture follows suit. It's more probable to happen the other way round: when a culture dies, the related language dies as well. Although, it does not have to be like that. Languages can survive a culture, a culture can survive a related language.

lexico
13-06-05, 08:25
For the definition I learned, as soon as a language has native speakers (IE becomes a mother tongue) it is no pidgin anymore.True. Technically it would become a creole with the first baby babbling its first words in the pidgin vocabulary of the parents. Creole would be the correct word.
Merging 2 languages doesn't constitute a pidgin either, AFAIK.If the merging isn't artificial as in Esperanto, then doesn't a natural merging of two natural languages involve pidginization/creolization ?
English itself has never been a pidgin.Sorry, I disagree. Let me dramatize a kitchen scene in circa 1066 Britain with fake OE and NF neither of which I know. :p

a Norman steward: Apportez moi une vache.
a British cook: A vixen ? Do you eat vixen in Normandy ?

Norman: Non ! Une vache ! *going down on all four, mooing*
British: Fox in the mating season ? o_O

Norman: Non ! Un boef ! *making two horns with the hands*
Britsh: Ah, cow on the hoof, is that how you Normans call it ? Boyf ?

Norman: Oui, et non. Bo-o-e-ef.
British: Hm, sounds like be-ef to me.

Norman: Eh...bien ~. *is vexed*
British: So beef it is, coming right up. Jack, go kill me a cow for our new lords !
*humph, they call cows beef ! How uncultured compared to us British !*

In all practicality, there was a pidgin stage after the battle of Hastings in and around the Norman communities who had to mingle with the Anglo-Saxion Old English speakers to get their services. Kids growing up in the pidginized Old English-Norman language environment became speakers of the creole which lost much of the inflection rules of either OE or NF. But it would be too low of the English to admit they had a stage of pidgin and creole; those are only for the culturally backward pacific islanders ? :rolleyes:

duff_o_josh
13-06-05, 09:30
I looked around for "second language" "English" "2008 Olympics" but couldn't find a meanigful match. Since Japan and Korea have considered haveing English as the 2nd offical language, there might have been similar plan for a 2nd language in China, though.

What is true is that English will be the standard language for international participants and international guests. That can be done without having Englsh as a second language. They are training/recruiting people to serve as interpreters during the games.

hmm, all i know is that currently( in the last 2 years) china has been hiring english teachers like crazy. I have read some job postings saying that it was preporation for the 2008 games.

bossel
15-06-05, 01:45
doesn't a natural merging of two natural languages involve pidginization/creolization ?
Not necessarily, but it obviously depends on your definition of merging.


Sorry, I disagree. Let me dramatize a kitchen scene in circa 1066 Britain with fake OE and NF
This kitchen scene actually might have happened once in a while quite similar to what you described (although the languages involved were very different from what you wrote :p ).


In all practicality, there was a pidgin stage after the battle of Hastings in and around the Norman communities who had to mingle with the Anglo-Saxion Old English speakers to get their services. Kids growing up in the pidginized Old English-Norman language environment became speakers of the creole which lost much of the inflection rules of either OE or NF.
Here, I have to disagree. There is absolutely no evidence that English went through a stage of pidginisation at that time. I know of some linguistic hypotheses in that direction, but none is very convincing.

The Norman-French speakers were a tiny minority, & although a kitchen scene as above is likely to have happened, this involved only very few people in England. The vast majority still spoke English. IIRC, there is evidence that most of the Norman nobility was able to converse in English only some years after the conquest (don't ask me for sources right now, I don't remember. perhaps I find the time to dig for that on Thursday).

Anyway, OE was already on its way to an analytical language long before the Normans arrived. The influence of the Vikings was probably much greater than that of the French Normans.


But it would be too low of the English to admit they had a stage of pidgin and creole; those are only for the culturally backward pacific islanders ?
Since I study English in Germany with mostly German lecturers, it's quite improbable that this is the case for me.

lexico
17-06-05, 00:06
Not necessarily, but it obviously depends on your definition of merging.Please forgive my lack of imagination-information; what (counter-)examples might there be ?
This kitchen scene actually might have happened once in a while quite similar to what you described (although the languages involved were very different from what you wrote.Thanks for not tearing that up; I know you could easily have.
Here, I have to disagree. There is absolutely no evidence that English went through a stage of pidginisation at that time. I know of some linguistic hypotheses in that direction, but none is very convincing.

Anyway, OE was already on its way to an analytical language long before the Normans arrived. The influence of the Vikings was probably much greater than that of the French Normans.

The Norman-French speakers were a tiny minority, & although a kitchen scene as above is likely to have happened, this involved only very few people in England. The vast majority still spoke English. IIRC, there is evidence that most of the Norman nobility was able to converse in English only some years after the conquest (don't ask me for sources right now, I don't remember. perhaps I find the time to dig for that on Thursday).Yes, I admit that I have coalesced without support the two ideas of 1) OE-NF langauge contact involving merging and 2) pidginzation-creolization often being the beginning of a new language, which by themselves do not gurantee that Middle English is indeed a product of pidginized-creolized OE-NF. I have since located some supporting/countering theories in this line in S.G.Thomason & T.Kaufman, Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics:

long quote from Thomason & Kaufman (non-creolists) in summary: 9.8.8 French Influence on Middle English and the Question of Creolization

"In recent years certian scholars esp. Domingue 1975, Bailey and Marlodt (creolists) (in Trudgill ed. 1984) have suggested that
in the contact situations between English and Norse, and also between English and French, pidginization and creolization took place....
in the case of Norse-English contact... The very close similarity between the two languages makes the emergence of a pidgin language unlikely on linguistic grounds and social grounds... Creolization is also unlikely on social grounds... too close linguistically for such an extreme response to communication difficulties.

As to whether 'creolization' occurred in England in the contact between English and French could hardly be raised by scholars familiar with the social and linguistic history of England, unless by 'creolization' they understand something greatly different from what we do, something which robs the notion of 'creolization' of much meaning. (lexico's comment: This qualifier is interesting. It suggests that depending on the definition of 'creaolization' OE-NF contact giving rise to ME features is possible.)

Bailey and Marlodt (creolists) 1977 suggest that the linguistic system we know as Middle English is really the result of the massive importation of English lexicon into OF spoken by the upper class medieval England.
...
However, imperfect learning of the requisite degree called abrupt creoliztion always involves several languages, and always involves a forced shift... urgent need for a contact medium in the new multilingual contact situation. The case of the French in England is not a promising place to look for a dramatic linguistic result, with only two languages and ample opportunity for bilingualism to develop-and no question of a socially forced shift that could affect the victorious invaders. Counterpoints to creolization theory:

1. Never many speakers of French in England
2. By 1235, French speakers began giving up French
3. Between 1066-1250 no large proportion of native English speakers learned French.
4. The English dialect most in contact with French experienced no simplification; and remained conservative regardless of the contact
5. Simplifying traits in Standard English were mostly imported from the East Midlands, sometimes from the North.
6. The following changes occurred at a time when there were hardly any competent French speakers for an Englishman to talk to.
6a. (massive) French vocabulary 1200-1400
6b. (mild) French morphology and syntax: particles & derivational affixes
6c. (trivial) French phonology: initial f/v split into f and v
...
In the history of contact between English and French in England there is abundant evidence that while only some English speakers learned French, nearly all Normans and Angevins became bilingual within in less than 250 yrs of the Conquest, and that their French suffered as a result.
...
G.V.Smithers (non-creolist) on the transition from OE to ME:
What marks off Middle English from Old English ? The changes and effects that go really deep...upto and since 1400 are changes in accidence (=inflexion,) referring to the drastic simplification of the system of endings, grammatical gender, and case endings; one commonly thinks of these as the distinctive characteristics of "Middle" English. What one commonly forgets is that they occur in a well-developed stage in the Northumbrian "Old" English of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the late 10th c." (Bennett and Smithers 1968)Given these facts, it can be in no way considered reasonable to suppose that any of the conditions for pidginization, creolization, or language mixture existed between English and French in the Middle Ages, and it is our firm conviction that no such events occurred.

The 1977 C.J.Bailey and K.Marlodt's (creolists) "The French Lineage of English" has received considerable attention and is considered by some creolists a plausible scenario of England in the Middle Ages; the scenario has two main components.

First, sometime between 900 and 1066 a creole arose in the North as a result of contact between Old English and Viking Norse. It is not clear which is supposed to have been the base language.
Anglo-Saxon had already a clear tendency to reduce its inflections as the result of the Nordic creolization, and a number of analytic expressions had also come into existence as possible options.

The Nordic creolization of Anglo-Saxon caused inflections to be phonetologically reduced; their final loss can be attributed to the general creole tendency to simplify morphology.Second, sometime between 1066 and 1200 English and French together produed a creole, which we know as Middle English...ME is claimed to be an obvious mixed language made up of Old English and Old French components. As for which language forms the framework into which the other language's materials were incorporated, B&M think it most likely that ME arose by incorporating English lexicon into Old French.
French creolization seems to have proceeded in two steps-- a major creolization before 1200, and a minor one mainly with Central French that involved massive borrowing during the 13th-14th c's...considering the possibility...that Middle English began with a heavy admixture of Anglo-Saxon elements into Old French.Thomason & Kaufman (non-creolists) criticized B&M
Bailey believes creolization is happening all the time. To him 'creolization' means any kind of structural interference from another language. Any kind of 'analytic' development in a language is taken as evidence of foreign interference. But no language has escaped foreign influence. We don't think 'analytic' developments are necessary evidence of foreign interference nor should they be labeled 'creolization.' The available evidence puts ME squarely in the large group of normally transmitted languages, not in the smaller group of mixed languages that have no genetic affiliations.

Gradual simplification and regularization of linguistic subsystems are typical and normal. When vernacular English reappears ca. 1150 in the Midlands, ca. 1200 in the South, and ca. 1250 in the North, the well-known facts, given 900 as the last reliable point of reference, are
1. Southern has very little changed from OE
2. Midland shows some Norse-influence and moderate change
3. Norther shows a great deal of Norse-influence, change, and idiosyncracy though most is attributed to Old Northumbrian/Old East Mercian.
4. All show superficial French influence, stronger in the South.

This is the framework within which hypotheses about the linguistic habit of English speakers from 900 to 1200 must be formulated.Concerning the influence of French on we add quotes from Middle English G.V.Smithers (non-creolist):
The fundmental changes in the inflexion of nouns, adjectives, and pronouns were under way before the Conquest, were the outcome of internal processes likely to operate in any language with a moderately ample system of 'inflexion.' Changes in the ending of verbs are the product of purely internal factors. The recudtion of OE diphthongs to their first element had set in before the Conquest... Thus the impact of an alien language spoken by a new ruling class did not substantially affect or modify the structure of English.Vocabulary lying nearest the surface are the most easily touched by an alien tongue; it is the vocabulary of ME that has been affected by OF.

J.Milroy (creolist) (Trudgill ed. 1984:11) presents a scenario for the breakdown and reassembly of English structure under Norse and French influence reminiscent of B&M's:
Certain general principles that operate in language contact situations are now well known to socilingts and creolists.
1. gross morphological simplification
2. some loss of segmental phonological distinction
3. relexification (replacement of the lexicon of one language with those of another.)
4. preference for a fixed SVO word order.
ME shows clear signs that at least three, 1, 3, and 4,have operated.(Milroy 1983)As for the French lexical influence on English in the ME period, French words expanded the total voabulary of English but did not displace native vocabulary which happened later. We deny 1) gross morphological simplification 3) Norse lexical influence on Norsified English as relexification."
(Sarah Grey Thomason & Terrence Kaufman, Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics, California 1988: 306-315)

Since I study English in Germany with mostly German lecturers, it's quite improbable that this is the case for me.I am not saying that you in particular are influenced by the cultural bias. How could you possibly when there's no conflict of interest ? And even if. :p But the non-creolist view might still have started (historically) among scholars with strong cultural bias and a narrow definition of creole (i.e. from observation of predetermined geographical area, not from an abstract, general, theoretic standpoint), and also can be blamed is the fact that creolization had never been thought of as a more wide spread process that 'might' have governed language interaction between two genetically related languages.

Given the lack of written language material during 900-1250 which leaves either side of the argument inconclusive compounded by the illogical inisistence of at least some linguists in demanding the overly strict definition of pidgin/creole that they be the product of two unrelated languages gives grounds to doubt the validity of the non-creolist argument.

Arguments given by non-creolists such as Thomason & Kaufman are not much stronger than Bailey et al.'s OE-Norse, OE-OF creolization model. Furthermore Thomason & Kaufman's criticism of the theory can also be applied to improve upon the present model.

One minor question: Do people tend to write less in times of a major power transition and social change compared to a more stable period in history ? Or is writing itself not affected, but just that the written records are not well-preserved due to the change ? Why aren't there much written records of English or other languages spoken in Britain from 900-1250 ?

lexico
17-06-05, 13:08
Quote "Types of race-mixture": 201 (Language 1934)

"The conquerors are a compariatively small body, who became the ruling class, but are not numerous enough to impose their language on the country. They are forced to learn the language of the subjects, and their grandchildren may come to know that language better that they know the language of their ancestors.

The language of the conquerors dies out, but bequeaths the native language its terms pertaining to government, the army, and those other spheres of life that the conquerors had specifically under their control. Historical examples are the cases of the Goths in Italy and Spain, the Franks in Gaul, the Normans in France and the Norman-French in England.

Of course the greater the number of the conquerors and the longer they had been close neighbors of the people they conquered, or maintained the bonds that united them to their mother-country, the greater was their influence.

Thus the influence of the Franks on the language of France was greater than that of the Goths on the language of Spain, and the influence of the Norman-French in England was greater still. Yet in each case the minority ultimately succumbed."

Quote "Class of loan-words": 212 (Language 1934)

"It is usual to speak of English as being a mixture of native Old English ('Anglo-Saxion') and French, but as a matter of fact the French influence, powerful as it is in the vocabulary and patent as it is to the eyes of everybody, is superficial in comparison with the influence excercised in a much subtler way by the Scandinavian settlers in the North of England."

It is true that O. Jespersen had never mentioned pidgin or creole in connection to the transition from OE to ME, and also there is no reason to ascribe this fact to any cultural bias on his part. Thomason and Kaufman's criticisms of Bailey and Marlodt employ the standard understanding of 'creoles' current in the 1920's-1930's, and their view would be closer to Jespersen's, although he was never asked the seemingly odd question, "Was English a creole at any point in time ?"

bossel
18-06-05, 02:57
Please forgive my lack of imagination-information; what (counter-)examples might there be ?
The problem is: I don't know how you define merging. If you define it simply as one language taking elements from another, then you have numerous examples (probably all languages that exist). If you define it as 2 languages coming together to build a distinct new one, I don't know of any examples. Closest to that would probably be pidgins, but even there you usually have one dominant language.


I have since located some supporting/countering theories in this line in S.G.Thomason & T.Kaufman, Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics:
I'm pretty sure that's not a book I got my ideas from, although I agree with most of what they write.

Since language contact is the only linguistic topic I'm really interested in, it's the only topic I actually read a number of books about. I've also read some books about OE & the development of English, hence I really can't remember where I got the stuff about Norman nobility conversing privately in English from (but I'm pretty sure it's a quite recent book, I never read Jespersen). But I found an interesting online article (http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/6361Heys.htm) about this:

"However, most scholars now agree that by the early 13th century, gFrench as a native language is definitely on the decline, even among nobility of Norman originh (Kibbee 4). Both Rothwell and Dahood lean more towards mid to late 12th century, saying that gby 1173, and for an indeterminate time before then, members of the baronage spoke Englishh (Dahood 54)."

More interesting than the article itself is probably the list of sources at the end. I'm not sure if one of my sources is in there, but the The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature looks awfully familiar. Sorry for my bad memory.


lexico's comment: This qualifier is interesting. It suggests that depending on the definition of 'creaolization' OE-NF contact giving rise to ME features is possible.
Well, that's one of my main problems with linguistics: You can find fitting definitions for pretty much every hypothesis. Just recently I read a book about Universal Grammar & it was horrible.

It went something like:
"we think A is true"
"that wouldn't fit to the current definition of B, but to change B we have to redefine C"
"to be able to redefine C, we have to take D as dumbfounded"
"if D is dumbfounded, we can define C as crap"
"if C is crap, the definition of B as BS makes sense"
"B as BS leads us to the only logical conclusion that A is allwewant"
"now we have proven our point beyond reasonable doubt"

OK, I admit, I'm horribly exaggerating, but I really hated the reasoning in that book although I could very well live with some of the conclusions.

What did I want to say? Oh, yes... Reasoning like the above example is accepted in parts of the linguistic community, hence it's rather easy to come up with your very personal definitions. Esp. if you have a clique (eg. your colleagues at university) that supports you.



the illogical inisistence of at least some linguists in demanding the strict definition of pidgin/creole that they be the product of two unrelated languages gives grounds to doubt the validity of the non-creolist argument.
I don't think so. Two closely related languages which are for a part even mutually intelligible simply don't give reason for such a simplification of language as a pidgin represents. English grammar became "simplified," but not to a degree that you could call it a pidgin. What's more, the direct influence of ON was restricted to the North-East of England. The rest of England only slowly adopted these changes.


Arguments given by non-creolists such as Thomason & Kaufman are not much stronger than Bailey et al.'s OE-Norse, OE-OF creolization model.
But there is no evidence for pidginisation. Unless you redefine creolisation as not to require a previous pidgin-state, I can't see a point in insisting on such a hypothesis. OE-ON contact surely led to a certain "simplification" (though nothing that I would call a pidgin), OE-NF/AN contact didn't even have that much of an impact.


Do people tend to write less in times of a major power transition and social change compared to a more stable period in history ?
The question is: Who wrote at all?
The answer: Usually the clergy & the nobility/officials.
Part of the clergy kept on writing in OE at least until the mid-12th century, maybe longer (just from my memory now). But the nobility was for a great part replaced by Normans, while those who were not directly replaced probably had other things on their mind than to write. What's more, the official court language had become NF/AN, in order to suit your public you had to write in their language.


Why aren't there much written records of English or other languages spoken in Britain from 900-1250 ?
I honestly don't know how much we have from that period. But I know that we don't have that much from OE either, & most of what we have from OE is of West-Saxon origin IIRC.


BTW, perhaps this is of interest to you:
Verb Movement in Old and Middle English: Dialect Variation and Language Contact (http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kroch/omev2-html/omev2-html.html)

Brett142
06-06-11, 05:44
Cornish - I couldn't even believe it was a real language

sparkey
06-06-11, 17:19
Cornish - I couldn't even believe it was a real language

Cornish did die, already. It's hard to say when, although I think its total extinction happened circa 1891, when John Davey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Davey_%28Cornish_speaker%29) died. Its current status is strictly as an academically revived language, with several competing standards. It's tough to call it a living language at the moment, and that will probably remain the case unless the revival has greater success and standardization over the course of time.

Why did it surprise you that it is a real language? The history of the British Isles shows pretty clearly that Brythonic was displaced by English, and split into regional dialects that became their own languages (namely Welsh and Cornish).

I've started topics that deal with the Cornish here (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26336-Cornwall-National-history-and-myth) and here (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?26384-Do-Celts-still-exist).