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Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 16:36
by Marah
As good as we can be at English our English native speakers counterparts will think quicker in their native language, know more nuances, understand it better,etc... They will be dominant.
I've read that many Europeans companies look for "English native speaker only" when they're trying to find a CEO, for instance.
I mean, despite all the English influence, how many people of your generation can speak it fluently? Let alone like a native, or something close to it.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 16:38
by Lur
Car wrote:If even those of us living outside of English-speaking countries have to learn English, is it really realistic to have monolingual Gaelic speakers? Is it desirable?

Is it? Look how it's turning out!

HoItalosPhilellên wrote:I've stopped getting sentimental about language rise and decline. We're just a bunch of animals who will go extinct at some point in time anyways. All languages are the same in the end: Just a bunch of horrendous cacophony particular to homo sapiens. Our nationalism and flag-waving is artificial. Tectonic plates don't and won't give a shit about our borders, no matter how much, for example, countries like Greece and Albania fight over a mere few square kilometers of useless, craggy land, because borders are NOT set in stone. (Yeah, totally random, I know.)

Oh my. What have I become? :lol:

Nice try.

I'm the geologist here. You should watch me getting sentimental about the rise and fall of lifeforms and even tectonic plates. :lol:

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 16:56
by mōdgethanc
linguoboy wrote:Yeah, I'm afraid that Gaelic is fucked at this point. It may last for another couple of generations as a fetish object, but I can't see it continuing much longer as an actual community language.
Surely it has a better chance than languages with about the same number of speakers that aren't official anywhere? That doesn't mean it's in good shape either though; I'm leaning towards Scottish Gaelic (but not Irish) dying out within the next hundred years or so. It looks like all that state support has done is to slow the decline, not stop it.
The Celtic languages which do survive will do so at the cost of being shorn of much of their distinctiveness. Native idiom (including fundamental semantic distinctions) will continue to lose ground to calques from English. That's just inevitable when the entire speaking population consists of functional bilinguals.
So you wind up with something like Modern Hebrew. Isn't that better than the language dying out?
'Luke wrote:And sometimes, why does the majority language have even to be official in the bilingual area? Does it even need protection or what?
It's for symbolic value, I guess. "You can have your wacky little regional dialects, but X is the national language and don't you dare forget".
Car wrote:If even those of us living outside of English-speaking countries have to learn English, is it really realistic to have monolingual Gaelic speakers? Is it desirable?
No and no.
Michael wrote:I've stopped getting sentimental about language rise and decline. We're just a bunch of animals who will go extinct at some point in time anyways. All languages are the same in the end: Just a bunch of horrendous cacophony particular to homo sapiens. Our nationalism and flag-waving is artificial. Tectonic plates don't and won't give a shit about our borders, no matter how much, for example, countries like Greece and Albania fight over a mere few square kilometers of useless, craggy land, because borders are NOT set in stone. (Yeah, totally random, I know.)
Now you're getting it.

If native speakers of a language want to get choked up about it, they have every right to feel that way. To me, it's just a mildly regrettable but most likely inevitable loss, like every time a species I've never heard of goes extinct.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 17:28
by linguoboy
mōdgethanc wrote:So you wind up with something like Modern Hebrew. Isn't that better than the language dying out?

I go back and forth on this question. It is insofar as you are still left with a distinctive variety with an evolution which may parallel that of the dominant language but which will never be identical to it. But the downside is that I think people too easily equate this to the diversity they had before. All the time in discussions of endangered languages I here, "Well, look at Modern Hebrew." Yes, look at it: Look at how completely it was transformed in the process of being revived. I'm not saying that that wasn't worth doing, but it shows that even when a language is extremely well documented, a lot of what makes it distinctive will go missing in the process of language revival--and most endangered languages haven't been that well documented. The focus really needs to be on preventing these varieties from going extinct in the first place and, in tandem with that, documenting their unique characteristics as well we can with current technology before they are lost due to interference or language death.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 17:35
by mōdgethanc
But don't languages lose their distinctive features all the time? That's more or less what a Sprachbund is, isn't it?

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 17:53
by Ciarán12
linguoboy wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:So you wind up with something like Modern Hebrew. Isn't that better than the language dying out?

The focus really needs to be on preventing these varieties from going extinct in the first place and, in tandem with that, documenting their unique characteristics as well we can with current technology before they are lost due to interference or language death.


Why? Seriously, what is the end goal here? So you manage to document it well, and you get the state to support it as fully as possible, and you beg the native speakers to just keep speaking their own damn language... for what? To exist as a linguistic curiosity for you? I think it's far more important to support non-natives who want to revive the language. They're the ones who give a shit, they're the ones who will be the future community of the language.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 18:02
by JackFrost
You're just being more realistic, Mikey.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 18:16
by linguoboy
mōdgethanc wrote:But don't languages lose their distinctive features all the time? That's more or less what a Sprachbund is, isn't it?

"distinctive" ≠ "unique"

When I look at Sprachbunds, what I generally notice is either a substitution of one common feature (still represented in other branches of the same family) for another or the spread of a local feature to other languages which have moved into the area. In neither case is there a net loss to linguistic diversity.

Ciarán wrote:I think it's far more important to support non-natives who want to revive the language. They're the ones who give a shit, they're the ones who will be the future community of the language.

I know you do. We've had this same debate so many times by now that it's clear that we'll never see eye-to-eye on the question. I continue to maintain that if the non-natives really "give a shit" about the language, then they'll learn it as it is spoken idiomatically by native speakers. In every other context, that's the gold standard for language learning so I don't see a reason to make an exception here.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 18:50
by Ciarán12
linguoboy wrote: I continue to maintain that if the non-natives really "give a shit" about the language, then they'll learn it as it is spoken idiomatically by native speakers. In every other context, that's the gold standard for language learning so I don't see a reason to make an exception here.


And how are we supposed to do that if they won't even speak it amongst each other, let alone with people they consider little more than foreigners?

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 19:18
by linguoboy
Ciarán12 wrote:
linguoboy wrote: I continue to maintain that if the non-natives really "give a shit" about the language, then they'll learn it as it is spoken idiomatically by native speakers. In every other context, that's the gold standard for language learning so I don't see a reason to make an exception here.

And how are we supposed to do that if they won't even speak it amongst each other, let alone with people they consider little more than foreigners?

Who is "they"? There are tens of thousands of native speakers of Irish; am I supposed to accept that this sweeping generalisation applies to all of them?

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 19:34
by Ciarán12
linguoboy wrote:Who is "they"? There are tens of thousands of native speakers of Irish; am I supposed to accept that this sweeping generalisation applies to all of them?


It applies to enough of them that the majority of what I hear and have experienced personally informs me that they do not want to speak Irish, least of all with learners.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-28, 19:46
by Lur
Really?

That's the opposite attitude of speakers of minority languages in Spain.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-30, 10:43
by Car
Luke wrote:
Car wrote:If even those of us living outside of English-speaking countries have to learn English, is it really realistic to have monolingual Gaelic speakers? Is it desirable?

Is it? Look how it's turning out!


What is?

As linguoboy wrote, they switched to English because it was economically advantageous for them, is it desirable to reduce their employment opportunites again? Do they even want that?

No, you don't speak English natively, but you don't live in an English-speaking country, they do.

It's ultimately up to the people of the area where the language was spoken to decide what they prefer, but I doubt you'd find a majority here in this region to become monolingual in Low German, people just don't care.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-30, 19:09
by Lur
Yeah, but it's not just that. If the language hadn't been actively persecuted in the first place, modern speakers wouldn't be in the situation of having to be bilingual. It's not just them choosing (they aren't really choosing, it's just the only option left these days) to be English speakers. The idea of the freedom of choice is illusory.

Ideally, the nice thing would be to have such an infraestructure for the community that they can expand and actually choose.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-05-30, 19:29
by linguoboy
Luke wrote:Yeah, but it's not just that. If the language hadn't been actively persecuted in the first place, modern speakers wouldn't be in the situation of having to be bilingual.

Yeah, well, if your abuelita had testicles she'd be your abuelo.

Luke wrote:Ideally, the nice thing would be to have such an infraestructure for the community that they can expand and actually choose.

Empowering communities so that they have more freedom and self-determination would be nice for all sorts of reasons. Any idea how we get there, though?

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-06-12, 0:46
by Llawygath
HoItalosPhilellên wrote:I've stopped getting sentimental about language rise and decline. We're just a bunch of animals who will go extinct at some point in time anyways. All languages are the same in the end: Just a bunch of horrendous cacophony particular to homo sapiens. Our nationalism and flag-waving is artificial. Tectonic plates don't and won't give a shit about our borders, no matter how much, for example, countries like Greece and Albania fight over a mere few square kilometers of useless, craggy land, because borders are NOT set in stone. (Yeah, totally random, I know.)

Oh my. What have I become? :lol:
I admit I sometimes wish language didn't exist. It is a form of communication, yes, but one that has resulted in environmentally detrimental actions on the part of the associated species (you may not all agree but this is actually arguable) and also great suffering caused by the struggles over which language should be used where. (Don't ask me to explain 'suffering' as I've done that ad nauseam already.)

However, I am also one of those who feels strongly tied to what happens to languages; to one in particular that you can all guess the identity of: this, in fact, is precisely why I sometimes wish this aspect of our species out of existence, because then my feelings would not be bound so tightly to something so seemingly arbitrary and irrational that causes me so much grief at times.

Blah.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-06-13, 11:54
by Levo
Let's suppose Hungarian will still exist in 1000 years time.
And let's suppose there won't be a major language that will become the predominant language in most countries.
Then, I think Hungarian would have the following changes:

-ban/-ben will disappear ("in") :((( and will be -ba/-ba ("into") used there too as it is the case today in bad-sounding everyday- speech

- to be honest I doubt vowel harmony would disappear. It is so flexibale and we even use it at foreign expressions that, it would die only with the extinction of the language itself in my opinion... but maybe not. I wonder when and how much it took till Estonian lost it.

- we'll have many new words that come from English and will be Hungarianized. I do use a lot of expressions in English in my every-day work that I couldn't tell in Hungarian until I won't start hearing them in Hungarian often. But as for now, it seems so Hungarian manages to Hungarianize foreign words with a pretty high percentage and success

Hmm, more are not coming to my mind right now...

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-06-13, 12:05
by Levo
Oh yeah,
and our s (sh) is becoming soft :S which sounds awful, and about 20 years ago was still funny, but today many people pronounce it a bit softer than how I remembered in my childhood, and such people who have no pronounciational disorder

Maybe our r is softening too a little bit? i'm not sure (towards standard-Swedish like, but not close to that yet)

Today palatalization is on its top. I wonder where it will go on afterwards? I like it the way it is right now.

I wouldn't be surprised if out future tense disappeared in a few generations' time. Even today, everything can be expressed by the present tense, future tense is not compulsary anywhere as far as I know.

And... I think our past tense needs some functional change, it could be more diverse. Pretty often we don't understand what had/has happened and what was happening and what happened and which one happened before when someone is telling a story. Maybe our past tense will become more expressive in some way in the future?

I'm also pretty sure some expressions will loose its original form and won't be spelled correctly. Like no-one spells "baszd meg" (fuck it), but rather "bazd meg" and you must be very angry to tell the whole expression "baszd meg az anyád" - "fuck your mother". Especially with swearings, but in other expressions as well.

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-06-13, 12:43
by mōdgethanc
I admit I sometimes wish language didn't exist. It is a form of communication, yes, but one that has resulted in environmentally detrimental actions on the part of the associated species (you may not all agree but this is actually arguable)
Huh? What the the hell are you talking about?

Re: YOUR language in the next 1000 years

Posted: 2013-06-13, 19:52
by Dormouse559
Levo wrote:Oh yeah,
and our s (sh) is becoming soft :S which sounds awful, and about 20 years ago was still funny, but today many people pronounce it a bit softer than how I remembered in my childhood, and such people who have no pronounciational disorder

Maybe our r is softening too a little bit? i'm not sure (towards standard-Swedish like, but not close to that yet).
What do you mean by "softening"? Do you happen to know IPA?