lk 154-161 ("Mulgi keel - kas Võru keele viletsam variant?")
Olen jõudnud selle raamatu keeleteemaliste peatükkideni, hurraa!
- Esiteks küsin tavaliselt, kas võin kõnelda või pean rääkima.
At first, I usually ask if I can speak in the Mulgi language or if I must speak in standard Estonian.
- Kõnelda ja rääkida võib kirjakeeles sünonüümid olla, aga mulgi keeles sõna "rääkida" ei kasutata. Siin, Kristi Ilves kasutab neid kahte sõna nii:
kõnelema mulgi keelemurdes rääkima
rääkima kirjakeeles rääkima
She says this without naming either language, just using different verbs for the different language varieties. Here is a list with the different verbs for speaking different languages in Finnic languages. The Mulgi usage is closer to Võro (kõnõlõma) than to standard Estonian (rääkima) and the word "rääkima" is not used in the Mulgi language (or Võro or Seto).
Half-jokingly, when I introduce the Mulgi language, I say that if you turn down the Seto brogue a little lower then you get the Võru language, and if you also take away its strength, then you get the Mulgi language.
- vurhv klanitud välimus; olek, laad (vurhvi moodi, laadi; vurhvima üles lööma, ehtima
Vurhv is an interesting word choice here, it can just mean "way" or "manner", but also "primness", "adornment" or "dressing up". "Brogue" doesn't have quite the same connotations but none of the other words I could think of seem to have the right connotation either. Lilt? Twang? Drawl? Burr? "Brogue" at least refers to a collection of features of a particular way of speaking, rather than to specific types of sounds, so it seems closest, but still not quite right.
The South Estonian language, to which Mulgi belongs, is thought to be one of the oldest languages of the Balto-Finnic tribes. It was one of the first to separate from the Finno-Baltic proto-language, probably around 2000 years ago, and therefore it is considerably older than standard written Estonian.
Kui me aga tavainimesena ei kasuta keeleteaduslikku lähenemist, siis meeldib kõige lõunaeestlastele oma kohalikku kõnepruuki ikka keeleks kutsuda. Kõneleme ju uhkusega oma keelt, mitte ei murra midagi.
If we, as ordinary people, aren't using a linguistic approach, then all South Estonians like to call their local way of speaking a "language". After all we speak our language with pride; there's nothing "broken" about it.
- This is difficult to translate because of the double meanings these words have in Estonian, which affects the connotations of their use:
keel language, but also "tongue"
murre dialect, but also "break", "fragmentation", "breaking point"
murrak subdialect, etymologically related to murre (and to murrang "fault, upheaval")
So in Estonian the use of the words for "dialect" (whether murre for a larger group of them or murrak for a more localized one) implies a fragment or broken piece while the word for "language" implies a more complete "tongue" or "way of speaking". The concept of "dialect" therefore comes across much like the way we might say in English that someone speaks "broken English". When she says mitte ei murra midagi, the literal translation is "we aren't breaking anything".
Additionally, linguists haven't yet reached an agreement on the question of what distinguishes a language from a dialect. According to one school of thought, within the boundaries of a language those who speak different dialects understand each other, while speakers of different languages do not. But does a native from Tallinn really always understand Seto?
Või kõnelejate arv? Et keel on see, millel on vähemalt... kõnelejat.
Or the number of speakers? That a language is one which has at least... speakers.
- I think we are supposed to fill in the blank with any number there, rather than to understand it as saying "a language has speakers [and a dialect might not]". Nevertheless, it's easy to translate even without being sure of that because the same ambiguity comes across in both languages.
Or instead, that a language is a dialect with an army and a navy, or its own country? But that isn't always the case! Then the difference between a language and a dialect would be more of a political decision than one based on language itself.
- I think this last definition has always been quite tongue-in-cheek, but when you consider the twists and turns and precipices of history, the experience of linguistic minorities, and how countries and borders can change, it's an especially awkward definition for a language if taken seriously. (So we shall not.)
loqu wrote:First conciliábulo and now ustorio, I love learning new words in my native language through this forum!