Irish in 100 years

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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby Lur » 2013-06-11, 18:57

I've seen that argument used as one of the (multiple) reasons Basque survided the initial push of Latin while all the archaic Celtic languages around it fell like flies.

But I certainly don't think it can work only by itself. In that case the pre-Indoeuropean speech of the Mediterranean coast died just like the Celtic languages around, but the Romans didn't care about the Pyrinees.

But it could be afactor. "Dialects" are more easily replaced by closely related prestige forms of a language than by a completely diferent language.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-11, 19:28

First of all, Coptic is not a Semitic language and not all that close to Arabic. Secondly, I can think of a ton of counter-examples: what about all those Old European languages that got wiped out by IE? What about all the Native American tongues that got overtaken by English and Spanish? What about all the dying Uralic languages in Russia? And what happened to Manchu? Even the loss of Celtic speakers might count, since they may be IE but they're nothing like English.

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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-06-11, 19:37

Lur wrote:But it could be afactor. "Dialects" are more easily replaced by closely related prestige forms of a language than by a completely diferent language.

What's the evidence for such a claim?
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby Lur » 2013-06-11, 19:50

Because we're seeing that kind of reorganization within languages all the time.

When they decided on Standard Basque people went crazy about the dialects dying but not about Castilian replacing Basque.

Big languages follow the lead dialect since they can't be wiped out by others (look at the evolution of French or Portuguese). Smaller ones under threat reorganize and change rapidly from within. It just seems to me that it's easier to "convince" a population that they speak bad and should speak any other way than making them speak a entirely different language. Even without that kind of input people automatically get the idea that the "standard" is more "correct", but you're going to have to spend a great deal of more energy to make them speak a diferent language instead of following trends within theirs.

mōdgethanc wrote:First of all, Coptic is not a Semitic language and not all that close to Arabic.

This.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-11, 20:07

linguoboy wrote:
Lur wrote:But it could be afactor. "Dialects" are more easily replaced by closely related prestige forms of a language than by a completely diferent language.

What's the evidence for such a claim?
German, but then there's Arabic to counter it. How about Middle English? Granted, British regional dialects are still around but there's only one written form of the language.

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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-06-11, 21:45

mōdgethanc wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Lur wrote:But it could be afactor. "Dialects" are more easily replaced by closely related prestige forms of a language than by a completely diferent language.

What's the evidence for such a claim?
German, but then there's Arabic to counter it. How about Middle English? Granted, British regional dialects are still around but there's only one written form of the language.

I think German is itself a counterexample. What are the most vigourous dialects in the German Sprachraum? Upper German dialects like Alemannic and Bavarian. Are which are nearly extinct? The varieties of Low German. Isn't this exactly the opposite of what the Lur's hypothesis predicts? (Meanwhile, Frisian is nearly extinct and Sorbian has far fewer speakers left than Berlinisch.)
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-11, 21:53

linguoboy wrote:I think German is itself a counterexample. What are the most vigourous dialects in the German Sprachraum? Upper German dialects like Alemannic and Bavarian. Are which are nearly extinct? The varieties of Low German. Isn't this exactly the opposite of what the Lur's hypothesis predicts? (Meanwhile, Frisian is nearly extinct and Sorbian has far fewer speakers left than Berlinisch.)
This could also be explained by politics and culture, mind you. Southern German dialects are spoken in different countries (and from what I hear, Bavaria might as well be one) and while I don't know about Austria, I believe in Switzerland early childhood education is in Swiss German while High German isn't introduced until later on. It may be a chicken-egg question to ask whether these speakers are proud of their cultural distinctiveness because they speak a different language or if they're proud of their language because they're culturally distinct.

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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-06-11, 22:16

mōdgethanc wrote:Southern German dialects are also spoken in different countries

Fixed. Baden, Swabia, the Palatinate--these are all part of the Federal Republic.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-11, 22:53

linguoboy wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:Southern German dialects are also spoken in different countries

Fixed. Baden, Swabia, the Palatinate--these are all part of the Federal Republic.
I am aware. I didn't mean to imply they're only spoken outside of Germany - which is why I brought up Bavaria as well.

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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby Yasna » 2013-06-11, 22:59

I don't think anyone is arguing that it's a law. It's clearly not. Just that it might be one among many factors that determine what language people end up speaking.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby Lur » 2013-06-11, 23:33

Well in the German case the Northern varieties are/were spoken by people surrounded by German varieties everywhere so they hardly would be displaced by a more diferent language.

But the language similarity hypothesis has been mentioned quite a few times comparing the rebirth of Catalan and Galician with that of Basque.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-06-12, 2:10

Yasna wrote:I don't think anyone is arguing that it's a law. It's clearly not. Just that it might be one among many factors that determine what language people end up speaking.

I'm just trying to determine what it purports to explain that can't be equally well accounted for by other factors.

Lur wrote:Well in the German case the Northern varieties are/were spoken by people surrounded by German varieties everywhere so they hardly would be displaced by a more diferent language.

The point is they are far more divergent from Standard German than most Upper German varieties, yet they've been displaced more by it, not less. Frisian is usually classed off on its own as on branch of Anglo-Frisian, and Sorbian is, of course, a Slavic language.

Lur wrote:But the language similarity hypothesis has been mentioned quite a few times comparing the rebirth of Catalan and Galician with that of Basque.

But Catalan is doing better than either Galician or Basque, so what exactly does that tell us?
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby Lur » 2013-06-12, 13:46

linguoboy wrote:
Lur wrote:But the language similarity hypothesis has been mentioned quite a few times comparing the rebirth of Catalan and Galician with that of Basque.

But Catalan is doing better than either Galician or Basque, so what exactly does that tell us?

But even Galician has six times more speakers than Basque now. Castilian speakers are more likely to accept either of those than Basque, specially learning it.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby linguoboy » 2013-06-12, 14:30

Lur wrote:But even Galician has six times more speakers than Basque now. Castilian speakers are more likely to accept either of those than Basque, specially learning it.

But is the difference really attributable to more Castilian-speakers learning Galician? According to Spanish census data, the number of Galician-speakers within the autonomous community hardly changed between 1991 and 2001. (In fact, it declined slightly.) Meanwhile, over roughly the same period (1991 to 2006), the number of Basque-speakers increased 26%. To me, this looks like a huge increase in the number of Basque-speakers while the number of Galician-speakers is holding steady or even shrinking.

Linguistic similarity doesn't explain this discrepancy. A significant gap between the prestige of Basque in the Basque country and the prestige of Galician in Galicia does.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby Lur » 2013-06-12, 16:57

Ok, ok.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-13, 16:24

Hijacking this thread: Will Scottish Gaelic be dead in 100 years? (I'm sure there will be attempts to revive it, but the question is if it will die in the sense of having no native speakers left.) And if you think it will, why won't Irish?

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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby morlader » 2013-06-13, 21:51

mōdgethanc wrote:
Yes it's nationalism but so what? It's also anti-globalisation. And now that we have the internet and mass communication, it's easier than ever to learn, which shows in the upswing of new learners. Future technology will make it even easier. It's all that which will keep the revival going.
That stuff is globalization. Don't confuse globalism with cultural imperialism or whatever the leftist trend of the day is. I don't believe it has to be a bad thing, bringing people together and allowing the sharing of knowledge.

What if forcibly bringing people together results in bitterness and cultural loss? What is it about linguistic diversity that prevents the sharing of knowledge? Some people would argue it actually enhances it. Do you believe linguistic diversity has to be a bad thing? Globalism and one world language don't necessarily go hand in hand.
mōdgethanc wrote:
And re conlang, have you studied the revived language at all? Or just read what other people have written about it?
No, I haven't. I haven't studied Modern Hebrew either; do you disagree with my take on it?


You said "it seems more like a conlang". I was just wondering how you came to that viewpoint. And I have no idea what your take on Modern Hebrew is.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-13, 23:37

morlader wrote:What if forcibly bringing people together results in bitterness and cultural loss?
Who said anything about forcing them?
What is it about linguistic diversity that prevents the sharing of knowledge? Some people would argue it actually enhances it.
I never said otherwise.
Do you believe linguistic diversity has to be a bad thing? Globalism and one world language don't necessarily go hand in hand.
Actually, I was trying to say that it doesn't.

I think you misinterpreted what I was trying to say. I was saying that globalism can be good for diversity, especially for small languages like Cornish. The Internet allows people to learn things they would never otherwise have access to and lets them communicate with each other over long distances. For language revivalists, it's a godsend.
You said "it seems more like a conlang". I was just wondering how you came to that viewpoint. And I have no idea what your take on Modern Hebrew is.
That it's kind of like a conlang. Better than it being dead, surely, but it still feels somewhat artificial.

I don't know much about Cornish, but I do know a) it has no native speakers and b) there has been a lot of struggling over how to standardize it. What kind of Cornish do you speak? Do you think it's the same kind that a native speaker would have uttered 100 years ago?

Maybe I'm totally off-base here, but I don't think it's possible to revive a dead language without sacrificing some of the things that make it unique. Is Cornish any different?

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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby Lauren » 2013-06-14, 3:10

mōdgethanc wrote:I don't know much about Cornish, but I do know a) it has no native speakers and b) there has been a lot of struggling over how to standardize it.

Sorry; both not true. :P

It does have native speakers (albeit very few), and it does now have a standard.
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Re: Irish in 100 years

Postby morlader » 2013-06-14, 9:40

mōdgethanc wrote:That it's kind of like a conlang. Better than it being dead, surely, but it still feels somewhat artificial.


I'm still not clear as to what makes it feel somewhat artificial to you, since you say you've never studied it.

mōdgethanc wrote:I don't know much about Cornish, but I do know a) it has no native speakers and b) there has been a lot of struggling over how to standardize it.


As Lowena said, it does have native speakers. Unless you mean native speakers of traditional Cornish? And it has largely been standardised.

mōdgethanc wrote:What kind of Cornish do you speak? Do you think it's the same kind that a native speaker would have uttered 100 years ago?


I speak revived Cornish. Any other labels have long been proven to be either superficial (spelling system) or arbitrary (Middle/Late distinction). There weren't any native speakers 100 years ago, although the revival was 9 years into its infancy. If you want to know if revived Cornish would be understood by a native speaker of 1700, I'd say there'd be quite a good chance, though not without its difficulties. The modern speaker would certainly have to change how they spoke to reflect the English-influenced Cornish of 1700, since the revivalist preference seems to be for the more Celtic Cornish of earlier periods. And of course we'd only be able to talk about topics common to both time periods.

mōdgethanc wrote:Maybe I'm totally off-base here, but I don't think it's possible to revive a dead language without sacrificing some of the things that make it unique. Is Cornish any different?


Certainly not. But the largest source of input for the revived language has been and continues to be the remains of the traditional language. It's still identifiably the same language, albeit reconstructed and modernised. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be able to read and understand the traditional texts. Just because we've created neologisms, and idiomatic phrases are somewhat lacking, it doesn't warrant the use of the word 'conlang', which I think does the revived language a real disservice. Perhaps the fact that it has been revived, and is now out there in the real world developing on its own, also gives it a certain uniqueness.
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Bes den heb tavas a gollas y dir.
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