The future of the Celtic languages

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morlader
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby morlader » 2014-06-26, 10:10

Viridzen wrote:[flag=]kw[/flag]If there's a standard used at schools and businesses, but a family uses a different version of Cornish at home with their child, then that child will basically have to re-learn their own native language to go to school or get a job.


They'd have to use a different spelling, not "re-learn their own native language". It's the same language for everyone. And since most children learn to write at school, it's likely that the standard would become their strongest spelling.

Viridzen wrote:Also, signs that try to have Breton on them are defaced, just like Cornish signs in Cornwall.


What? Actually, the reverse is true. More and more bilingual signs are appearing in Cornwall. The local government has a policy of naming new streets in Cornish. And when a housing developer announced a new development with the very English title of "Woodleigh Grange", there was such an uproar they had to change it to the much more Cornish "Penn an Dre".

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Campaign-Co ... story.html
An lavar coth yw lavar gwir:
Na vedn nevra dos vas a davas re hir;
Bes den heb tavas a gollas y dir.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby morlader » 2014-06-26, 10:13

Saim wrote:In the case of Cornish and Manx anything that'll be "revived" will be an artificial hybrid, a kind of relexified English. Just look at how Modern Hebrew has been shaped by Yiddish and other European languages in practically all aspects of the language.


You've not studied revived Cornish much, then?
An lavar coth yw lavar gwir:
Na vedn nevra dos vas a davas re hir;
Bes den heb tavas a gollas y dir.
[flag=]kw[/flag]

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby morlader » 2014-06-26, 10:14

mōdgethanc wrote:I'll make a bet with y'all of 5 to 1 that in 100 years from now, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish and Manx are all deader than dead, Welsh and Irish are barely clinging on as fetish objects and Breton has become this weird rural curiosity. Naw, jk. Welsh will still be alive.


They said that about reviving Cornish 100 years ago. :lol:
An lavar coth yw lavar gwir:
Na vedn nevra dos vas a davas re hir;
Bes den heb tavas a gollas y dir.
[flag=]kw[/flag]

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Saim » 2014-06-26, 10:24

morlader wrote:You've not studied revived Cornish much, then?


I've listened to people speak Cornish and the intonation and prosody are 100% English - in this case the English influence on Cornish is much deeper than the Yiddish influence on Hebrew. Cornish is yet to be revived, there's nowhere where it functions as a community language.

morlader wrote:
They said that about reviving Cornish 100 years ago. :lol:


Almost all the demographic trends for all the Celtic languages are abysmal. Your complacency is worrying.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby morlader » 2014-06-26, 10:53

Saim wrote:
morlader wrote:You've not studied revived Cornish much, then?


I've listened to people speak Cornish and the intonation and prosody are 100% English - in this case the English influence on Cornish is much deeper than the Yiddish influence on Hebrew. Cornish is yet to be revived, there's nowhere where it functions as a community language.


You said it would end up as a "relexified English", which I took to mean shorn of its Celtic grammar and idiom. Shorn it is not.

There are some videos on YouTube of people speaking Cornish with awful English accents (mostly English migrants who've taken an interest). There are also videos of people speaking Cornish with superb Cornish accents (mostly Cornish people). Your opinion depends on which ones you watch. Search for Richard Gendall's videos.

Saim wrote:
morlader wrote:
They said that about reviving Cornish 100 years ago. :lol:


Almost all the demographic trends for all the Celtic languages are abysmal. Your complacency is worrying.


I do hope you're not including the 1000% increase in speakers over 100 years, or changes from complete invisibility to state-funded promotion, and from the very existence of the language being forgotten by most to supported by most, in your list of abysmal demographic trends. And I can assure you, one thing I am not, and never have been, is complacent.

What worries me is when people who have no first-hand experience of the situation make pronouncements of the imminent death of a language based on statistics of number of speakers and what little they can find on the internet.
An lavar coth yw lavar gwir:
Na vedn nevra dos vas a davas re hir;
Bes den heb tavas a gollas y dir.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-26, 11:09

Saim wrote:
I've listened to people speak Cornish and the intonation and prosody are 100% English


I don't see how you get from a completely impressionistic assessment that Cornish sounds like English from the people you've heard to "Cornish is relexified English". You can't possibly make that kind of assessment without having studied the language, and those that have seem to have a very different opinion. You can't equate the inevitable influence English has and will have on Cornish with it being "relexified English", and I think it's insulting to Cornish language revivalists to suggest it is without better evidence than that.

Saim wrote:- in this case the English influence on Cornish is much deeper than the Yiddish influence on Hebrew.


I don't see how that is relevant. Are you suggesting that Cornish is necessarily more influenced in all areas by English than Hebrew is by Yiddish? Can you back that up in anyway?

Saim wrote:
morlader wrote:They said that about reviving Cornish 100 years ago. :lol:


Almost all the demographic trends for all the Celtic languages are abysmal. Your complacency is worrying.


Your pessimism is more worrying. Anyway, I don't see how he is being complacent, he has every reason to be confident in the progress Cornish has made, it's the others that are on the way to the grave.
Beidh Gaeilge líofa chruinn bhlasta agam nó go bhfaighe mé bás san iarracht!

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-06-26, 19:02

Ciarán12 wrote:I don't see how you get from a completely impressionistic assessment that Cornish sounds like English from the people you've heard to "Cornish is relexified English". You can't possibly make that kind of assessment without having studied the language, and those that have seem to have a very different opinion.
Well, to be fair, linguists do make statements about languages without having studied them all the time.
Your pessimism is more worrying. Anyway, I don't see how he is being complacent, he has every reason to be confident in the progress Cornish has made, it's the others that are on the way to the grave.
Even Irish and Welsh?
morlader wrote:What worries me is when people who have no first-hand experience of the situation make pronouncements of the imminent death of a language based on statistics of number of speakers and what little they can find on the internet.
What do you want us to do? Make a quick trip to Cornwall and then get back to you?

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-26, 19:07

mōdgethanc wrote:
morlader wrote:What worries me is when people who have no first-hand experience of the situation make pronouncements of the imminent death of a language based on statistics of number of speakers and what little they can find on the internet.
What do you want us to do? Make a quick trip to Cornwall and then get back to you?

That would certainly make for a more informed discussion.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-06-26, 19:22

linguoboy wrote:That would certainly make for a more informed discussion.
Would it? Generally, I prefer statistics over anecdotes when it comes to this sort of thing. Having said that, I'm not sure statements like "Cornish is 100% relexified English" can be backed up with either, so they're just like, an opinion, man.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-26, 19:33

mōdgethanc wrote:
linguoboy wrote:That would certainly make for a more informed discussion.
Would it? Generally, I prefer statistics over anecdotes when it comes to this sort of thing.

Statistics can't capture everything about a situation and, when it comes to linguistic competency, they're particularly suspect. If you believe the official statistics, there are nearly three times as many "speakers" of Irish as of Welsh. But you don't have to spend much time in the two countries to say which has the more vibrant linguistic culture.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Ciarán12 » 2014-06-26, 20:05

mōdgethanc wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:I don't see how you get from a completely impressionistic assessment that Cornish sounds like English from the people you've heard to "Cornish is relexified English". You can't possibly make that kind of assessment without having studied the language, and those that have seem to have a very different opinion.
Well, to be fair, linguists do make statements about languages without having studied them all the time.


I just think that that specifically is a statement you can't really make without having some knowledge about it. Also, it seems to be contrary to what I've been told by people who have studied it, so I'm wondering why someone who hasn't studied it would insist that that was the case when others who have are saying the opposite.

mōdgethanc wrote:
Your pessimism is more worrying. Anyway, I don't see how he is being complacent, he has every reason to be confident in the progress Cornish has made, it's the others that are on the way to the grave.
Even Irish and Welsh?


Even Irish and Welsh are on their way to the grave or even Irish and Welsh are making good progress?

mōdgethanc wrote:
morlader wrote:What worries me is when people who have no first-hand experience of the situation make pronouncements of the imminent death of a language based on statistics of number of speakers and what little they can find on the internet.
What do you want us to do? Make a quick trip to Cornwall and then get back to you?


No, but like I said, Morlader has studied the language and does live in Cornwall and he says Revived Cornish is anything but relexified English, so I was wondering why Saim was so sure that's what it was/would become.

linguoboy wrote:Statistics can't capture everything about a situation and, when it comes to linguistic competency, they're particularly suspect. If you believe the official statistics, there are nearly three times as many "speakers" of Irish as of Welsh. But you don't have to spend much time in the two countries to say which has the more vibrant linguistic culture.


I agree, and I don't think anyone really takes the statistics on Irish speakers (particularly the ridiculously optimistic ones) seriously. I also think there is somthing to be said for being involved in the community, living in the country and getting a first-hand feel for the kinds of situations people are in and the ideas they express, both the people who form part of the linguistic community and everyone else in the country. I mean, you obviously have to recognise the importance of the role played by the anlgophone majorities in these countries in the future of the languages, and Molader and I form part of those majorities, so naturally we would have an insight that you wouldn't. That's not to say your research isn't valid, but we can actually see what the societies are like around us as well as read the statistics.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-06-27, 4:03

Ciarán12 wrote:Even Irish and Welsh are on their way to the grave or even Irish and Welsh are making good progress?
No, I meant that they seem to be doing the best and have the best chance of surviving in the long term. That isn't to say their survival is guaranteed, though. You know a lot more about this topic than I do; what do you think?
No, but like I said, Morlader has studied the language and does live in Cornwall and he says Revived Cornish is anything but relexified English, so I was wondering why Saim was so sure that's what it was/would become.
I don't know, only Saim knows why he said that. I was a bit surprised that he did, though. There is clearly English influence on Cornish (just look at the phonology!) but calling it a relex is a lot more radical, kind of like Ghil'ad Zuckerman's claims that modern Hebrew is a Semitic-European hybrid. (He doesn't go as far as to call it a relex, though.)
linguoboy wrote:Statistics can't capture everything about a situation and, when it comes to linguistic competency, they're particularly suspect. If you believe the official statistics, there are nearly three times as many "speakers" of Irish as of Welsh. But you don't have to spend much time in the two countries to say which has the more vibrant linguistic culture.
Well, we all know what Mark Twain had to say on the subject.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby morlader » 2014-06-27, 4:41

mōdgethanc wrote:What do you want us to do? Make a quick trip to Cornwall and then get back to you?


It'd be a good start...
An lavar coth yw lavar gwir:
Na vedn nevra dos vas a davas re hir;
Bes den heb tavas a gollas y dir.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-06-27, 5:16

morlader wrote:It'd be a good start...
Don't hold your breath.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby morlader » 2014-06-27, 5:53

mōdgethanc wrote:Don't hold your breath.


Then there's always the option of admitting the limits of one's knowledge. Although, since we're talking about linguists, perhaps I also shouldn't hold my breath over that similarly unlikely prospect. :lol:
An lavar coth yw lavar gwir:
Na vedn nevra dos vas a davas re hir;
Bes den heb tavas a gollas y dir.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-06-27, 7:29

morlader wrote:Then there's always the option of admitting the limits of one's knowledge.
I already admitted (to Ciarán, but still) that I don't know very much about Celtic languages. However, based on what I do know about the subject, I'm not very optimistic about language revival as a whole. It can work (Hebrew proves that) but most of the time, it has mixed results.
Although, since we're talking about linguists, perhaps I also shouldn't hold my breath over that similarly unlikely prospect. :lol:
I don't know, I'm not a linguist. Nearly everyone here is a hobbyist, with a few exceptions.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-27, 12:50

mōdgethanc wrote:Well, we all know what Mark Twain had to say on the subject.

I don't think statistics are worse than "damned lies" generally, but you have to understand their limits. Almost all the statistics we have on language use are self-reported, so they're prey to all manner of cognitive biases.
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-06-27, 19:15

But a revived language being relexified English is not necessarily a bad thing. If it starts as such, and then survives, it might thereafter develop in its own way, into something different from English, and you could have new generations of speakers trained in the classic texts, so they will know some of the old language and be able to use it in their own way.

(I do not claim that any revived language is relexified English. :) )
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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Levike » 2014-06-27, 19:32

Is the way the real Irish people pronounce Irish
any different from the way the standard is thought in Anglophone areas?
Nem egy nap alatt épült Buda vára.

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Re: The future of the Celtic languages

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-06-27, 20:00

morlader wrote:There are some videos on YouTube of people speaking Cornish with awful English accents (mostly English migrants who've taken an interest). There are also videos of people speaking Cornish with superb Cornish accents (mostly Cornish people). Your opinion depends on which ones you watch. Search for Richard Gendall's videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-boCJhBxyYE
In that video, Gendall's Cornish phonemes sounds very English to me (as I am someone completely unfamiliar with Cornish pronunciation), so is that actually the furthest from English that Cornish can get? :?:
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.


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