Reviving Extinct Languages?

Moderator: Ashucky

User avatar
Levike
Posts: 6153
Joined: 2013-04-22, 19:26
Real Name: Levi
Gender: male
Location: Budapest
Country: HU Hungary (Magyarország)

Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby Levike » 2013-04-27, 19:26

I would like to know what do you think about reviving dead languages?
(Latin, Greek, Old Church Slavonic, Sanskrit, Dalmatian, Old Norse or whatever)

1. What if we were to establish a little region where the official language would be a dead language?

2. Or what if two Latin teachers married and decided that their child's first language would be Latin?

Just imagine that the next generations would be native speakers of Latin or Classical Greek ?!?

I want to hear your honest opinions.
Last edited by Levike on 2013-04-27, 19:48, edited 2 times in total.
Nem egy nap alatt épült Buda vára.

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2151
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Gender: male
Location: Boston
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby Yasna » 2013-04-27, 19:34

I don't think its worth the effort. Especially not in cases where the dead language has perfectly viable daughter languages to learn.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10658
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-04-27, 20:46

I don't see what the point would be. Besides, revived languages always change during the revival process (look at Modern Hebrew, the only really successful language revival to ever happen) so at some point it would resemble a daughter of the revived language more than the original. There is one prominent linguist, Ghil'ad Zuckermann, who argues that Modern Hebrew is more like a creole based on Biblical Hebrew and could be called "Israeli" instead.

Also, the only reason Hebrew succeeded, aside from adopting elements from other languages the revivalists spoke, was that it was already a pan-Jewish language that was widely used in writing, whereas barely anyone studies Latin or Ancient Greek nowadays, or at least becomes proficient in it. The Zionists needed a language for inter-ethnic communication, and Yiddish wouldn't do since it was biased towards Ashkenazi Jews, so Hebrew fit the role. I think I remember reading about the case of a teacher who tried to raise his son to be fluent in Latin, but the child rejected it as he grew up because nobody else spoke it.

You may want to look at the Sanskrit revival, though. Supposedly there is a village in India where many people are fluent in it and it's a vernacular language. I'n not sure how true that is, though.

User avatar
Lur
Posts: 3051
Joined: 2012-04-15, 23:22
Location: Madrid
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby Lur » 2013-04-27, 21:21

There are enough moribund or recently extinct languages around the world to care about. And as much as I love old languages, it's weird to "revive" a language with descendants. I'd much simply rather the multiplication of resources for such language, for those who like it.
Geurea dena lapurtzen uzteagatik, geure izaerari uko egiteagatik.

User avatar
MkO
Posts: 4
Joined: 2013-05-19, 2:52
Real Name: Michael Oosting
Gender: male
Location: Belleville
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby MkO » 2013-05-19, 8:51

Latin or Church Slavonic are sort of a weird example, considering they have living descendants - the modern Romance and Slavic languages. Latin remains solely as the language of the Catholic church, Church Slavonic remains solely as the language of the Orthodox church, and I really don't see a reason to expand its use beyond that when we have a plethora of living, thriving Slavic languages, as well as some endangered ones to save.

I mean I suppose it's possible that two speakers of a dead but known language could marry, have a child, and just because they can they could raise that child as a native of that language. There are thousands of native Esperanto speakers in the world - a language native to no individual country - an even a child in the U.S.A. whose father is raising him as a native in Klingon. I'd imagine there have even been isolated cases already where children, in the modern age, have been raised native speakers of Latin.

But establishing a whole community of Latin speakers? That's a bit far-fetched. Besides from the potential of some sort of radical Catholicism, I don't see what possible purpose it could serve.

Now languages that have gone extinct due to assimilation, where there's still a national identity among the people who formerly spoke it, these are totally candidates for revival and should be revived. Some examples of ongoing attempts include Manx and Cornish of the modern Celtic languages in Europe, or right here in my own country the Wyandot language of what's left of the Huron Confederacy in Québec, which was formerly extinct but is now being revived. The only example you gave which could possibly fit this is Dalmatian - but with the language having gone extinct almost 120 years ago and insufficient information to revive the language I doubt we'd be able to, and that would be if the people of modern day Dalmatia would even identify with their Italic roots, which I doubt.

Rather than Old Norse, why don't you look to supporting people whose language is either going extinct or has gone extinct, with no modern languages descending from it?
Native: [flag]en-CA[/flag] Canadian English
Fluent: [flag]fr-QC[/flag] Français québécois
Interested in: [flag]fr-AC[/flag] Français acadien [flag]iu[/flag] Inuktitut

baradsonoron
Posts: 22
Joined: 2013-07-02, 15:54
Real Name: Brádán Nomini
Location: Fenmore

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby baradsonoron » 2013-07-07, 1:56

Hey, I came up with a way of modernizing Sumerian. I even composed a short sentence for it.

All the gods created computers.
dingirdingir lanalanae endimeš.
god.god boxthink.boxthink.ERG it.create.past-him

Steve Jobs created Apple with Wozniek.
stiv jabz apele endime waznekda.
steve jobs apple.ERG it.create.him Wozniek-COMIT

To make the word for "computer" I used boxthink.

I standardized verb conjugations as:

Suffixes: -en, -en, -e, -enden, -enzen, -ene. -eš for the past tense form of the last one.
Prefixes: e-, e-, en-.

In the past tense, it goes subj.verbstem.obj, in the present it goes obj.verbstem.subj.

Tell me what you think.
Bárád-dur, unákufênot
Bárád-dur, ais baraské mé paná
Bárád-dur, tukufartasc
Ais unápoton cuéfainaktat unágoladébupotone

User avatar
Lur
Posts: 3051
Joined: 2012-04-15, 23:22
Location: Madrid
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby Lur » 2013-07-07, 22:47

Lowenaaaaaaa!!


PS: I don't know how Sumerian uses the ergative case, but that looks weird to me. I would make the creators take the ergative and the computers take the absolutive.
Geurea dena lapurtzen uzteagatik, geure izaerari uko egiteagatik.

User avatar
Levike
Posts: 6153
Joined: 2013-04-22, 19:26
Real Name: Levi
Gender: male
Location: Budapest
Country: HU Hungary (Magyarország)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby Levike » 2013-07-08, 0:19

MkO wrote:Rather than Old Norse, why don't you look to supporting people whose language is either going extinct or has gone extinct, with no modern languages descending from it?

I don't support reviving languages, I was just curious.
Nem egy nap alatt épült Buda vára.

User avatar
mōdgethanc
Posts: 10658
Joined: 2010-03-20, 5:27
Gender: male
Location: Toronto
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-08, 1:44

Reviving Sumerian seems like a silly idea to me. Not only is there no Sumerian people to speak of anymore, I have to wonder if the language is really understood well enough to speak it. You might end up with a frankentongue like Neo-Sindarian - useful for dramatic effect, but not usable as a spoken language.
MkO wrote:Latin or Church Slavonic are sort of a weird example, considering they have living descendants - the modern Romance and Slavic languages.
I keep hearing this myth bandied about on these boards. The Romance family is not descended from Latin as we know it. It's descended from Vulgar Latin, a very different and seldom written register of the language. Likewise, the Indic languages are not descended from Sanskrit but from various Prakrits, the Arabic languages are not descended from Classical Arabic but various spoken dialects of the time, and modern English is not descended straight from West Saxon but a mixture of different Middle English dialects.
But establishing a whole community of Latin speakers? That's a bit far-fetched. Besides from the potential of some sort of radical Catholicism, I don't see what possible purpose it could serve.
Another myth I hear a lot is that Latin = Catholic. But there are many people who study it for other reasons, like students of the classics or archaeology. These people would learn Classical Latin straight from contemporary sources too, not the specialized jargon the Church uses.

User avatar
Lur
Posts: 3051
Joined: 2012-04-15, 23:22
Location: Madrid
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby Lur » 2013-07-09, 14:01

mōdgethanc wrote:The Romance family is not descended from Latin as we know it. It's descended from Vulgar Latin, a very different and seldom written register of the language.

The Romance family is descencded from a late form of Latin wwhich was obviously different from Classical Latin.

Classical Latin was spoken language though. It was educated speech. Language tends to change from innovations from the coloquial register (for example, first turning the ai dipthtong into ae in Classical, and then slowly into ee already in Classical times). Thus the coloquial register keeps changing the language until it gets to Late Latin. But I don't think it's like there was a branch and Late Latin comes from something that has nothing to do with "Classical Latin".

Technically, the Romance family is descended from Latin as we know it, we just don't know all of it which is a different issue.
Geurea dena lapurtzen uzteagatik, geure izaerari uko egiteagatik.

baradsonoron
Posts: 22
Joined: 2013-07-02, 15:54
Real Name: Brádán Nomini
Location: Fenmore

Re: Reviving Extinct Languages?

Postby baradsonoron » 2013-07-09, 19:15

Lur wrote:Lowenaaaaaaa!!


PS: I don't know how Sumerian uses the ergative case, but that looks weird to me. I would make the creators take the ergative and the computers take the absolutive.



Pardon me, wikipedia messed up and it's actually the absolutive that Sumerian marks.
Bárád-dur, unákufênot
Bárád-dur, ais baraské mé paná
Bárád-dur, tukufartasc
Ais unápoton cuéfainaktat unágoladébupotone


Return to “Ancient, Classical and Extinct Languages”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest