Friday, April 15, 2016

... on Tower of Babel and the Lingua Franca Phenomenon

Video commented on:
The Universal Language

As to Intro,
it seems the lecturer is taking Tower of Babel as a "myth" reflecting certain desires and ideals, among those the "ideal of a universal language".

Now, how come that in Swedish Universities (Sweden being Protestant and Fundamentalism being commonly thought to be a Protestant feature, right?) a lecturer cannot take Genesis 11 for historic fact?

AND, supposing it were not, even then one cannot deny that the first men who had a language had the same one. Evolutionist scenarios have a way of breaking down when analysed, particularly on issue of first men. But one can hardly deny that if this ideology were true, it would follow one certain mutation would have triggered humanisation and therefore the language capacity. One lineage would have been developing language. And therefore, even on an evolutionist scenario, one language would have been the original language of mankind.

Obviously even more so on the Creationist scenario, a k a Christian faith. Adam was not many men, and even if he mastered more than one language (which is no where directly indicated), one must have been his first one, the one in which he talked to God in Eden and in which his names for all animals were his contribution to vocabulary, his "cadeau à Larousse".

That Our Lord DID know Aramaic and Hebrew does not indicate that He did NOT know Greek.

The Syro-Phenician woman certainly may have been adressed in Aramaic, but what about the Centurions and Pilate? And were the years in Egypt spent where they mostly spoke Coptic - or in Alexandria, where the most known language was Greek?

And obviously, Rahan presumes that whether the tribe of Crao spoke French or sth else, they spoke a universal stone age language ... sth more probable in French Colonial Empire than in usual stone age scenario of archaeology.

I object to that remark very strongly ... except for Schliemann, except for Grimm, and except for Dietrich von Hildebrand ... whose heyday was after 1933.

Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx basically suck, and I am no big fan of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer either. There was a decent racial biologist whom Hitler admired, but oh boy what his admirers DID with his classifications (by the way, you don't look very East Baltic, more as Nordic as a Romanoff).

Oh, forgot, as you mentioned US : Felix Salzer, disciple of Heinrich Schenker is not bad either! And that goes for the GOOD Marx too:

HOLD ON ... Alcuin and Erasmus can hardly be blamed for what a Swedish cinema producer suffered from his Latin teacher, or supposedly so, to judge from "Hets" where the Latin teacher is nicknamed Caligula!

Since you are finished with topic of this lecture, how about my tentative identification of PIE with a recorded language. Nesili. Not Hattili or Hattic, which might be Fenno-Ugrian, but Nesili or Hittite. Language of the armies that conquered and first destroyed Hattusha.

Creation vs. Evolution : Was Proto-Indo-European a Historic Language, like ... Hittite, Imperial Language relevant for Greece and Linear A Crete?

Answering others:

الضاحك الباحث
Why does this lecturer have to shoot indirect negative disdainful comments at the Arabic language? I mean he could be a bit respectful even if he criticizes old opinions, it only diminishes from his objectivity.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
+‫الضاحك الباحث‬‎ what exactly was disdainful about it?

Fulop Hilda
to LExman00, American English has so many words of other origin, there is no such thing as one language 

Frank Maclow
you're right, no language is 100% original. French is my first language which is a mix of Latin, Greek and other dialects spoken at the time.

James van der Hoorn
+Frank Maclow French is hardly a mix of Latin and Greek. It's a fairly direct descendant of Latin.

Frank Maclow
+James van der Hoorn
you're right, even if we use few Greek words, there is no direct link between our respective languages.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
+James van der Hoorn Actually, French has a smattering of Gaulish words too.

I wrote a dialogue where a Roman nobleman from Corsica, serving as prefect in Lyons, hmm Ludgdunum, or perhaps just visiting it, complains about the local take on Latin.

"Fui Lugduni proh dolor!"

"Quare proh dolor? Ut audivi optimas habent salsas carnes!"

"Et vina. Sed linguilla! Non est nominillum quod non diminuunt!"

"Ah, ideo illud 'amicille'!"

"Ideo, ut dicis."

"Bone Jacobe Villari, quae alia dicenda sunt de lingua Lugdunensium?"

"Barbarica verba! Romae dicunt: 'avis habet rostrum exiguum', nonne?"

"Mihi videtur illud et recte quidem! Et Lugduni?"

"Lugduni? 'Avicellus habet beccum finum'!"

Avicellus is remade Latin, habet is Latin, but "beccum finum" is Gaulish.

En lengua romance en Antimodernism y de mis caminaciones : Dialogus Temporibus Romanis

+James van der Hoorn The most obvious Greek contribution to French (well, Greek, Hebrew or Arabic) is definite article. Latin, like Russian and Polish and Lithuanian, also like Finnish I think, but not Hungarian lacked a definite article. Greek had one. French hasn't the Greek one, but it has reused some demonstrative pronouns of Latin to make room for a Greek category of sentence building.

James van der Hoorn
+Hans-Georg Lundahl No. What we see in many Indo-European languages is that demonstrative pronouns develop into definite articles. This happened in Greek (in Homeric Greek the definitive article is still more a demonstrative) It happened in the Germanic languages (in Old English we see the transitional stage, just as in Greek; in German the definite articles der, die, das are still demonstratives as well; in Afrikaans the demonstrative die has become the definite article, using hierdie for this and daardie for this and that). It happened in all the Romance languages, the Latin demonstratives ille, illa, (with declined forms such as illos, illas) turned into definite articles.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
+James van der Hoorn, both the Romance and diverse Germanic "developments" of demonstratives to definite articles are occurring at same time, namely First Millennium AD, and it so happens that during this time, one started out with lots of Greek speakers in Western part of Roman Empire, so that they could influence what changes were made to Latin, and the Germanic tribes were living next door to the Empire or invading it, so they could have been getting the idea from Greek directly or from early Romance and hence indirectly from Greek.

One proviso, Arabic in Iberian Peninsula, South part of Italies, certain periods in Gaul/France even OR Hebrew of Jews living side by side and sometimes joining the majority by conversion may also have contributed.

Update on Monday 18/IV

James van der Hoorn
+Hans-Georg Lundahl Mere speculation. In Old English for instance the change occurred after the Romans had left Britannia and the Anglo-Saxons were still pagans and Latin was not yet the language of learning. Do you know of any serious linguistic studies arguing your view?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"In Old English for instance the change occurred after the Romans had left Britannia and the Anglo-Saxons were still pagans and Latin was not yet the language of learning."

A very good point if AS had eradicated all and any Britons using Latin for Christian purposes.

But in England and Ireland, we have the Old Irish (and probably influenced Old Welsh) cognate of the modern definite Celtic articles.

I don't know if they had been turned into definite articles per se yet or not, I do know that English thus has another influence.

Germanic languages have different articles, der, die, das corresponding to modern English "the", while Dutch mingles it with "het" = Norse hinn, hitt = definite article endings, while one Danish dialect, Jutish, has æ, while OE /AS had se, seo in masculine and feminine (same stem as German sie, for both, and also used as personal pronouns), while only neutre that = German dass (and Norse non-article "det"). And Gothic, as far as I recall had no article at all.

If AS in England had been completely cut off BOTH from continental Franks and Frisians developing articles under possibly Greek influence and from Celts where Irish or Greek article (and Irish monks knew Greek at least in some measure), you would have had a very great point.

But that scenario for post-conquest England is very unlikely.

"Do you know of any serious linguistic studies arguing your view?"

If by serious you mean "backed up by academic and related media", yes, I do.

I read and reread that book about the emergence of modern European languages under first Millennium AD, and I found it in Swedish, not sure if it is a Swedish original or a translation from some other language.

It DID stress more than once the shift from "synthetic" to "analytic" occurring during this time. That statement is however vaguer.

However, you may not be considering this a serious reference for the moment, as long as I have not gotten author and title back to memory.

"Mere speculation."

If by mere speculation you mean not backed up by documented facts telling same story in so many words, well, most historic linguistics beyond cataloguing of old languages is so.

If by mere speculation you mean not back up by facts telling what may be reasonably considered "other parts of same story" (though not actually proven such), I think I just countered the claim.

Tentative (very much so, probably wrong) reference about the Greek or Arabic influence on articles: Europas tungomål I/II by S.A. I. Steve Lando.

But I will keep looking, I think this one may be a more modern one than the one I read.

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