Re: [tied] Re: Check out What is Ogam -- Noh-oh-oh! Don't!!

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14364
Date: 2002-08-17

There's much reason in what _you_ are saying, Torsten, but that isn't what Edo Nyland understands by "creating" the languages of Europe. He regards them quite literally as conlangs based on Basque (or rather what he imagines to be Basque), not merely as more-or-less arbitrarily codified vernaculars (which literary languages admittedly are). He goes the full monty, which is why his kookiness is so spectacular.
----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen
Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2002 1:07 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Check out What is Ogam -- Noh-oh-oh! Don't!!

Let me be, for a moment, the devil's advocate here. There's no doubt
that the practice of scribes in various monasteries or of the
chancelleries of rulers has played a large role for the
general "look" of languages, cf. the "practical", functional look of
Czech and Dutch vs the more "impressive" look of Polish and German.
One might of course argue that this is mere surface, which has
nothing to do with the _spoken_ substance of the language; but
consider the concrete situation: you are the head of the clerks of a
monastery or chancellery and your scribes ask you: how should we
write this or that? As mr X from M or as mr Y from N pronounces it?
In the end you can't, in that situation, free yourself from
arbitrariness: it is to be written that way because I say so. In how
many cases, when we refer to a paricular document as holy writ and
proof that this is how they spoke then, are we just repeating the
whims of a dozen people?