Re: [tied] De Vulgari Regularitate (earlier: substratums)

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 14792
Date: 2002-08-29

----- Original Message -----
From: Ash
To: y_cybalist
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 6:59 PM
Subject: [tied] De Vulgari Regularitate (earlier: substratums)

> Yes, one may equally stand against the Old English plural relics, as in sheep and geese. Whether OE or Latin, or some other language, these irregularities can be done away with.
That's the true revolutionary spirit! They MUST be dood away with (see? "dood" is the regular past participle of "doo", which is the regular spelling of "do"). But if we stand against them, will other people follow us -- all the English-speaking mans, womans and childs?

> But since linguists are (hopefully) not fraught with the risk of attracting censure, or at least, being labeled ignorant, can we hope there would be some push to natural usage from their quarters?
Not from me, though I couldn't care less about this kind of censure. However, I love exceptions and irregularities. They contain precious information that can be extracted by historical linguists, and they are unique, and I happen to value uniqueness for its own sake. You might just as well hope that zoologists will mount a campaign to exterminate all living fossils as too grotesque to deserve protection.
Furthermore, I know very well that language engineering is a lost cause in the long run: _natural_ usage is always partly irregular. Regularise it, and sure as fate a sound change will soon come along and ruin your beutifully logical morphology, restoring as much irregularity as you have managed to level out. Only artificial languages can remain fully logical for ever, so if you want regularity, learn Esperanto.