Re: Imperialism as the source of new geographical knowledge

From: Torsten
Message: 67638
Date: 2011-05-29

--- In, "Brian M. Scott" <bm.brian@...> wrote:
> At 5:42:07 PM on Friday, May 27, 2011, Torsten wrote:
> > --- In, "t0lgsoo1"
> > <guestuser.0x9357@> wrote:
> [...]
> >> Much more interesting might be Aromanian, since it
> >> contains whole lotta linguistic (phonetic and lexical)
> >> stuff that is in accordance with various equivalents that
> >> once also existed in Northern Romanian ("Dacoromanian"),
> >> and others that are still alive and kicking in Romanian
> >> subdialects too (and absent in the variety of standard,
> >> official Romanian).
> > It is earlier very common in the common conception of languages
> > outside of linguistic circles to ascribe great
> > conservatism to minor and isolated dialects,
> Actually, the exact opposite is true. Peripheral
> conservatism was a discovery of dialectologists, not a
> common conception of laymen. It's often overstated, but
> that's a separate issue.

It was very common for people in general to claim that eg French Canadian was 17th century French (my Italian French teacher back in the Gymnasium said that) or that the 'weird' features of American English meant that it was almost Elizabethan English. Where people got that from I don't know.

> > but they rarely have any factual basis, and that is the
> > case here too with Aromanian etc.
> [...]
> >>> Okay, you have no evidence other than the fact that
> >>> other proposals are being taught at universities.
> >> I don't have the time to prepare appropriate texts for
> >> you.
> > Well shut up then.
> Why? So that you can continue to pretend that the
> counter-evidence doesn't exist?

I still entertain the idea that there might be counter-evidence, but George isn't presenting any. Do you want me to believe on faith that it exists?

> >> But it suffices to underline to you the fact that
> >> Istroromanian is no archaic Romanian, it went through the
> >> same transformations as did Romanian (Dacoromanian).
> >> Aromanian has some features that really seem more archaic
> >> than Istroromanian and Dacoromanian (or at least it is
> >> more conservative as far as some developments are
> >> concerned).
> > That would just show that Istro-Romanian and Daco-Romanian
> > made up one trading community apart from the other
> > Romanian dialects.
> It shows nothing of the kind; that's merely one possibility.
I shouldn't have used 'show', since it can be misunderstood here to mean "prove"; I'll rewrite that as

'That would just show the effect of Istro-Romanian and Daco-Romanian having been one trading community apart from the other Romanian dialects.'

> >>> That is a restatement of your belief. Ignored.
> >> This is not my belief: this is what's been taught and
> >> stated based on sound judgment.
> > On no evidence, you mean.
> <splork!!>
> Prima facie evidence of crackpottery. If you really believe
> that, you're an ass.

I was worried I might be censored by a moderator for lowering the standards by telling another debater to shut up; seems I don't to worry about that.

There is no evidence that the development of the Proto-Romance and the Proto-Germanic languages were not a creolizing one. That it was has been propounded by respectable linguists.

> >> Show me the work of an author who has stated (and is
> >> being taken seriously by the sc. community) that at least
> >> one of the Proto-Neo-Romance languages existed between AD
> >> 0-500 or earlier (when there was only Latin and its
> >> dialectal kinship).
> > I make my own proposals, I don't regurgitate other
> > people's. If I have nothing new to contribute, I shut up.
> A post is not a contribution merely because it contains a
> novel proposal.

True, it should explain more, or at least the same, but more simply.

> >>> Of course they do. Those theories and laws are a
> >>> description of fact, but they may equally well be
> >>> understood as a description of a regular slow
> >>> development of a single language as as a description of
> >>> the development from a language into a creole based on
> >>> that language.
> >> Yes, but that "creole" thing was STILL Latin!
> > A creole based on some language is not that language and a
> > Latin-based creole is not Latin. You have no clue what you
> > are talking about.
> Unless, as the quotation marks suggest, he's simply denying
> that there could have been such a creole. If so, I'm
> inclined to agree with him.

I know. You have very strong views on creoles supposedly spoken by white folks.

> Both abrupt creolization and
> pidginization followed by creolization, unlike normal
> language change, entail breaks in transmission, and it would
> be remarkable indeed if the result were indistinguishable
> from an unbroken line of development.

From a mathematical point of view, seen just as a mapping between strings of symbols it is. If we look at the characteristic features of creolization, they are there in the Romance languages and in the Germanic languages other than High German and Icelandic.

> >> If I'd learn Danish and then communicate with you in some
> >> sort of... Pidgin-Danish, it would be Danish, and not a
> >> new thingamagig language.
> > Pidgins are created on the spur of the moment and are not
> > really languages, unlike creoles.
> You have no clue what you are talking about.

True, that was imprecise. I meant to say that utterances in Pidgin are generated on the spur of the moment and can't be expected to follow some common grammar.

> >> Learn communication via email!
> > No, you learn some goddam manners and academic decorum!!
> At best this is the pot calling the kettle black, especially
> where manners are concerned. I sometimes with that George
> would snip a little less of the *immediate* context -- I'd
> rather not to have to go to the web site when my memory of
> the conversation is fuzzy -- but I certainly prefer his
> style to the extreme opposite.

Okay, you disapprove of George's quoting style but if he had done the opposite you would have disapproved more. Thank you for your input.

> > Your debating style of commenting on half sentences before
> > you have read even to the next full stop with wild rants
> > which show you have misunderstood the half sentence to
> > mean something else is particular to you and to no one
> > else.
> I've seen very few examples of this. Usually when you've
> claimed to have been misunderstood, I've either shared the
> misunderstanding or thought that you failed to understand
> some consequence of what you'd written.

Example, please?

> >> The "bastardization" and pidginization of Latin in order
> >> to become French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan,
> >> Rumansh, Romanian, Sardinian, Corsican etc. happened only
> >> because of the decay of Latin in the aftermath of the ...
> >> implosion of "Romania"!
> > Restatement of belief ... Ignored.
> Ignorance comes naturally, eh?

Knowledge comes from taking George's declarations on faith, with no evidence quoted? Eh?

> >> The vast population didn't have FOR CENTURIES any
> >> possibility to be corrected by a school system. Only
> >> extreme few people (clergy, monks) dealt with classical
> >> Latin. So that regional variants of Kaputt-Latin differed
> >> so grievously that in the 8th-9th centuries some scholars
> >> complained (in vain: it was too late) of the adulteration
> >> of regional "Latin" variants, which by then were those
> >> Proto-French, Proto-Italian, Proto-etc.
> > Standard theory, which we all know.
> Try learning WHY it's the standard theory. Until you show
> some evidence of more than rote knowledge, you can expect to
> be considered ignorant of it, because for scholarly purposes
> you are.

The reason it is the standard theory is that the people who proposed it did not give a thought to how those changes came about. But after several researchers proposed creole origins for Romance and Germanic, other researchers interpreted the standard theory to include a non-creole genesis.

> >> So, show me how you manage to convince the community you
> >> are right and the community has been for many decades
> >> wrong.
> > No.
> In other words, you're an unserious dilettante.

No, I'm just managing my resources. Trying to convince people who are dead set against your proposals is a waste of time. Usually good proposals which are stalled in their own time resurface with new generations.

> >>> As I already said, the creation of a creole is not
> >>> dependent on whether the adopting people switches
> >>> voluntarily or under duress.
> >> Do not repeat "definitions" ad nauseam!
> > Your nausea over linguistic definitions is not relevant
> > to the question of their validity.
> True. But your assertion is nevertheless of questionable
> validity. The attested case that seems most closely to
> match the situation that you're envisioning is that of
> Afrikaans, which is not a creole, though its development as
> a distinct language was certainly heavily influenced by
> imperfect learning of Dutch as a second language [Thomason &
> Kaufman, Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic
> Linguistics, 251-6].

Here's the situation:
'Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch;
Booij 1995, p. 2,
Jansen, Schreuder & Neijt 2007, p. 5,
Mennen, Levelt & Gerrits 2006, p. 1,
Booij 2003, p. 4,
Hiskens, Auer & Kerswill 2005, p. 19,
Heeringa & de Wet 2007, pp. 1, 3, 5.

Afrikaans was historically called Cape Dutch;
Deumert & Vandenbussche 2003, p. 16,
Conradie 2005, p. 208,
Sebba 1997, p. 160,
Langer & Davies 2005, p. 144,
Deumert 2002, p. 3,
Berdichevsky 2004, p. 130.

Afrikaans is rooted in seventeenth century dialects of Dutch;
Holm 1989, p. 338,
Geerts & Clyne 1992, p. 71,
Mesthrie 1995, p. 214,
Niesler, Louw & Roux 2005, p. 459.

Afrikaans is variously described as a creole, a partially creolised language, or a deviant variety of Dutch;
Sebba 2007, p. 116.'

So calling Afrikaans a creole is within the bounds of respectable linguistics. And the creole-type inflectional simplifications from Dutch to Afrikaans are of the same type as those taking place from Latin to the Romance languages and from the old Germanic languages to the modern ones (still excepting Icelandic and High German).

'Linguists now recognize that creole formation is a universal phenomenon, not limited to the European colonial period, and an important aspect of language evolution (see Vennemann (2003)). For example, in 1933 Sigmund Feist postulated a creole origin for the Germanic languages.'
'Given these objections to creole as a concept, articles such as Against Creole Exceptionalism and Deconstructing Creole have arisen which question the idea that creoles are exceptional in any meaningful way. Additionally, Mufwene (2002) argues that some Romance languages are potential creoles but that they are not considered as such by linguists because of a historical bias against such a view.'

Here's something interesting:
'Hugo Schuchardt was the first scholar to investigate the Lingua franca systematically. According to the monogenetic theory of the origin of pidgins he pioneered, Lingua Franca was known by Mediterranean sailors including the Portuguese. When Portuguese started exploring the seas of Africa, America, Asia and Oceania, they tried to communicate with the natives by mixing a Portuguese-influenced version of Lingua Franca with the local languages. When English or French ships came to compete with the Portuguese, the crews tried to learn this "broken Portuguese". Through a process of relexification, the Lingua Franca and Portuguese lexicon was substituted by the languages of the peoples in contact.

This theory is one way of explaining the similarities between most of the European-based pidgins and creole languages, like Tok Pisin, Papiamento, Sranan Tongo, Krio, and Chinese English Pidgin. These languages use forms similar to sabir for "to know" and piquenho for "children".'

Interesting because (loc. cit.), as shown here:
'Based mostly on Italian and Proven├žal in the eastern Mediterranean at first, it later came to have more Spanish and Portuguese elements, especially on the Barbary coast (today referred to as the Maghreb). It also borrowed from Turkish, French, Greek and Arabic. This mixed language was used for communication throughout the medieval and early modern Middle East as a commercial and diplomatic language. It was also the language used between slaves of the bagnio, Barbary pirates and European renegades in pre-colonial Algiers.'
the Mediterranean Lingua Franca arose and was perpetuated in a slaving context.


BTW, 'sabir' has no relatives in Romanian which inherited from Latin 'scio' instead. As for the Proto-Romanian language spoken in Burebista's state, given its history, I think it should be classified as a maroon creole, necessitated by the many non-Dacians living intermingled in the area and recruited, or recruitiung themselves, to his army. Using that as a command language could have been the decision of the outsider, Decineus, it could have been the language of conversation between him and Burebista, but that's of course pure speculation.