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How Fast Do Languages Change? (Linguistics)
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Mick Harper wrote:
Anybody know anything about this...

The aim of Anglish is: English with many fewer words borrowed from other tongues....


How odd. I just read about this a couple weeks ago. I think it was mentioned in an Lindybeige video. But I know nothing more of it.

The History of Britain Revealed - the Eretide of Britain Uncovered - is a book that withersays the mainstream belief of the ordfrume of English. It says that English does not stem from Anglo-Saxon but was already spoken in Britain. The incomers would not have been manyful enough to have taken over most of the land. Eventhough there are many French words in Middle and New English, Old English is swith unlike from Middle English and so could not have become the latter. The English tung is unalike from A-S or Old Norse and so is bethought as a standoff tung, eventhough sharing some marks with other rerdes like Frish and lesserly to Danish, Thedelandish and other akin tungs. English, for byspell does not have raised sounds and is the only rerde of its kindred of which r is said as we know of.


As your example shows, it's quite unconvincing that this is anything but a mix of English and something utterly alien.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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American parents have noticed that their children have finally started to speak English, properly.


https://www.itv.com/news/2019-02-12/american-children-develop-british-accent-after-watching-peppa-pig/
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Yes, I spotted that. I've also spotted the fact that you seem to believe our English is better than their English. Any special reason? It would be interesting if true.

PS I couldn't help thinking it was true as well, but I'm trained in Applied Epistemology.
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Mick Harper
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We must add Cornish to our list of astonishingly early British literary languages. You will recall that Welsh and Irish have beaten the rest of Europe into the list of (less than eighty) languages that are currently both spoken and written. Not that Cornish is currently spoken – its last speaker reportedly died in 1790 – but it used to be spoken and written from very early doors. And, just as with Welsh and Irish, we have the gospel book to prove it.

The ninth century Bodmin Gospels or St Petroc Gospels are mostly in Latin, but with elements in Old English and the earliest written examples of the Cornish language

No wonder they looked after it so carefully. Though we do not know precisely where for the period 900 AD to 1833 AD when

The manuscript was discovered by Thomas Rodd (b. 1796, d. 1849), a London bookseller and it was sold to the British Museum by Rodd in May 1833.

But what do I know? I'm just an emmit. Not like them people in that London. Proper Cornish, they is. Read it and everythin', they does. We might go up there and sell 'em Truro beach.
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Mick Harper
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The Living Ancestor Paradox, which is currently under discussion in the De-volution thread over on the Life Sciences, applies to languages too, which are also classified using an evolutionary tree model. You know the drill: the Aryan/Semitic/Turkic super family gives rise to proto-Indo-European etc subfamilies which gives rise to Germanic etc branches which gives rise to Low German etc

What you might not know, unless you've read THOBR, but probably guessed if you are on this site, is that the academics have got it all wrong. The source of their error though is the same as with evolutionary biologists: they always assume that
a) languages spoken today are new
b) extinct languages are old
c) new languages are evolved from old languages
d) therefore languages spoken today are evolved from extinct languages.

A lot of quarts have to be forced into this pint pot.
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Mick Harper
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In theory there are an infinite number of extinct languages. Unfortunately, unless it is written down, a language that has gone extinct cannot be retrieved. It won’t even have a name unless someone referred to it, wrote that name down before it went extinct, and that record has come down to us. Just to make everything even more unhelpful, most languages don’t even have a name, it’s just what people speak.

So you can see that scholars who believe in language evolutionary trees are in a bit of trouble. Imagine biological evolutionists trying to work out the situation without a fossil record. That hasn’t stopped them trying. There are some known extinct languages so they have to do a lot of work. Take Latin for example. That has been pressed into service for a dozen languages stretching from Portuguese to Romanian. Old Norse has to make do with three (four, if you accept Norwegian). Poor, forlorn Anglo-Saxon only got one (two if you count Lallan Scots, but nobody ever does). Makes you proud and sad all at the same time.
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Mick Harper
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Oh yes, and one more little difficulty. Before the modern 'demotic' era, the languages that did get written down were not 'demotic' languages. They were local (demotic) languages that had been radically simplified and standardised to suit either the limited palette of sounds that can be expressed in an alphabet or readily identifiable in ideograms. Hence

Han Chinese ----> Mandarin
Hindi/Urdu ----> Sanskrit
Attic Greek ----> Classical Greek
Central Italian ----> Latin

These artificial literary languages can be spoken but do not ordinarily become demotics in the usual sense. The two exceptions are Old Norse which is now Icelandic and Hebrew which is an artificially adopted literary language. Mandarin is becoming widely spoken and the status of Classical Arabic is 'under review'. They do not evolve into demotic languages despite what linguists habitually claim though they may give rise to 'pidgins' such as, reputedly, Classical Latin evolving into Vulgar Latin/ Dog Latin / Soldiers' Latin. Swahili may be of this sort.

One other and modern complication is that once a particular form of a demotic language eg London/Oxford Upper Class English or Florentine Italian is adopted as the literary form, that language itself undergoes a simplification and other forms of that language e.g. English regional dialects, Lallan Scots, Sard, Piedmontese etc die out. Though accents remain.

The actual evolution of modern demotic languages consists, in the main, of existing languages being one another's ancestors. It is impossible to tell, at present, what the sequence was.
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Mick Harper
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Poor old Janina Ramirez stuck her size nines into it by posting this up https://twitter.com/DrJaninaRamirez/status/1102723765358731265 with the comment "I can't say how happy this makes me!" Since it showed time-lapse maps of all the 'Celtic' languages being given a shellacking from English, the 'Celts' (native English-speakers everyone of them) lined up to give her what for. She had to spend the rest of the day grovelling.

In her position, we would have said, "Fuck off you nitwits, anybody over the age of six would know I was commenting on the messenger not the message. Why don't you grow a pair, you bunch of nambies." But she has an audience to worry about.

Unlike us.
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
Han Chinese ----> Mandarin
Hindi/Urdu ----> Sanskrit
Attic Greek ----> Classical Greek
Central Italian ----> Latin


Classical Greek and Latin. Do these have any emphasis or accent marks above any of the letters?
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Ishmael


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Looks like both Greek and Latin use accent marks.

By my thinking, this identifies them as secondary phonetic languages. The languages for which these alphabets were originally developed should have no accent marks when written. The markings are there to indicate variations on standardized sounds.

English is a primary phonetic language. Every written language in Europe that uses the same alphabet was actually first written-down by English speakers or by persons who had learned the English-speaking system.

Ergo: We must discontinue usage of the term "Latin Alphabet." It is far more likely that Latin uses a variant of the English Alphabet.
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Ishmael


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Furthermore: Just as all ancient documents are suspect, ancient alphabets are as well. If languages could be invented for the purposes of forgery, certainly entire alphabets (or edited versions of existing alphabets) might be created as well.

I think we will have much more success if we try to adopt principles or theories and then apply them to the most reliable data (typically, the most recent documentation). If the theories are correct, the data will make sense.

Why is it that (so far as I am aware), only one language in Europe lacks accent markings? Is this not a massive anomaly? Does it not suggest that this was the language for which the alphabetic system was initially devised?

Even today, English speakers create written languages for tribal peoples using the same English letters but add accent markings to indicate variations in pronunciation. If this is how peoples of America, Africa, and Asia gained written languages, is it not then obvious that this is how all the peoples of Europe gained their written languages as well?
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Mick Harper
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It is far more likely that Latin uses a variant of the English Alphabet.

You must be joking! Latin maps to the 'Latin' alphabet with near complete fidelity (what are all these accent marks you claim to have found?) whereas English has to use every digraph under the sun (ch-, th-, ee, etc etc) just to get it close. But even then you have to know the words before you can read the words.
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Mick Harper
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But she has an audience to worry about. Unlike us.

You must be joking!

I now realise this is the key to our whole understanding of the human race. We (possibly, they) live in a Manichean world of good and evil and the rule is: Be nice or be nasty. You're not allowed to be nasty to your friends, even when they're acting like jizzocks; you're not allowed to be nice to your enemies even when they are showing signs of wisdom. It must be a hard life.

By which I mean an easy life.
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Ishmael


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Mick Harper wrote:
what are all these accent marks you claim to have found?


I just quickly googled to answer my original question.

I saw a document that had some lines on top of some letters.

Am I wrong? Are there no accent markings for Latin?

If there are none then I think the history of language make best sense if we do, as you propose, begin with artificial Latin. English is then, exactly as I have suggested, the first natural language to be written down. The English then wrote down everyone else's language.
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Ishmael


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Oh. I've just learned that the technical term for these markings is "diacritic." English has no diacritic markings. Every other language in Europe appears to have them. Even German!
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