Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id GAA16116 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Tue, 30 Apr 2002 06:31:53 +0100 Message-ID: <002301c1f006$92581280$5e2ffea9@oemcomputer> From: "Philip Jonkers" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <LAW2-F108zK0Y62DszT000051d5@hotmail.com> Subject: Re: Saving the ethnosphere Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2002 22:19:14 -0700 Organization: Prodigy Internet Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000 X-Mimeole: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Name calling doesn't help anything. But I have some knowledge of American
> Indian languages and I have watched them disappear over the years because
> they are no longer of use to the people whose parents spoke them. The
> applies to European and Asian languages that came over here with
> They disappear from the lives of the children of the people who brought
> them because they are no longer useful to anyone. You can't use them to
> study in school or buy something when you shop. They won't help you learn
> how to fix a car or become proficient in mathematics or literature. They
> only thing they are useful for is to remember the old ways of people who
> longer carry on the type of existence in which the language was useful.
> Language helps you cope with and exist in the society in which you live.
> language that doesn't deal with such a world is doomed to extinction
> because, like all memes, it was chosen for its usefulness as a tool for
> living. When it ceases to be useful, it ceases to be used. When we no
> longer use it, we lose it.
> I base this opinion on watchine my wife and daughter lose their skill with
> Taiwanese after coming to America. My wife still speaks the language
> because she talks to a number of friends in that language on a daily
> My daughter only uses it on rare occasions when she talks to her mother.
> But my wife has lost the ability to read and write the language and my
> daughter has almost lost the ability to speak it, simply because they have
> no real reason for doing so. Most of what they need to do in life needs
> be done using English. My daughter's only child only speaks as much
> as was taught in a local college for two semesters. It was not even the
> same dialect his mother speaks. A year later he's already forgotten most
> what he learned from lack of practice. None of my other children speak
> Chinese of any dialect. After my wife and I are gone, so will our
> use of Chinese. The same process is happening all over the world. I
> a time when the world will only use half a dozen languages and perhaps a
> time when there will only be one, with several local dialects. That's
> memetic evolution in a nutshell.
That's the same analytic viewpoint I hold too. Thanks for your elaboration
Mind you Mr Benzon, that we refrain from making politically sensitive
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