RE: future language

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 13:38:35 BST

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    Subject: RE: future language
    Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 13:38:35 +0100
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    Esperanto was a deliberate effort, but what about naturally occuring
    languages like creole (a fond subject of the anthropologists of latter years
    interested in cultural evolution IIRC).

    Thinking about it, Bill's invective (even though I know what he meant) about
    lost languages is a bit of a misnomer, as to some extent all languages are
    the product of acculturation, some more violently occurring than others
    perhaps, but defending indigenous languages today doesn't necessarily take
    into account how those languages came into use by those peoples
    historically. It's a return to the myth of the noble savage again.

            <As we co-mingle and co-habit and co-operate, if we don't co-opt it
    > first, it is, culturally cohesive, that we'll co-manage language to the
    > pidgin of a commonly shared tongue.>
            Having said the above, perhaps a less "natural" and more colonial
    form of arriving at a common language may occur in coming years, but the
    same is said about cultural trends more widely- cultural imperialism,
    globalisation etc. etc. Apart from the previously mentioned knowledge of
    local plants for medicines, at the risk of annoying the hell out of people,
    I don't see the loss of tribal peoples' cultures as a huge thing (unless
    it's being done in a kind of ethnic cleansing way, which does of course
    apply to many, many instances). I'm sure I'd feel differently if the shoe
    were on the other foot... The reason I don't see it as a huge thing is that
    there's a vast gap between the often tribal societies of indigenous peoples,
    and the post-industrial societies of the developed world, and even the
    industrial societies of the developing world. So they have unique
    languages, customs, beliefs blah, blah, blah, what utility is gained across
    that societal gap? Cultural diversity perhaps? (but then you might as well
    say let's keep an enclave for the Taliban to preserve their culture for

            Perhaps I should stop before someone leaps on a plane to Scotland (I
    wouldn't the weather's terrible today) to ram my keyboard down my throat...


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