>I could imagine that the same sort of thing might have occurred early in
>Romance languages, only to be later obliterated by nationalism.
>Nonetheless, it's not so much that writing is meant to be in a different
>language, but that it should be reserved for a "higher" language. I think
>Christophe's point is that writing in French or other Romance languages at
>that time might be viewed the same way as writing in Ebonics would be to
>many Anglophones today -- they consider it a vulgar and degenerate form of
>the "pure" language, and thus reject the idea of serious writing in it.
IIRC, the composer of El Cid was convinced he was writing Latin, although his
reasons may have been as much "this is literature and not trash, therefore it
must be Latin" as any linguistic criteria - the etymologies of Isidore of Seville
don't inspire much confidence. The pre-1976 distinction in Greek between
Katheravousa (sp?) and Demotic seems to be similar, although fuzzier. Even in
English, when I compose a business letter or write something academic, I use
a higher register than when I'm talking to one of my Scouts who's a 6th grader.
Now, I must concede that my colloquial register is not much lower than my
academic one, but that's because my default vocabulary is relatively high.
Indeed, as one Ancient Egyptian said, "I know the language of the land; I do
not speak like a common man; my speech is not full of "pa's"".
Once I'm done with update of my conlang Siye, you will be able to see that
the Simayamka and the Guild of Scholars are keenly aware of such
distinctions - the "Moonies" advocate the (irregular) use of the ergative suffix
-na on a nominative-accusative pronoun mu- for disambiguation of the nominative
and accusative, while the majority of the Guild decries this usage as vulgar
and tolerates the ambiguity, at least in independent pronouns. Even in regular
nouns, the authorization (i.e. recognition of new cases) can take years.
And if you use an authorized case in a contract, that is possible
grounds for invalidation.