Re: my grammar
- From: Rodlox R <rodlox@...>
> but from what I've heard, most people appreciate it when someone (at leastI think this varies from culture to culture. There's a well-known
> initially) speaks to them in their (the former, not the latter)'s own
> language, rather than their (the latter, not the former)'s own language.
anthropological distinction between positive face (associative
politeness) and negative "face" (impositional politeness).
It is my understanding that although all cultures seek to optimize
both kinds of face, when there is a conflict some cultures maximize
one kind over the other. In America, the tendency seems to be to
consider telling people what language to speak very rude -- at least,
that's my experience; I associate it with racists and antiimmigrant
opinions. In my experience, continental Europeans tend to take the
opposite stance, that making no effort to speak the others' language
is very rude. Thus, Americans would seem more to seek to preserve
negative face, while Europeans more positive face, with respect to
this issue at least (the opposite is the case with respect to other
Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally,
Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right
University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of
1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter.
Chicago, IL 60637
> In my experience, continental Europeans tend to take theTHis applies to external languages. The history of France (ongoing),
>opposite stance, that making no effort to speak the others' language
>is very rude.
Spain (during the Franco years especially), and countless other european
countries show though that the dominant cultural/ethic group isn't above
forcing all the other internal language speakers to use their language
for official purposes at least though. Apparently politeness doesn't
extend to your fellow countrymen. I personally think the French policies
that pretty much killed off Provencal and are driving the French Basque
dialects into extinction are completely awful. *sigh* Unfortunately
historically Britain has been as bad, and it's probably the fault of the
policies imposed by English dominated governments that Gaelic and Scots
especially are in such bad shape. Welsh suffered, but it isn't quite as
close to extinction as the Scottish languages.