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[cybalist] The relationship between Spanish, Galician, and Portuguese

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  • Gerry Reinhart-Waller
    ... From: Gerry Reinhart-Waller To: Piotr Gasiorowski ; Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 1999 7:06 PM
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 31, 1999
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gerry Reinhart-Waller <waluk@...>
      To: Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...>; <cybalist@egroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 1999 7:06 PM
      Subject: [cybalist] Re: The relationship betwen Spanish, Galician and
      Portuguese


      > Piotr, In your reply to David James, you failed to explain why he could
      > (with knowledge of Spanish) understand Galician but could not understand
      > Portuguese. Is there an easy answer to his question, or is the answer
      > very difficult?
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      There could be various reasons, e.g. the greater PHONETIC affinity
      between Spanish and Galician.


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Gerry:
      > I like the way you expressed the network effect of dialects rather than
      > a branching tree. But then you used the branching tree analogy when you
      > traced the Romance dialects back to Latin. It seems to me that way back
      > 1.5 millenniums ago, the folks who spoke "Latin" didn't ALL speak the
      > same language; there were still regional variations which some folks
      > might have called dialects.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Of course there were different Latins, just as there are different
      Englishes. There is no living language spoken by more than a few hundred
      people without any dialectal variation. Latin had a vast number of
      speaker for its time, and was spoken all over the Empire. It had lots of
      non-standard variants known colectively as Vulgar Latin. Still, local
      differences existing two thousand years ago do not account for the
      modern distribution of the Romance languages in a straightforward way. A
      lot has happened in the meantime in terms of interdialectal "fusion and
      separation".
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Gerry: I think we need to somehow attain a simultaneous fusion and separation
      > of languages but at present I don't have any concrete suggestions.
      > Might you have a few ideas to offer?

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Various folks ARE working on such problems. What is already quite clear
      is that there is no real contradiction between the "family-tree" model
      (which describes the effects of splits) and the "wave model" (which
      describes the spread of innovations within convergence areas), though
      both have their fanatical adherents. They should be regarded as
      complementary, more or less like waves and particles in modern physics.

      Gerry: Yes, Piotr. This particle/wave duality was what Louis de
      Broglie received his Nobel for. In 1929!

      Areal linguistics comes in handy when you are interested in linguistic
      "microevolution" (how and why change starts and spreads; this is like
      the study of population genetics in biology); tree models are useful if
      you want to capture long-term ("macroevolutionary") developments and to
      express the notion of genetic relatedness (this is the analogue of
      cladistic analysis in evolutionary biology).

      Gerry (cont'd): I think that once we get beyond de Broglie's
      particle/wave duality, we'll be on to something. Ian Hodder is trying to
      attain a simultaneous fusion and separation of the present and the
      past. He calls it Critical Hermeneutics. Any comments on Hodder's
      ideas and any suggestions of your own?
    • Gerry Reinhart-Waller
      Hi Piotr, This message was buried in your last post. Please excuse the double posting. Piotr writes: Of course there were different Latins, just as there are
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 1, 2000
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        Hi Piotr,
        This message was buried in your last post. Please excuse the double
        posting.

        Piotr writes:
        Of course there were different Latins, just as there are different
        Englishes. There is no living language spoken by more than a few hundred
        people without any dialectal variation. Latin had a vast number of
        speaker for its time, and was spoken all over the Empire. It had lots of
        non-standard variants known colectively as Vulgar Latin. Still, local
        differences existing two thousand years ago do not account for the
        modern distribution of the Romance languages in a straightforward way. A
        lot has happened in the meantime in terms of interdialectal "fusion and
        separation".
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Gerry: I think we need to somehow attain a simultaneous fusion and separation
        > of languages but at present I don't have any concrete suggestions.
        > Might you have a few ideas to offer?

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Piotr:
        Various folks ARE working on such problems. What is already quite clear
        is that there is no real contradiction between the "family-tree" model
        (which describes the effects of splits) and the "wave model" (which
        describes the spread of innovations within convergence areas), though
        both have their fanatical adherents. They should be regarded as
        complementary, more or less like waves and particles in modern physics.

        Gerry: Yes, Piotr. This particle/wave duality was what Louis de
        Broglie received his Nobel for. In 1929!
        ----------------------------------------------------------------

        Piotr: Areal linguistics comes in handy when you are interested in
        linguistic "microevolution" (how and why change starts and spreads; this
        is like the study of population genetics in biology); tree models are
        useful if you want to capture long-term ("macroevolutionary")
        developments and to express the notion of genetic relatedness (this is
        the analogue of cladistic analysis in evolutionary biology).

        Gerry (cont'd): I think that once we get beyond de Broglie's
        particle/wave duality, we'll be on to something. Ian Hodder is trying to
        attain a simultaneous fusion and separation of the present and the
        past. He calls it Critical Hermeneutics. Any comments on Hodder's
        ideas and any suggestions of your own?
        Cheers, G
      • MIQUEL CABAL GUARRO
        The easiest way to explain why is it possible to understand Galician (with knowledge of Spanish) but not Portuguese concerns Sociolinguistics: Galicia, now an
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 3, 2000
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          The easiest way to explain why is it possible to understand
          Galician (with knowledge of Spanish) but not Portuguese
          concerns Sociolinguistics: Galicia, now an (they say)
          autonomous region of Spain, has been linguistically
          devastated by Spanish-speakers and by Galicians who see
          their language as something rude, vulgar and prefer to use
          Spanish as a common vehicle language. Galician modern
          phonetics, syntax and morphology are deeply, let's say,
          "spanished". This process of linguistic annihilation has not
          happened to Portuguese, which remains more "classical".
          In Catalonia we are fighting against this linguistically
          devastating influence of Spanish with a greater success than
          they have in Galicia.
          I apologize for my English.

          Happy New Year to everybody.
        • Gerry Reinhart-Waller
          Gerry here: So you are saying that Galicians made their language more like Spanish because they were embarassed by how vulgar it appeared to be. And that
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 3, 2000
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            Gerry here: So you are saying that Galicians made their language more
            like "Spanish" because they were embarassed by how "vulgar" it appeared
            to be. And that the Portuguese did not try to make their language sound
            more like "Spanish". QUESTION: What language do the folks in Catalonia
            think they speak and how does it differ from Spanish?
            Gerry

            MIQUEL CABAL GUARRO wrote:
            >
            > The easiest way to explain why is it possible to understand
            > Galician (with knowledge of Spanish) but not Portuguese
            > concerns Sociolinguistics: Galicia, now an (they say)
            > autonomous region of Spain, has been linguistically
            > devastated by Spanish-speakers and by Galicians who see
            > their language as something rude, vulgar and prefer to use
            > Spanish as a common vehicle language. Galician modern
            > phonetics, syntax and morphology are deeply, let's say,
            > "spanished". This process of linguistic annihilation has not
            > happened to Portuguese, which remains more "classical".
            > In Catalonia we are fighting against this linguistically
            > devastating influence of Spanish with a greater success than
            > they have in Galicia.
            > I apologize for my English.
            >
            > Happy New Year to everybody.
            >
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          • MIQUEL CABAL GUARRO
            In case you have worked on Piotr s exercise, following you will find the solution: Some Catalans, perpetually looking to the past, think that Catalonia s
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 4, 2000
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              In case you have worked on Piotr's exercise, following you
              will find the solution:

              "Some Catalans, perpetually looking to the past, think that
              Catalonia's future is closed under lock and key. Some other
              Catalans think that Catalonia is different because the
              possibility of a continous rebirth: that Catalonia is, in
              one word, everlasting. Neither the former nor the last do
              what Catalans should do: face the reality. The former by
              lack of confidence. The last by excess of illusion."

              It is not a literary translation, but I hope it will help.
              Piotr, who wrote this??
              I apologize my yesterday's warm position, but I
              just came back from a trip to Madrid, and it usually shakes
              me up the way they see the "Catalan question".
              As Piotr more than correctly says, in Catalonia we
              speak Catalan. It is coofficial with Castilian in Catalonia
              (Catalunya), Valencia (València) and the Balearic Islands
              (Illes Balears); and it is spoken northwards to the French
              city Perpignan (Perpinyà), i.e. the Roussillon (Rosselló)
              area, although there Catalan is a "dying" language.

              Greetings.
              Adéu.
            • Piotr Gasiorowski
              Miquel: I stole the Catalan passage from the Barcelona edition (1960) of José Ferrater Mora s essay Les formes de la vida catalana (p. 100). Thanks for the
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 4, 2000
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                Miquel:
                 
                I stole the Catalan passage from the Barcelona edition (1960) of José Ferrater Mora's essay Les formes de la vida catalana (p. 100). Thanks for the nice translation. My only comment concerns the English side: I think the phrase és distingeix per should be rendered as is distinguished (or characterised) by rather than is different because of. The latter would be misleading, wouldn't it?
                 
                Piotr
              • Gerry Reinhart-Waller
                MIGUEL writes: I apologize my yesterday s warm position, but I just came back from a trip to Madrid, and it usually shakes me up the way they see the Catalan
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 4, 2000
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                  MIGUEL writes: I apologize my yesterday's warm position, but I
                  just came back from a trip to Madrid, and it usually shakes
                  me up the way they see the "Catalan question".

                  Gerry: Could you please tell more about how the folks in Madrid view
                  the Catalan question?

                  Also, what is the difference, if any, between Castilian and Catalan? Is
                  one more melodious? Is one considered more "vulgar" than the other?
                  How many dialects are there in Madrid? In Spain? What happens to
                  Espagnol as we approach the western boundary and what about the eastern
                  boundary with France? And what about Basque? Should they secede and
                  have their own territory?

                  I apologize ahead of time for my naïveté. BTW, the questions posed
                  above are for anyone to answer.

                  Gerry
                • Gene Kalutskiy
                  ... Is ... eastern ... Gerry, no offense, but it would be much better if you just picked up any encyclopaedia and looked up Catalan and Spanish in it. Your
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 4, 2000
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                    gerry reinhart-waller <walu-@...> wrote:
                    > Also, what is the difference, if any, between Castilian and Catalan?
                    Is
                    > one more melodious? Is one considered more "vulgar" than the other?
                    > How many dialects are there in Madrid? In Spain? What happens to
                    > Espagnol as we approach the western boundary and what about the
                    eastern
                    > boundary with France? And what about Basque? Should they secede and
                    > have their own territory?
                    >
                    > I apologize ahead of time for my naïveté. BTW, the questions posed
                    > above are for anyone to answer.
                    >
                    > Gerry

                    Gerry, no offense, but it would be much better if you just picked up
                    any encyclopaedia and looked up "Catalan" and "Spanish" in it. Your
                    apparent complete lack of knowledge on this subject results in very
                    poor phrasing of your question, which makes it sound kind of
                    provocative. Can't you see from Miquel's previous post that this issue
                    is quite hot in Spain and that asking if one language is more or less
                    vulgar might result in a flame war between our Spanish and Catalan
                    participants? "Should they secede?" - This is ignorance bordering on
                    provocation, no less!

                    Again, no offense, but let's be more careful.

                    GK
                  • Gerry Reinhart-Waller
                    Gerry here: Thanks Gene for your thoughtful post. But if I merely looked up the terms in the encyclopedia, I d find stagnant answers. What I m more
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 4, 2000
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                      Gerry here: Thanks Gene for your thoughtful post. But if I merely
                      looked up the terms in the encyclopedia, I'd find stagnant answers.
                      What I'm more interested in is the political feelings attached to these
                      terms. And what's wrong with being provocative? Only then will I truly
                      be able to discover the answers I'm looking for.

                      BTW, the term _vulgar_ is a legitimate term and usually references a
                      language that is of a "lower" class than the language from which it has
                      been derived as in Vulgar German (ancestor to English).

                      And I absolutely am not interested in instigating a flame war -- but
                      from what you say then can I conclude that YOU view Castillian to mean
                      Spanish and that this flame war would be between Castillian (Spanish)
                      and Catalan? Why do you view Castillian to be more Spanish than
                      Catalan? Do folks from Catalan find themselves to be less Spanish?
                      Somehow, I doubt it.

                      Sorry I offended you. Please accept my sincere apology.

                      Always curious,
                      Gerry

                      Gene Kalutskiy wrote:
                      >
                      > gerry reinhart-waller <walu-@...> wrote:
                      > > Also, what is the difference, if any, between Castilian and Catalan?
                      > Is
                      > > one more melodious? Is one considered more "vulgar" than the other?
                      > > How many dialects are there in Madrid? In Spain? What happens to
                      > > Espagnol as we approach the western boundary and what about the
                      > eastern
                      > > boundary with France? And what about Basque? Should they secede and
                      > > have their own territory?
                      > >
                      > > I apologize ahead of time for my naïveté. BTW, the questions posed
                      > > above are for anyone to answer.
                      > >
                      > > Gerry
                      >
                      > Gerry, no offense, but it would be much better if you just picked up
                      > any encyclopaedia and looked up "Catalan" and "Spanish" in it. Your
                      > apparent complete lack of knowledge on this subject results in very
                      > poor phrasing of your question, which makes it sound kind of
                      > provocative. Can't you see from Miquel's previous post that this issue
                      > is quite hot in Spain and that asking if one language is more or less
                      > vulgar might result in a flame war between our Spanish and Catalan
                      > participants? "Should they secede?" - This is ignorance bordering on
                      > provocation, no less!
                      >
                      > Again, no offense, but let's be more careful.
                      >
                      > GK
                      >
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                    • Gene Kalutskiy
                      ... I view them as two different languages - one s common name in English usage is Spanish, the other s - Catalonian. There s no question about which one of
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 4, 2000
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                        gerry reinhart-waller <walu-@...> wrote:
                        > And I absolutely am not interested in instigating a flame war -- but
                        > from what you say then can I conclude that YOU view Castillian to mean
                        > Spanish and that this flame war would be between Castillian (Spanish)
                        > and Catalan? Why do you view Castillian to be more Spanish than
                        > Catalan? Do folks from Catalan find themselves to be less Spanish?
                        > Somehow, I doubt it.

                        I view them as two different languages - one's common name in English
                        usage is Spanish, the other's - Catalonian. There's no question about
                        which one of them is "more" or "less" Spanish, because they are not 2
                        dialects of the same language, they are two quite different languages
                        (no nitpicking, please, sure there are transitional dialects, but the
                        fact is, Standard Catalonian and Standard Spanish easily qualify as 2
                        distinct languages). When people around the world say "Spanish" they
                        mean what we referred to as "Castilian" earlier in this thread. Now,
                        Castillian is not the word that people _use_ when they refer to the
                        language that people from Mexico, Argentina or Colombia speak.
                        Castillian is just the most standard of dialects of the Spanish
                        language as defined by the Royal Spanish Academy.

                        I'm only explaining this to show that I don't consider either one
                        superior or inferior to the other. And neither one is a vulgar version
                        of the other - they are both different developments of the Vulgar
                        Latin.

                        I still find the way you put your questions potentially offensive and I
                        will leave the rest of it to be answered by other members of this forum.

                        GK
                      • MIQUEL CABAL GUARRO
                        Gerry, I don t know if you are serious about this question: differences between Catalan and Spanish are uncountable. Catalan phonetics, morphology and syntax
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 5, 2000
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                                  Gerry, I don't know if you are serious about this question: differences between Catalan and Spanish are uncountable. Catalan phonetics, morphology and syntax were well defined and standardized a long time ago. We have, as Piotr already said, classical literature from the XV century, and old texts from X-XI centuries.
                                   I don't know what makes a non tonal language more melodious than others.
                                   I see that you have no idea about the political situation in Spain: the State is divided into 18 autonomous regions. Some have a special status, being amongst them the Basque Country (Euskal Herria, in Basque) and Catalonia (Catalunya, in Catalan). Catalan language is not considered more vulgar any longer. It used to be this way in the XVIII cent. and during Franco's dictature, Catalan was persecuted and its use was prohibited (I am not being partial at this point, Piotr). In Balearic Islands Catalan is suffering a regression, and so does in Valencia. The fact is that the autonomous government of Valencia, following political reasons, has literally invented an origin for Valencian, in which it has nothing to do with Catalan.
                                   I don't really understand the question about dialects in Madrid: it is a city!!
                                   About dialects in Spain, we should divide them as following:
                            • North-East: Navarro-Aragonés (which should be considered as a separate language, but it lacks of  literature and of standarization) (aka Fabla).
                            • North: Astur-Leonés (somehow transitional separate language that is living a rebirth, with a modern grammar and dictionaries, school teaching, etc.) (aka Bable).
                            • South-West: Extremeño (a transitional dialect between southern Spanish dialects and Portuguese) (aka Estremeñu).
                            • South: Andaluz (with several subdialects).
                            • South-East: Murciano (transitional dialect between Andaluz and La Mancha dialects).
                            • South-Center: Castilian or Manchego dialects (from Castilla La Mancha, like Don Quijote. One of them is the dialect spoken in Madrid).
                                    As seen, Spanish has no historical boundaries with French: Catalan, Navarro-Aragonés and Basque are settled in the southern face of the Pyrenees.

                                   I will tell you, as my own personal opinion, that I do not feel myself Spanish. I have grown in Catalan, been tought in Catalan, I think in Catalan and I live in Catalonia. So why should I consider myself Spanish??

                        • Gerry Reinhart-Waller
                          MIQUEL writes: Gerry, I don t know if you are serious about this question: differences between Catalan and Spanish are uncountable. Catalan phonetics,
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jan 5, 2000
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                            MIQUEL writes: Gerry, I don't know if you are serious about this
                            question: differences between Catalan and Spanish are
                            uncountable. Catalan phonetics, morphology and syntax were
                            well defined and standardized a long time ago. We have, as
                            Piotr already said, classical literature from the XV
                            century, and old texts from X-XI centuries.
                            I don't know what makes a non tonal language more
                            melodious than others.

                            Gerry: Actually I am serious since I don't know anything about Spain
                            and its linguistics (or internal politics). Am I correct in assuming
                            that Catalans see NO reason for an affiliation with Spain? What about
                            Catalan economics, religion, educational system, health system etc. Is
                            there no reason by which to remain as part of Spain?

                            I see that you have no idea about the political
                            situation in Spain: the State is divided into 18 autonomous
                            regions. Some have a special status, being amongst them the
                            Basque Country (Euskal Herria, in Basque) and Catalonia
                            (Catalunya, in Catalan).

                            Gerry here: I know a little bit about the Basque and nothing about
                            Catalonia. Why is it that both Basque and Catalonia have special status
                            in Spain?

                            Catalan language is not considered
                            more vulgar any longer. It used to be this way in the XVIII
                            cent. and during Franco's dictature, Catalan was persecuted
                            and its use was prohibited (I am not being partial at this
                            point, Piotr). In Balearic Islands Catalan is suffering a
                            regression, and so does in Valencia. The fact is that the
                            autonomous government of Valencia, following political
                            reasons, has literally invented an origin for Valencian, in
                            which it has nothing to do with Catalan.
                            I don't really understand the question about
                            dialects in Madrid: it is a city!!

                            Gerry: Your above comment is most interesting! Yes, Madrid is a city,
                            and a very lovely one at that, I might add. And am I correct in
                            assuming that the geographic areas you speak about are more rural than
                            urban? Possibly they are. And what happens in rural areas is that the
                            folks there always think they're "just as good as the rest of the folks,
                            especially those in the city". I know that's true here in the US so I'm
                            assuming it might also be true in Spain.

                            About dialects in Spain, we should divide them as
                            following:

                            o North-East: Navarro-Aragonés (which should be
                            considered as a separate language, but it lacks
                            of literature and of standarization) (aka Fabla).

                            Gerry: But if a "language" has no separate literature and no
                            standardization, then why do you think it needs to be considered a
                            separate language?

                            o North: Astur-Leonés (somehow transitional
                            separate language that is living a rebirth, with a
                            modern grammar and dictionaries, school teaching,
                            etc.) (aka Bable).
                            o South-West: Extremeño (a transitional dialect
                            between southern Spanish dialects and Portuguese)
                            (aka Estremeñu).
                            o South: Andaluz (with several subdialects).
                            o South-East: Murciano (transitional dialect between
                            Andaluz and La Mancha dialects).
                            o South-Center: Castilian or Manchego dialects (from
                            Castilla La Mancha, like Don Quijote. One of them
                            is the dialect spoken in Madrid).

                            Gerry: WOW! So many different dialects. Does each dialectical group
                            wish autonomy? At the rate this decentralization is going on, shortly
                            every individual in every family will want separate autonomy and
                            separate privileges etc.

                            As seen, Spanish has no historical boundaries with
                            French: Catalan, Navarro-Aragonés and Basque are settled in
                            the southern face of the Pyrenees.

                            Gerry: I'm sure you have the internet available in Spain. Can't this
                            new technology attempt to rectify this immense problem. Seems to me
                            that when people begin "chatting" they should find more similarities
                            than differences. But then, who am I to know not living in Spain.

                            I will tell you, as my own personal opinion, that I
                            do not feel myself Spanish. I have grown in Catalan, been
                            tought in Catalan, I think in Catalan and I live in
                            Catalonia. So why should I consider myself Spanish??

                            Gerry: I know exactly how you feel. I live in California now but I
                            have absolutely nothing in common with these folks. We are different
                            socially, politically, economically, religiously, educationally etc.
                            However, I do relate to the United States and to Massachusetts in
                            particular. And I'd much rather be living back east. Now, from what
                            you've told me, you like living right where you are. So can't you
                            consider yourself BOTH Catalan and Spanish? I know you like being
                            Catalan, why is it you don't wish to be Spanish?

                            Always curious,
                            Gerry

                            --








































                            Gerald Reinhart
                            Independent Scholar
                            (650) 321-7378
                            waluk@...
                            http://www.alekseevmanuscript.com
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