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Latinate vocabulary in a worldlang

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  • Dmitri Ivanov
    So, an interesting question is, what is the optimal/advisable/scientific/right amount of Latinate vocabulary in a just worldlang. (continuing a dicussion
    Message 1 of 288 , Jun 2 10:11 AM
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      So, an interesting question is, what is the optimal/advisable/scientific/right amount of Latinate vocabulary in a "just" worldlang.

      (continuing a dicussion begun elsewhere)


      --- On Tue, 6/2/09, risto@... <risto@...> wrote:

      > >> ContPop.gif displays a column chart of population
      > in
      > >> different continents over a time span from
      > 1950-2050. The
      > >> Y-axis is population in millions. I added the
      > column called
      > >> "West", which is simply the sum of Europe and the
      > Americas.
      > >> In 1950 the "West" constituted 35% of the total
      > population
      > >> of the world, in 2007 the percentage was 25% and
      > in 2050, if
      > >> the predictions are reliable, it will be only
      > 20%.
      > >
      > Dmitri Ivanov wrote:
      > > I don't like a role of West fiend but if nobody else
      > says anything I have
      > > to do it. We are talking not only about population and
      > first language
      > > speakers. I haven't written that West is majority (or
      > the best), I've
      > > written that Latinized lexics users seem to be rather
      > a majority. I am
      > > emphasizing not greatness of the West but
      > internationality of latinate
      > > lexics. Let's see. 25% is actually more than I
      > thought.
      >
      > Yes, it is much but there are other groups that are as
      > big.
      >
      > > Add second language speakers around the world.
      >
      > Second language speakers is a difficult issue. If we assume
      > that for
      > example all Japanese learn English in school, does it mean
      > that we can
      > neglect the Japanese language completely?

      I don't think so. But second language speakers differ: there are those that just learn a second lang in school or on their own and there are those who live in a country that uses this second language extensively, as English is used in India or as French in Djibouti. I think it's the latters that matter in the first place.


      > > Now let's ask ourselves: what is the
      > > language of science in India, Chad, Russia or
      > Indonesia? I can tell you
      > > for Russia that it is heavily latinized Russian; and
      > actually every
      > > schoolboy knows a lot of latinate stuff. I guess in
      > India it's just
      > > English, latinate again. I think that probably only
      > Arabic (but I don't
      > > know for sure) and Sinitic speaking countries have a
      > science language that
      > > is not latinized, so people of these countries may not
      > learn a lot of
      > > latinate lexics from childhood. Taken as a
      > > whole, they must be not more than a third of
      > Earth population, I think.
      >

      > Your argument has two weaknesses. The first, scientific
      > language
      > encompasses only scientific discourse. There are other
      > fields such as
      > shoemaking, cooking, religion and politics, only to name a
      > few, where the
      > West doesn't dominate at all.
      >
      > The second weakness is that
      > though people
      > might theoretically learn Western science words in school
      > in places like
      > India and Bangladesh, how much they actually learn and how
      > well is very
      > variable individually and collectively. The level of
      > education is low in
      > many regions of the world if it exists at all.
      >
      > In short, we should not overestimate the importance of
      > scientific words.

      Nor should we underestimate their importance. Of course, I am not saying that there must be much Latinate lexics in the cooking field or shoemaking. I sincerely hope one can do there without it. But scientific discourse is a very large area in fact encompassing any abstract matter in general. Latinate lexics serves for abstractions. Latinized lexics lives a kind of metalanguage within other languages serving for abstract ideas. Given the internationality of this phenomenon (2/3 of the planet?), isn't it easier to adopt that metalanguage as it is than to invent a new one? Bearing also in view that the language of science is probably anyway going to stay heavily latinized, so yet another language for abstractions seems to be just too much.

      >
      > >> There is no verb-noun distinction in Pandunia. So
      > how do I
      > >> say "She sang a song"? It depends what you really
      > want to
      > >> say. Do you want to say that she has completed
      > singing a
      > >> song? Or that she sang a part of a song? Or that
      > she sang
      > >> one song and not more? Or that she sang some song
      > and you
      > >> don't know which? Each alternative would require a
      > different
      > >> word to complete the desired meaning.
      > >
      > > Translate but something, lest one gets an impression
      > that Pandunia doesn't
      > > work at all. For example (to give more context):
      > > She danced a beautiful dance and then sang a song.
      >
      > Currently Pandunia does not work at all. It is a work in
      > *very slow*
      > progress.
      >
      > But I can translate that sentence for you: "je dansa la
      > sunda i gana la."
      > As you may notice, I don't repeat "dansa" and "gana"
      > redundantly. Of
      > course one could say "je dansa la sunda dansa i gana la
      > gana." Here the
      > aspect particle "la" effectively marks the verb.
      >

      Interesting that you don't use article-like things like "one-pela". You may get forms like "gana gana" which could be understood as verb repetition, not as verb+noun.

      Dmitri



      > We could continue this discussion in Worldlangs list.
      >
      > -- Risto
    • cafaristeir
      Sellamat quantims ! ... Indeed IE used *sewo- for each person when it referred to the subject, as it is still the case today in Slavic and Baltic. (I even
      Message 288 of 288 , Oct 19, 2009
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        Sellamat quantims !



        > > Are you asking about the use of the term "one" to refer to people in general, or are you asking about the use of the word "own" in the phrase "my own" or "his own"?
        > >
        >
        > In phrases like "I do my job", "He's writing a letter to his mother", "Open your books at the page 10" English and some other languages specify the person every time (my job, his mother) while Russian and Hindi use a common pronoun (svoy, aapna).
        > If I'm not mistaken auxlangs follow the first pattern (Mi faras mian laboron) but I'm not sure it's optimal. Perhaps both ways should be allowed.
        >

        Indeed IE used *sewo- for each person when it referred to the subject, as it is still the case today in Slavic and Baltic. (I even advised C.Quil├Ęs to fix this point in his grammar of IE)
        For the third person, Sambahsa usually has the "scandinavian system" with "sien" if it refers to the subject and "eeys, ays, ids, els" fr the rest. But, theoretically, the reflexive can be used at all persons:
        ex: *meilo mien land = I adore my country".

        Olivier
        http://sambahsa.pbworks.com/
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