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    Default Musings on Language #2

    "Hello, we are talking about language."

    First thing, is "musings on" the correct way to say it?

    We had a similar thread before but it's too old be reused, and since we had quite a bit of talking about language in another thread, I guess it's a good time to make a separate thread so to not burry everything in OT.

    I just quote the last post from the discussion, and let's continue from there:
    Quote Originally Posted by Maralais View Post
    You made me cringe by saying Académie Française, I think their attitude of "WE decide which word is French or not" seems so wrong to me, especially when the youth is speaking something completely different.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-09 at 11:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Say what you will, but there is no justification for the misappropriation of the reflexive pronoun in the English language.

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    I don't even understand what you are saying.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Then perhaps you should study a bit more linguistics before debating them. You can't really have a deep discussion if the people involved don't have a common terminology to draw on. Meanwhile, I will let comics explain: Panel 3.Yes, correcting anyone on this makes you pedantic. Yes, I'm pedantic. Any further questions?

    Accurate communication is the point of language. We should all strive to make ourselves understood on all levels.

    And it's worth noting that what I brought up was a complete non-sequitor to the previous discussion. It was simply a thought on language.

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Reflexive pronoun: "Sit yourself down." Only exists because of reflexive verbs in French (and, to some degree, Latin). My personal favourite is the verb 'to matrry' is reflexive. Because it's something you do to yourself.

    Anyway.

    I'm at that age when the shifts in common uses of language are starting to bother and start me off on 'you kids today' rants. Which I find funny. The way, for example, that using an apostrophe to denote a plural ("I have a lot of book's.") is starting to become accepted enough that I'm seeing it in official corporate memoranda and advertisements. It makes me cringe every time I see it, much the way that split infinitives used to drive my university Latin prof mental.

    Languages change over time, in fact all the time. Language can't 'degrade' because it never had a perfect state from which it can fall. Every language, everywhere, is a living, organic thing that can't be captured or frozen in place.

    The Acadamie Francaise can decide all it wants what's French and what's not, people will continue to say what they say until the members of the Academie all get old and retire and new people come in and revamp all the rules and start the whole cycle over again.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Was reading a good book recently that kept using "alternately" when it meant "alternatively".

    I want to put me reading it on youtube. Do I stay true to the text or true to the language? My goal is to convey the book's messages.
    Attempting to say controversial things that everyone will agree with.

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Oh hello fun . . .

    [QUOTE=truemane;12688987]Reflexive pronoun: "Sit yourself down." Only exists because of reflexive verbs in French (and, to some degree, Latin). My personal favourite is the verb 'to matrry' is reflexive. Because it's something you do to yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    Anyway.

    I'm at that age when the shifts in common uses of language are starting to bother and start me off on 'you kids today' rants. Which I find funny. The way, for example, that using an apostrophe to denote a plural ("I have a lot of book's.") is starting to become accepted enough that I'm seeing it in official corporate memoranda and advertisements. It makes me cringe every time I see it, much the way that split infinitives used to drive my university Latin prof mental.
    OH GOD YES!
    Makes me twitch. You do not do that sort of thing. You just don't. Apostrophes (this is a plural) for plurals, honestly. Just because people don't (this is not a plural) know how to use them correctly doesn't mean they can play 'throw th'apostrophe at a sentence'!
    Look it up in a grammar if you don't (still not a plural) know how to use them.
    The children's (possessive plural apostrophe) books (plural concrete noun) underneath the ladies' (possessive plural apostrophe) coats (plural concrete noun) because their parents couldn't be bothered to hang up the coats (plural concrete noun) properly.
    Easy.

    (Of course irony being what it is, and me being ill, I bet something there's wrong)

    I mean, I can see the general omission of apostrophes (I'm looking at you Bernard Shaw! (And texters)) thanks to a rise in texting and the like that only allow x number of characters, but additional apostrophes?
    That's the sort of thing children do when they're confused about the grammar rules of English. And yes, I do acknowledge that grammar rules tend to be more descriptive than anything in English because our grammar is more analytic than most Indo-European languages.
    (It has less inflection)
    Doesn't mean I can't go Old Lady on it and say that if one doesn't know how to write a proper plural and are a native English speaker they ought to go back to primary and learn it over! And it makes even less sense for the more synthetic languages because of all the inflections they have!

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    Languages change over time, in fact all the time. Language can't 'degrade' because it never had a perfect state from which it can fall. Every language, everywhere, is a living, organic thing that can't be captured or frozen in place.

    The Acadamie Francaise can decide all it wants what's French and what's not, people will continue to say what they say until the members of the Academie all get old and retire and new people come in and revamp all the rules and start the whole cycle over again.
    Ah, the joys of diachronic change (and synchronic too). One of my favourite things about the linguistics and languages in general is their fluid and (usually) traceable changes.
    That's why 'proper' or 'correct' grammar/language is such an odd thing. When you say 'proper' language you mean 'the language that is appropriate for the time and situation in which you are in'. Of course, this is less so for languages with a more rigid system of inflection.
    And of course, l'academie francaise (pardon my absence of accents, but I can't be bothered).
    I did my long coursework (1 000 words) on that in A Level French. In French. And it's so restrictive! I swear it's murdering the language. The official language that is.
    En francais the mot correct pour 'an email' est 'un courriel'. Un mot qui est derive par 'courrier electronique'. Pourtant, la majorite utilisent 'un email'.
    Mais la raison l'Academie l'a declare? Parce que le mot 'email' est plus anglais! L'Academie est vraiment stupide, elle tue la langue francaise!

    Language purity. Honestly. Just another way of suffocating your language to death.

    'Course, "[t]he problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
    So maybe English is just a disease ridden doxy from Southwark while other languages are the chaste daughters of many a noble.

    Personally I'd rather see a language grow. Besides, if I don't like a particular rule I'll just go back a few decades. Or centuries. Or millennia. And find one I do like an use it providing its general grammatic structure is applicable to modern English.
    You can understand Chaucer after all, and that's near seven hundred years old.
    Simple.

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    Why is it that you now scare me more than the possibility of nuclear war?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bath View Post
    To compare [Curly] to the beauty of the changing seasons or timeless stars would be an understatement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    But Koorly is the sweetest crime.

    Squid bones are lies.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    Reflexive pronoun: "Sit yourself down." Only exists because of reflexive verbs in French (and, to some degree, Latin). My personal favourite is the verb 'to matrry' is reflexive. Because it's something you do to yourself.
    German has it as well (setz dich hin), and I suspect that's where it originates from. We have "setz dich!" as an order, but that actually means "sit yourself" and not "sit down".
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSleeping View Post
    Then perhaps you should study a bit more linguistics before debating them.
    I actually do know a bit about linguistics on an academic level, but english isn't my first language and I am not particularly known in the vocabulary of english speaking linguists. And I don't think you need to be perfect on a subject to talk about, because the point of discussions is to share ideas to learn more things.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-02-09 at 01:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    Oh hello fun . . .
    You might as well have just changed the title to "Summon Koorly".
    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas-Dakota View Post
    Succubus gets grongratulatory cookies from me. You have stepped into the realm of puns that only the likes of Death, Your Friend the Reaper have seen.

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by The Succubus View Post
    You might as well have just changed the title to "Summon Koorly".
    So this.
    Granted I'm going to be a bit lax on the correct terminology for some of the more technical parts of linguistics, and I do tend to be a thematic follower of the diachronic change, specifically graphology, etymology, borrowings, loan words, neologisms and the like; and I detest studying spoken language, although I can talk the talk. Hahahaha.[/sad, sad joke]

    As usual when it comes to a science, no matter how general or vague a one it is, I lean towards the historic side of things.
    And SAUSSURE AND THOSE SODDING EARLY THEORISTS (and Chomsky) CAN GO JUMP OFF A BRIDGE FOR ALL I CARE! ESPECIALLY YOU ROLAND BARTHES! Death of the Author my foot.
    Issues. I have them with them.

    That and keeping my mouth shut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by V'icternus View Post
    Why is it that you now scare me more than the possibility of nuclear war?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bath View Post
    To compare [Curly] to the beauty of the changing seasons or timeless stars would be an understatement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    But Koorly is the sweetest crime.

    Squid bones are lies.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    The problem with languages is that there are different languages, and each language also possesses a cultural history. For example, the Irish have Irish, even though they don't seem to use it that often.

    This leaves the average American at a bit of a crossroad. You see, because we primarily speak English, despite being a multicultural nation, we have nothing to really call our own, besides a governmentally instituted mutation of "proper" English.

    Compounding this, I used to think I possessed a formidable mastery of the English language, but, in reading this thread and that comic, I've realized how little I actually know about the English language.

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    What does the Playground make of this article, and the concept of linguistic relativity (Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, etc) in general?

    Personally, I find it pretty interesting, and though I wouldn't go as far as saying that language can actually restrict thought (à la Orwell, and his Newspeak), I wonder just how far it can influence it.

    The problem is, however good I may get in the languages I'm learning, I wasn't born into a truly multilingual family and exposed equally to different languages from a young age, so I guess I'll probably never achieve complete enough fluency to judge from a perfectly objective position - I'll always feel slightly more comfortable in English. Still, that's no reason not to try!


    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    And SAUSSURE AND THOSE SODDING EARLY THEORISTS (and Chomsky) CAN GO JUMP OFF A BRIDGE FOR ALL I CARE! ESPECIALLY YOU ROLAND BARTHES! Death of the Author my foot.
    Issues. I have them with them.
    Derrida is by far the worst of them all.

    I can just about cope with Saussure, Chomsky, Foucault and Barthes - I might not agree with many things they say, but I can see what they're getting at - but Derrida is just impenetrable nonsense.

    Even Foucault accused him of "obscurantisme terroriste."

    I read one of his works in French, and assumed the language barrier might be preventing me from grasping exactly what he was trying to say, so I found a copy of the same work in English. It made even less sense - and was a pretty faithful translation, as well. The man infuriates me!

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    I feel obliged to defend the honour of my sexy beloved manslut English here. Yes, okay, the gentleman has been around the world, yes his fingers smell of all the various partners he's been with, yes when you kiss him you're kissing all those other tongues too.

    But it's only because he is so famous and so very very sexy that his reputation makes all the tabloids. I believe Swahili, Hindi, and Farsi, for example, are equally slutty. I believe several languages across Canada -- which are no longer widely spoken enough for me to name without consulting external references -- are the bastard love children of pioneer colonist and wise country wife.

    Languages, when they're not locked in their cabinets or boudoirs, like to get it on. English, bless his flanks, cannot be blamed for it above his peers!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    snip
    I can't help now imagining Byron as some kind of representative avatar for the English language, condensed and personified

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSleeping View Post
    Then perhaps you should study a bit more linguistics before debating them.
    What is the internet for, if not for discussing topics you have no knowledge of (and pictures of cats and porn, of course)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotchland View Post
    Compounding this, I used to think I possessed a formidable mastery of the English language, but, in reading this thread and that comic, I've realized how little I actually know about the English language.
    Well, any native speaker knows more grammar than any book ever printed. Being conscious about said rules, let alone being able to discuss them using linguistic terms, is a different thing entirely.


    In defense of Académie Française, keeping the written language nearly static has the advantage of allowing modern audiences enjoy older works of literature without an annotated guide or long studies. At least in theory.


    As for English language, sure, many other languages may "get around", but no other is so cavalier about "borrowing" words from other languages. English, that veritable highwayman, has stolen words from every language it has met, and it's vocabulary is, as a result, obscenely bloated. One of the reasons I love it, really.
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    Also fixed the money issue by sacrificing a goat.
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    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Kneenibble View Post
    I feel obliged to defend the honour of my sexy beloved manslut English here. Yes, okay, the gentleman has been around the world, yes his fingers smell of all the various partners he's been with, yes when you kiss him you're kissing all those other tongues too.

    But it's only because he is so famous and so very very sexy that his reputation makes all the tabloids. I believe Swahili, Hindi, and Farsi, for example, are equally slutty. I believe several languages across Canada -- which are no longer widely spoken enough for me to name without consulting external references -- are the bastard love children of pioneer colonist and wise country wife.

    Languages, when they're not locked in their cabinets or boudoirs, like to get it on. English, bless his flanks, cannot be blamed for it above his peers!
    I love you.
    I truly do.
    Only you can stretch out a metaphor so much and yet make it make so much sense.
    Here's to linguistics and the manslut English!
    Waes hael!

    Quote Originally Posted by Goosefeather View Post
    I can't help now imagining Byron as some kind of representative avatar for the English language, condensed and personified


    This must be turned into an avatar. Now.
    English the manslutty Byron.
    French would be somewhat prudish and conservative. But admittedly elegant.
    German would be an accountant with glasses onna string.
    Old English (or Anglo-Saxon if you will) would be a warrior with a musical instrument on his back. Harsh sounding, with numerous synonyms (although I hate to use them term when there are many shades of meaning to different ones) for battles and violence; and yet it mostly survives in poetry and semi-poetic prose.

    And so on.

    I wouldn't know how to personify Spanish or Italian much. Or any others.

    Post about Goosefeather's question re: linguistic relativism pending.
    I'm sorry, but leekspin's in the background of that audio!

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    Why is it that you now scare me more than the possibility of nuclear war?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bath View Post
    To compare [Curly] to the beauty of the changing seasons or timeless stars would be an understatement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    But Koorly is the sweetest crime.

    Squid bones are lies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    French would be somewhat prudish and conservative. But admittedly elegant.
    French does attempt to get it on with other languages, especially English, but she's usually prevented from doing so by her chaperone, Mme Académie Française.

    Her cousin, Québécois, is all kinds of messed up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    I'm sorry, but leekspin's in the background of that audio!
    You mean Ievan polkka? It would seem against the theme of the thread to only listen the gibberish part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    This board needs a "you're technically right but I still want to crawl into the fetal position and cry" emoticon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yukitsu View Post
    I define [optimization] as "the process by which one attains a build meeting all mechanical and characterization goals set out by the creator prior to its creation."
    Praise for avatar may be directed to Derjuin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    German has it as well (setz dich hin), and I suspect that's where it originates from. We have "setz dich!" as an order, but that actually means "sit yourself" and not "sit down".
    English has both forms - 'sit down' and 'sit yourself/sit yourself down'. The latter though is definitely much more formal than the other. Generally the former is a direct imperative, whereas the second is a more casual invitation, and can often be read as an indirect question:
    A: "Sit yourself down." [implied - would you like a seat?]
    B: "Thank you, but I'd rather stand." [I'm good thanks]

    Then again, pragmatics, semantics, semiotics and objectified meaning all vary the actual meaning of the exchange so hooray ambiguity!
    But is there still a general implied difference between the use of direct imperatives and ones using reflexive pronouns?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I actually do know a bit about linguistics on an academic level, but English isn't my first language and I am not particularly known in the vocabulary of English speaking linguists. And I don't think you need to be perfect on a subject to talk about, because the point of discussions is to share ideas to learn more things.
    I'm coming at it from a slightly different angle; I've done some study and I know some of the vocab, but mostly it's forgotten or possibly confused. Hence me checking Wikipedia on occasion to make sure I've not confused a synthetic language with an analytic one.
    One of the reasons I don't like the French theorists so much is because of their jargon. And yet they're so influential.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotchland View Post
    The problem with languages is that there are different languages, and each language also possesses a cultural history. For example, the Irish have Irish, even though they don't seem to use it that often.
    Irish is a tricky one.
    See, it's, if I remember right, a relatively recently revived language, although it's one that's never fully died out, so it might be best to call it an endangered or minority language.
    That is where diachronic studies and etymology pay off though to some extent. You can 'map' history onto language and watch loan words and borrowings appear meaning you can see general trends. Not having ever studied Irish I'd still venture the following statements:
    Between the fifth and seventh centuries there was a massive influx of Latin and Latin derived words (perhaps even some elements of syntactic change, although this is very doubtful, grammar seldom alters on a large scale) thanks to missionary work. (Plus I know the Book of Kells was written c. 800 at an Irish monastery, so history!)
    Eighth through tenth centuries we'd maybe see some Old Norse and general Germanic languages trickling over thanks to Viking raids and the settling of Angles, Saxons etc. in Northern England.
    1066 and onwards. Anglo-Norman comes in and begins to beat up the Irish language. Particularly around the area known as the Pale thanks to continuous warring over that territory since basically 1200.
    1750 onwards - English has become at least the second language learned along with Irish, maybe even the primary language.
    1900 onwards - English is the primary language.
    At a guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotchland View Post
    This leaves the average American at a bit of a crossroad. You see, because we primarily speak English, despite being a multicultural nation, we have nothing to really call our own, besides a governmentally instituted mutation of "proper" English.
    That's because your country's an ickle baby country that only really began expanding during the industrial revolution when English was already the basic lingua franca of the ports and diplomacy. And then came the British Empire where you probably couldn't go to any country except the ones that didn't exist yet and not bump into someone speaking English.
    And then you came into power and ended up speaking and writing English almost like the English did.
    But don't worry, American English is a fully recognised language now with its own slang and spelling system now and everything! Seriously, American slang is pretty weird.
    Shame you never really got to develop your own language, it would have made for an interest mix. Mostly Spanish and English with French up top and various African languages down south.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotchland View Post
    Compounding this, I used to think I possessed a formidable mastery of the English language, but, in reading this thread and that comic, I've realized how little I actually know about the English language.
    Welcome to the formal (and informal) studies of linguistics in all its forms then!
    And don't you worry yourself there, you probably know more about the English language than the majority of your peers.
    Me, I'm just a nutter who's always loved this sort of thing. And made a slight study of it.
    That and the making of dictionaries. No. Really.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by Goosefeather View Post
    French does attempt to get it on with other languages, especially English, but she's usually prevented from doing so by her chaperone, Mme Académie Française.

    Her cousin, Québécois, is all kinds of messed up.
    Too true (also genius). In Quebec most of the curses are religious. Barmy that.
    Then again in 1605 in England the theatres were banned from making any reference to God at all. And so they said farewell to 'bloody' 'zounds' 'steeth' and many more.
    Until they were allowed back!

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    You mean Ievan polkka? It would seem against the theme of the thread to only listen the gibberish part.
    It works though doesn't it though?
    Last edited by CurlyKitGirl; 2012-02-09 at 02:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by V'icternus View Post
    Why is it that you now scare me more than the possibility of nuclear war?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bath View Post
    To compare [Curly] to the beauty of the changing seasons or timeless stars would be an understatement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    But Koorly is the sweetest crime.

    Squid bones are lies.
    Bathatar!

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Scotchland View Post
    The problem with languages is that there are different languages, and each language also possesses a cultural history. For example, the Irish have Irish, even though they don't seem to use it that often.

    This leaves the average American at a bit of a crossroad. You see, because we primarily speak English, despite being a multicultural nation, we have nothing to really call our own, besides a governmentally instituted mutation of "proper" English.

    Compounding this, I used to think I possessed a formidable mastery of the English language, but, in reading this thread and that comic, I've realized how little I actually know about the English language.
    I feel that learning an Indian language of some description such as Cherokee would have gone a long way to smooth relations all those years ago. But then again, English has a nasty habit of being a dominant language, through sheer weight of numbers.

    It's also the reason why Chinese is the "go to" language in Firefly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas-Dakota View Post
    Succubus gets grongratulatory cookies from me. You have stepped into the realm of puns that only the likes of Death, Your Friend the Reaper have seen.

    Posting schedule likely to be erratic for the next few weeks - sorting out some personal stuff.

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Goosefeather View Post
    What does the Playground make of this article, and the concept of linguistic relativity (Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, etc) in general?
    (Oh Gods, those American accent in the audio accompaniment to the article. Sorry, it's just grating. And yet I'm manning it out for you)
    OH AND I WAS VERY DISTRACTED WHEN GAMBUZI WAS INTRODUCED BECAUSE THE LEEKSPIN SONG WAS PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND!
    I'm sorry, but my mind went straight to Orihime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goosefeather View Post
    Personally, I find it pretty interesting, and though I wouldn't go as far as saying that language can actually restrict thought (à la Orwell, and his Newspeak), I wonder just how far it can influence it.

    The problem is, however good I may get in the languages I'm learning, I wasn't born into a truly multilingual family and exposed equally to different languages from a young age, so I guess I'll probably never achieve complete enough fluency to judge from a perfectly objective position - I'll always feel slightly more comfortable in English. Still, that's no reason not to try!
    I can see how the first type of linguistics relativism (the strong type) is somewhat more sensible than the second as it's actually been proven to some extent that during the early stages of language acquirement the language centre and other linked parts of the brain are directly formed and influenced by the language(s) heard, spoken and learned.
    You tell your child that the colour 'yellow' is actually 'green' and vice versa the child will believe that grass is yellow until otherwise told.
    But yeah, more practically this is why people can say 'it doesn't translate exactly but . . . ', especially with idiomatic phrasing. I don't know why the hell 'tomber dans les pommes' [lit: 'to fall down amongst the apples'] translates into English as 'to faint', but it does.
    In part linguistic relativism can probably be ascribed to the culture barrier again. "Exterminate!" would mean more to the British popular culture than to American popular culture (although it is catching up), and definitely more than to Polish, Chinese or Brazilian popular cultures. Although again, not in all circles.

    And as for fluency?
    I would say that I'm not even very fluent in English even though it's my first language and my first and best field of academic study. I don't know everything about it, and never will.
    And I don't mean the obscure stuff either, obscure stuff I can tell you. I won't though, be able to tell you where all our slang comes from (even the more recent stuff), nor the origin of all the idioms, or why things are the way the way. Not off the top of my head any way.

    However, as a general marker, once you start dreaming in your secondary or tertiary languages you can consider yourself reasonably fluent and able to understand most of the everyday language. And perhaps a specialised area or two depending on how or why the language was learned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goosefeather View Post
    Derrida is by far the worst of them all.

    I can just about cope with Saussure, Chomsky, Foucault and Barthes - I might not agree with many things they say, but I can see what they're getting at - but Derrida is just impenetrable nonsense.

    Even Foucault accused him of "obscurantisme terroriste."

    I read one of his works in French, and assumed the language barrier might be preventing me from grasping exactly what he was trying to say, so I found a copy of the same work in English. It made even less sense - and was a pretty faithful translation, as well. The man infuriates me!
    Derrida had me running scared before I read a proper work of his. His summarised theories alone (okay, and his name) were enough to make my mind spin.
    About all I can say about one of his theory is that everything is relative because everything is a text and as everyone interprets a text in a unique fashion so this means no theories or readings are valid at all. Ever.
    Is this real life
    Is this just fantasy
    [...]
    No escape from reality
    [...]
    Nothing really matters
    Anyone can see
    Nothing really matters
    Nothing really matters to me

    There. Derrida in a nutshell. Except reality doesn't exist because everyone sees the Reality Text differently and therefore it's not a thing at all. Why, it nothing my lord.


    And yes, the fact that he deliberately writes so densely and so obscurely really doesn't help. Saussure, Barthes and Foucault are much easier to read, so where I disagree with them it's with the actual content of their essays and theories, not with the actual structure and writing. But I do disagree with Derrida in general.

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    On the topic of: l'Academie Francaise (meh, too lazy to do the 3 button presses to turn my keyboard from english to french)

    I am of the opinion that anybody who tries to fit the language to the rules, rather than the rules to the language, should not be allowed to call themselves a linguist.

    It can be the equivalent of going "This newly discovered bird is not a bird, because it has such-and-such characteristic", rather than going "We found a new type of bird that has such-and-such new and unprecendented characteristic! How exciting!"
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    I've made my feelings on language change clear before. Simply put, I am unabashedly, practically militantly opposed to attempts to regulate language. I avoid the use of Internetisms only because I find other forms of speech both more beautiful and expressive.
    If we LOL, do we not laugh?
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    I am of the opinion that anybody who tries to fit the language to the rules, rather than the rules to the language, should not be allowed to call themselves a linguist.
    The prescriptivist school has a long and glorious history trying to stop the inevitable.

    Why, should we go the other way, we'd have no way of declaring how someone is misusing the language, even though it's both obvious and annoying.

    Some windmills have to be fought.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    It can be the equivalent of going "This newly discovered bird is not a bird, because it has such-and-such characteristic", rather than going "We found a new type of bird that has such-and-such new and unprecendented characteristic! How exciting!"
    Biologists do that all the time. Usually we go "Wow! We found an ocelot that looks like a bird! That's amazing!" after the first bit however. I think it adds to the experience, really, rather than detracting from it if you can not only admire the animal, but also the convergent evolution behind it.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenish View Post
    The prescriptivist school has a long and glorious history trying to stop the inevitable.

    Why, should we go the other way, we'd have no way of declaring how someone is misusing the language, even though it's both obvious and annoying.

    Some windmills have to be fought.
    I can give a brief history of prescriptivism in English if anyone wants!
    Well, I actually can, but no one wants it so.

    Also, musical based on Don Quixote? Awesome and geeky.
    Geekier yet is listening to that song, as sung by Captain Jack Harkness. He's got good pipes.

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    But Koorly is the sweetest crime.

    Squid bones are lies.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    I'm actually reading The Language Wars, which is pretty much exactly that. A history of English-language prescriptivism.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    I'm actually reading The Language Wars, which is pretty much exactly that. A history of English-language prescriptivism.
    Ooooh fun!
    TO AMAZON!

    By Henry Hitchings right?

    It's cheap too.

    EDIT:
    No I squeaked with interest when I read the amazon description.
    Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in other Languages looks like a good read too.
    Last edited by CurlyKitGirl; 2012-02-09 at 06:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by V'icternus View Post
    Why is it that you now scare me more than the possibility of nuclear war?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    But Koorly is the sweetest crime.

    Squid bones are lies.
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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    I can give a brief history of prescriptivism in English if anyone wants!
    So can I:

    P: That's wrong, you can't say things like that.
    D: Can, too!
    P: No, you can't, you nincompoop!
    D: Can and will, poopy-head!
    P: But it's wrong and stupid and not English!
    D: It's how the English speakers speak English. Blockhead.
    P: Then they're speaking it wrong! *storms out of room*

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    Default Re: Musings on Language #2

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    (Oh Gods, those American accent in the audio accompaniment to the article. Sorry, it's just grating. And yet I'm manning it out for you)
    There is no such thing as an "American accent". That's like when we say that someone has a "British accent". The English they speak in California is as different from the English I speak in South Carolina by at least as much as the English spoken in England, and the accents of anyone from a northern city is as incomprehensible as Scottish or Welsh English.

    Back OT though: Organizations like l'Academie Francaise (I'll be honest, I don't even know HOW to type the accents that should be on that) should exist to help GUIDE a language, not stagnate it. I won't deny the fact that languages need some sort of protection, just like the skanky man-whore's they keep being compared to. There are languages that are changing so quickly, that in a person's lifetime they can become unintelligible. I knew a turkish man once who had stopped going home, because he couldn't figure out what anyone was saying anymore, there was so much new slang and idioms from when he was a child, once that didn't even make sense, and places where they had taken another languages idioms and just translated them literally. It'd also keep languages from sounding like modern Italian, which has so many words taken straight from english, I almost forget which one I'm actually speaking. They words aren't even Italianized, they're just take straight over (for instance, "Computer", "Shopping", "Sport", and "Bar"). At least other languages make it seem like a word they came up with (Computadora, in Spanish, for instance.). Agencies like l'Academie Francaise should be figuring out how to do something like that, not just saying the word shouldn't be used.
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