language bias

No men, women, children, or houses with the pie

William Jones was a reported hyperpolyglot. He learned Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, and basic Chinese, says Wikipedia, adding he knew thirteen languages thoroughly, and another twenty-eight reasonably well. This makes a total of 41 languages.

 

William Jones

 

Mr. Jones wrote The Sanscrit Language, to tell that Greek and Latin had a common root with Sanskrit, and there must have been a Proto-Indo-European language, PIE as a cookie in short, that gave origin to contemporary European tongues.

 

Is there a root PIE vocabulary? A reasonably good acquaintance with a language should encompass words as woman, man, child, and house. Let us compare these words in Latin, Greek, English, Russian, Polish, German, French, and Sanskrit.

 

WOMAN

Latin: femina; Greek: gyne; English: woman; Russian: zenshchina; Polish: kobieta; German: Weib; French: femme; Sanskrit: nari.

 

MAN

Latin: vir; Greek: andros; English: man; Russian: muzshtschina; Polish: mężczyzna; German: Mann; French: homme; Sanskrit: naro.

 

I do not know Sanskrit. I can only compare resources. The morpheme man, quoted by supporters of the PIE, yet refers to thinking, not gender, whereas it is common lore that masculinity is not strictly synonymous with pensiveness. 😉

 

CHILD

Latin: putillus; Greek: pais; child; Russian: rebionok; Polish: dziecko; German: Kind; French: enfant; Sanskrit: sutah.

 

Words for children were differentiated, in Sanskrit. The language took origin in rigid social stratification for status and ancestry, says Wikipedia. “Children of men” were not sutah; they made another name, napraja, probably with regard to heirloom. We thus could not say, let us look for a common root with the PIE, because it must have been a beautiful culture.

 

HOUSE

Latin: domus; Greek: do; English: house; Russian: dom; Polish: dom; German: Haus; French: maison; Sanskrit: vasati.

 

Vir or andros, child or rebionok, woman or kobieta ― the words do not resemble one another, and they are the basic vocabulary that hardly ever changes. This is the vocabulary to compare for language grouping.

 

Polish and Russian could make a group. We may compare the words muzshtschina and mężczyzna. There is not much point deriving Polish from Russian or Russian from Polish, however. We can compare rebionok and dziecko. Language groups work better than language families. “Families” derive languages, one from another.

 

Why derive European vocabularies from Sanskrit, while Sanskrit might have absorbed loan words?

Proto-languages are constructs. They are theoretical guesswork. Taking the Russian and Polish words for children, we would have to create a verbal form that might have preceded both “dziecko” and “riebionok”, to make up a “proto-word”. Even if we created a form as *dieriebok, it would not mean such a form ever existed. Honestly, it is unlikely.

 

Let us think now, there is language A. Some people come around and they adopt, let us say, the grammar for verbs from A entirely. They do not refer to language A for everything, however. They develop language B. Further, the people to talk B make progress; they begin to come up with new words: language A begins to adopt from language B. Today, in reality, if we find a phrase or word in Sanskrit, it does not mean they have been there since the beginning of time.

 

Decent linguistic work requires original sources for linguistic evidence. The Rosetta Stone was absolutely unique. It yet covered only the Ancient Egyptian ― the glyphs (there is no need to say “hiero-glyphs”, unless one would like to pray to language, which could not be the best use for it) and the demotic ― along with Ancient Greek. The stone allowed translation, but not etymology. There never was anything like the Rosetta Stone, for “Indo-European” languages, and Marco Polo was probably not the first visitor to the Far East.

 

Carbon dating

Whenever possible, written resources should be carbon-dated. There is no philological method to affirm the original beyond evidence. Writings were copied in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and later, hand style and pen craft.

 

Oldest does not mean wisest

What rationale could we find to constructing probabilistic language forms? Linguistically, there is none. Machine or otherwise constructed, a code is not a natural language.

 

On the side of language psychology, I do not share in the enthusiasm or fascination with speculative ancient content. Quotient always has been a matter of the human individual and education or self-study. People were not more sophisticated in ancient times. Ancient languages were not more intelligent, and within evolutionary approaches, languages may have emerged independently, owing to human cognitive advancement. Language knowledge became shared, in the process.

 

Similarities in form as domus, do, and dom, or house and Haus, show geographic affinity; they are characteristic to urban or other developments, and do not decide on language grouping. Well, supporters of the Proto-Indo-European “family” have gone into making own Proto-Indo-European religion. There is not a PIE root for our home planet Earth, however.

 

EARTH

Latin: terra or tellus; Greek: Gaia or Aia; English: Earth; Russian: Ziemlia; Polish: Ziemia; German: Erde; French: Terre; Sanskrit: vasudha.

 

It seems there was a pie, more than the PIE, in the times of Mr. Jones, and that pie was the Company rule in India. The India colonial era began about 1500, and there was much rivalry.

 

Space 1999 would show reading Proto-Sanskrit accurately… 😉

 


My YouTube: Sanskrit Readout

The holocaust in the clip is not the Holocaust.

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Tongue entanglement

Language is often taken for granted, or given the regard for humanity’s unloved child.

 

Diarmaid Ferriter of The Limits of Liberty ventured his frown at human glibness on RTE One.

 

Irish people speak English owing to cultural submissiveness, avouched Mr. Ferriter. You cannot dominate someone who does not speak your language. These have been the English to speak English. They brought the language to Ireland.

 

On love and humanity, I can agree that language is neither a prodigal son, nor daughter: it does not spend much, and it can give a lot. 😉

 

On life and freedom ― most businesses in Ireland work with English language papers and cash. These are all kinds of English, to include American, Australian, and whichever you like.

 

People make cash owing to English language business talks. People learn math and many more, in English language schools. People get advice from English language medics, and buy bread from English language bakers. Many have never learned British English.

 

 

Irish English has a distinct sounding, one might find more pleasurable than that from over the river Thames, as Pete McCarthy noted in his McCarthy’s Bar.

 

 

Getting rid of Irish English would not be freedom. It would be a disaster. English is a lingua franca, a language spoken world-wide. The Irish horizon for business and culture is all around the globe, with Irish English.

 

Rather, there is a predilection for terms of power, and it might be worthwhile to tell it apart from language itself. Probably, the predilection inspired the name “Hiberno-English” for Irish English, as in Wikipedia.

 

 

“English was brought to Ireland as a result of the Norman invasion of Ireland of the late 12th century”, tells Wikipedia.

 

The Irish isle was named Hibernia by ancient Romans, who evidently thought it was very cold; they must have compared temperatures in ancient Rome, Greece, or North Africa ― the regular influence they exercised, military campaigns mostly in warm times of the year.

 

 

Regarding a theory that Normans would have brought English, William the Conqueror was French and his Normans did not speak English, which was named for a factor in the Great Vowel Shift.

 

Exactly as other conquerors, Normans did not interact much linguistically, in battles. Without people who spoke, wrote, and traded ― in a preferably moderate climate, which both English and Irish isles certainly have had ― there would not have been language learning or change.

 

For “Hibernian English”, nothing holds linguistically. Just as Irish people do not need snowballs to learn language, the British do not need to join the military to have a “one-to-one” on “Birran English”, rainy days. Birrus was a Latin word for a raincoat. It is the predilection for terms of power to try bringing the Roman empire and a Norman conqueror into a field where pen craft matters most.

 

Mr. Ferriter claimed there were two kinds of power. The police and the military were the “hard power”. Language was the “soft power”.

 

I agree that saying “come in” can be physically more efficient than carrying people into rooms, especially if wholesome. Yet saying “fish and chips” does not give a Leo Burdock, unless there are the cash and the consensus to make the deal. More, various debates world round have proved humans phylogenetically capable of days and more of a language production, as well as reception, of no influence to thought or decisions. 😉

 

The word “power” deserves a more favorable regard as an intellectual capacity and ability to act. Naming language as one of tools for conquest does not do language justice. Language can be attractive. Language can be an intellectual pursuit.

 

I think Irish English should have a publicly accessible corpus. Autonomous language environments have own language corpora.

 

 

To date, no corpus of Irish English exists, said a paper from Limerick University in 1999.

 

I have looked up the Internet for an update. As of April 17 2016, the Limerick University says there is a corpus. There is yet no public access to it.

Larry Selinker’s interlanguage

Larry Selinker, a professor of linguistics, developed his theory of interlanguage” or “third language”, in 1972. A “latent psychological structure” becomes woken in the brain, when a human learns a second language, said Mr. Selinker.

 

We learn English as a second language, if we have spoken a few words of another tongue before. My Polish was a long way from fluent proficient, when I began learning American. I was about 4 years old. More and more people learn two or more languages, beginning early.

 

 

Let us reason. We can think about people without pointing at anyone in particular. Let us imagine Eduardo. He was born in America, in an immigrant Hispanic family. He spoke mostly Spanish before he went to school. His parents spoke Spanish, and his friends in the town area he lived were all Spanish. However, Eduardo has always had a good awareness of American English in his environment, also via the media.

 

Let us think Eduardo becomes 20. He is doing an IT degree. He takes elliptic integrals easy, but he would need a dictionary to translate math from English to Spanish — he has learned math and spoken about it in English. Mr. Selinker would say Spanish is Eduardo’s first tongue.

 

Love yet wouldn’t come Spanish-first. Eduardo’s girlfriend is an American. American English is the only language she has ever spoken. She is a real treasure and a natural for a good conversation. When Eduardo tells his sweetheart he loves her, he says it in English and he means it. Mr. Selinker would say Eduardo uses a second language to express feeling, and there must be another, third or interlanguage form in Eduardo’s head he relies on.

 

INSIGHT FROM EXPERIENCE

 

  • Regardless of social background or gender, people have primary languages, rather than first or second. My primary language for linguistics is American English. I need a dictionary, to translate my own linguistic work to Polish, though Polish is my native tongue.

 

Ai-li was born as Eduardo, in America. Her grandparents were Chinese. She has always been for languages. Before she went to school, she learned American along with Chinese. She started to learn German and French, when she was about seven years old.

 

Let us think Ai-li grows up and writes a thesis about spatial reference in German and French — her two “second languages”, or her “third-second languages”? Should American count as the second, German and French would make the third or fourth, but actually she has learned and worked with all her languages at the same time…

 

INSIGHT FROM EXPERIENCE

 

  • The primary language is not a fixed option. Multilingual speakers will prioritize the relevant tongue, dependent on the environment and context.
  • A primary language that prevails in an aspect of personal experience may become “the learner”. For example, learning German began to work better for me, when I started referring it to American English, not Polish. The matter was the same when I learned French, therefore the matter is not about language groups or families.

 

Larry Selinker would imply abnormal mental and neural realities about “second language learners”. It is owing to latent psychological structures in the brain that second language learners show simplification, circumlocution, and over-generalization, claims Mr. Selinker.

 

We could say Mr. Selinker holds second language learners for idiosyncratic. An idiosyncrasy can be “a structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group, a physiological or temperamental peculiarity, or an unusual individual reaction to food or a drug” (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition).

 

Medically, there are no purely “functional”, “mathematical”, or “psychological” connectivities in human brains. There are no “latent” brain areas, in unimpeded humans. Injury does not produce neural structures for language.

 

“Selinker noted that in a given situation, the utterances produced by a learner are different from those native speakers would produce, had they attempted to convey the same meaning“, says Wikipedia.

 

Emily Dickinson was an American poet. Her works remain widely recognized, and favorably appreciated as well. Whether a person likes the poetry or not, who would there be to say that every American would write the same, were he or she to “convey the same meaning”?

 

 

The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

 

The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.

 

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

 

Emily Dickinson, source: Project Gutenberg, The brain is wider than the sky.

 

Idiolect is the way a person speaks or writes. The word comes from Greek idios, meaning one’s own, and lektikos, meaning able to speak, or good at speaking.

 

 

Everyone has own idiolect. Mark Twain may be a natural association, when there is talk about idiolects. It is difficult or even impossible to imagine this proficient author saying, you do not speak as I do, therefore you are wrong.

 

“And if I sell to the reader this volume of nonsense, and he, instead of seasoning his graver reading with a chapter of it now and then, when his mind demands such relaxation, unwisely overdoses himself with several chapters of it at a single sitting, he will deserve to be nauseated, and he will have nobody to blame but himself if he is.” 😉

Mark Twain’s Speeches, Project Gutenberg.

 

Let us analyze Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course, by Susan M. Gass and Larry Selinker.

 

“Imperfective morphology emerges with durative and/or stative verbs (i.e. activities and states), then gradually spreads to achievement/accomplishment and punctual verbs.”

 

The book gives examples.

 

(7-33) She dancing (activity)
(7-34) And then a man coming… (accomplishment)
(7-35) Well, I was knowing that. (state)
(7-36) Other boys were shouting ‘watch out’! (achievement).

 

All in all, Mr. Selinker would purport that second language learners “get the language differently”. Where would that be, however, Harlem, Bronx, countryside, or uptown, metropolis America, where people hold accomplishment and achievement for separate?

 

The book says the study began on children aged 8 years, French and Dutch. I have been able to find the “punctual verbs” mostly for Japanese or Singlish.

 

“The French learners were overall less proficient than the Dutch learners and never reached the stage where they could use the regular past morphology productively. Transfer factors were also involved, in that learners appeared to be predisposed by basic distinctions in their L1 tense-aspect system to look for similar distinctions in the L2 input, specifically in the case of the past/non-past distinction, where Dutch is closer to English” (page 209).

 

The study lasted three years. A private teacher, I would have have been sacked, if the student had not been able to use regular past morphology after three years of work.