Pure Languages

Simon   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 14:30 GMT
Don't get me wrong. I think without the Latin/French input into English, the language would probably be just a Dutch dialect, which is what makes it unique.
Antonio   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 14:55 GMT
It is said that Old English sounded more like Frisian (Dutch dialect) than saxon or than any scand...

Certainly, without the Latin influence into English, the English language wouldn´t be anything like it is now. But I don´t know if it would be more like Dutch or any other germanic dialect. Maybe it could have got more Celt... anyhow, English is very different from any other language and it´s transformation into what it is now began in the Middle English time.
No englishman can read a line in Old English, by only knowing Modern English. But Middle E. can be read.

Why do people always refer Latin to sexy and tempestuousness?
Simon   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 15:05 GMT
Ooh, we can speculate a lot on what it may have been like. The position of London is largely responsible for the kind of English we have (i.e. North Sea Germanic with strong French input and minimal Celtic input). The social value of Latin and French (as well as Greek) played a large part in their presence in the English language. Celtic languages never had any status really and London was in a part where Celtic languages were already largely dead. In addition, the "invaders from the continent" had words already for things they encountered on Great Britain. When they borrowed words it was for concepts they weren't already aware of, such as "existentialism".

But of course, America's unequalled cultural and political power is having an undoubted effect on the English language. Today, it is really America's language but I still love it as my own.

Your last question: I don't know.
Simon   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 15:10 GMT
A lot of people aren't aware that with the Normans, English became a peasant vernacular, c.f. Irish in Ireland. It essentially died and unlike the Celtic languages today, people didn't really know how to write it any more. When people did start to write it had clearly changed dramatically from Old English.

But there is an enigma. The most recent extant OE text dates from about 100 years before the first known ME text. Both are very different, which is strange as there is only 100 years between them. It is hypothesised therefore that OE as it was written (especially toward the end of its life) did not reflect the spoken language. Of course, all of this is lost in time... and we shall never know.
Simon   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 15:14 GMT
Sorry I meant Irish in Ireland in the last century.
cmhiv   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 19:49 GMT
That is interesting. So, in theory, Old English spoken about 1,000 could have been very much like Frisian is today; no cases, minimal verb conjugation, etc... And then when the Normans came, French started to come into the language, and then Latin started to really pour into the language (it had alreadybeen dripping into the language slowly), and finally Greek came into the language with the Renaissance. And thanks to that bloody fool Shakespeare, he helped mold the English language by introducing many terms and expressions into the English language.
Bierfee   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 20:03 GMT
You call Shakespeare a "bloody fool"!? I am shocked. :)
cmhiv   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 20:46 GMT
Yeah, he helped mold my language into what it is today; not as Germanic as it could be. Yes, yes, I said somewhere else I do not mind the Latin/French/Greek influences, but in reality, I wish our language had been left alone!

However, what is done is done, and I cannot change this; so I am fine with my language as it is today.
Martin   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 21:20 GMT
Jus some things to add. I have read that in North England before 1066
the langauage there was more like a Brythonic/Angle mix. There is evidence
of this in texts from that time and area. My dad tells me that in some
places like yorkshire (believe it or not) there are some some who count sheep in welsh i..e un, di, tri, pedwar .. deg
Das Behälter   Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 22:53 GMT
Simon? Is that you? Are you bacK? @:o)
Simon   Thursday, April 17, 2003, 09:35 GMT
Hello Das Behälter, yes I'm back. There seems to be interesting content again.

Yes Martin, that sounds plausible. I've heard about the counting sheep thing. Cumbria is in meaning the same as Cymru, the Welsh name for Wales.

Try this link: http://www.roman-britain.org/province.htm#tt
stet   Thursday, April 17, 2003, 23:59 GMT
after an exhaustive study of celtic counts in england, it was found that only the cornish count used for fish was genuine

all other counts were later traditions from welsh or irish itinerant labourers

further to an early posting, 'mind' is of germanic origin and cognate with latin 'mens'

i cannot understand what is meant by 'pure' in a linguistic setting

please first name a 'pure' language with which i can compare english
cmhiv   Friday, April 18, 2003, 02:09 GMT
There are no "pure" languages. The closest thing to a pure language would be a language that has been isolated for thousands of years. Even the languages in New Guinea are not pure because they have come in contact with other languages in the past.

The only "pure" language there has aver been would be the first language spoken by man. There is "Proto-Indo-European," but what about the first language; was there one, or were there many? Anyway, this first language, or the first languages would have been pure in the case that it, ot they, were the first languages and had no other way of being influenced by another language.

Ah, but this has got me thinking. Was there a first language? Or did the first people with language capabilities have various tribal, or family languages? This would make more sense to me. As a Christian, I believe that God gave us language, but I also think that Adam and Eve were just two people whom God told the story of creation through. Anyways, I think that humans recieved language at some point, and then all of the languages started to mix with each other; or the was one language and this language split off into many dialects, which further split off into the languages and dialects we have today.
cmhiv   Friday, April 18, 2003, 02:43 GMT
Here is a really neat web-site about linguistics; the "Human Language Museum."
cmhiv   Friday, April 18, 2003, 02:58 GMT
I guess it would help to put the address down, wouldn't it?