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AUXLANG  February 2007, Week 4

AUXLANG February 2007, Week 4

Subject:

Re: [NEWS] New language for divided Cameroon

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Date:

Thu, 22 Feb 2007 13:21:26 -0500

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li [Antonielly Garcia Rodrigues] mi tulis la

> On 2/22/07, [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > It's true that language is closely tied to culture, but it's these
> > cultural and linguistic divisions that are usually at the 
> heart of most
> > human conflicts.
> 
> The best solution is not to encourage cultural uniformity, but to
> appreciate cultural diversity and disseminate the value of
> *tolerance*. It is possible to unite people and keep cultural
> diversity at the same time. The European Union, for instance, has been
> quite successful at this so far.

I'm definitely not for uniformity either because that's still adherence
to a cultural identity.  I'm for individualism.   The E.U. still has a
general cultural attitude that could be described as "European" that
they all can identify with even though they all speak different
languages.  The same in the U.S.  There may be differences between North
and South, and even East and West but there is still an overall national
identity.  The biggest difference between the E.U. and the U.S. is that
the U.S. is united by a common language.  A person from anywhere in the
U.S. can pick up and move anywhere else in the U.S. without having to
confront another language.  Europeans may be free to move about but are
still bound by their ability to communicate in English, French, or one
of dozens of other national or regional languages.  English, French and
German seem to go a long way in Europe, but none of them go everywhere.
It would probably be in the E.U. interest to come up with a plan for a
common language, but I can forsee lots of resistance due to same reasons
being discussed here relating to language an its association with
cultural identity.


> Each one of us has a lot of cultural identities, not just one. I am a
> Trindadense, a Goiano, a Brazilian, a Mercosur citizen, a member of
> the Software Engineering community, a conlanger, a lusophone, an
> English speaker, an Interlingua speaker, a human being...

I really don't identify myself with any particular culture though I
can't control others that want to attach a label on me like "American",
"Yankee", "Gringo", or whatever, and for the purposes of getting a
particular point across those labels may work just fine.  As far as I'm
concerned, I'm an individual and will selectively identify with specific
ideas and aspects of each culture while rejecting others rather than
accept or reject them as a whole.


>  I do not
> need to nullify my identities to be able to get along well with people
> who do not belong to some of the same communities as me. I just need
> to tolerate the difference, and learn to appreciate the diversity  All
> I have to remember is that all human beings share one identity with
> me, the identify of humans. Some of them also share further identities
> with me, which improves my identification with them; for instance, an
> Angolan and me both belong to the community of lusophones. You and me
> both belong to the community of anglophones, conlangers, software
> developers and, above all, humans.

Well, we all have a variety of groups we can relate with, not all are
cultural.  Some are religious, professional, political, or just a common
interest in a hobby.  I could care less whether anyone shares these in
common with me or not, as long as their interests are peaceful.

> Asking for people to give up their identities does not make sense. I
> will not give up my identities, and it is not because I am a part of
> the "sheeple", but because they are a part of me! I am a free-thinking
> individual, with my own personal positions in various controversial
> issues that are often different from the positions of the majority. My
> identities do not nulify my individuality; they reinforce it.

There's a lot to be said for people being organized in a common cause,
but sometimes they go overboard and stick to these things for irrational
reasons at the expense of progress.


> We cannot deny the importance of culture. We have to strive for
> efficiency in everything, even i