li [Rex May] mi tulis la > On Tue, 20 Feb 2007 21:24:55 -0500, [log in to unmask] wrote: > >li [MacLeod Dave] mi tulis la > >> We need to bring a few Romans back from the dead to make > fun of people > >> with that attitude. "What's that you call a clavis now, a clé? What > >> the hell is a clé? And how the f*&k did you turn aqua into > eau? Start > >> using real Latin again and then we can talk about what's > corrupt." - > >> complete with rolling eyes. > > > >That's just the point. If S. Europe would have stuck to Latin as a > >means of communication and had the backing of universal > education then > >Latin would be *the* language rather than so many Romance languages. > > That conceivably could have happened. Look at what happened > to German — > despite many wide-ranging dialects, standard German remains > the unifying > language — with the exception of Dutch, which for a number of reasons > came to be regarded as not-German, so that much unity was lost. I couldn't see that happening in those days, mainly because those were the days when communication was slow and many people were still uneducated and illiterate. Things are different now. The most "advanced" civilizations have mandatory education and mass media to propogate a linguistic standard. Despite the times and lack of modern technology, Latin did survive for a very long time and left a legacy that carries into several of the world's most popular languages like Spanish, Portuguese, French and to some extent even English. > Dialects are fine, and language change is fine. What's not > fine is the loss of a unifying language. Dialects will happen, though it's possible that many will disappear as the populations become more mobile and more people are exposed to the same media. The point is that if there is *a* standard, then there is only one point from which to deviate rather than dialects breaking away in every possible direction and eventually becoming new languages because of the lost of mutual intelligibility.