li [Rex May] mi tulis la

> And there you have it.  The centrifugal force of nationalism 
> (in the separatist sense) against 
> the centripital force of desire for a common language.  It's 
> all tradeoffs.  And you have to 
> judge each case on its merits.  You can't say all 
> small-language movements are a bad idea, 
> or that they're all good.

Small language movements really aren't a bad idea, but they should be
secondary to the grand scheme of things, which is the need to
communicate.  There's nothing wrong with people raising their children
to speak Navajo (or {insert minority language here}), but they need to
recognize that a monoglot Dine speaker has very vew prospects in life
and should make sure their children also become immersed in English (or
{insert national language here}) so they can go out and have access to
the same opportunities as the rest of us.

> But, all things being equal, I'd advocate that a 'new' 
> country like Kameroon push for general 
> knowledge of a major language, useful outside the country, 
> rather than elevating one of its 
> native languages at the expense of such knowledge.  It all 
> depends on whether the 
> government wants its citizens to have more opportunities, or 
> prefers that they be that much 
> more insulated from outside influences.
> Jacques mentioned Mexico.  Imagine how bollixed-up Mexico 
> would be today if it had 
> decided to reject the evil European language, Spanish, in 
> favor of Nahuatl and the dozens of 
> other languages originally spoken there.  

It really wouldn't be a problem if the roles where reversed to where
Nahuatl (still a living language) was the majority language and exeryone
in Mexico spoke it.

> And one more thought:  Preserving a small language can indeed 
> help to preserve small 
> cultures  but are all small cultures worth preserving?  

I think people need to break free of cultural identities and become
free-thinking individuals that aren't bound by the mindless traditions
of the past.  

> Another thing that has to be 
> decided on a case by case basis.

Well, I see good reason for documenting as many of them as possible for
the historical record.  Cultures change over time anyway, so the XYZ
culture of today is not the same as it was 200 years ago, so what is
really being "preserved", except maybe some old tradition that probably
lost its true meaning generations ago.  This applies to the major
cultures as well as to the smaller ones.