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On 6/9/10, Zeinelabidin Elhassi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Jun 2010 21:18:53 -0600, Stephen Rice <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>>The objection to auxlangs from the standpoint of those of us who
>>consider the Babel story historical is that we are not to have a
>>single common language again. (This is not a divine punishment but a
>>safeguard: if we truly united, we would really hurt ourselves.)
>
> Unity or diversity each one of them can be peaceful or unpeaceful. It's
> about
> how people feel and perceive the situation and how the differences with
> others
> as individuals or nations presented. If co-existence and justice are not
> fully
> understood or appreciated, we would always hurt ourselves.

It's not just a matter of peace but of wisdom. We do stupid things,
and if we're united, we'll do stupid things together and really cause
trouble. We also do evil things, and that's even worse. A little
separation is a good thing: it gives the dissidents a refuge and
allows a really obnoxious state's neighbors to get together and pound
the jerk when really necessary.
>
>>However,
>>
>>1. More than one auxlang or an auxlang incompletely disseminated
>>wouldn't be a problem. Two biblical languages (Aramaic and Koine
>>Greek) were auxlangs in their day, and so was Latin later on.
>
> Yes, if Esperanto became the world language I think more people would learn
> Ido. We cannot and we should not prevent that ,because different opinions
> and different people are always there. It's not just a world language that
> has
> to be adopted to bring peace ,but also tolerance and acceptance of others
> ,and that is the idea behind composite world languages.

The success of any auxlang would lead to an upswing in other auxlangs.
However, any language that becomes THE world language will tend to
shrivel competition. Monopoly is a bad thing.

> Many wars are because of not accepting the representation by one side , lack
> of representation or generally not accepting the presence of others. Once we
> accept others, things go back to normal.

Not accepting others is normal. Have you noticed how intolerant most
auxlangers are? Our species just tends that way. It has been said that
all the evil in the world spring from the inability to sit quietly in
a room, and there's some truth to that. We've just got to set everyone
else straight, and for some reason they don't like it. (And sometimes
if we don't set them straight, they'll kill a lot of people.)
>
>>As to the extinction of languages, I don't favor it, of course, but
>>neither do I think it the worst possible thing. It is very difficult
>>to keep small languages alive; I am not sure it is truly possible. All
>>we can do is document them as best we can and encourage the peoples
>>involved to preserve them at least in rituals and perhaps even oral
>>traditions.
>
> I think it's not impossible, it's just we don't do what is needed. Israel
> succeeded in reviving Hebrew ,and it's now spoken by millions.

It's a curious fact that the Jews seem to beat everyone else at
jump-starting languages: Hebrew and Eo are the most successful members
of their respective categories. (Of course Eo wasn't as thoroughly
Jewish a project as Hebrew; that's why it doesn't have as many
speakers as Hebrew. ;)

Seriously, though, the odds aren't good. By the time a language is
classified as endangered, it's pretty much doomed.

The first
> time I
> have ever heard the term "linguistic discrimination" in a dialogue between
> two
> ordinary people ,and not in a book, website, TV, conference or so, was when
> I
> talked with a person whose original language is an extinct language. We just
> haven't experienced a similar loss by ourselves yet ,but we are able to know
> a
> general idea about how affected people really think or feel about it.
>
The motivation is insufficient. Most people know about the dangerous
of smoking, yet many still smoke. This is true for other behaviors as
well. And when your native language is about to die out, you may rant
a bit, but the likelihood of enough native speakers getting out there
and propagating the language is about on a par with a few million
smokers spontaneously and simultaneously quitting for good. It just
doesn't happen--at least not until there are too few to pull the
language back from the brink. The usual response is to throw the
problem at the schools, as though a few hours a week will offset an
already established trend toward using a replacement language. The
time to save a language is before it reaches that point.

Steve