On Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 1:59 PM, J. 'Mach' Wust <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On Thu, 14 Jun 2012 20:46:20 -0400, Andrew Jarrette wrote:
> >How about speakers of other languages?  Are you mostly proud of your
> native languages?  Why?  Are there any things about your native languages
> that you are ashamed of or at least discontent about?
> My impression is that people generally take pride in their native
> language. They think that it is more complex than other languages, makes
> finer semantic distinctions or has more words. For instance, when I try
> explaining to German speakers that English, due to its creolish history,
> has more words than German, most people will simply deny that. Or I
> remember how offended Spanish speakers were when I told them that Spanish
> had less irregularities than French or Italian. Of course, for most persons
> it is true that their expressivity in their native language is superior to
> any other. They really have more complexity in their native language, finer
> semantic distinctions or more words. It's similar to Jean Paul's idea that
> most people think themselves more complex or moral or thoughtful than
> average, just because they naturally have more knowledge of their own
> complexity, morality or thoughts than of other people's.
> But more specifically, I can identify with Andrew's strong feelings for
> certain features of his native language English. I have similar feelings
> for certain features of my own native language. I am attracted by unusual
> and conservative features. I am very ambivalent about that attraction. When
> I am being honest, I cannot deny it, but at the same time, I think of
> myself as anti-conservative.
> What I like about my language Swiss German is that it is a dialect: spoken
> only in a small region, but still part of a bigger language. I like that it
> is the undisputed general language, and in a precarious status like many
> other dialects. I like its unusual sound system, which has been described
> as syllable-timed, not accent-timed like typical modern Germanic languages.
> I like the vowel system that is very close to the Middle High German one. I
> like exotic features like /pf/ or /kx/.
> On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 09:57:12 -0400, Andrew Jarrette wrote:
> >All the more reason not to have either grammatical gender or noun classes
> in a language: they serve no purpose.
> Then you haven't understood the function of gender. It is not about
> describing the world, but about grammar: linking from one part of speech to
> another by congruence. Imagine you are talking about a house, a hut and a
> palace. When you do so in German, the language provides an unambiguous way
> to refer to every single one of them by using the appropriate pronoun,
> something that English "he", "she" and "it" cannot possibly achieve.

German can't do any better than English if the three words are all of the
same gender. This is one reason I like Latejami's anaphor system. Each
anaphor is directly related to the noun it refers to, but there are enough
classifiers and different modifiers that most words get their own distinct
anaphor in a given sentence.


> --
> grĂ¼ess
> mach