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--- On Fri, 11/16/12, Leonardo Castro <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> > > But I'm affraid that we're moving from the academy
> > > dictatorship to a streetwise dictatorship.
> >
> > In all honesty, this is where it's always been. The would-be academic
> > dictators like to think they can define & control, but it's really the
> > people who have always held the reins.
> 
> It's seems that there is an equilibrium between
> traditionalism, "the way
> most people speak" (which doesnt't eliminate prejudice
> against minorities either) and language entropy.

I blame that on the relatively tranquil "pax technologica" we've been
experiencing the last century or so. Education, social expectation,
ubiquitous technology & communications all serve to put brakes on the
natural rate of language change. This is not to say change doesn't
happen (we see new slang etc. all the time, and technology itself shapes
the way we communicate ("txt speak" sort of thing, u no?), but still the
standard remains entrenched).

Tumble our carefully constructed house of cards and I think we'd see a
much less stable situation where language standards can be either so 
broad or long lasting or pervasive in society.

> > Interesting. I'm not sure I'd call ours a proper "inversion"
> > though. Some dialects still have thou-you in their traditional
> > places. Others -- the
> 
> Which dialects? I have never heard about them.

Mostly in England anymore. Some in Scotland.  The Font of All Knowledge
tells us that in  Westmorland, Durham, Lancashire, Yorkshire, 
Staffordshire, Derbyshire and some western parts of Nottinghamshire as
well as in the West Country (all England) and in the Orcadian & Shetlandic
(Scots) dialects, "thou" (or some form thereof) persists in spite of
"you" being the "standard" form.

Listen to the song "I Predict a Riot" -- right at the end of the first
line, bang!, there it is, a well formed 2s oblique pronoun "thee" in 
natural use among lads of about teen aged years.

> I meant that the grapheme-phoneme correspondence in English
> is much weaker.

Dunno. I guess I don't have a problem with eighteen and a half ways of
spelling the same sound! ;))

> If you start learning Spanish today, in a week you'll
> probable be able to
> properly pronounce any new word you read. OTOH, a student of
> English as a
> second language will probably never be sure about how to
> pronounce a new word he read.

This is true enough. 

Padraic