Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Talib » Fri 24 Apr 2009 1:14 am

Neqitan wrote:In the old forum we also a had a thread discussing the reliability of Wikipedia by chris (and it was NOT off-topic). And Talib coined the phrase "take it with a grain of salt". If you don't trust Wikipedia that's fine, but be aware you might be missing some good information. :twisted:
Haha, I didn't coin that, but I wish I had. It's an expression that you see in some older books in English. The idea is that when you salt food, it tends to bring out its true flavour.
Jayan wrote:But Latin's pronunciation is so unwieldy. It would have to be modified for everyday use. And what about vocabulary?
Latin pronunciation is quite easy actually as long as vowel length is noted. (I'm talking about the classical pronunciation, not the "ecclesiastical" method used by the Catholic Church). As for the vocabulary, neologisms are coined from native roots for new concepts, not unlike what's done with modern Arabic and Icelandic.

Not that I think Latin should be revived. If you ask me that language has had its time. English is suitable enough for a lingua franca, at least in Europe. Latin is biased towards Romance speakers and is a dead language. English is biased towards Germanic speakers but also has a lot of loanwords and a simpler grammar, and it's a living language.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Delodephius » Fri 24 Apr 2009 1:18 am

Well, I'm an imperialist so I'll go with the European Superstate. I believe in ethnic groups not divided by national and/or state borders. I vote for a global state with the only border being the heavens, and those only for the time being. 8-)

And again, Latin would be harder only to a part of the European population, and only in the terms of grammar, not so much vocabulary.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby philly_boy » Fri 24 Apr 2009 1:39 am

I'm against imperialism. I don't believe such a state could exist with today's standards. It could never exist, I think. Not to mention that it would be extremely hard to run such a huge state. A european superstate needs something to base its system upon - if there is no national conciousness then I don't think the state would go far. And I woulnd't want to see the EU turn into a state. Europe has different peoples with different needs and a single state would be disasterous, IMO. It would be like an empire: hundreds of ethnic groups with nothing in common under one central leadership.

Yes, but my question is this: why use a dead language and not a living one? What would be the point? The advantage?
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Delodephius » Fri 24 Apr 2009 1:49 am

Because of national rivalries there will be always someone who will be against a living language. And those who are pro-living language will be against a dead one. There will also be those against an artificial language too. Choose something that will have the least opposition among the upper class of the European society. They'll eventually make way or push it to the lower classes.

That a state needs some kind of a national conciousness as a backing is one of the delusions born in the 18th century, a delusion still existing today among the wider masses. Reason why I find most Balkan politics and Balkan states and their ideologies ridiculous. People have become so nationalistically deluded they forgot they are first and foremost humans.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby philly_boy » Fri 24 Apr 2009 1:54 am

A world where there is no national identity is utterly utopic in my opinion. However, national conciousness does not mean that you back up your country every chance you get. There is a difference between nationalism and national conciousness. A state where there exist many different ethnic groups can not survive simply because the nature of man does not change. I like the idea of a world where there are no borders and all that but its very idealistic. Its like communism: one of those nice things that can never be accomplished.

As for the lingua franca, I believe that it should be based upon the consensus of the EU: since English is the most widely spoken language in the European Union it should become Lingua Franca. Few people have real knowledge of Latin. And lets not forget that we now have states that do not speak Romance languages. English became a lingua franca simply because of British dominance, you can't just impose a language as lingua franca without a reason, simply because its fancy... Ancient Greek is just as fancy as Latin (and fancier I think), why not Ancient Greek? Koine Greek was the Lingua Franca of the east for many centuries... But times change and languages rise and fall...
Last edited by philly_boy on Fri 24 Apr 2009 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Delodephius » Fri 24 Apr 2009 2:02 am

There is a difference between nationalism and national conciousness.

It does and it is also irrelevant. "A nation is a group of persons united by a common error about their ancestry and a common dislike of their neighbours."

Also, an ethnic group is different from nation. Another thing Balkan people usually don't know and regularly mix up.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby philly_boy » Fri 24 Apr 2009 2:04 am

Yes, however ethnic groups form nations and nations form states. What common error would Greeks and the British have if Europe was a superstate? What would keep the state united?
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Neqitan » Fri 24 Apr 2009 2:05 am

Ahhh... How relieving. :) This thread now reminds me what Omniglot's forum really used to be like: semi-quiet languages-related threads with hot threads regarding politics, talking about European superstates, proposing the idea of taking ancient languages for lingua francas (even if they lack words for various concepts of these days), general insults to one's country's politics and politicians, and, of course, how my dog could speak Spanish so well when he was 4 years old.

Talib wrote:Haha, I didn't coin that, but I wish I had.

You coined it in the sense that it's related to Wikipedia. Do you remember... ILuvEire (I think) saying "and this time be prepared for that grain of salt" while giving a link to Wikipedia? He already expected us to know your quote. ;)

Philly boy wrote:Its vocabulary is vast

All languages' vocabulary is incredibly vast. :|

Philly boy wrote:It would be better if we had to learn an easy language (English) rather than a harder language (Latin).

Talib wrote:English is biased towards Germanic speakers but also has a lot of loanwords and a simpler grammar

It's arguable that English is any easier than Latin. It's complex array of auxiliaries, tricky (though not impossible) orthography, plus the usual problems of usage and extensive list of idioms found in learning any language. And don't forget its insane phonology! I believe is quite a pain in the rear end for students of the language (and specially for some native Spanish speakers).

Talib wrote:As for the vocabulary, neologisms are coined from native roots for new concepts, not unlike what's done with modern Arabic and Icelandic.

Latin American Spanish currently tends to take neologisms from English though! "Milkshake"!
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby Delodephius » Fri 24 Apr 2009 2:09 am

philly_boy wrote:Yes, however ethnic groups form nations and nations form states. What common error would Greeks and the British have if Europe was a superstate? What would keep the state united?

A good government and working to ensure good life for future generations. But I know, people are just too evil and too lazy to do any of that.
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Re: Should we try for more cases like Hebrew?

Postby philly_boy » Fri 24 Apr 2009 2:12 am

It would be better if we had to learn an easy language (English) rather than a harder language (Latin).

English is biased towards Germanic speakers but also has a lot of loanwords and a simpler grammar

It's arguable that English is any easier than Latin. It's complex array of auxiliaries, tricky (though not impossible) orthography, plus the usual problems of usage and extensive list of idioms found in learning any language. And don't forget its insane phonology! I believe is quite a pain in the rear end for students of the language (and specially for some native Spanish speakers).


I prefer auxiliaries that the 5 cases of my own language and the 40802834028402183420384203842038402384203842 cases of Dative and how it is used in ancient Greek. I presume Latin uses something similar, and it has more cases(6). Generally, English Grammar is simpler.

A good government and working to ensure good life for future generations. But I know, people are just too evil and too lazy to do any of that.


I would love to see such a government, but it could never work. 'A good government' is too broad. The problem is not in the government. The problem is in the people who let tiny differences turn into huge conflicts!
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