Old English/Anglo-Saxon
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18-02-2015, 11:37 AM (This post was last modified: 18-02-2015 11:40 AM by Chas.)
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
(17-02-2015 06:31 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(17-02-2015 11:16 AM)Chas Wrote:  Grammatical gender is pointless. I'll take bored.

You don't have to like it, but you're speaking subjectively because you grew up with English.

For example, many words change meaning when the gender changes in Italian, and so do other languages. This already shows you that it's not pointless.

I grew up with English and French and took Latin in school. I maintain that grammatical gender is a pointlessly arbitrary way of accomplishing those differences in pronunciation or meaning.
In a language without grammatical gender, differences in word pronunciation and meaning are clear from context.

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18-02-2015, 12:28 PM (This post was last modified: 18-02-2015 12:32 PM by The Polyglot Atheist.)
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
(18-02-2015 11:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-02-2015 06:31 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  You don't have to like it, but you're speaking subjectively because you grew up with English.

For example, many words change meaning when the gender changes in Italian, and so do other languages. This already shows you that it's not pointless.

I grew up with English and French and took Latin in school. I maintain that grammatical gender is a pointlessly arbitrary way of accomplishing those differences in pronunciation or meaning.
In a language without grammatical gender, differences in word pronunciation and meaning are clear from context.

I'm talking about your native language, Chas. This anglocentric view of languages is biased and doesn't take you anywhere, because all you do is claim that your language is the top and the others must submit to your model.
  • Chinese lacks verb conjugations completely, why don't you give up tenses and conjugations? They can communicate effectively even without them, so you could too, right?
  • English must use personal pronouns because the fact that verbs conjugate less makes them more ambiguous ("speak" can be 5 persons, except the 3rd singular), Italian and Spanish can omit the personal pronouns because our verbs change for each person, aren't personal pronouns pointless then?
  • Swedish verbs don't change at all for the third person. Is the -s of the third person pointless in English?


If you're saying "these questions make no sense" then you get my point. Each language has a different logic, so judging another language basing your assertions on your own language is meaningless.

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18-02-2015, 02:38 PM
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
(18-02-2015 12:28 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(18-02-2015 11:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  I grew up with English and French and took Latin in school. I maintain that grammatical gender is a pointlessly arbitrary way of accomplishing those differences in pronunciation or meaning.
In a language without grammatical gender, differences in word pronunciation and meaning are clear from context.

I'm talking about your native language, Chas. This anglocentric view of languages is biased and doesn't take you anywhere, because all you do is claim that your language is the top and the others must submit to your model.
  • Chinese lacks verb conjugations completely, why don't you give up tenses and conjugations? They can communicate effectively even without them, so you could too, right?
  • English must use personal pronouns because the fact that verbs conjugate less makes them more ambiguous ("speak" can be 5 persons, except the 3rd singular), Italian and Spanish can omit the personal pronouns because our verbs change for each person, aren't personal pronouns pointless then?
  • Swedish verbs don't change at all for the third person. Is the -s of the third person pointless in English?


If you're saying "these questions make no sense" then you get my point. Each language has a different logic, so judging another language basing your assertions on your own language is meaningless.

By the language used, you shouldn't have to alter it to say other things. It's not an argument that they are "meaningless" or not with point and value within languages.

But in a grand scheme of context in communication. They don't have a point. They can be used and appreciated in a manner of a point. And Neither are verb conjugations or formal you distinctions.

So to HONOR them or hold them in esteem to wish they were not lost to time as languages shifts, is not a worthwhile position. It's caused by over indulgence of strangely caused idealism. Language is a live and always shifting which is a beautiful concept about it.

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18-02-2015, 02:52 PM
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
Yes languages change, and when/if Italian will lose grammatical gender then it will make sense for it not to have it. But as it is now, it wouldn't work to just lose grammatical gender, because Italian is "designed" to work with grammatical gender, so it makes sense for it to have it.

Modern English changed in the past and now it works without grammatical gender, so it wouldn't make sense for it to have it now, because that's how it works.

Each language has its own logic, and judging a language better or worse, using another one (your native one) is terribly biased.

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18-02-2015, 04:32 PM
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
(18-02-2015 12:28 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(18-02-2015 11:37 AM)Chas Wrote:  I grew up with English and French and took Latin in school. I maintain that grammatical gender is a pointlessly arbitrary way of accomplishing those differences in pronunciation or meaning.
In a language without grammatical gender, differences in word pronunciation and meaning are clear from context.

I'm talking about your native language, Chas. This anglocentric view of languages is biased and doesn't take you anywhere, because all you do is claim that your language is the top and the others must submit to your model.
  • Chinese lacks verb conjugations completely, why don't you give up tenses and conjugations? They can communicate effectively even without them, so you could too, right?
  • English must use personal pronouns because the fact that verbs conjugate less makes them more ambiguous ("speak" can be 5 persons, except the 3rd singular), Italian and Spanish can omit the personal pronouns because our verbs change for each person, aren't personal pronouns pointless then?
  • Swedish verbs don't change at all for the third person. Is the -s of the third person pointless in English?


If you're saying "these questions make no sense" then you get my point. Each language has a different logic, so judging another language basing your assertions on your own language is meaningless.

I'm basing it on knowledge of three languages, as I pointed out.

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18-02-2015, 06:37 PM
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
Chas, this is not about the languages you know. It's about the fact that you cannot judge a language using others as a parameter.

Each language is a separate entity, it has its own logic, and even if you knew the whole 6000 languages that exist in this world it wouldn't make a difference.

Now, if you're talking about personal preference, then that's fine, but linguistically speaking it's a non-issue.

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18-02-2015, 06:47 PM
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
(18-02-2015 06:37 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  Chas, this is not about the languages you know. It's about the fact that you cannot judge a language using others as a parameter.

Each language is a separate entity, it has its own logic, and even if you knew the whole 6000 languages that exist in this world it wouldn't make a difference.

Now, if you're talking about personal preference, then that's fine, but linguistically speaking it's a non-issue.

I'm basing it on contrasting a language without and two languages with.

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19-02-2015, 07:59 AM
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
If everything that is pointless in English was removed from the language, English wouldn't exist.

As for language shifts through time, I haven't seen any language evolving into something more complex. Sadly, languages are always becoming more and more simplified.

I'm not one of those people who care about "purity" or cultural uniqueness. I don't care if languages mix or whatever. This can be achieved without over-simplifications anyway. Simplifying a language, however, requires loss of information, which is, in turn, loss of culture, meaning and history.

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19-02-2015, 08:10 AM
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
(19-02-2015 07:59 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  If everything that is pointless in English was removed from the language, English wouldn't exist.

As for language shifts through time, I haven't seen any language evolving into something more complex. Sadly, languages are always becoming more and more simplified.

I'm not one of those people who care about "purity" or cultural uniqueness. I don't care if languages mix or whatever. This can be achieved without over-simplifications anyway. Simplifying a language, however, requires loss of information, which is, in turn, loss of culture, meaning and history.

I am not advocating purposefully changing any language. They evolve.
A common evolutionary path for languages involves simplifying grammar, increasing word count, and changing word meanings. Rarely are these purposeful.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-02-2015, 09:10 AM (This post was last modified: 19-02-2015 09:13 AM by yakherder.)
RE: Old English/Anglo-Saxon
Most of the successful attempts to intentionally change language have been in regards to written language, such as when King Sejong tasked a team of 15th century nerds to create the modern Korean alphabet rather than sticking with Chinese wiring, which is today still one of the more phonetically consistent writing systems out there. Whether or not that contributes to South Korea's high literacy rate is arguable.

Theodore Roosevelt tried to endorse a move to modify some word spellings to make them more phonetically rational, but met near universal opposition. People don't like to change.

There's always Esperanto...

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