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Topic: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem (Read 1587 times)

  • ersi
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Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
(A new topic in the hope of attracting an Esperanto community here, the way we already have Otter community.)

What ticked me off is that you wrote "you mean Y." You can say what amounts to the exact same thing inoffensively by prefixing "if I understand you correctly."

  • If I understand you correctly, you mean Y.
  • Did you mean Y?
  • Could you clarify what you meant by X?
I sincerely apologise for ticking you off. Sometimes I upset people deliberately in order to beat some topic dead more thoroughly (I like them dead, so I can say they are properly settled), but it was not so in this case. I was not really interested in what you were saying, except that it reminded to me that I had that obscure page about Esperanto in my bookmarks. And another apology for that I lack proper internet manners. I hope I'm not too bad though.

However, now I've become a bit interested in this topic and after reading and re-reading I find your attempts to clarify yourself woefully inadequate. Should I analyse this? Maybe just a little bit.

The fact that I didn't simply mean lingua franca should reveal itself from the nonsensical resulting phrase "hoping to attain the status of [a lingua franca], but with a slightly different language emphasis." In which case you should ask, a slightly different language emphasis that what?
True, that would have been my next question, had it turned out that by the latter part of the sentence ("but with...") you meant anything serious. Since the first part of the sentence appeared dilettantish to me and called for an immediate correction, I ignored the latter part for the time being.

Let's recall the first part of your sentence: "...[Esperanto is] an artificially created pidgin/creole hoping to attain the status of an English or French..."

Two immediate things here prompted me to suggest "lingua franca" instead of "English or French".

First, you had already used "pidgin/creole" in the same sentence. You were saying that the pidgin/creole was hoping to attain something. In order for the pidgin/creole to hope to attain something reasonably attainable, the goal should be something of its own class. Pidgin/creole and lingua franca are, in terms of linguistic terminology, animals of kin, while English and French inhabit a different conceptual category in linguistics.

This impression was amplified by the fact that you said "an English or French". If you put an actual meaning behind the article, then you didn't really mean English or French, but something like English or French, whatever it may be (not a specific language at any rate). Without letting you walk deeper into the woods, I suggested you must have meant lingua franca. But now you have chosen to take a deeper walk in the woods.

Second, you didn't say that the pidgin/creole was hoping to replace English or French (which would have been so hopelessly dilettantish that I would have declined to comment on it). Instead, you opted for a slightly more technical-sounding "to attain the status of an English or French". So, another possible emphasis is the word "status". What status do English and French have? The one I could think of was that they are both lingua franca, i.e. current in many countries among people who use it for communication beyond their own native languages. English and French are examples of lingua franca par excellence in that non-native speakers decisively outnumber native speakers.

But possibly you meant a different status. Unfortunately your latest clarifications don't clarify what status that would be. Instead, your clarifications seem to fall back to English and French specifically as English and French (which should be impossible, if "an" had a meaning in the original sentence).

In your clarification, you say "English is a Germanic language, possibly a creole, with a particularly strong Romance substrate, while French is the Romance language with the strongest Germanic substrate." Are you saying both are mixed to a high degree? Why would you say that? Let's try to put it in the original sentence: "[Esperanto is] an artificially created pidgin/creole hoping to attain the status of an English or French [as mixed language]..." Well, why would Esperanto hope to attain the status of mixed language when it was most obviously created as a language mix? It doesn't need to hope to attain what it already is. "Lingua franca", i.e. spreading all over the world as a universal means of communication, would make more sense here as something to be attained.

All this said, could you please clarify what you mean by the latter part of the sentence? I'm not sure what "a different language emphasis" could mean. Was the whole sentence meant to convey something like Esperanto is hoping to attain the status of a mixed language like English or French, but drawing material from languages other than English and French...?

To sum up, I replied because your strategic use of "an" and "status" were interesting. I was hoping that the rest of the sentence would also be interesting and meaningful. To be honest, I am quite positive that you had a really good idea in your mind at first, but it unfortunately withered away in the process of writing. Happens to some of my own ideas too. When that happens and it still was an idea truly worth sharing, then the thing to do is to re-think it and re-formulate it.



  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #50
You mean logogram as opposed to logograph has fallen out of favour? The issue with those words is how to derive the adjective. Logographic sounds better than logogrammic or logogrammatic, hence the noun tends to be logograph. The same tension is with words ideogram and pictogram, with adjectives ideographic and pictographic.
That's what I said. It might mean that logogram has fallen out of favor, or it could just be avoidance tactics.

As to evolution of alphabets from pictographic to logographic and phonographic, yes, that be the Darwinian view, not well supported in reality. Evolution of Egyptian writing, otherwise going through amazing transformation from hieroglyphs to alphabet, seems to be missing the pictographic phase (paintings and writings, even though very often on the same surface, were always separate things down to the remotest history), whereas Chinese has a rather good connection to the pictographic phase, but never evolved into an alphabet.
You can blame the "Darwinian" summary at least partially on me (imo a goal- or ladder-based view of evolution is not the least bit Darwinian), since the book itself immediately continues by saying that e.g. Egyptian hieroglyphics displayed all three "phases" simultaneously. In any case the book is about our alphabet, so it describes the attested evolution of our own alphabet from Phoenician onward, with an eye on connections with e.g. hieroglyphics and the quite clearly at least slightly related Sinai writings.

Overall, script is something for people with way too much time in their hands. Normally people have other concerns.
Hunter-gatherers "worked" for a couple of hours a day at most to provide for their needs. The rest was spare time. They probably didn't spend it writing, but either way we have the exact opposite of too much time on our hands.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #51
Scripts seem to emerge rather abruptly and they seem to often go extinct too without much development. Cave paintings may be interpreted as a sort of script, but looks like when people got out of the caves and into houses, they usually left the script into the caves and never looked back. So either it wasn't script or it wasn't important.
Since you gave no definition of "script" (1) and the Latin guy here is me, not you, script means nothing but writing. Just as in Scriptorium.

Cave paintings didn't finished wen men leaved caves.
Roman houses were fully covered with painted walls representing many different scenes. Medieval and Renaissence houses had the walls painted with frescos.

Even today, most people hangs paintings in their walls.

So it goes for "script"

1 Copyright by Ersi...
  • Last Edit: 2016-09-04, 21:23:36 by Belfrager
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #52
Leiden University Linguistics started a blog. One of their first (and only) posts is about Esperanto: http://www.linguisticsinleiden.nl/articles/on-the-trail-of-esperanto-with-kate-bellamy

  • Mr. Tennessee
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #53
"One language you don't receive much input from is Esperanto. So imagine my surprise - and delight - when I discovered trilingual Polish-English-Esperanto information boards ....."
Which immediately took me back to secondary school and my language "studies". I first studied Latin, at which I ingloriously failed. Since successful study of a language was required for graduation, a kindly teacher/counsellor told me that she'd signed me up for a yearlong class of Polish! The rules were simple:
1. Sit in the last row of the classroom.
2. Never open my mouth.
3. Take no tests.
4. Pass the class.

It worked! Thank Buddha for the kindness of some teachers.

PS I studied German at university.


  • rjhowie
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #54
1. My teachers thought I was progressive in Primary school.
2. In Secondary school I drew their attention for being different from the routine.
3. Two teachers I met separately in my mid-twenties said they had never forgotten me
4. I did French at Secondary school and practiced it on a school trip to Paris and took an interest in their quizzical reaction.
 ???
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Belfrager
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #55
I did French at Secondary school and practiced it on a school trip to Paris
Trés bien, on va parler Français à partir de maintenant. Magistrate. 
:lol:
A matter of attitude.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #56
Bon, mais il faut garder à l'esprit que le français est plus difficile pour moi qu'anglais ou qu'allemand. C'est une langue que je lis, que j'écoute, et même que j'écris, mais parler n'est pas en tous temps une plaisanterie !

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #57
n'est pas en tous temps
? Shouldn't that simply be "parfois"? :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #58
n'est pas en tous temps
? Shouldn't that simply be "parfois"? :)
Je ne sais quoi. Comme ci, comme ça.

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #59
? Shouldn't that simply be "parfois"?  :)
Should it? :) Google translates the phrase as follows:
Quote
But speaking is not at all times a joke!
Or as I might put it, speaking isn't always a piece of cake.

In a paraphrase you could turn it around to say that talking is sometimes hard (parler est parfois difficile, or something along those lines), but if what I wrote is unidiomatic it should instead be something like tout le temps, toujours, à chaque instant, etc.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #60
Frenzie, you're well aware of my limitations, when it comes to languages other than English. I don't reject an (unknown to me) idiom that would equate "is not at all times" with "is sometimes" -which is what I think you meant- but I'm unfamiliar with one. (Except in logic...! There, they're synonymous, definitionally.)

BTW: That's what you get for being smart! People tweak your nose... :) Just because they know it'll be fun to hear your reply!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #61
? Shouldn't that simply be "parfois"?
No, the contrary, "always", "at all the time".
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #62
You are, of course, speaking for yourself, Bel! :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #63
You are, of course, speaking for yourself, Bel:)
Nope, I was not.
Speaking for myself, you're an ignorant of French, all Latin based languages and logics.
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #64
Logic? :) Oh, you mean syllogisms... But you're wrong there too!
It's true, however, that I know little of French -- a language so little-used nowadays that the government has to "police" it... :)

Maybe you could learn Brazilian?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Barulheira
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #65
Do you mean this?

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #66
Nope. Belfrager is -like the French about their language- a "purist". Meaning even if most people actually using the language use it one way or more, if they don't use it his way they're wrong...
I'd feel the same way about English, if it were so constipated! :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #67
You don't understand the value of language diversity Oakdale. You don't understand that the value of diversity it's made upon the stability of difference. Therefore, you don't mind with your language's destruction and extinction as it's happening with English.

There's no such a thing anymore as English. Today you have Chinese English, Pakistani English, French English, American English, Portuguese English, Russian English and maybe some day even monkey English.
You have everything so you got with nothing, you have English no more.

One thing you're right, if the British don't complain (or maybe some do, I don't know) why should you...
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #68
You don't understand the value of language diversity Oakdale.
I'm somewhat familiar with the history of the English language; and I'm personally familiar with many American variants... Languages vary among populations and over time.
Not only can nothing be done about that but nothing should be done. Only silly intellectuals would think otherwise.

Of course, I have my own preferences... :) But as someone a long time ago said, there's no accounting for taste.

An obvious example would be my enjoyment of Bernard Shaw's introductions to his published plays: No matter how much I disagreed with his arguments, no matter how fatuous some of those arguments were, his prose was always forceful and elegant!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Frenzie
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  • Administrator
Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #69
Not really Esperanto, but I thought this encyclopedia of writing systems and languages was pretty cool.

http://www.omniglot.com/

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #70
... I'd agree, pretty cool. Such used to be confined to coffee houses and student unions! Now, with the internet, they're much more open to the public at large. One needn't live in a "college town" to be aware of and participate in such discussions.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #71
In this book about "international language", which is importantly a protocol of proceedings of Délégation pour l'Adoption d'une Langue auxiliare internationale, there's some criticism of most other constructed languages. The approach of the Délégation itself was most scientific, as it was composed of the most eminent linguists.

Otto Jespersen's article in the book summarises the linguistic achievements of the Délégation. For example, to compile a recognisable vocabulary, they would calculate the number of speakers of the language(s) where the word/root/affix occurs. Good idea, but my criticism of the whole project, whoever is attempting it as a means of international communication, remains the same - the result will inevitably be Europocentric, i.e. difficult for the rest of the world, while Europeans themselves are educated enough to get by in a few strategic foreign languages so, among all the people in the world, Europeans have the least need for any artificial auxiliary language.

Otto Jespersen has something positive to say about Esperanto, "The knowledge of these imperfections does not prevent me from recognising the meritorious services of Zamenhof, who, at a time when the question of the best construction of an international language was not seriously discussed, succeeded in producing one which was in many respects superior to the attempts of that time, and which has proved in practice a serviceable, though very imperfect, means of international communication." - p. 41

Robert Lorenz says this about Volapük, "The fate of Volapük was sealed when its supporters, in the year 1889, made the experiment of organising a a congress at which Volapük should be spoken. Although a few Volapükists succeeded in speaking the language, it was only too painfully evident that such a goal could not be reached with this system." - pp. 16-17, followed by the remark that Esperanto has proven to be speakable in the conferences of its enthusiasts and such conferences keep it alive.

  • Belfrager
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #72
"Internacional Languages" are a crime against each People self determination, culture and survival.
English has turned much more worst than Esperanto or anything else.
A matter of attitude.

  • krake
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #73
"Internacional Languages" are a crime against each People self determination, culture and survival.
You mean colonial languages like Spanish for South America or Portuguese for Brasil? :D

  • Belfrager
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #74
You mean colonial civilizational languages like Spanish for South America or Portuguese for Brasil?  :D
That's it.
A matter of attitude.