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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.



  • krake
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Re: Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
Reply #75
You mean colonial civilizational languages like Spanish for South America or Portuguese for Brasil?  :D
That's it.
Vanity, arrogance and disdain toward other cultures at its best.
Sorry but can't help it - that's it.