Old Languages, New Countries

Vitrius

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#31
taras said:
It's called Pennsylvania Dutch, but the name is just a corruption of Deutsch.
Righto. It's a dialect of German. The "Dutch" moniker is as you say, but remember that Deutsch and Dutch share a common Germanic root (eflected in other Germanic and Indo-European cognates, the root meaning "folk/people" ;Old Eng "theodisc" = "the language of the common people"; Gaelic "tuath" = "the people" as in the famous Irish pantheon).

And note how close Dutch is genetically to German any way. In order of similarness, German to Dutch to Friesian to (Anglo-Saxon, Old Eng) Modern English, then on to Sissy Spaceck and finally Kevin Bacon. All belong (except those last two :D ) to the "West Germanic" branch of the Proto-Germanic branch of the Indo-European super family. Strip the Franco-Latin from English (i.e. consult some Anglo-Saxon manuscript) and then look at Friesian; marvel at their mutual comprehensibility. I love to see Freshman students' eyes go wide with incedulity when they first see or hear Old English (basically weird German or Dutch). "Uh, I thought Old English was, like, Shakespeare and stuff!).

Oh, I love this. But, incidentally, I'm off to teach my Turkish student American English phonology. I'll be back soon with all you ever wanted to know about Finno-Uralic/Ural-Altaic languages(of which Turkish is one) but were afraid to ask.

Ic wille wessen bæk.
 

Alexius4

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#32
Ah Vitrius - missed your post earlier.

Lazuri is I believe classified as part of the Southern Caucasian group, which is a hands-in-air gesture by philologists as they really defy classification. Like Basque, these languages don't seem to fit into any convenient boxes. The group I believe includes Georgian and Abkhazian.
 
A

Anonymous

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#33
<<< Gloria - I recall reading that the Gothic community of the Crimea survived linguistically intact into the nineteenth century, when they were 'discovered' by German philologists who went crazy over it (hence the Nazi interest in the area).>>>

I heard some rumours at university that the Nazi historians had been interested in the Gothic archeology during the brief occupation but our Germanics professor (a Jew, by the way) was naturally unwilling to tell more. Sensitive topic, apparently. I loved Gothic classes but we didn't get many, unfortunately. There are quite a few well-published letters and manuscripts that display common linguistic features with High German, Low German, etc. But the 19 c. Gothic? Sorry, no info that I know of.

<<< Is this true? And has the Ostrogothic dialect survived to this day?>>>

Not to my knowledge. That would be fascinating, wouldn't it? As I recall, they had originally moved in directly from Gotland, so there you have a Swedish connection. Unfortunately, they all either died fighting for their mountain principality of Doros or (like other smaller ethnoses) were assimilated by the huge incoming waves of Tatars. BTW, some of those whom I met bear distinct European facial characteristics - blue eyes, sandy hair, non-Turkic facial types. Most of the Kyrym (Crimean) Tatars returning from their exile in Uzbekistan certainly look Turkish, though.

As to Germans, there was a huge farmer population in the Crimea in recent times, since the 19 c. when thousands of families settled in arid areas and turned them into fertile agricultural land, growing wheat, apples, etc. - until the end of WWII when those who didn't leave with the retreating Nazis were deported to the Kazakhstan deserts to die... As well as virtually all Tatars (half died en route) and, oddly, Greeks. The following post-war resettlement of the ethnically cleansed peninsula by waves of peasantry from the Russian North almost ended in famine when poor uneducated folks tried growing in hot areas the only thing they knew - potatoes. Still, hundreds of thousands more Russians and Ukrainians were shipped in. Now, with roughly the same numbers of Moslem Tatars returning to the old villages and demanding their land back, the situation isn't very quiet ...

<<<hasnt the basque* language got the same linguistic roots as finnish and hungarian?>>>

Melf, back in high school I read a very interesting article by a Georgian linguist who basically proved as clearly as 2+2=4 that the Basque and the Georgian is the same ancient language only branching out in different directions due to geographic separation. He produced long lists of identical words - basic words like numerals, parts of body and carriages, verbs, etc. I was completely convinced. This theory is also corroborated by some ancient Georgian legends of expeditions launched westwards in search of new lands. Even in their appearance the Basques and the Georgians look very similar - not to mention their fiery, feisty temperaments and love of wine. ;) D'Artagnan was of Basque descent, wasn't he?
 

Alexius4

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#34
Home Aves...I promise when I'm old I'll be a bright-eyed, 'stamboline wearing 'Stambouli eccentric of your dreams who says things like 'My dear, dear friend - you are not in your 'Sutton Colefield' now, you know?' Give me a few years though ;)

Saw some nice silk Hereke's today....but back to the thread....
 

Alexius4

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#35
Gloria - thanks for the information - I feel enriched by stuff I didn't know and that makes me happy :)

I shall try to track down were that 'survival of the Goths' thingy comes from, and will post back if I find anything tangible.
 

Kondoru

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#36
Home Aves...I promise when I'm old I'll be a bright-eyed, 'stamboline wearing 'Stambouli eccentric of your dreams who says things like 'My dear, dear friend - you are not in your 'Sutton Colefield' now, you know?' Give me a few years though
Sutton Colefield? Ill have you know I have lived in the same N Wilts village for all my life (31 years)

(Is Wilts Home Counties? I dont think its quite so, bordering)

Sad huh?

And I am clueless with men despite having the same interests.
 

ginoide

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#37
is it true that some dutch dialect, namely friesian, is similar and/or intelliglible to some englih dialects?
 
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Anonymous

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#38
What I always wanted to know is how far the Yorkshire dialect has gone from the Scandinavian (viking) influence? Is there a high number of actively used Norwegian words, for instance?
 

Timble2

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#40
ginoide said:
is it true that some dutch dialect, namely friesian, is similar and/or intelliglible to some englih dialects?
I don't know about Friesian being intelligible to English speakers, but it's supposed to be the closest surviving language to its Anglo-Saxon roots (I suppose it's intelligible if you understand Anglo-Saxon)
 

Alexius4

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#42
Another interesting quesh in itself - how many indiginous languages are there in the British Isles - I know of English, Welsh, Cornish, Manx, Irish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, Scots, Shetlandish, Faroese - which is nine. Did I miss any?
 

Vitrius

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#43
ginoide said:
is it true that some dutch dialect, namely friesian, is similar and/or intelliglible to some englih dialects?
Freisian is actually basically its own language, one of the West Germanic languages along with German, Dutch, English (and Yiddish and Schwebisch, which is just German to me). Friesian is so like Anglo-Saxon(Old English) that I can read Friesian manuscripts from what I know of historical English. Makes sense, as the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles came from that area of southernmost Scandinavia and upper Germany.

Massive borrowings from Old French/Vulgar Latin, coupled with sweeping changes in syntax and phonology have erased the obviousness of Dutch/Friesian/English kinship.

(With guessed Friesian; it's been a while)

Old Eng/my synthetic Fries:

Ic haebbe klin thing to segan.
Ik habbe kline ding to segen.

And in (my bad) German, Ich hab kleine ding segen.

That's off by some for sure, since I haven't been in Germanic languages for a while. Been at Semitics for a year now (Yesh li k'lum l'deber/ Laysa 'andi kalimaat le'killama).
 

Melf

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#44
Alexius said:
Another interesting quesh in itself - how many indiginous languages are there in the British Isles - I know of English, Welsh, Cornish, Manx, Irish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, Scots, Shetlandish, Faroese - which is nine. Did I miss any?
sorry effendi, but:-
the faroes "belong" to norway
scots and irish gaelic are mutually understandable
manx:- possibly mutually understandable to scots and irish gaelic speakers (?) (any manx, scots, irish gaelic speakers here? to confirm or deny?)
shetlanders, hebridians:- dont know (as far as i know they speak english)
scots ?
 

Alexius4

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#45
Are you sure about the Faroes? oh well..

I believe their is a Shetlandish dialect that, like Scots, has a fair cliam to being more than a hybrid...but a linguist will have to sort that one out.

I thought Scots & Irish Gaelic were distinct enough to qualify as two branchs of a common root...or that the two had simply diverged sufficiently to render them distinct (like Norwegian, Danish & Swedish).

And isn't Manx (if it still lives) distinctly Scandinavian?

huh? huh? :D

(seriously, though, does anybody have a definitive answer?)
 
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Anonymous

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#46
I thought that Scots and Irish Gaelic were mutually intelligible as say Modern Dutch, Belgian Vlaams and Voortrekker Afrikaans are understood by each other, but are actually distinct, but closely related languages.

An English parallel would be

I am seeing that thing

and

I be seeing them thing
 

Bosbaba

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#47
Afrikaans is still spoken in one town in Argentina, following the settlement there of some Trek Boere at the turn of the 20th century. A new colony has been established in Paraguay where similarly the language is used before Spanish.

Romany is taught in at least one West Australian school so I assume that this language is used within the Romany community there.

Greek and Italian communities tend to retain their language - and the Portuguese in South Africa do use their language within their transplanted communities.

Irish is most widely spoken on the West Coast of Ireland, but there is a growing trend amongst some school age children to use it in other parts of the country. Waterford, Cork, etc. as well as a handful in and around Dublin.

I believe there are still Russian communities in Canada that live in closed communities and use their original language? Also of course the Amish and Mennonite communities across the US and Canada.
 

ginoide

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#48
there are two areas in southern italy where a variety of greek (<grecanico> or <griko>) is spoken:

short article in english here

edit: a comprehensive picture of linguistic enclaves in italy from the wiki thingy:

"Minority groups are small, the largest being the German speaking in South Tyrol (1991: 287.503 german and 116.914 italian speaking) and the Slovenians around Trieste.

Other minority groups with partly official languages include the French speaking minority in the Valle d'Aosta region; the Sardinian language on Sardinia); the Ladin language in the Dolomites mountains; and the Friulian language in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, all four being Romance languages. In addition there exist several small local minorities, such as the Occitans in the southern Piedmont valleys; the Catalans in the town of Alghero on Sardinia; Albanians in villages in Calabria and Sicily; and ancient Greek dialects in villages of Calabria. "
 
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Anonymous

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#51
<<< In Europe itself, other such unclassifiable languages existed but are now dead, and some of them so much so that we can only guess that they were there at all. Etruscan came out of the east somewhere and has no known historical or modern cognate (though Latin contained a handful of loanwords). >>>

Vitruis, how about Ligurian? That's one lost treasure, for sure. As to Etruscan, I remember reading about efforts to link it to proto-Slavic. EtRUSKI = RUSSKI? That would be flattering to quite a few Russians - bringing the culture to the bumpkin Romans and even providing the first emperors. ;) But I have a hard time believing it.

<<<I believe there are still Russian communities in Canada that live in closed communities and use their original language?>>>

Bosbaba, this is pretty close to where I live. I know a few of their descendants (3rd-4th generation) and they don't speak Russian anymore, while their parents still do. Most of their communities are in the Kootenays (mountain range), near the BC-Alberta border. The Russians in question are the Doukhobors ("spirit-fighters"), members of a Protestant-style pacifist sect who refused military service and fled Russia in 1899 due to religious persecution but ran into government hostility in Canada as well. Leo Tolstoy helped them a great deal paying for their travel expenses. There's lots of material on the Web about them.
 

Melf

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#52
gloria:-
does alaska still have russian communities. where russian is still spoken by all people?
 
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Anonymous

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#53
I don't think so, melf. The only relics are the names of some communities and islands along the coast. And the onion-shaped domes of Orthodox churches - tourists love them. The 1-week and 2-week Alaska cruises are very popular here. My landlord was among millions of retired folks who have taken this brief voyage and told me that during the cruise season ships come and leave tiny harbours in an almost unending stream - you can see thousands of old folks with their cameras dangling, flooding the main street and walking into churches and small souvenir shops, and before they reach the end of the short route, another crowd is unloading from another monster ship getting ready to do the same circuit. :)

Here are some good sites on Russian Alaska I've found:

http://www.rusnet.nl/encyclo/a/alaska.shtml
http://www.webcom.com/kodiak/russian.html
http://international.loc.gov/intldl/mtfhtml/mfak/mfalaska.html
 

Melf

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#54
thanks for the info gloria

never knew that russia established settlements in hawaii and calfifornia
 

meanderer1

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#55
We seem to be concentrating (not unnaturally) on European languages.
There must be many languages in Africa spoken by the differing tribes but a main 'national' language? Also what about the different dialects spoken on Caribbeanan islands for example.
<-- goes off to find some info
 

Vitrius

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#56
Meanderer said:
We seem to be concentrating (not unnaturally) on European languages.
There must be many languages in Africa spoken by the differing tribes but a main 'national' language? Also what about the different dialects spoken on Caribbeanan islands for example.
<-- goes off to find some info
Yeah, like a zillion of them. Bantu alone compromises a staggering number of languages and dialects(not to mentioned classifiers and declinsions! Worse than Finnish). I, however, know absolutely nothing else about them at all. I can do the Zulu and !Xhosa glottal voiceless stop! That means the click thing you see in parodies of Ethopian/Somali, which doesn't have them and is actually a Semitic language :rolleyes: .

I can do this because there's a mild variant in Kuranic Arabic. I love to teach it to new students...say "key," now say "cay," OK, now one step further back. Fun to watch them act like they just ate old shoe leather.
 

Alexius4

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#57
Let's speak Polari :)

Polari was the gay argot that is undergoing a bit of a revival - a blend of rhyming and reverse slang, French, Italian, Romany & Yiddisch...

Take a vada

another bona lexicon

a dolly lingo - absolutely fantabalusa ;)

(interesting derivation of 'naff' as an acronym of 'normal as f***' ; isn't 'gay' taken from 'good as you'?)
 

Bosbaba

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#58
In South Africa there was a great disruption of the settled tribes at the time of the rising of the Zulu nation. It is known now as the Difaqane, when the Zulus started attacking and assimilating neighbouring tribes, it caused a massive displacement of peoples throughout the region.

Xhosa is commonly believed to be a derivative of Zulu - much like Afrikaans is from Dutch, and each can understand the other. There is however historically a deep dislike and mistrust between the two nations. This is second hand information as I only know a bit of both languages, and have to take info given at face value.

From my limited understanding of the African migrations, as whole tribes were on the move, if they were large enough and strong enough, they survived with language and traditions intact wherever they settled.
 

Alexius4

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#59
In a similar vein, a very good introduction to Lingua Franca, the trade argot of the Med.


Lingua Franca

(click on the blue 'glossary link to go to the lexicon - includes another Polari list as well)

Mentions Polari as a related argot, emerging among itinerant entertainers during the 18th century.

Elements of Lingua Franca are still surrent in modern Turkish...boats still berth at an iskele and phrases like pardon and allez are still to be heard.
 

Bosbaba

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#60
On the mines in South Africa there is a trade language called Fanagalo, made up of various African and European languages. It is used exclusively on the mines and is relatively quickly learnt and easily understood regardless of the native tongue of the worker. When you have at least 11 different ethnic groups working in one place, a halfway language like this can make a big difference.
 
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