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Vanishing Languages

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2004 07:38 am
There are several websites about "Elvish" online as well.

("Elvish" is an -by J-R.R. Tolkien- invented language. His interest in language was such that he had even developed his own languages based loosely on Finnish and Welsh. )
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2004 07:53 am
Well, Walter, that was a new one on me. What will those students do with this elf talk? Might come in handy next Christmas. Razz
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2004 02:03 pm
www.ardalambion.com

There's some information on all of the languages Tolkien invented, if you're interested - none of them are really complete enough for real conversation, but I think Quenya is the most complete. Lots of RP langauges you see called "Elvish" that are supposed to come from Tolkien are actually made up by the RPers using words from real Tolkien languages. But everything on that site is right. There's even a Quenya course. I've always wanted to teach a class on Quenya (there's an experimental college thing here that's taught by students. Smile)
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2004 02:18 pm
Rufio, that site was difficult for me to read because of the red fonts(not that I would have understood it had it been in bold white on black.) Razz

Truthfully, I have never read much Tolkien, nor watched the movies. I'm not certain why. Nor have I watched or read Rowlings.

Something tells me that you are an asset to the world of academia, however.
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rufio
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2004 03:15 pm
Well, there's learning, and then there's academics. The latter likes me less. Razz
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Rounin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 07:40 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
On the 'language tree' we have High German (old, middle, new) with the 'branches' Franconian, Swabian, Yiddish and Danish.


Danish is usually counted among the Scandinavian languages, a branch of the Germanic language family, to which German also belongs.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2004 11:26 pm
I didn't doubt that at all, and my link didn't/doesn't say different :wink:

Germanic languages
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2004 12:07 am
There is a slew of languages and their corresponding cultures that are hanging on by a thread, as it were, who's peoples were absorbed by the Soviet Union which engaged in a program of strict russification, which itself was in effect merely a continuation of the old Tsarist "prison of nations" whereby culturo-ethnic minorities were supressed in favor of the Russian language and culture. Post-Soviet Russia's problems with Chechnya (or Chechnya's problems with Russia) are a continuation of this imperialism.

The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire
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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Apr, 2004 01:34 am
But then again, some would argue that not all cultures are worthy of survival.
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Cioccolato
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2004 10:12 am
I've just been wondering, what does it take for a language to be dead? When it's no longer spoken as a means of communication when a culture has evolved into something else? Or when it's fallen completely off of the earth and any remains cannot be deciphered?
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2004 05:04 pm
Good question, Cioccolato, because the phrase is often misused. A language is "dead" when it is no longer in use by any group of people. The decsendants of the people who used to speak it may have completely assimilated into a culture which speaks an entirely different language or -- in the case of a language spoken by only a very small group -- all the speakers may have died off leaving no xxx-speaking progeny. Using this definition, it is incorrect to call Latin, for example, a dead language as many people do. Ancient languages moorph into modern languages. Ancient Greek has only a slight similarity to modern Greek. And Latin, over the centuries has mosphed into new dialects -- French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian. Likewise, it is incorrect to call Aramaic a dead language as a version of it is still spoken en famille in a part of Syria.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2004 05:07 pm
Good question, Cioccolato, because the phrase is often misused. A language is "dead" when it is no longer in use by any group of people. The decendants of the people who used to speak it may have completely assimilated into a culture which speaks an entirely different language or -- in the case of a language spoken by only a very small group -- all the speakers may have died off leaving no xxx-speaking progeny. Using this definition, it is incorrect to call Latin, for example, a dead language as many people do. Ancient languages morph into modern languages. Ancient Greek has only a slight similarity to modern Greek. And Latin, over the centuries has morphed into new dialects -- French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian. Likewise, it is incorrect to call Aramaic a dead language as a version of it is still spoken en famille in a part of Syria.
Cioccolato
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 05:51 pm
That's a nice definition, Merry Andrew. It's comforting to think that ancient languages such as Latin have only just "morphed" into modern dialects.

Thanks ; )
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2004 06:36 pm
Sorry about the double post. A2K must have hiccuped as I was editing the most obvious typos.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 04:49 am
you are forgiven my son. Say three HAil Merrys and make a perfect Act of Contrition
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Rounin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 03:53 pm
fbaezer wrote:
I think that, as living creatures, languages born and die. We should try to protect the living, but make no tragedy of the natural (and cultural, in this case) circumstance of a few deaths.


I agree with you.

I think it would make sense to keep records of all the languages that we can in order to better understand languages in general, but there's no reason to force ourselves to use certain languages just to preserve them.

That would be almost as silly as preserving old houses just becau... Oh wait, they already do that.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2004 11:18 pm
Rounin wrote:
I think it would make sense to keep records of all the languages that we can in order to better understand languages in general, but there's no reason to force ourselves to use certain languages just to preserve them.

That would be almost as silly as preserving old houses just becau... Oh wait, they already do that.


Well, it's not only a poitn of understanding "languages in general".

It's more, IMHO; to understand history, e.g. especially the history of minorities (here thinking of minority languages).

And I do think, the "bcause ...."- reason is a very, very legitimate to preserve thes house.

It's part of 'culture', I think.
0 Replies
 
seaglass
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2004 01:36 am
I agree, Walter. It's not just a matter of preserving something in order to understand languages better. You cannot adequately study the history of a people without an understanding of the language of those people. Language is one of the keystones of any culture.
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Rounin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Apr, 2004 09:17 am
Well, that's true, but it's only a tragedy for those affected. Those interested in old cultures should bear the responsibility of keeping these languages alive alone i my opinion. Smile
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  0  
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 11:21 am
@Merry Andrew,
Latin returns from the dead

Quote:
A Dead Language That’s Very Much Alive


Quote:
The resurgence of a language once rejected as outdated and irrelevant is reflected across the country as Latin is embraced by a new generation of students like Xavier who seek to increase SAT scores or stand out from their friends, or simply harbor a fascination for the ancient language after reading Harry Potter’s Latin-based chanting spells.

The number of students in the United States taking the National Latin Exam has risen steadily to more than 134,000 students in each of the past two years, from 124,000 in 2003 and 101,000 in 1998, with large increases in remote parts of the country like New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont. The number of students taking the Advanced Placement test in Latin, meanwhile, has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, to 8,654 in 2007. While Spanish and French still dominate student schedules " and Chinese and Arabic are trendier choices " Latin has quietly flourished in many high-performing suburbs, like New Rochelle, where Latin’s virtues are sung by superintendents and principals who took it in their day. In neighboring Pelham, the 2,750-student district just hired a second full-time Latin teacher after a four-year search, learning that scarce Latin teachers have become more sought-after than ever.

On Long Island, the Jericho district is offering an Advanced Placement course in Latin for the first time this year after its Latin enrollment rose to 120 students, a 35 percent increase since 2002. In nearby Great Neck, 36 fifth graders signed up last year for before- and after-school Latin classes that were started by a 2008 graduate who has moved on to study classics at Stanford (that student’s brother and a friend will continue to lead the Latin classes this year).

Latin is also thriving in New York City, where it is currently taught in about three dozen schools , including Brooklyn Latin, a high school in East Williamsburg that started in 2006. Four years of Latin, and two of Spanish, are required at the new high school, where Latin phrases adorn the walls and words like discipuli (students), magistri (teachers) and latrina (bathroom) are sprinkled into everyday conversation.
 

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