Vanishing Languages

Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 03:47 pm
You're right, fbaezer. I was looking for the wrong title all along.


Following through on the theme of the long-awaited return of the god Quetzalcoatl, who brought to the ancient Americans a new way of life and freedom from their superstitious bondage to the old idols, Orozco protests in this panel against the fetish worship of dead knowledge for its own sake. The panel is analogous to the fourth panel, depicting the gods of the ancient world who were displaced by Quetzalcoatl. Stillborn knowledge is shown being delivered from a skeleton parent, couched on ponderous tomes, by the pedantically solicitous hands of a skeletal obstetrician in academic gown. The "gods of the modern world" are pictured in the academic costume of various universities, European and American. A lurid background suggests a world aflame, whose salvation lies not in the exegeses of old thought. In the powerful negation of this mural, Orozco calls for a new positiveness in the creative use of knowledge. He conjures away the sterile ritual of dead things giving birth to dead things. Here he protests against intellectual bondage, as in the next two panels he protests against the political and spiritual bondage of our time. While thematically this panel is related to the fourth panel, with its pictures of the gods of the ancient world, it is tied up closely in color with the Cortez panel at the opposite end of this wall, the reiteration of the flame motif being especially striking.
Reply Mon 13 Oct, 2008 07:59 pm
one interesting language found mainly along the eastern coast of the southern U.S. is GULLAH .

The Gullah language (Sea Island Creole English, Geechee) is a creole language spoken by the Gullah people (also called "Geechees"), an African American population living on the Sea Islands and the coastal region of the U.S. states of South Carolina and Georgia.

Gullah is based on English, with strong influences from West and Central African languages such as Mandinka, Wolof, Bambara, Fula, Mende, Vai, Akan, Ewe, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Kongo, Umbundu, and Kimbundu.

we encountered it first at the rather posh "williamsburg inn" in williamsburg , virginia . couldn't afford to stay at THE INN , but went there for breakfast a few times (ehbeth might remember) . the waitstaff - rather important looking gentlemen and ladies dressed more formally then their guests - conversed with each other in a language we couldn't understand : it was GULLAH .
their english was perfect , but it was convenient for them to speak to each other - in lowered voices - in gullah . i bet the comments about some of the guests must have been "choice" . Laughing

if it was good enough for the quen , it's good enough for us ! <GRIN>

Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 04:55 am
You read my mind, hbg. I was thinking about the gullah dialect last evening. Thanks for the reminder. (hope Mrs. hbg is all right now)

Here's another interesting language characterized by the accent of the original Outer Bankers.

Hoi Toide On The Outer Banks

Ocracoke English, the dialect spoken by native Outer Banks residents, is characterized by many words you'll find in the writings of Shakespeare.Some have said the remote nature of the Outer Banks preserved words from the 1600s like "mommuck" and "quamish" as well as distinctive pronunciations like "hoi toide" for "high tide".

According to Walt Wolfram and Natalie Schilling-Estes, authors of the fascinating book, Hoi Toide On The Outer Banks, Ocracoke English cannot be explained so easily.

As you know, we camped at Rodanthe and the manager's name(Orville O'Neill) was pronounced "Arville". Although Setanta might disagree, there are rumors that the inhabitants were originally "land pirates". Perhaps you recall the story of "Nag's Head".


Reply Tue 14 Oct, 2008 08:03 pm
hi letty !
how about a ferry ride to ocracoke island when the sun is setting ?
mrs h is coming along quite nicely , she had the operation last week tuesday and is back in the kitchen already !!! (i keep trying to hold her back ... no easy task <GRIN> - the nurse came in today and said : "nothing wrong with moving around , just stop when you feel tired " .)
take care !

Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 01:07 pm
Just don't feed the laughing gulls on that ferry, hbg. Glad the Mrs. is in the kitchen where all women belong. Razz

Another language that has vanished is that of the people of English and Indian descent. Remember the lost colony?

Manteo and Wanchese, another mural.


Manteo was a Native American Croatan who was essential to English/Native American communications during Sir Walter Raleigh's early voyages to and explorations of the New World. The relationship that Manteo shared with the English serves as an early example of positive racial and cultural relations in America and also serves as a unique example of race relations within the context of Western Civilization. Manteo was a trusted friend, teacher, and guide to the English settlers while remaining loyal to his native people during early American history, when English and Native American relations were highly unstable. Manteo is one of the foremost examples of positive race relations in early American history.
Manteo was useful to the English people in several ways. He served as a guide and translator to the English. Manteo and the English people were able to learn about each other's language and culture. Manteo at times was also a mediating figure between the English people and the Native Americans. Because of his status among the English people and because he was in peaceful communication with them, Manteo was often seen as a traitor because natives perceieved Manteo as disloyal to them.
Although Manteo is the best example of relations between the English and the Indians, there were other Native Americans who were friendly toward the English as well. Wanchese and other Native Americans such as Towaye[ both shared relationships with Manteo and the English people.

Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 05:24 pm
haven't looked at every post , so perhaps it has been covered already : THE NEWFIE (newfoundland) language :


one example :

ANGISHORE - A man regarded as too lazy too fish; a worthless fellow, a sluggard, a rascal; idle mischievous child or person.

the newfie oldtimers have a rather distinct language (based upon english , of course) developed over the centuries when they were an outpost of "merry old england " - they only joined "the confederation " (aka canada) in 1949 .

a typical "newfie" fisherman :


(in reality "jimmy flynn" a newfie comedian)
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 09:44 am
Fabulous, hbg. Ah, the dialects and the colloquialisms. Thanks for the Newfie interpretation of their lingo.

I took a look at the entire thread this morning and saw that I missed ehBeth's translation of Latin into familiar things. Thanks again, Miss Beth.

Here's another, and one that I hold dear because of my ancestry:

Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) is a member of the Goidelic branch of Celtic languages. This branch also includes the Irish and Manx languages. It is distinct from the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages, which includes Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. Scottish, Manx and Irish Gaelic are all descended from Old Irish. The language is often described as Scottish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, or Gàidhlig to avoid confusion with the other two Goidelic languages. Outside Scotland, it is occasionally also called Scottish, a usage dating back over 1,500 years; for example Old English Scottas. Scottish Gaelic should not be confused with Scots, because since the 16th century the word Scots has by-and-large been used to describe the Lowland Anglic language, which developed from the northern form of early Middle English. In Scottish English, Gaelic is pronounced "galik". Outside Scotland, it is usually pronounced "gelik"

To A Louse
By Robert Burns
[On seeing one on a lady's bonnet, at church.]
Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie!
Your impudence protects you sairly:
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gauze and lace;
Tho' faith! I fear, ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.
Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner,
How dare ye set your fit upon her,
Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else, and seek your dinner
On some poor body.
Swith, in some beggar's haffet squattle;
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.
Now haud you there, ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rils, snug an' tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right
'Till ye've got on it,
The vera tapmost, tow'ring height
O' Miss's bonnet.
My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump and grey as ony grozet;
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you sic a hearty doze o't,
Wad dress your droddum!
I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flannen toy;
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
On's wyliecoat;
But Miss's fine Lunardi! fie!
How daur ye do't?
O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin'!
Thae winks and finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin'!
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion!
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
And ev'n devotion!

Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 09:58 am
That one's just great Letty - I can make out most of it, too.

Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 04:26 pm
Hey, Joeblow. Music and poetry help us to understand languages better.

I became fascinated with the "click language" when I watched the movie, "The Gods Must Be Crazy." What a surprise to find this shortened item.

African click language 'holds key to origins of earliest human speech'

By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Tuesday, 18 March 2003

Echoes of the earliest language spoken by ancient humans tens of thousands of years ago have been preserved in the distinctive clicking sounds still spoken by some African tribes today, scientists have found.
The clicks made by the San people of southern Africa and the Hadzabe of East Africa are the linguistic equivalent of living fossils preserved from a much older and more primitive tongue, probably spoken by most of the humans who lived more than 40,000 years ago.

So, this may well be the origins of speech.

Interesting video by National Geographic.

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