[b-hebrew] Fw: Aramaic to them?
peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Mar 9 18:29:50 EST 2004
On 09/03/2004 13:59, Karl Randolph wrote:
>English has a history that makes it difficult
>to compare with other languages: already the
>English as used by Chaucer was a pidgin
>language, a combination of French and Old
>English. As I understand the process, pidgin
>languages always involve simplification. And
>now modern English is becoming the pidgin for
>the world, combined with the fact that the
>government schools, particularly here in the
>U.S.A. are doing a terrible job of teaching
>English, with the result of a tremendous
>pressure to simplify the language further.
Karl, I don't want to continue this indefinitely. I just want to point
out that here you are using a rather oversimplified definition of a
pidgin language. Pidgins are not simplifications, they are separate
languages formed by using the vocabulary of one language with the
grammar of another. But if a pidgin becomes the mother tongue of a
community, it is called instead a creole. Now arguably Middle English
started as some kind of pidgin of mostly Old English vocabulary and
mostly Norman French grammar. But by Chaucer's time it was certainly not
a pidgin, although possibly a creole. As for modern world English, it is
certainly not a pidgin, although in some senses it is a simplification.
The changes are more akin to those from classical Greek to Koine.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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