View Poll Results: Should the English language be made more Anglo-Saxon?

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Thread: Should The English Language Return To Its Anglo-Saxon Roots?

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    @ Suut

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    OE and ON actually existed and are attested.
    Then let us speak ON (?).
    Well, we could if we wanted. We couldn't speak any linguistic variety from which it sprang, though. But it didn't seem to me that anyone was advocating speaking OE (which seems to have been a different dialect of the same language of which ON was a dialect — it's not like ON > OE) in this thread. It seems like it's about making ModE more like OE than it is in terms of its lexicon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    PIE is an artifical construct of the 20th century (it changed more in the 20th century than the various IE languages had changed since they split apart). It is not certain that there ever was a PIE language
    Point taken. However, PIE is a theoretical reconstruction; not an "artificial construct."
    I'm not certain what you're getting at by refusing to accept that it's a construct.

    From the OED:
    construct. Anything constructed, esp. by the mind; hence spec., a concept specially devised to be part of a theory.
    All reconstructions, being constructed, are constructs (though admittedly, not all constructs are reconstructions), and in this case, construct seems a particularly apt word to describe the thing so described — it is a concept specially devised to be a part of a theory.

    Part of the theory underpinning PIE is the idea that all IE languages are descended from a single linguistic variety. PIE purports to be a reconstruction of that linguistic variety. But whether or not all IE languages did in fact descend from one single linguistic variety is a matter of controversy, as I have already pointed out. So whether there was ever anything that PIE could be a reconstruction of is equally controversial. So calling PIE a reconstruction assumes the end from the beginning. Calling it a construct (which is a less-specific term) is undeniable — whether it is a reconstruction or not, it is certainly a construct.

    You also seem to disagree with my calling it artificial. I don't see why. You suggest that theoretical is a better label. It seems to me that all theories are the products of artifice. It is true that something could be artificial without being theoretical, but nothing can be theoretical without being artifical. Again, I was not being as specific. But certainly theoretical would work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    ...

    I see a clear line between a historically attested, empirically verifiable language and a hypothetical
    ("hypothetical" or "artificial"?)
    construct
    (?).
    So for me, there is clearly no possibility of infinite regression in this regard.
    Well, all theories are hypotheses, by definition, just as all hypotheses are artificial, so if it is theoretical, then it is also hypothetical and artificial. We both agree that it's theoretical. We might as well both acknowledge that it's also hypothetical and also artificial, by definition.

    And I think I've adequately explained why I call it a construct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    As do I. The salient point is the questions that are begged by the project (which I support[!], but just don't fully follow why AS is the stop-point when it did not generate itself).
    I know OE didn't generate itself. But we have no evidence beyond the language recorded by the earliest runic inscriptions of anything from which it sprang. So we can actually go back to OE. We, as moderns, can't go back to PIE, though, since we ourselves created PIE. Now of course we can make ModE more like our PIE creation, but that wouldn't be returning anything to anything. In an effort to return, we just can't go any further than where we know we've been. And the earliest attested linguistic variety that the English have spoken of which there is evidence of the full language is OE (the language of earlier runic inscriptions is not sufficiently attested for us to understand it as an entire language). That is why OE is the stop-point in an attempt to return English to its roots. OE consists of the deepest roots we can find.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    We can go no further back than the runes — at least until we do some more archeology.
    And by that fact comes the infinite regression regardless of the finite amount of information we are able to verify: we know (don't we?) that eventually we get to grunts, groans, and body language.
    You know, we don't know any such thing. We can guess, but we really don't know. Archeological findings seem to suggest that man has been able to speak for a hundred thousand years. We don't know the first thing about how the first languages would have been. Our efforts in reconstructing languages have never been able to go back any further than ten thousand years. For all we know, our first ancestors capable of speech might have become so capable because they were beamed aboard alien spaceships, mutated by alien technology, taught language, and then returned to earth. We just have absolutely no idea whatsoever. All we can do is guess. The guess that language developed from grunts as just as valid as the guess that it's the result of some primeval alien abduction.

    The possibility of infinite regression in an artificial attempt to return to our linguistic roots will always be limited by our knowledge of where we've been. We can't try to return to a place unless we know we've been there. We can try to go there. We can unwittingly return there (if we happen to have been there but don't know it). But we cannot, through artifice, attempt to return there.

    If our knowledge were to increase, then we might be able to really return to something prior to OE. Otherwise, any such attempt is impossible.

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    Re: Returning English to its Anglo-Saxon Roots

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric View Post
    I find it interesting that you felt a need to respond three times to that post. I must say, I'm getting really tired of bickering about this. Your responses have seemed to stray so far from what we were originally discussing that they're fueled more by a desire to keep the bickering than anything else. I'm just not enticed by that.
    I have not "bickered"; for you to quibble about the number of times I may or may not have responded to a [long] post is the first real instance of "bickering" here.

    All my responses are relevant to the thread's subject matter.

    If that were not the case, how is it that the thread's creator has actually recorded 'thanks' against many of my posts here?

    Considering the subject-matter of the very first post in this thread, I challenge you to show where I have gone off topic.
    As a Moderator, and a member of Skadi for some four years, I am more than conscious of such things.

    I am surprised you have made such a 'bickering', negative [and actually off topic] post as this on the open forum rather than having the decency to PM me about it, and thus forcing me to reply to here.

    I can say, in response to this list (without going down the tempting tangent of discussing its disingenuous qualities), that you really don't understand this concept of dividing Latin influence in English into periods, nor do you see what distinguishes the Latin influence of the Fourth Period from that of preceding periods. It has nothing to do with the time in which it occurred, nor does it have to do with anything else that was occurring at the same time. Furthermore, you still seem to think I was the one who came up with this system of discussing the various waves of Latin influence in our lexicon (I wasn't), no matter how many times I try to disabuse you of that belief.
    I was careful in the list not to say that it was you who had "come up with" the Fourth Period category, so it is unfair of you to pretend that you have "disabused" me of that "many times"; this is simply not true.

    However, since you used the so-called 'Fourth Period' [originally unsourced] as the backbone of your argument I have every right to respond to it.

    My [dispassionate] list of facts justs demonstrates that during this 4th period much radical and positive work was done towards the 'Englishing of English', and that there were many English scholars and writers who were not "ashamed" of the Germanic elements of English.

    The list is just meant to balance the latter notion found in the posts I was responding to. It does not claim to be complete, it rather just gives the other side of the story, and is meant for the edification of all readers of this thread.
    Moreover, it does that with facts, rather than opinions [and all categorising is shaped by opinion to an extent].

    You seem to have some sort of agenda you're trying to push on this matter, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is or what your motives are. You seem pretty heated about it.
    I am astonished at this claim; "heated"? The list was just a list of facts.

    I have been no more [or less] "heated" in this debate than anyone else.

    Please give some evidence of this claim since you make it on an open forum.

    You also make insinuations here about an "agenda", but then shrink from saying what that supposed "agenda" is.

    This is a smear tactic, and as it is made on an open forum I ask politely that you substantiate it - or withdraw it.

    You seem to want to keep shoving me and my thoughts into a mold so that you can point out the flaws you see in that mold. I've already said I have torn feelings on the matter. You seem to want to marry me to one subset of those feelings so you can shoot me down. I don't see why you need to do that.
    In debate we test each others' standpoints; I have always done that in a non-personal and professional manner; - I can only assume that you have not read any of my hundreds of other posts on this forum; nor have you observed my clean disciplinary record.

    This post of yours is the first ad hominem attack on this thread and I find it hugely disappointing, not least because you have sought not to take the option of PMing me, a respect that I should have been accorded as a long-standing Mod.

    You also seem to continue wanting to make this a British-American fight, as though we are fated to be at odds with one another on this as accidents of birth. And as you address that conception you've created, you seem to want to cast the English of America as being somehow less English than the English of Britain, which is laughable at best — once an oak branches, no branch can continue to claim the trunk's status.
    The 'English' of England is the trunk - America is just one of its branches [others include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa etc.,], being a colony of quite recent making.
    So we disagree there.
    We also disagree about "accidents of birth", as I believe that it is certainly a matter of fate and destiny where, when and to whom we are born.
    But disagreement is fine in my book.

    It was Churchill I think, who coined the phrase that Britain and America were "divided by a common language"; and this may go towards helping to understand our divergent perspectives on the subject-matter of this thread.

    However, it is you who have introduced the vocabulary of "fight" into what was hitherto (for me and others here, judging by their 'thanks') a productive debate.

    So I say once more that it is you who, with this injudicious and off-topic post of yours, have introduced a 'bickering' element, not I.

    I don't why you're leaving reason and decorum behind like this; I don't know why this has stirred your passions so much that your usually sound mind has left its usual way. All I can say is that I had no intention of offending you or of inciting your anger in this way. I thought we were just having an academic discussion. I am sorry for the misunderstanding.
    I am not "angry" and have never been angry; I am not "offended", and never have been offended.
    I have not acted without "decorum".
    Nor am I without "sound mind" or "reason".

    Please give evidence of these slurs or withdraw them.

    "Passionate"? - I am no more or less passionate than usual. But then I wouldn't be on Skadi if I had no 'passion', would I?
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: Returning English to its Anglo-Saxon Roots

    Maybe this little misunderstanding can be allowed to slip aside if I add my personal request that it not be dwelt on any further? I know what it's like when you feel something ought to get a reaction in this kicking the ball back and forth game, but maybe if a third party asks for an armistice...?
    Quote Originally Posted by Moody Lawless View Post
    IThe 'English' of England is the trunk - America is just one of its branches [others include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa etc.,], being a colony of quite recent making.
    So we disagree there.
    Me too. As much as I'm glad to hear of an English identity being preserved in the Americas, I can't allow this to infringe upon the unique identity of those who stayed home. Prodigal sons...

    Our very name is already under threat from others who would seek to take it from us, so if colonial cousins were to start claiming it vociferously, a lot of people would get terribly confused, and perhaps even resentful about it. Can we agree on a kind of "sub-genus" within the NWGermanic genus of the Germanic Family? Maybe "super-species" would be more accurate?

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    Re: Returning English to its Anglo-Saxon Roots

    It would be perhaps truer to say, at least in this thread which concerns the returning to Anglo-Saxon roots, that the language of Angeln, "Sachsen" and Jutland formed the "Trunk" (perhaps never fully single) and nearly immediately began a prolific and intense history of branchings.

    Wherefore, one cannot I think easily defend the position that British English has not undergone so much change since the 17th century -- at least when put side by side with American English. Both have changed about equally and to a great extent separately. Scottish English (though I think not Scots, which is of earlier distinction) can be included in the discussion of this divergence from a common tongue.

    Comparing the deviation from AD 1650 of the standard spoken English of both countries would take one through many winding histories and crossings-over, mutual influences and respective and exclusive epidemics of word and phrase. Rural dialects in both lands have hid from many of these deleterious phenomena, but have more lately fallen to the ever-flattening power of mass media.

    The eventual melting of the many "Englishes" in the emergent Proto-American populace, in the context of a wild, democratic and comparatively egalitarian society, with goodly shares of new English-speakers of Germanic background (they often clung to the more familiar cognates in Anglo-Saxon English), seems to have had the favorable effect of holding onto older uses and throwing out the peripheral or innovative ones, and above all of reining in the influence of insular Norman-English with its associated tyrannies and despotism. Also, it seems that the effect of early American primers and spellers was reformative in spirit and encouraged arguably older pronunciations of latin-based vocabulary by prescribing, for example, rhotic pronunciation and more even syllabic length, such as in many words ending in "-ory" and "-ary"; such reforms in some ways almost hark back to an English preceding 1650.

    American Engish is considered especially conservative in its phonology. Conservatism is also a feature of many colonial languages of non-native populaces.


    Quote Originally Posted by Moody Lawless View Post
    The 'English' of England is the trunk - America is just one of its branches [others include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa etc.,], being a colony of quite recent making.
    So we disagree there.
    We also disagree about "accidents of birth", as I believe that it is certainly a matter of fate and destiny where, when and to whom we are born.
    But disagreement is fine in my book.

    It was Churchill I think, who coined the phrase that Britain and America were "divided by a common language"; and this may go towards helping to understand our divergent perspectives on the subject-matter of this thread.

    However, it is you who have introduced the vocabulary of "fight" into what was hitherto (for me and others here, judging by their 'thanks') a productive debate.

    So I say once more that it is you who, with this injudicious and off-topic post of yours, have introduced a 'bickering' element, not I.



    I am not "angry" and have never been angry; I am not "offended", and never have been offended.
    I have not acted without "decorum".
    Nor am I without "sound mind" or "reason".

    Please give evidence of these slurs or withdraw them.

    "Passionate"? - I am no more or less passionate than usual. But then I wouldn't be on Skadi if I had no 'passion', would I?

    From Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_English

    Phonology

    This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers, and should be edited to rectify this.
    Please improve the article, or discuss the issue on the talk page.
    Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. See IPA chart for English for a pronunciation key.
    In many ways, compared to British English, American English is conservative in its phonology. Dialect in North America is most distinctive on the East Coast of the continent; this is largely because these areas were in contact with England, and imitated prestigious varieties of British English at a time when those varieties were undergoing changes. The interior of the country was settled by people who were no longer closely connected to England, as they had no access to the ocean during a time when journeys to Britain were always by sea. As such, the inland speech is much more homogeneous than the East Coast speech and did not imitate the changes in speech from England.

    The red areas are those where non-rhotic pronunciations are found among some whites in the United States. AAVE-influenced non-rhotic pronunciations may be found among blacks throughout the country.[2]


    Most North American speech is rhotic, as English was in most places in the 17th century. Rhoticity was further supported by Hiberno-English, Scottish English, and West Country English. In most varieties of North American English, the sound corresponding to the letter "R" is a retroflex or alveolar approximant rather than a trill or a tap. The loss of syllable-final r in North America is confined mostly to the accents of eastern New England, New York City and surrounding areas, South Philadelphia, and the coastal portions of the South. Dropping of syllable-final r sometimes happens in natively rhotic dialects if r is located in unaccented syllables or words and the next syllable or word begins in a consonant. In England, lost 'r' was often changed into [ə] (schwa), giving rise to a new class of falling diphthongs. Furthermore, the 'er' sound of (stressed) fur or (unstressed) butter, which is represented in IPA as stressed [ɝ] or unstressed [ɚ] is realized in American English as a monophthongal r-colored vowel. This does not happen in the non-rhotic varieties of North American speech.
    Some other British English changes in which most North American dialects do not participate:
    • The shift of [æ] to [ɑ] (the so-called "broad A") before [f], [s], [θ], [ð], [z], [v] alone or preceded by [n]. This is the difference between the British Received Pronunciation and American pronunciation of bath and dance. In the United States, only linguistically conservative eastern New England speakers took up this innovation, which is becoming increasingly rare even there.
    • The shift of intervocalic [t] to glottal stop [ʔ], as in /bɒʔəl/ for bottle. This change is not universal for British English (and in fact is not considered to be part of Received Pronunciation), but it does not occur in most North American dialects. Newfoundland English and the dialect of New Britain, Connecticut are notable exceptions.
    On the other hand, North American English has undergone some sound changes not found in Britain, at least not in standard varieties. Many of these are instances of phonemic differentiation and include:
    • The merger of [ɑ] and [ɒ], making father and bother rhyme. This change is nearly universal in North American English, occurring almost everywhere except for parts of eastern New England, like the Boston accent.
    • The replacement of the lot vowel with the strut vowel in most utterances of the words was, of, from, what, everybody, nobody, somebody, anybody, because, and in some dialects want.
    • The merger of [ɒ] and [ɔ]. This is the so-called cot-caught merger, where cot and caught are homophones. This change has occurred in eastern New England, in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, and from the Great Plains westward.
    • Vowel merger before intervocalic /r/. Which (if any) vowels are affected varies between dialects.
    • The merger of [ʊɹ] and [ɝ] after palatals in some words, so that cure, pure, mature and sure rhyme with fir in some speech registers for some speakers.
    • Dropping of [j] after alveolar consonants so that new, duke, Tuesday, suit, resume, lute are pronounced /nuː/, /duːk/, /tuːzdeɪ/, /suːt/, /ɹɪzuːm/, /luːt/.
    • æ-tensing in environments that vary widely from accent to accent. In some accents, particularly those from Philadelphia to New York City, [æ] and [eə] can even contrast sometimes, as in Yes, I can [kæn] vs. tin can [keən].
    • Laxing of /e/, /i/ and /u/ to /ɛ/, /ɪ/ and /ʊ/ before /ɹ/, causing pronunciations like [pɛɹ], [pɪɹ] and [pjʊɹ] for pair, peer and pure.
    • The flapping of intervocalic /t/ and /d/ to alveolar tap [ɾ] before reduced vowels. The words ladder and latter are mostly or entirely homophonous, though distinguished by some speakers by a lengthened vowel preceding an underlying 'd'. For some speakers, the merger is incomplete and 't' before a reduced vowel is sometimes not tapped following [eɪ] or [ɪ] when it represents underlying 't'; thus greater and grader are distinguished. Even among those words where /t/ and /d/ are flapped, words that would otherwise be homophonous are, for some speakers, distinguished if the flapping is immediately preceded by the diphthongs /ɑɪ/ or /ɑʊ/; these speakers tend to pronounce writer with [əɪ] and rider with [ɑɪ]. This is called Canadian raising; it is general in Canadian English, and occurs in some northerly versions of American English as well (often just applying to the diphthong /ɑɪ/, but not to /ɑʊ/).
    • Both intervocalic /nt/ and /n/ may be realized as [n] or [ɾ̃], making winter and winner homophones. This does not occur when the second syllable is stressed, as in entail.
    • The pin-pen merger, by which [ɛ] is raised to [ɪ] before nasal consonants, making pairs like pen/pin homophonous. This merger originated in Southern American English but is now found in parts of the Midwest and West as well.
    Some mergers found in most varieties of both American and British English include:
    • The horse-hoarse merger of the vowels [ɔ] and [oʊ] before 'r', making pairs like horse/hoarse, corps/core, for/four, morning/mourning etc. homophones.
    • The wine-whine merger making pairs like wine/whine, wet/whet, Wales/whales, wear/where etc. homophones, in most cases eliminating /ʍ/, the voiceless labiovelar fricative. Many older varieties of southern and western American English still keep these distinct, but the merger appears to be spreading.

    ...

    English words that survived in the U.S.

    A number of words and meanings that originated in Middle English or Early Modern English and that always have been in everyday use in the U.S. dropped out in most varieties of British English. Outside of North America, many of these words and meanings (some of which have cognates in Lowland Scots) either remained as regionalisms or were later brought back, to various extents, especially in the second half of the 20th century; these, for instance, include: mad "angry," hire "to employ," quit "to stop" (witness quitter), smart "intelligent," dirt "loose soil," guess "to suppose," dampen, oftentimes, supplemental, overly, presently "currently," meet with "to have a meeting with," baggage, hit (a place), and the verbs squire and loan. Others are no longer in common use in Britain and are often regarded as Americanisms; for example, fall "autumn," gotten (past participle of get), sick (in general use meaning "ill"), obligate, acclimate, doghouse, broil, rider "passenger," sidewalk, pavement "road surface," faucet, spigot, coverall, necktie, range "cookstove," letter carrier, attorney "lawyer," misdemeanor (law), teller (in a bank), crib (for a child), plat, pillow "cushion," pocketbook, monkey wrench, candy, night table, to name for, station house, wastebasket, skillet, raise (a child), and diaper; some of these originated in 19th century Britain.
    The mandative subjunctive (as in "the City Attorney suggested that the matter not be tabled") is livelier in North American English than it is in British English; it appears in some areas as a spoken usage, and is considered obligatory in more formal contexts.

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    Senior Member Moody's Avatar
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    Re: Returning English to its Anglo-Saxon Roots

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordgau View Post
    That was good, as they really exaggerated it with French stuff etc. in that time in Germany.
    But English is in a different position to German in terms of French influence, for example.

    While English is at bottom a 'Germanic' language it has long been interwoven with French influence, so much so that the brilliant poet, essayist, multi-linguist and fascist, Ezra Pound, regarded English and French as being 'one language'.
    This is a way of saying that the French influence is not superficial enough to be simply excised - it is ingrained [and has been incorporated].

    When the greatest writers in a language set the standard of the language itself - in this case English, which is strongly influenced by French, for example - cf., Chaucer and Shakespeare - one can no longer simply cut out their deepest influences and leave the language intact.
    German isn't comparable to English in this respect.

    This is the problem faced by those wanting to return English to its [pre-Conquest] Anglo-Saxon roots.

    By the way, the word morphology was coined by Goethe, I believe (Morphologie). At least I remember having read that somewhere ...
    The word is from Greek, of course, because it describes a methodology first undertaken by the Greeks [and then developed by the Romans]. This is why all our grammatical terms derive from Latin.
    Morphology
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphology_(linguistics)

    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric View Post
    we can actually go back to OE...
    ... In an effort to return, we just can't go any further than where we know we've been. And the earliest attested linguistic variety that the English have spoken of which there is evidence of the full language is OE (the language of earlier runic inscriptions is not sufficiently attested for us to understand it as an entire language). That is why OE is the stop-point in an attempt to return English to its roots. OE consists of the deepest roots we can find.
    In the sense that there is evidence of continuity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    As much as I'm glad to hear of an English identity being preserved in the Americas, I can't allow this to infringe upon the unique identity of those who stayed home.
    There is a serious point here; English is a language with a Homeland; England is the Homeland. Therefore it is the spiritual centre of the language and of the English people. Those who want to defend the language should also want to defend the Homeland at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theudanaz View Post
    It would be perhaps truer to say, at least in this thread which concerns the returning to Anglo-Saxon roots, that the language of Angeln, "Sachsen" and Jutland formed the "Trunk" (perhaps never fully single) and nearly immediately began a prolific and intense history of branchings.
    I disagree; the roots of the English language may have been in Angeln [and this is not an historical certainty - see also the point made by Leofric above concerning the necessity of 'continuity'], but the "trunk" of the tree of English is in England.

    English grew and developed in England for a whole millennia before the English took the language out to the colonies [the branches] they founded or took over. By that time, the hybrid nature of English had been firmly established.


    Comparing the deviation from AD 1650 of the standard spoken English of both countries would take one through many winding histories and crossings-over, mutual influences and respective and exclusive epidemics of word and phrase. Rural dialects in both lands have hid from many of these deleterious phenomena, but have more lately fallen to the ever-flattening power of mass media.
    This Modern Period [17th century - 21st century] is a relatively short if one looks at the whole long history of the English language, from Old English, to Middle English, to Elizabethan English and so on.
    It is also a period which saw the invention of the mass-media [particularly in America] which in itself has caused the 'flattening' you speak of.

    This is why British English has far greater variation in its dialects and accents within its small island than does America, despite the latter being a massive continent with many times the population of Britain.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: Returning English to its Anglo-Saxon Roots

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody Lawless View Post
    This is a smear tactic, and as it is made on an open forum I ask politely that you substantiate it - or withdraw it.
    You want my assessment of the situation withdrawn? Fine. Consider it withdrawn.

    The record of the thread can speak for itself.

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    Re: AW: Returning English to its Anglo-Saxon Roots

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordgau View Post
    Achtung/achten is much more an actual synonym for Respekt/respektieren than Furcht/fürchten.

    Noted: however, this, as a native speaker, I'm sure you know is contextual; with Achtung typically more synonymous to the English "attention" as in one ought to "pay attention" loosly associated to "danger" with both being contextually synonymous to Gefahr.


    Speaking of the question if German should be "cleansed": that job was already done. In early modern times there was quite a flood of "alien talk" in Germany, apart from Greco-Latin highbrow speech especially of French, but in the 17th, 18th and 19th century many Fremdwörter (foreign words; that we call such, what is in English "hard words", says already much about their "status" in the language and their perception by the speakers) replaced by German words or given German synonyms through the good work of language "purists", or they were pushed bayk if just voguish and unnecessary jargon. That was good, as they really exaggerated it with French stuff etc. in that time in Germany.

    Here for example some creations and Germanisations ...

    ...of words that (for the most) did not previously exist or correspond to German thought.


    Here some by Johann Heinrich Campe:

    etc.



    Not that German was completely cleansed from Fremdwörter, and that's also not something I'd see as a desirable goal

    Noted!

    --but if it's not something like a technical-scientific special language, it is quite easy to write a German relatively free of Fremdwörter if one prefers to refuse the sphere of foreign words ...

    Very true.

    By the way, the word morphology was coined by Goethe, I believe (Morphologie). At least I remember having read that somewhere ...

    Quite right...in a way: Etymology: German Morphologie, from morph- + -logie -logy:

    ([From Greek morph, form, shape] + [Middle English -logie, from Old French, from Latin -logia, from Greek -logi(from logos, word, speech. See leg- in Indo-European Roots), and from -logos, one who deals with (from legein, to speak. See leg- in Indo-European Roots).])
    "...The moral man is a lower species than the immoral, a weaker species; indeed - he is a type in regard to morality, but not a type in himself; a copy...the measure of his value lies outside him. ... I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage; I do not account the evil and painful character of existence a reproach to it, but hope rather that it will one day be more evil and painful than hitherto..." (Nietzsche)

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    Re: @ Suut

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leofric
    OE and ON actually existed and are attested.


    Then let us speak ON (?).


    Well, we could if we wanted. We couldn't speak any linguistic variety from which it sprang, though. But it didn't seem to me that anyone was advocating speaking OE (which seems to have been a different dialect of the same language of which ON was a dialect — it's not like ON > OE) in this thread. It seems like it's about making ModE more like OE than it is in terms of its lexicon.

    The question is still begged if it is a 'return to' "roots"; or, is a 'to return to' "roots", or 'return roots to' thread.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leofric
    PIE is an artifical construct of the 20th century (it changed more in the 20th century than the various IE languages had changed since they split apart). It is not certain that there ever was a PIE language


    Point taken. However, PIE is a theoretical reconstruction; not an "artificial construct."


    I'm not certain what you're getting at by refusing to accept that it's a construct.

    From the OED:

    Quote:
    construct. Anything constructed, esp. by the mind; hence spec., a concept specially devised to be part of a theory.

    All reconstructions, being constructed, are constructs (though admittedly, not all constructs are reconstructions), and in this case, construct seems a particularly apt word to describe the thing so described — it is a concept specially devised to be a part of a theory.

    "Construct" also implies assembled, built, cast, coined, conceived, concocted, constructed, cooked-up, crafted, created, custom, custom-built, custom-made, discovered, extracted, fabulous, fancied, fantasied, fantastic, fashioned, fictional, fictitious, figmental, forged, formed, gathered, grown, handcrafted, handmade, harvested, hatched, homemade, homespun, invented, legendary, machine-made, machined, made, made to order, made-up, man-made, manufactured, milled, mined, minted, molded, mythical, new-minted, originated, prefab, prefabricated, processed, put together, put-up, raised, ready-for-wear, ready-formed, ready-made, ready-prepared, ready-to-wear, refined, shaped, smelted, trumped-up, well-built, well-constructed, well-made etc.

    However, you qualified it with "artificial" which, when someone is on the 'other side of an argument' ("argument" used here in the logical, non-pejorative sense) implies an 'against'. Therefore, the assumption was made that you did not mean "artificial" in the sense of "artefactum" but in the manner of Gongoresque, Gongoristic, Marinistic, affected, apocryphal, assumed, bastard, bogus, brummagem, colorable, colored, concocted, contrived, counterfeit, counterfeited, cute, distorted, dressed up, dummy, elaborate, elaborated, embellished, embroidered, ersatz, euphuistic, fabricated, factitious, fake, faked, false, falsified, fashioned, feigned, fictitious, fictive, forced, garbled, goody-goody, high-sounding, histrionic, hollow, hyperelegant, illegitimate, imitation, insincere, junky, la-di-da, labored, made, made-up, make-believe, man-made, maniere, mannered, manufactured, meretricious, mincing, mock, overacted, overdone, overelaborate, overelegant, overnice, overrefined, painted, papier-mache, perverted, phony, pinchbeck, plastic, precieuse, precieux, precious, pretend, pretended, pretentious, pseudo, put-on, quaint, quasi, queer, self-styled, sham, shoddy, simpering, simulated, so-called, soi-disant, spurious, stagy, studied, substitute, supposititious, synthetic, theatrical, tin, tinsel, titivated, twisted, unauthentic, ungenuine, unnatural, unreal, warped, etc.

    Which, by basic psychology, I think is more along the lines of what you meant; ergo, my correction.

    Part of the theory underpinning PIE is the idea that all IE languages are descended from a single linguistic variety. PIE purports to be a reconstruction (yes) of that linguistic variety. But whether or not all IE languages did in fact descend from one single linguistic variety is a matter of controversy, as I have already pointed out. So whether there was ever anything that PIE could be a reconstruction of is equally controversial (this does not follow). So calling PIE a reconstruction assumes the end from the beginning. Calling it a construct (which is a less-specific term) is undeniable — whether it is a reconstruction or not, it is certainly a construct.

    You are quite right about PIE: it is a "construct" in the sense of ''artefactum''.

    You also seem to disagree with my calling it artificial. I don't see why. You suggest that theoretical is a better label. It seems to me that all theories are the products of artifice. It is true that something could be artificial without being theoretical, but nothing can be theoretical without being artifical. Again, I was not being as specific. But certainly theoretical would work.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leofric
    ...

    I see a clear line between a historically attested, empirically verifiable language and a hypothetical

    ("hypothetical" or "artificial"?) Quote:
    construct
    (?). Quote:
    So for me, there is clearly no possibility of infinite regression in this regard.


    Well, all theories are hypotheses, by definition, just as all hypotheses are artificial, so if it is theoretical, then it is also hypothetical and artificial. We both agree that it's theoretical. We might as well both acknowledge that it's also hypothetical and also artificial, by definition.

    This is not true nor does this follow: THEORY implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth.

    ...
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suut
    ... The salient point is the questions that are begged by the project (which I support[!], but just don't fully follow why AS is the stop-point when it did not generate itself).

    ...we have no evidence beyond the language recorded by the earliest runic inscriptions of anything from which it sprang. So we can actually go back to OE. We, as moderns, can't go back to PIE, though, since we ourselves created (?) PIE.

    Red-Herring; and, missing the point.


    Now of course we can make ModE more like our PIE creation (?[contruct? Reconstruction? Artifice?]), but that wouldn't be returning anything to anything. (but, this is controversial.) In an effort to return, we just can't go any further than where we know we've been. And the earliest attested linguistic variety that the English have spoken of which there is evidence of the full language is OE (the language of earlier runic inscriptions is not sufficiently attested for us to understand it as an entire language). That is why OE is the stop-point in an attempt to return English to its roots. OE consists of the deepest roots we can find.

    Even if you are speaking of only the 'roots' of AS/OE, this is false; or, and at the least, controversial, as ON is purported as the elder tounge.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leofric
    We can go no further back than the runes — at least until we do some more archeology.

    And by that fact comes the infinite regression regardless of the finite amount of information we are able to verify: we know (don't we?) that eventually we get to grunts, groans, and body language.


    You know, we don't know any such thing. We can guess, but we really don't know.

    An epistemology can (and has) been put forth that is as sound of our theory of Gravity.

    Archeological findings seem to suggest that man has been able to speak for a hundred thousand years.

    'Speak' what though Leofric?

    We don't know the first thing about how the first languages would have been.

    Were they better exemplars of the purpose of language in their definitively archaic state?

    Our efforts in reconstructing languages have never been able to go back any further than ten thousand years.

    True! This is the marker for PIE, not OE (a medieval dialect).

    For all we know, our first ancestors capable of speech might have become so capable because they were beamed aboard alien spaceships, mutated by alien technology, taught language, and then returned to earth. We just have absolutely no idea whatsoever. All we can do is guess.

    We can do better: we can deduce.

    The guess that language developed from grunts as just as valid as the guess that it's the result of some primeval alien abduction.

    Really?

    The possibility of infinite regression in an artificial attempt to return to our linguistic roots will always be limited by our knowledge of where we've been. We can't try to return to a place unless we know we've been there. We can try to go there. We can unwittingly return there (if we happen to have been there but don't know it). But we cannot, through artifice, attempt to return there.

    Red-Herring; and, missing the point.

    If our knowledge were to increase, then we might be able to really return to something prior to OE. Otherwise, any such attempt is impossible.

    Only if one arbitrarily (not capriciously) stops at AS/OE.

    I happen to know a thing or two about Linguistics. I happen to know a little more about Philosophy.

    I do not want to derail this thread: as I think, and have witnesed, investigations into "purity" and "authenticty" are/as a doorway to Arya--therefore my support.

    I believe (you'll notice that this is a word I seldom use) that you are fully equipped to understand the fallacies that have been pointed out to you.

    You might take heed of thiedisher's response to the points that have been made prior even to this post.

    He, by his response, is on a path out of the infinite regression by a triumph of the will that leaves logic behind him in a defensible way:

    "I myself enjoy Anglo-Saxon English and am a linguistic purist, no matter what the language in question may be. Yes, the re-anglo-saxonization of English is a daunting and ultimately unecessary endeavor. This however does not mean that I shouldn't pursue this goal.

    When I look at the history of English, I cannot help but wonder what it might have looked like had not the Norman Conquest taken place. And this is a very exciting thought! As someone who deeply loves Teutondom, the temptation to give my language back some of its Germanic character is irresistible."

    Hitler, Himmler, Rosenberg etc. all dodged infinite regressions in an agnate way--almost an innumerable amount of times.

    You have not.
    "...The moral man is a lower species than the immoral, a weaker species; indeed - he is a type in regard to morality, but not a type in himself; a copy...the measure of his value lies outside him. ... I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage; I do not account the evil and painful character of existence a reproach to it, but hope rather that it will one day be more evil and painful than hitherto..." (Nietzsche)

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    Re: Returning English to its Anglo-Saxon Roots

    "...The moral man is a lower species than the immoral, a weaker species; indeed - he is a type in regard to morality, but not a type in himself; a copy...the measure of his value lies outside him. ... I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage; I do not account the evil and painful character of existence a reproach to it, but hope rather that it will one day be more evil and painful than hitherto..." (Nietzsche)

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    Re: @ Suut

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut View Post
    "Construct" also implies assembled, built, cast, coined, conceived, concocted, constructed, cooked-up, crafted, created, custom, custom-built, custom-made, discovered, extracted, fabulous, fancied, fantasied, fantastic, fashioned, fictional, fictitious, figmental, forged, formed, gathered, grown, handcrafted, handmade, harvested, hatched, homemade, homespun, invented, legendary, machine-made, machined, made, made to order, made-up, man-made, manufactured, milled, mined, minted, molded, mythical, new-minted, originated, prefab, prefabricated, processed, put together, put-up, raised, ready-for-wear, ready-formed, ready-made, ready-prepared, ready-to-wear, refined, shaped, smelted, trumped-up, well-built, well-constructed, well-made etc.
    To deny that PIE is many of these things, if one has a knowledge of PIE and its development, would be dishonest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    However, you qualified it with "artificial" which, when someone is on the 'other side of an argument' ("argument" used here in the logical, non-pejorative sense) implies an 'against'. Therefore, the assumption was made that you did not mean "artificial" in the sense of "artefactum" but in the manner of Gongoresque, Gongoristic, Marinistic, affected, apocryphal, assumed, bastard, bogus, brummagem, colorable, colored, concocted, contrived, counterfeit, counterfeited, cute, distorted, dressed up, dummy, elaborate, elaborated, embellished, embroidered, ersatz, euphuistic, fabricated, factitious, fake, faked, false, falsified, fashioned, feigned, fictitious, fictive, forced, garbled, goody-goody, high-sounding, histrionic, hollow, hyperelegant, illegitimate, imitation, insincere, junky, la-di-da, labored, made, made-up, make-believe, man-made, maniere, mannered, manufactured, meretricious, mincing, mock, overacted, overdone, overelaborate, overelegant, overnice, overrefined, painted, papier-mache, perverted, phony, pinchbeck, plastic, precieuse, precieux, precious, pretend, pretended, pretentious, pseudo, put-on, quaint, quasi, queer, self-styled, sham, shoddy, simpering, simulated, so-called, soi-disant, spurious, stagy, studied, substitute, supposititious, synthetic, theatrical, tin, tinsel, titivated, twisted, unauthentic, ungenuine, unnatural, unreal, warped, etc.
    I'm sorry you chose to assume that I did not mean what I said — but I don't think I can be held responsible for such assumptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Which, by basic psychology, I think is more along the lines of what you meant; ergo, my correction.
    I think that would be an unwise assumption.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Part of the theory underpinning PIE is the idea that all IE languages are descended from a single linguistic variety. PIE purports to be a reconstruction (yes) of that linguistic variety. But whether or not all IE languages did in fact descend from one single linguistic variety is a matter of controversy, as I have already pointed out. So whether there was ever anything that PIE could be a reconstruction of is equally controversial (this does not follow).
    Can you explain how that doesn't follow? I sure don't see it, myself.

    You are quite right about PIE: it is a "construct" in the sense of ''artefactum''.
    I know. That's why I said it. That's also why I couldn't understand your problem with it. Of course, now that I know you were making false and not-wholly-grounded assumptions about what I was thinking, I understand your confusion better.


    This is not true nor does this follow: THEORY implies a greater range of evidence and greater likelihood of truth.
    From the OED:
    theory. A scheme or system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.

    In loose or general sense: A hypothesis proposed as an explanation; hence, a mere hypothesis, speculation, conjecture; an idea or set of ideas about something; an individual view or notion.
    Note that both definitions define theory as "a hypothesis," whether they add extra qualifications or not.

    According to the OED then, a theory is a hypothesis, though perhaps a hypothesis of a special nature, just as a Navy Seal is a seaman but of a special nature. To say that a Seal is a seaman is not untrue, even though he is more skilled and qualified than the average seaman. To say that a theory is hypothetical is not untrue, even though it may be more widely accepted than the average hypothesis.

    And I'm sure I don't need to explain how hypotheses are artificial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    ON is purported as the elder tounge.
    This is false. ON is not older than OE. They are contemporaneous developments from the language attested in the earliest runic inscriptions; they are sister languages on the same generation, both derived from common Northwest Germanic.

    If anything, OE would more likely be considered the older language, since it was attested earlier. However, the extent to which OE and ON can even be said to be different languages is likely minimal. It appears to be more likely that they were different dialects of the same language.

    And as I said before, OE is not derived from ON; no expert in the field would even try to suggest otherwise. It is absolutely not the case that the roots of OE are found in ON, or that we could go back beyond OE to ON, as you seem to suggest. That's just patently false.

    An epistemology can (and has) been put forth that is as sound of our theory of Gravity.
    Evidence?

    'Speak' what though Leofric?
    No one has any idea. That's my point. How can we wittingly go back infinitely to something of which we have no idea? We can go no further than what we know.

    Were they better exemplars of the purpose of language in their definitively archaic state?
    Who knows? Could be! Maybe not! There is absolutely no way of knowing whatsoever without getting better archeology.

    Some people assume that earlier languages, spoken by people with a more primitve archeology, were likely more primitive languages. Examining the languages of technologically primitive cultures today, however, leads people to think otherwise, since there seems to exist an inverse relationship between primitivity in technology and primitivity in language.

    It is very possible that languages spoken during the first 90% of humans' speaking time were far more intricate and capable than anything we have today.

    To assume that languages has gotten more and more advanced over time and that, in the remote past, they must have been little more than gestures and grunts is to make an uninformed and ill-grounded assumption indeed. People who actually study the matter tend to figure that that assumption is almost certainly false.

    We can do better: we can deduce.
    WAGs and SWAGs.

    Seriously though, deductions that are extrapolations from empirical evidence can only have so much weight and can only go so far. We have deduced that we are just about completely incapable of deducing anything about the first nine-tenths of man's linguistic heritage.

    Any statement we try to make about those first 90,000 years is so likely to be wrong as to place it irrevocably in the field of guesswork — regardless of how proud we might be of our ability to reason out our guesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Quote Originally Posted by Leofric
    The guess that language developed from grunts as just as valid as the guess that it's the result of some primeval alien abduction.
    Really?
    Yes. Really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Red-Herring; and, missing the point.
    That's the second time you've said this. What in the world is your point, then?

    I thought your point was that going back for the sake of going back would lead to an infinite regression.

    I have been trying to tell you what prevents that infinite regression.

    If I've missed your point, why don't you explain what your point is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    Only if one arbitrarily (not capriciously) stops at AS/OE.
    There's nothing arbitrary about it. You try to go past OE and you hit a dead end. End of story.

    What's arbitrary about deciding to stop at the point at which you can go no further?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    I happen to know a thing or two about Linguistics. I happen to know a little more about Philosophy.
    I'm not interested in an ethical appeal. I like logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    I do not want to derail this thread:
    Then what were your intentions when you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut View Post
    I've followed this thread, almost, from inception and keep waiting for some sort of understanding to fall out of the sky and doink me straight as to not only why there is such importance placed on an implied linguistic 'purity' of AS; but, and also, how such a purity could ever be so well demonstrated. Moreover: does no one smell the infinite regression here?

    Why stop at Anglo-Saxon?

    Why stop at ON?

    Why not go back, etiologically, as far as is humanly possible, to all PIE and Aryan roots that can be verified? Such as Vedic Sanskrit, the liturgical language of the historical Vedic religion, which is one of the earliest attested members of the IE language familiy, with the language of the Rigveda being the oldest and most archaic stage preserved?

    The stop at Anglo-Saxon almost indicates a fetish, of sorts. While not capricious, the 'putting-down' of one's spade at this etymological marker is most definately arbitrary. One can no more say that stopping at AS is more valuable than one can say that if we were to all go aroung and start speaking Rigveda, some sort of more general 'cleansing' would take place. What, exactly, would changing our current colloquial or academic englisc lexicon do for us, ultimately?
    That seems like an attempt to question — and even cast into doubt — the very basis for the thread, the idea underpinning the whole project, the rails on which the train of thought rides. It seems very much like an attempt to derail the thread.

    I have been trying to point out to you that your cause for so questioning is misguided. You say, "why not go back as far as is humanly possible?" I have been trying to tell you that OE is as far as is humanly possible. Sometimes when I have tried to tell you that, you have even responded by saying that I'm missing the point.

    So again, what is your point with all of this? If you're not trying to derail the thread, what are you trying to do? And if you're not trying to find out why we really should stop at OE (the earliest fully attested ancestor of ModE), then why did you jump in to ask why we should stop at OE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suut
    You might take heed of thiedisher's response to the points that have been made prior even to this post.

    He, by his response, is on a path out of the infinite regression by a triumph of the will that leaves logic behind him in a defensible way:

    "I myself enjoy Anglo-Saxon English and am a linguistic purist, no matter what the language in question may be. Yes, the re-anglo-saxonization of English is a daunting and ultimately unecessary endeavor. This however does not mean that I shouldn't pursue this goal.

    When I look at the history of English, I cannot help but wonder what it might have looked like had not the Norman Conquest taken place. And this is a very exciting thought! As someone who deeply loves Teutondom, the temptation to give my language back some of its Germanic character is irresistible."

    Hitler, Himmler, Rosenberg etc. all dodged infinite regressions in an agnate way--almost an innumerable amount of times.

    You have not.
    No, I have not left logic behind. There's no need to. I've been sticking to empiricism. You may disagree fundamentally with empiricism. If so, you're certainly welcome to your beliefs. I won't be joining you there, though.

    We know, empirically, that OE existed and that it was a full language and that it was the ancestor of ModE. We do not have adequate evidence of any ancestor to OE.

    The immediate ancestor to OE was most likely the language of the earliest runic inscriptions. This language was presumably the ancestor of all Northwest Germanic languages. Unfortunately, there are not enough runic trnascriptions from before the Wandering Period for us to have a full understanding of how that language worked. So we can't really go back to that on any solid empirical footing.

    The immediate ancestor to that language was PGmc, which was also ancestor to East Germanic. We don't have any attestation of it whatsoever.

    The immediate ancestor to that language is totally unknown. The current consensus (based on computer analysis of linguistic corpora) seems to be that it was a language that was ancestral to both the Germanic languages and the Slavic languages. But the proponents of that theory are quick to admit that it's just a guess (even if it is a SWAG).

    It has been suggested and is widely believed that somewhere back there, there was a single language that was a common ancestor to all the Indic, Iranian, and European languages (with the exception of a few European languages, like Euskera or Magyar). That may or may not be a correct suggestion. It has been soundly contested in recent years, and many are starting to see that it may have been premature to assume that all these language descended from a common source — an assumption heavily based on the development of the various Romance langauges from Latin.

    When we talk about going back to OE, we're talking about going back to something we really know (empirically). When we talk about going back further than that, we're talking about going to something that we don't know about (empirically).

    There's nothing arbitrary about sticking to what you can actually witness.

    Again, if you think empiricism is arbitrary, then you're welcome to that belief — but as I said, I won't be joining you in it.

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