Evolution of language
Posted: 24 October 2017 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
Moderator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  230
Joined  2007-02-24

I ran across a perfect definition of myself today. It is in the first paragraph of a “Quora” article by Ed Robertson:

“Languages spoken by humans evolve and change through time, but they are not evolving from being simple to being complex. No language stays the same from one generation to the next. They change, mostly imperceptibly, until one day some grumpy old man or woman grumbles that young people don’t speak “properly” any more.”

http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-primitive-language-being-spoken-till-now

I am the grumpy old man.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6297
Joined  2007-01-03

I was most surprised by the claim at the end of the article about there being several thousand native speakers of Esperanto. But it turns out to be true. I never would have guessed. It’s a big world out there, and I suppose anything can have a few thousand adherents.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 04:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1503
Joined  2007-02-14

By “native speakers” would they mean people for whom it is a first language, learned from their parent?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Moderator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  230
Joined  2007-02-24

I would assume that “native speakers” would be those who speak the “native language”, the language of the country someone is born in or a native of.

Regarding Esperanto:
I didn’t know that a language using parts of different European languages even existed. And the fact that the number of people speaking it as their native language is growing rather fast might suggest that some day it may become the native language of all or most of Europe.

[ Edited: 25 October 2017 07:48 PM by Eyehawk ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4491
Joined  2007-01-29

I didn’t know that there were people who’d never heard of Esperanto!  As Dave says, it’s a big world out there.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3968
Joined  2007-02-26
Eyehawk - 25 October 2017 05:27 AM

I didn’t know that a language using parts of different European languages even existed. And the fact that the number of people speaking it as their native language is growing rather fast might suggest that some day it may become the native language of all or most Europe.

What are you talking about?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Moderator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  230
Joined  2007-02-24

In case you are not kidding:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/esperanto

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6297
Joined  2007-01-03

I would assume that “native speakers” would be those who speak the “native language”, the language of the country someone is born in or a native of.

Faldage is right. “Native speaker” usually refers to the language spoken at home, the one first learned from their parents. A person growing up in a Spanish-speaking household in Texas (a not uncommon situation among my students) is a native Spanish speaker. In this case, it’s people whose parents used Esperanto at home, and that’s the language they first learned.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3968
Joined  2007-02-26
Eyehawk - 25 October 2017 06:56 AM

In case you are not kidding:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/esperanto

I’m not kidding at all. Are _you_ kidding when you say, “the fact that the number of people speaking it as their native language is growing rather fast might suggest that some day it may become the native language of all or most Europe”? There are a few hundred native speakers.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Moderator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  230
Joined  2007-02-24

According to the article I referenced, “...people talking to one another in it has even created a couple of thousand native speakers of it.” Dave posted: “I was most surprised by the claim at the end of the article about there being several thousand native speakers of Esperanto. But it turns out to be true. I never would have guessed.”

I was merely speculating about what possibly could happen. I have learned from this site that language is constantly changing, so just about anything is possible in a thousand years or so.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 October 2017 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3968
Joined  2007-02-26

Okay, sorry to have been truculent. I suppose it is possible.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 October 2017 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2654
Joined  2007-02-19

Esperanto has been in decline for over half a century.  After ww2 several million Japanese learned it, perhaps hoping it would help them back into the peacetime world . instead, English has become the language of international communication. I don’t think anybody really needs Esperanto, but there are always a few hard cases who don’t give up easily.

It’s an easy language to learn and use. There are others similar, Ido Novial Interlingua etc

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 October 2017 05:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4491
Joined  2007-01-29

Esperanto has been in decline for over half a century.

On what basis do you make that statement?

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ Words for the movies      Bum/bummer ››