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md_ wrote

I won't cry over Eteocypriot. We know next to nothing about it, and we can't ever learn it. It's not really "the original language" of the region, let alone the world (which was my initial interpretation of your comment, Proto-Human/World), it's just an arbitrary point in time that happens to be the earliest with written records on the island and that's why we named it "Eteocypriot".

I also don't really buy the stigmatisation of languages that followed as "colonial". Since all of them are colonial, none of them really is. It's just useless as an analytical category, in this context.

I think adopting a common language, maybe a blend of the 2 (which we pretty much already have, to some extent) is the way forward.

Spanish and Chinese? :P

I don't see the point. Language policies aren't enacted without violence, nor they succeed in achieving what they set out to achieve. And you cannot stop language change, like you cannot stop descent with modification. Create an international auxland today, get a dozen divergent varieties a year later.

I would put my effort in organising second language learning classes in autonomous social centres, and creating translation task-forces inside the milieu.


ziq wrote (edited )

I think as long as people that share one land speak different languages, it will be used by hostile external forces to set them against each other. Divide and conquer has been every imperialist's MO.

Language is the biggest divider because we literally don't understand each other. You could force everyone to learn both languages, but that would only work in times of stability where everyone is affluent and educated. As soon as drought, hunger or invasion hits, everything is up in the air. With climate change hitting the region hard, things will get a lot harder to control.

The languages merging could take generations, but I think it's the best hope for lasting peace in the future.

Not that we have any control over it - wasn't suggesting it be a gov policy, just a natural evolution.


md_ wrote (edited )

You could force everyone

Here you have it. That's why I don't consider going "back to the original language", or "establishing a common language".

That's why my proposal is to make the option available, and to be prepared to accommodate speakers of other languages, by translating stuff from one language to the other.

The languages merging

That's not something that happens to natural languages. The closest thing would be creolisation, but that's something that happens in those rare circumstances where there is no common language, and a dire need to communicate. That's not the case in most of the world, because multilingualism is the norm.

Generally, I think that people are attributing too much responsibility to language. Language politics are just an epiphenomenon. Look at former Yugoslavia for a clear cut example. It's not language that divided them. Nationalism did, and only as a consequence they came to think of Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin as different languages.


ziq wrote (edited )

Good points. I'm not sure about languages not merging though; our dialect is very different from mainland Greek and contains countless Turkish words and influences already. But I'm no linguist.


md_ wrote

English is not French, and Japanese is not Chinese, despite heavy borrowing of vocabulary stock from those languages.

Simplifying greatly, a language is the vocabulary + the unconscious language-specific rules to put words into sentences + culturally-dependant nuances on top of the literal meaning.