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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 2005- » 2005 (January-February) » Archive through February 09, 2005 » This you'll never have to learn! :-) « Previous Next »

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Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 604
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Alright, this isn't exactly about Irish but I thought it might make Irish seem somewhat easier. We recently discussed cases in Irish and that the dative is becoming very rare in the spoken language. Most European languages have very few cases, the Baltic and Slavic languages have the highest number of cases with 7 cases, giving 14 forms of the nouns (singular + plural). Finnish, as you know, is somewhat different - here is a list compiled by professor Fred Karlson showing the 2.253 (!!) forms in which Finnish nouns can appear. The noun in the example is "kauppa" (shop) which actually is a loanword from the Germanic languages. It does make Irish seem easier in comparison, don't you think :-)

http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/~fkarlsso/genkau2.html

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Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 17
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 04:14 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Well, undoubtedly, it does...

It is fascinating that Finnish should have survived is it has in Scandinavia and that the Swedish government should actually have done everything to promote it. A very different pattern from what happened in most cases with the Celtic languages.
I do not want to embark on a polemical subject here, but would you tend to agree with mccartney's analysis (at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.a.mccartney/baile_nua/migration.html) on the present situation of Irish in comparison to Finnish and as to the factors that some say account for it?

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Jonas
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Username: Jonas

Post Number: 605
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 04:30 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

As I hope you know, that webpage is a hoax. It has been discussed both here and on the list Gaeilge-B a number of times.

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Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 606
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 04:42 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

But disregarding that page, I don't think it's possible to draw too many parallells between Finland and Ireland. It is generally agreed that the reformation played a large part in preserving the Finnish language. The Bible was translated into Finnish and a Finnish standard language came into being, based on the southern dialects, for this purpose. As I have previously written, there were four possible scenarios

a. Both England and Ireland could have turned protestant
For the Irish language, this would have been the best outcome. It would have granted Ireland a strong Irish literary language in the 16th century and England would not have felt it had to treat Ireland as harshly as it did.

b. Both England and Ireland could have remained catholic
Also a rather good outcome for Irish. True, it would not have received a literary language at that stage but neither would England have been so harsh. Besides, catholic states have tended to be somewhat more tolerant towards minorities over the years in Europe (although countless excepetions in both directions exist).

c. England could have remained catholic and Ireland could have turned protestant
Not perhaps such a good outcome. It would have led to similar religious-based wars. The only plus would have been the creation of a literary language.

d. England could have turned protestanr and Ireland could have remained catholic
The actual outcome. No literary language for Ireland and an occupier that thought it necessary to be very suspicious of all things Irish.

As usual, I'd like to stress that I'm talking only from a socio-lingustic point of view.

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'jaeks
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.134.221.247
Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

a Jhonas,

"As I hope you know, that webpage is a hoax..." I am aware of the page in question, but am confused. The archives do not reveal previous posts with in depth dicussion, only those containing the hoax accusation.

I know the MacCarthy Mór Gaelic cheiftan hoax which ended the Irish Goevernments endorsal of titles of Anglo and Gaelic lords is well known, but as there is no obvious fraud here do you mean its just a bit of a laugh; that the author is just waxing in other words? Or is it a reminant of an attempt to find finance in the name of setting up a gaeltacht?

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Antaine
Member
Username: Antaine

Post Number: 209
Registered: 10-2004


Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 06:01 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

C would have only been the outcome had the other newly protestant nations not taken up the Irish cause. If england were remaining Catholic and Ireland turning, I think it is quite possible that England would have not only lost Ireland from the kingdom but there may have been a subsequent germanic invasion of england itself - especially if Scotland were also turning as it did.

funny, you would have had the Pope, France and Spain possibly rusing to england's defense...

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Jonas
Member
Username: Jonas

Post Number: 607
Registered: 08-2004


Posted on Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 06:10 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Indeed, and in France it could also have gone either way. Both France and Germany were rather split. Up in Scandinavia, protestantism had almost no support but was imposed by the kings - and they embraced it mostly to get their hand on the riches of the churches. As far as I know, almost any independent European country (in the old Catholic Europe) could have gone either way, with the exception of Portugal, Spain and Italy. Europe could have turned out very different from how it did, though I'm certainly not able to speculate on all the possible outcomes.

I am aware of the page in question, but am confused. The archives do not reveal previous posts with in depth dicussion, only those containing the hoax accusation.

I see. Then that disussion was on the Gaeilge-B.

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Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 04:46 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Well - it is good to learn that the page is a hoax, because I had intended to include a reference to it in a paper !...
The trouble is that part of Mccarthy's argumentation is so craftly woven that it all seems true enough.
May I ask you what you think of the figures Mccarthy includes as to the actual everyday users of Irish (I think she actually means the number of native speakers who use it as their main langugage everyday - which of course considerably restricts it)http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.a.mccartney/baile_nua/numbers.html
?
Could I also ask you to direct me to sources that establish that the page is a hoax (is the entire site just a hoax as well?)
One last question: Is the reference to UNESCO'S RED BOOK OF ENDANGERED LANGUGES genuine?
Now that I think of it, the adress that appears on the site linked to Mccarthy's page (http://www.helsinki.fi/~tasalmin/europe_index.html) contains nothing about UNESCO expressly...
Forgive my ignorance. But I just thought it better to ask...

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Ó_diocháin
Member
Username: Ó_diocháin

Post Number: 89
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 06:39 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Jonas, a chara,
I'm sure that what you say about Finnish is the case, and I agree that the Reformation was a crucial socio/poltical factor in the development of Eurpean languages and informed in many cases the forms of language which became established as prestige varieties. The availability of vernacular translations of the Bible was often of crucial importance in this respect in those part of (northern) Europe where Protestant ecclesial models became established.
However, it is at that point that I would beg to differ from you.
Firstly, the Protestant Reformation is not a homogeneous process and I'm sure you're aware that it is not susceptible to such simplistic analysis as your four options would suggest.
There are at least three major strands of the Protestant Reformation which might have given rise to very different outcomes for the Irish language: A Lutheran strand (e.g. much of Scandinavia); a Calvinist/Presbyterian strand (e.g. Switzerland, parts of Germany, Holland and Scotland); an Episcopalian/Anglican strand (England and subsequently territories under its influence). And there is good reason to argue that the impact on language policies was different in each case.
I would suggest the example of Scotland as a crucial argument against the inference which you draw from your option a. The Reformation in Scotland favoured a very different ecclesial model from that in England. Both Scotland and England became Protestant and yet the effect on Scotland's two major vernacular languages was devastating. Neither Gaelic nor Scots faired well in this situation.
In purely speculative terms, I would suggest that one condition would have to have been met, after which either of two scenarios would be likely to have been good for the Irish language.
My condition would be a strong, specifically Gaelic religious revival movement would have had to emerge and become established - this could either have been Protestant (e.g. the emergence of a Gaelic-speaking Calvin type figure) or Catholic (e.g. the emergence of a Gaelic-speaking St Ignatius of Loyola or St Charles Borromeo type figure).
If that condition were met, then the adoption of the same model of established church across Scotland and Ireland would have been good for the language, preferably with a similar model prevailing in England I think that those sort of circumstances - however unlikely - would have been much more likely to be of benefit to the support and development of the language, regardless of whether the outcome was a Catholic or Protestant solution. (Looking at outcomes elsewhere in Europe, there might be some evidence to suggest that an "all Prestyterian/Calvinist model" might be mariginally preferable to other options, but that is further speculation, based on even shakier ground that I am on already!)
Slán beo!
Chris

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Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Well - it is good to learn that the page is a hoax, because I had intended to include a reference to it in a paper !...
The trouble is that part of Mccarthy's argumentation is so craftly woven that it all seems true enough.
May I ask you what you think of the figures Mccarthy includes as to the actual everyday users of Irish (I think she actually means the number of native speakers who use it as their main langugage everyday - which of course considerably restricts it)http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.a.mccartney/baile_nua/numbers.html
?
Could I also ask you to direct me to sources that establish that the page is a hoax (is the entire site just a hoax as well?)
One last question: Is the reference to UNESCO'S RED BOOK OF ENDANGERED LANGUGES genuine?
Now that I think of it, the adress that appears on the site linked to Mccarthy's page (http://www.helsinki.fi/~tasalmin/europe_index.html) contains nothing about UNESCO expressly...
Forgive my ignorance. But I just thought it better to ask...
Sorry to insist on this, but I would really find this information useful if someone could provide me with it...
The trouble is that the discussion has apparently been held in the Gaeilge-only section of the forum, but my lack of proficiency in Irish prevents me from benefiting from it as it appears there.

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'jaeks
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 159.134.220.83
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 02:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Stephan,
subscribe I did to the Gaelige-B forum, but all it shows is McCarthy getting a rollicking for being so facist and told to to hawk their wares elsewhere.

If I find anything concrete I'll let you know. Celtic-L list has been indicated as one of him/hers stomping grounds. In one post they are directly refered to by a male name. If I be blunt, it almost seems like there is something more to this, something personal almost; in truth it is almost a taboo subject! I too would like to know why all the fuss and deflexion of questions (do the degree it is relivant, of course).

Personally, I find much of the 'treatise' dead on in terms of an outline of what would have to be done in such a community. As it required economic contact with the world I cannot see it as been isolationist. In fact, if it were a community with market gardening and organic wares, gaelic schools, classes and other services, along with all the services of a town, it would be a local enconomic star, outperforming comparable sized towns/villages. Plus it would have 'cache'.

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Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 21
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, February 07, 2005 - 05:46 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks a lot, Jaeks.

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Stephan_wilhelm
Member
Username: Stephan_wilhelm

Post Number: 23
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 03:16 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Does anyone have more information about this true false hoax http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.a.mccartney/baile_nua/numbers.html
and the information provided in these pages?



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