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Re: THEORY: Anglic languages (was: Difthongization...)

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 20, 2008, 12:47
John Vertical skrev:
 >> On 19/02/08 21:48:23, Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
 >>> It's part of sweeping changes taking place in North
 >>> American English. Read the Labov articles I linked and
 >>> it will all become clear. I guess the risk that NAmE
 >>> splits into mutually incomprehensible languages is a
 >>> baehd thing, but the alternative is to kill it!
 >> A bad thing? As a conlanger, surely not! It's just the
 >> Real World conlanging for a change. Europe and India
 >> manage to get by just fine with lots of different
 >> languages. Why couldn't North America? The written
 >> language needn't break up right away anyway: Much like
 >> the status of Latin in the early stages of the Romance
 >> family/late stages of Vulgar Latin.
 >> --
 >> Tristan.
 > I assume English is even bigger a mess than Vulgar Latin
 > was, tho. It also demonstrates nicely that language change
 > doesn't work strictly phylogenetically.
 > Which brings me to another topic: what do you suppose
 > future linguistics will come to consider the "primary
 > branches" of the Anglic languages? Will the basic
 > geographical divisions be maintained? How about beyond
 > them, can those be bunched into larger groups (according
 > to when each group split off from Britain?) or will we
 > just have to do with Proto-Anglic > half a dozen different
 > subfamilies? Which isoglosses will be considered family-
 > defining, which areal influence / parallel developments -
 > rhotacity, cot-caught, pin-pen, th-stopping?
 > (Actually, on second thought, let's put this under
 > THEORY too.)
 > John Vertical

There is a primary division based on when they split off
from (southern) Britain, but then there was some melting-
potting going on in Ireland, the result of which greatly
influenced the speech of North America outside New England
and the South, which split off more directly and later from
SoBrit, but then again those American dialects have
influenced each other secondarily.

You find much the same in the SE Gaul--N Italy--Switzerland
area of Romance BTW, where influences from Iberia, Northern
Gaul and the East, to which Mid and S Italy belonged,
overlap. Then Portuguese shares both some archaisms and some
innovations with Gaul which are not found in Spanish, and
Catalan is essentially Spanish-influenced Provençal.

Messy language is healthy language! :-)

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
   "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
   à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
   ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
   c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)