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Re: Neither here nor there.

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Thursday, June 7, 2001, 5:28
At 6:12 pm -0400 6/6/01, John Cowan wrote:
>jesse stephen bangs wrote: > > >> I fail to see how this would affect the development of Greek for L1 >> speakers. English is becoming an international Koine, but I can't think >> of any English word or expression whose meaning is influenced by the >> mistakes of foreign speakers. > > >English is in no way a koine in the sense that Hellenistic Greek >was: the overwhelming majority of English speakers are L1 speakers. >But if everyone in the world learned English -- broken English, >more likely -- then the definition of "English" would probably >expand to include lots of things that L1 speakers think of as >ungrammatical.
Very true - and we shouldn't IMO think of these these effects as due to mistakes. It's the unconscious adopting of sppech habits of one language into another - it'll effect both L1s. As John says, the overwhelming majority of English speakers on the world-wide scale are L1 and, also, overwhelmongly monoglot. But where where English does co-exist with other L1 langs, e.g. in the Indian sub-continent, it does develop very distinct traits of its own. In the case of the Koine, Greek was being used over a far wider area than its Greek homeland and there was a much higher proportion of bilingual Greek + another L1 speakers than of monoglot Greek speakers. What was going on in the Greek Koine was much more like what is going on in the English of the Indian sub-continent than what is happening on the world-wide scale. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================