Re: Speedwords hare (was: Some new Brithenig words? Narbonosc
|From:||The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 30, 2001, 11:21|
> From: Andreas Johansson
> The Gray Wizard wrote
> > > From: BP Jonsson
> > >
> > > At 06:39 2001-05-27 -0400, The Gray Wizard wrote:
> > >
> > > >Benefit to whom? In what way would changing their language to
> > > "make it more
> > > >like other languages" benefit Germans? What might motivate them to
> > > >such a change on this basis?
> > >
> > > It is certainly not immediately clear to schoolchildren which
> words are
> > > nouns. I'm sure a lot of class time could be used for more
> > > valuable learning.
> >I don't know. Given the other complexities of German nouns
> (gender, case,
> >number), I can't imagine that capitalization rules score very
> high in terms
> >of learning difficulties. I can't remember any significant class time
> >spent on it when I studied German as an undergrad.
> But you're not a native speaker, are you? To a native speaker (given that
> his/her dialect isn't divergent from High German), the cases and genders
> come pretty naturally. Same with the somewhat impredictable plurals. The
> noun capitalization rules, on the other hand, have no real counterpart in
> spoken language, and thus have to be learnt actively by even native
No, but my wife is. A native speaker, that is. I'll poll her on this issue
as soon as she wakes up. ;-)
> PS Obviously, the difference between higher and lower case is strictly a
> feature of written language. If ease of learning were our sole
> motive, we'd
> be busy reforming capital letters out of existence.
This is probably my artlang bias leaking through here. I view the
capitalization rules of German as an aesthetic and distinguishing features
of the language. My response about "benefit to whom?" was, I am sure,
colored by this. If Germans aren't clamoring for change here (are they?)
then why change such a distinguishing feature. Of course, your more
practical arguments are, well, more practical. Thank heavens we artlangers
aren't hamstrung by such practicalities. :-)
Incidentally, amman iar has no capital case. I can no longer remember
whether it is because its native script has no capitals or whether somewhere
along the line I decided it wouldn't have capitals and so created none for
its script. I suspect the former, but memory fails me here.
David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard
Wisdom begins in wonder.