Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

CHAT: oldest known records of vernacular languages [was Re: Sound changes in literate societies]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 26, 2002, 14:32
Quoting Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>:

> En réponse à John Cowan <jcowan@...>: > > > Surely Irish, particularly in the Ogham script, beats English or at > > least gives it a run for the money? Irish clearly has the longest > > *unbroken* tradition of vernacular writing right up to the present > > day, whereas Middle English writing is by no means a direct > > continuation of the Old English writing tradition.
This is true.
> What about French, whose oldest known written document dates from the 9th > century? (in fact so far that the language spoken though a direct ancestor > of French, is called Romant rather than Old French. You have to wait until > the 11th century to come up with documents that can be labelled as Old French. > But since Old French is in direct continuity with Romant, I think it > still counts). It may not beat Irish, but I'm pretty sure it beats > English, unless the French National Education is really too nationalistic > and taught me wrong things
The oldest known record of any vernacular Romance language is from the Oaths of Strassbourg in 843 at the time of the partition of Charlemagne's Empire among his grandsons. Old English beats this by almost 400 years: the earliest inscriptions in Old English are dated to somewhere between 450 and 480. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any OE vernacular works between that time and the time of King Alfred's educational reforms in the late 9th century, but there certainly were some. ===================================================================== Thomas Wier "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n / Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..." University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought / 1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn" Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers


Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>