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Neutrality (was: Uusisuom language (Online lesson))

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Thursday, March 29, 2001, 20:20
At 1:32 pm -0500 29/3/01, Andreas Johansson wrote:
>Ray wrote:> >Russian is spoken by
>>If Uusisuom is to have any appeal for the international use that you would >>like it to have, I would suggest forgetting the Russian influence (or at >>least, minimizing it). > >Isn't this a bit hard on Russian?
Certainly not if one is seriously claiming that one's language is _neutral_. I belong to the generation who vividly remember the Hungarian uprising of 1956; I think that was the final blow to optimistic idealism that had marked the schooldays of myself & my contemporaries in the 1950s. I know not all Russians are/were imperialists. As a language it has a beauty of its own and a great literature. But it does, alas, come with imperial baggage.
>The English rank among the very few >peoples who've been even more successful as imperialists than the Russians
I know - and I say _exactly the same_ about using English if one wants to construct a _neutral_ auxlang. Nor am I at all proud of much of the imperial past of my country - certainly not for being the inventors of the concentration camp. And I have no pride whatever in the fact that Britain & France were engaging in one of their last imperial acts in 1956 around the Nile, while the Russians were re-asserting their hold over Hungary. [snip]
> >Now, you can argue that the British were generally nicer than the Russians >and the Soviets,
I do _not_ argue that; and I doubt the Boer women & children in the concentration camps during the Boer War would agree with you either. Imperialism is imperialism, full-stop.
>and I guess I'd have to agree, but you can't very well deny >that English have largely spread by Imperialism.
I DO NOT DENY IT. And I'm truly puzzled (and a little hurt) that you should think I would be so morally blind as to deny it.
>Also, the USA is widely >seen as an Imperialist power today, which seems to do very little to >decrease English's popularity.
Yes - but it's not by any means always a _popular_ popularity! Most learn it for purely pragmatic purposes. But I understood Daniel was deliberately eschewing languages like English and basing his Uusisuom on Finnish & Lithuanian so that it would be neutral. I say, and I maintain, that adding Russian as the third influence compromises that neutrality - indeed, it neutralizes it, for as Frank says: At 10:17 am -0800 29/3/01, Frank George Valoczy wrote: ....
>I know for a fact that most Eastern Europeans loathe the Russian language >and anything to do with Russia with an incredible passion.
Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>