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[snip]
>>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
>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.
>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.
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]