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CHAT: language and politics (was CHAT: conlangs and mental illness)

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Friday, May 14, 1999, 20:19
I probably should've posted this on Conculture -- but here goes...

Tom Wier wrote:

>Well, I doubt that. My experience of radical conservatives (and living >in Texas I've met quite a lot of them) is that they feel that the >government >has no business regulating society. I was involved in political debate >last >night, where in fact a person I knew made just that claim, saying that the >government has only the right to only to legislate about negative rights, >i.e., >those that say that a person does *not* have the right to kill someone, >a person does *not* have the right to do this or that, not positive rights, >which say that a person has a right *to* health care, a right *to* feeling >all snug and cozy in bed at night, and such. They interpret the >ninth and tenth ammendments in the Bill of Rights, which read:
[snip] Thanks Tom; I never really understood it in that light. And I'm game for a political debate, off list of course. (Preferably on IRC.) This goes for anybody else on the list. To get back on topic a little more, and this could pertain to conlanging and concultures, I'm interested in learning about language and how it relates to social and political issues. There was a debate about three years ago (doesn't seem to be much of an issue now) about whether or not the federal government of the US should make English the sole official language. (Strangely, this was supported in the House by liberals like Sheila Jackson Lee as well as conservatives like Newt Gingrich.) Many states (in fact every Southern state except Texas) have done so already; New Mexico has English and Spanish while Hawaii has English and Hawaiian. Indigenous and immigrant language issues in UK/Commonwealth as well as France, Germany, Russia/former USSR and (mainland) China interest me. I do not want to get a big political debate going on the list; that probably wouldn't be appropriate. But any information would be useful since my three concultures are pretty diverse. Techia has, other than the King's standard (the dialect of the tribe of Qotil), several other dialects, especially that of the Ma`ou, a mostly Muslim tribe with a long history of being quite different from the other Tech tribes. There are also a lot of English, Portuguese, and French Creole-speaking inhabitants in Techia. Callisto has sizeable Italian, Greek, and Albanian populations, and Quaelitistan is a "nation within nations", spread throughout Central Asia (so they would obviously have a very liberal language policy). Oh -- and finally, I checked out the SIL Ethnologue and found in the listing for the USA a language called Amerax, spoken in prisons by some converts to Islam. It's supposed to be English with heavy Arabic influences. I did a search on the web and found nothing about it. Anybody heard of it? (Huh, this could be a third of the way toward Big Six...) Danny _______________________________________________________________ Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit