Re: Hybrid language?
|From:||Tom Pullman <tom@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, May 27, 2001, 9:18|
--- Danny Wier <dawier@...>
>Is the concept of a "hybrid" language a plausible one, even the
>idea of a language belonging to two families?
>(English is a hybrid of Germanic and Romance, so I guess it's possible on that
Well... English is a Germanic language with large amounts of vocabulary borrowed from
Romance. I wouldn't really call it a hybrid - its structure is rather different
from that of Romance languages.
The only languages I would call hybrids are creoles. For the benefit of those who
don't know about this, I'll explain about pidgins and creoles.
When adult speakers of different languages are brought into contact and need to
communicate, what they usually do if they don't have a common language is learn
a few words of the other language and then just shove them together to convey a
"Food me". "Go them city".
That sort of thing is a pidgin. Being adults, their brains aren't wired up to learn
languages any more, certainly not by osmosis. But if they have children, the
situation changes. The children are programmed biologically to learn whatever
language they're surrounded by. This includes picking up grammar; but there's
not much grammar in a pidgin, so they pick up grammar from the real languages
that are spoken at home. Different children speak different languages at home,
so bits of grammar from different languages creep in. In this way they create a
new, complete language, a creole, capable of expressing anything any other
language can express.
Again, I'm open to correction on the details but that's broadly it.
"Dochuala as borb nad légha."
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