CHAT: oldest known records of vernacular languages [was Re:
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, June 27, 2002, 11:57|
Ray Brown scripsit:
> As John observes above, Middle English is by no means a _direct_
> continuation of Old English - it has been influenced by Norse and,
> more particularly, by Norman French.
Not quite what I said. The ME *writing tradition* is not a continuation
of the OE one, in the same sense that the Greek writing tradition from
pre-classical times to the present day is not a continuation of the
Linear B one. Of course, the script (Latin) is shared between OE and
ME, but everything else from orthography to letter shape (in MS)
was abandoned and had to be re-created de novo.
Per contra, the writing tradition from Latin to each of the modern
Romance languages is unbroken.
> But if we're talking about the longest tradition of vernacular writing,
> then Greek beats all these youngsters by a long way.
For sure. Of languages written today, I suppose that only
Chinese beats it.
John Cowan <jcowan@...> http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_