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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@...> I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen, han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith. --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_


Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>