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Re: OT: semi-OT: bilingual communication

From:Stephen Mulraney <ataltanie@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 28, 2003, 1:39
On Thu, 23 Jan 2003 18:04:46 -0600
Danny Wier <dawier@...> wrote:

> I'm reading more on the North Caucasian languages (where I got A LOT of > ideas for Tech phonology). I understand that in Vladikavkaz, Russia, which > is on the Chechen-Ingush border, it's common for a Chechen to speak Chechen > to an Ingush, and the Ingush to reply in Ingush, and they understand each > other enough to hold an everyday conversation. > > Is it possible, or practical, for this to happen in the real world for > speakers of two more different languages? Like I was speaking English to a > Spanish speaker and he'd be speaking Spanish to me.... ~Danny~ >
A late reply, but never mind.... I recall sitting in a pub in Dingle, Co. Kerry, which isn't far from a gaeltacht (an Irish-speaking region) about 3 years ago. It was during the daytime, very quiet, so the only ones there apart from ourselves where two elderly local men chatting at the bar. Something was nagging at me about the way they were talking, but it as only when our own conversation lulled that I figured out what was bothering me: the one on the left was talking in English, while his partner was talking in Irish! Frankly, it seemed amazing at the time. Whatever about the reasonableness of bilingual conversations in closely related languages, this seemed like a difficult task. Yet they were presumeably doing it out of comfort, or preference. I wondered to what extent the syntax they were using was 'creolised', even if the vocabularies were distinct. My Irish wasn't good enough to tell, and Irish English hsa a lot of constructions borrowed from Irish anyway, which made it hard to say. Wow. s. ---- In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles. Stephen Mulraney :: ataltane at ::