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Re: ONOMATOPOEIA: Check out "Cross Linguistic Phonethemes"

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 2, 2002, 18:04
En réponse à John Cowan <jcowan@...>:

> Christophe Grandsire scripsit: > > > I really can't understand why people can't accept that the sign is > > mostly arbitrary > > Hmm. I absolutely agree with this, but I wonder about its cultural > embeddedness. It is certainly not a basic belief of American culture; > Christophe, would you say that ordinary (e.g. non-lingweenie) > French people believe it? >
That language is only conventional? Absolutely not! Seeing the French view about foreign languages anyway, and the fact that for instance a non-learned French will sustain even when his life is threatened that Basque is only a bastard dialect of French (and I've seen this kind of opinion among learned people too :(( ), the conclusion is very clear: French people do believe in their majority that the French language is somehow "naturally connected" to the things it represents, and that all other languages are "wrong" in that respect, since they are not like French. Most people can't even imagine that other people actually think in other languages (it took centuries for French people - and a very pickheaded abbe :)) - to admit that mute people were more than animals for instance). As I said, this unease at the idea that language is conventional and that no language is superior than the other in "representing" things and thoughts is extremely widespread, even nowadays everywhere in the world. And I can't understand what the problem is with them... Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.