Popular article, "A New Kind of English"
Mark A. Mandel
mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Sun Aug 15 20:13:30 UTC 2004
I feel rather dubious about some of the definitions and examples of
"dialect" in this article, of which I have reproduced only the first three
paragraphs here. Comments, anyone?
-- Mark A. Mandel
[This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]
A New Kind of English
By Franz Schurmann, Pacific News Service
Posted on August 13, 2004
What will Americans be like linguistically in a century from now? Given that
America will still be a world-spanning empire and civilization, we can look
for cultural clues in earlier empires and civilizations.
Dialects are variants of established languages. Pidgins are amalgams of two
languages. English is a pidgin. In the 14th century English storytellers,
notably Chaucer, decided to fuse French, the language of the Norman
conquerors of Britain, with the common Anglo-Saxon language (itself a pidgin
of two Germanic languages).
But a more dramatic pidginization occurred two centuries later when the
Mughal (Mongol) conquerors of India created an empire that lasted three
centuries. Now, despite many cultural variants, the current official
languages, Hindi for India and Urdu for Pakistan, both have their origins in
"Hindustani," the pidgin name used by the Mughals and then by the imperial
American troops in Iraq and Iraqi merchants are already creating pidgins of
English and the Iraqi dialects of Arabic. That is similar to what Mughal
soldiers did when they went into town to haggle. Urdo/Urdu is a
Turco-Mongolian word that meant a "military encampment." If American
soldiers and merchants should still be stationed in Iraq in 2104 then it's a
good chance that a new language will have arisen, e.g. "Amerarab." And then
some writers, like Chaucer, will see if they can sell a novel written in
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