[NDNAIM] Activists . . . Endangered Languages

Mike Morgan mwmosaka at gmail.com
Thu Jul 10 16:11:29 UTC 2008


I don't often comment, but ...

does anyone know where the revitalized Welch language figures into this
> discussion.

Just a word of caution: the spelling "Welch" is considered offensive by some
(though in fact the high school in West Virginia where my father graduated
from is in the town of Welch with exactly this spelling, and exactly this
etymology). But then the term "Welsh" (< Anglo Saxon for "foreigner"!) is
also considered offensive for the pre-Anglo=Saxon natives of Britain ... The
language is Cymraeg (or cymreig or cymrag depending on dialect), and the
"country" Cymru.

>  Some fluent speakers in the conclaves of traditional Wales have remarked
> on the current robust Cymraeg as having strayed from their on-going fluent
> speaker usage.

Yes, without a doubt the language being taught in Welsh second language (and
language revitalization) classrooms in Wales is a bit "foreign". BUT, it is
MUCH less foreign NOW than it was 25 years ago when such language
vitalization programs were starting to gain momentum and a form of Welsh
called Cymaeg Buw "Living Welsh"  was introduced; "easy to learn" and being
a compromise between the rather divergent modern North and South Welsh
dialects -- and also from the literary Welsh established by the Bible.
(Ironically of course, because "Living" Welsh was spoken natively by no
living being! at the time)

Fortunately though for Welsh, there are not only many speakers of a "real"
Welsh, but also some excellent writers -- my favorite being the North Welsh
writer Kate Roberts (who though i will need to google, as by NOW she
probably is either extremely old or dead ... but hopefully "replaced" by a
new generation of dialect writers).

PS Some years ago, the last time I visited my grad-school mentor CH van
Schooneveld in his retirement in Haute Savoie before he passed away, I
brought with me a copy of the Dutch Volkskrant to remind him of "home", and
he made a comment about it being more English than Dutch ... referring not
only to the content but more to the lexicosemantics and syntax. So, at least
that one rather leftward leaning newspaper was, in the eyes of one old
fashioned Dutch expatriot, relexified English.

MWM || マイク || Мика || माईक || માઈક || ਮਾਈਕ
Dr Michael W Morgan
Managing Director
Ishara Foundation
Mumbai (Bombay), India
माईकल मोर्गन (पी.एच.डी.)
मेनेजिंग डॉयरेक्टर
ईशारा फॉउंडेशन (मुंबई )
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