(no subject)

JoatSimeon at aol.com JoatSimeon at aol.com
Tue Jan 26 22:33:47 UTC 1999

>petegray at btinternet.com (Peter &/or Graham)

>So a written norm does not greatly affect the process of language change, it
>simply hides it.

-- not necessarily.

Until the modern period, universal literacy in our sense -- a standard written
language taught in the schools -- didn't exist.

Nor, of course, was there any recorded sound.

It's notable that there has been a massive convergence in dialect forms in
modern English over the past hundred years -- travelling in the American
South, for instance, you can tell a person's generation immediately by the
degree of deviation from Standard English.

The same has happened in places like Italy, where the standard language has
largely supplanted a series of dialects that were barely mutually
comprehensible, or (in the case of Sicilian and Tuscan) not mutually
comprehensible at all.

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