Stan and Sandy Anonby
stan-sandy_anonby at sil.org
Sun Aug 12 20:52:12 UTC 2007
Hi there Christina!
Thanks for the interesting perspectives. I guess it would be less tiring if
we just went with the flow...
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christina Paulston" <paulston+ at pitt.edu>
To: <lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: language shift
> as usual you ask difficult questions! But I think you probably come up
> with the best answer yourself. Think of Britain. Since the invasion of
> the Germanic hordes (I am thinking of the Angles and the Saxon), part of -
> and that is an important proviso- the population has been steadily
> involved in some kind of shift, from the Gaelic lges of Wales, Scotland,
> Ireland, Manx and Cornwall to English, some of the upper classes to French
> (1066 and all that; the statutes of Kilkenny arounf mid 13oo's among other
> things exhorting the Irish to speak English was written in French) from
> dialects to standard English, today from immigrant languages to English,
> and in revitalization of back to lges shifted from like Welsh, etc. It is
> a steady process of shift of various combinations of the population. Plus
> all the EFL populations around the world. Etc. You can look at Sweden
> which most people think of as a homogenous population with the Saami
> shifting since the Middle Ages and still shifting; plus all the immigrants
> as well as the Finns (in Sweden) shifting in spite of heroic efforts at
> mother-tongue maintenance, as well as the upper classes being virtually
> bilingual (tricky concept that) in English through educational efforts.
> Etc. Take Alsace etc. I get tired just thinking of all that shifting,
> On Aug 1, 2007, at 3:48 PM, Stan-sandy Anonby wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I just thought of something, and wonder if anyone has any comments:
>> I'm with Christina Bratt-Paulston that societal bilingulism is unusual,
>> and that the tendency is to shift to monolingualism in the dominant
>> I'm also with Joshua Fishman, who says the bulk of humanity has always
>> been bilingual.
>> So, how do we reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements?
>> Maybe it is the norm for human societies to be in language shift.
>> Stan Anonby
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