[Corpora-List] English is close to Sandinavian languages: diachronic studies please

John Goldsmith john.goldsmith at gmail.com
Mon Dec 3 16:49:48 CET 2012


No need to rant. Two syntacticians, Jan Terje Faarlund and Joe Emonds, have recently made the case that English is closer to Northern Germanic than it is to Western Germanic:

http://ktwop.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/modern-english-derives-from-scandinavian-rather-than-from-old-english/

best, John Goldsmith

On 12/02/2012 04:53 PM, Charles Hall wrote:
> ah, yet another example of a misguided use of computational approaches
> based on simplistic understanding of language. and especially
> diachronic linguistics Historically, there wasn't any language we
> might call Danish until ca 1100 [i.e. after the Norman Conquest] or so
> when the Old East Norse dialect started to split into Danish and
> Swedish. Since that development is well documented historically, any
> analysis that posits a "closer" relationship between "English" and
> "Danish" that fails to explain why that would not then also be the
> case for English and Swedish is just another lovely "correlation
> proves causation" fallacy of which we already have quite enough.
>
> In other words, [attention, rant follows], you have to do heaps of
> background research before you toss innocent data into the hungry
> maws of the compunaut....
>
> and just to remind, genetic background, genetic distribution doesn't
> have to have anything to do with what languages are spoken. Ethnic
> groups routinely add, dump, or replace languages with wild abandon. As
> the Endangered Language Fund points out, about 50% of the worlds' 7000
> languages will disappear this century.
>
> and on that happy note,
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Charles
>
>
>
>
> *************
> Charles Hall, Ph.D., dr.h.
> University of Memphis, Department of English
> Applied Linguistics and EFL/ESL
> 901.313.4496
>
> www.charleshall.info www.l4law.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Nicholas Sanders <nix at semiotek.org>
> *To:* corpora at uib.no
> *Sent:* Friday, November 30, 2012 5:46 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [Corpora-List] English is close to Sandinavian languages
>
> On 30 Nov 2012, at 14:34, Patrick Juola <juola at mathcs.duq.edu
> <mailto:juola at mathcs.duq.edu>> wrote:
>
>> There's a well-attested history of English and the rest of the
>> Germanic languages that puts English fairly firmly in the West
>> Germanic family along with Frisian and Saxon, and at a greater
>> distance, Dutch and standard German.
>
> I make no claim to be fit to enter this debate, but I feel it
> worthwhile to mention Stephen Oppenheimer's "The Origins of the
> British" which
>
>
> ... demonstrates that the Anglo-Saxon invasions contributed just a
> tiny fraction (5%) to the English gene pool. Two thirds of the
> English people reveal an unbroken line of genetic descent from
> south-western Europeans arriving long before the first farmers. The
> bulk of the remaining third arrived between 7,000 and 3,000 years
> ago as part of long-term north-west European trade and immigration,
> especially from Scandinavia - and may have brought with them the
> earliest forms of English language.
>
>
> Whether it does so demonstrate, I (as noted) am not not qualified to say!
>
>
> --
>
> Nicholas J A Sanders
> ___________________
> semiotek
>
> +44 [0]7092 153 409
> nix at semiotek.org <mailto:nix at semiotek.org>
> ___________________
>
>
>
>
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