Re: Dialects

From: Jane Williams (janewill@mail.nildram.co.uk)
Date: Sun 02 Feb 1997 - 21:01:42 EET


> From: James Frusetta <gerakkag@wam.umd.edu>
> Dang, Balkan history is actually useful for a change.
Sounds like I'd better read it up; want to recommend any good books?

>The US has lost most of its regionalisms - -- I believe this is not true of
>the UK, though? Any comments from the John Bull gallery?
See my earlier comments! Most of the regional corners of the UK speak
dialects that I certainly can't understand. Strange, really: we've had
transport and even mass media for ages. The last invasion to give
different areas different languages was the Normans, nearly a thousand
years ago. I wonder why we've kept the dialects: any linguists out there?

> Even today, if I go to western Macedonia they speak quite differently in
> the villages than they do in eastern Macedonia -- and the citydwellers
> speak differently, too. And the Republic of Macedonia isn't very large
> -- sort of Sartar scale, actually.
Now that's useful to know. The UK is really too big to be a good example
of this sort of thing.

> So the Sartar dialects would probably be mutually comprehensible for at
> least the basic words -- say, that first 30% of a language. Mom, dad,
> trade, throw, I am, lunar bastard -- those sort of basic building
> blocks.
Except when it comes to slang words for those functions we don't mention.
If some kind person told you where to find the "netty", would that help
you? Every dialect seems to have its own phrases for this sort of thing.
And, very strangely, for bread. "Loaf" stays constant, but a bread roll
can have all sorts of strange names.

> It's when you get into the more specialized stuff about local crops, or
>geography, etc. that I think you need tradetalk.
And I bet Sartar introduced it, him being an Issaries hero.

> Stormspeechisms would probably be commonly used for
> weather, considering how widespread Orlanthio is in the region.
And Earthspeech for discussing crops? Or do you see these as religious
languages, and hence somewhat gender-specific?
  
> And note that the Sartarites may be borrowing words from the lunars --
Yes! Not just for new technology, either: the Welsh word for "bridge" is
from Latin, of course, but so is "fish" (they sold them to the Romans).
When the Normans came along, the words for food split: so the thing you
feed and clean up after is a cow (Saxon) but what you eat at table if you
can afford it is beef (Norman French).
What major changes did the Lunars make? One big one, anyway: I think most
of the vocabulary relating to slavery is Lunar.
Jane Williams jane@williams.nildram.co.uk
http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~janewill/

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