Re: languages Re: [xmca] On being silent at XMCA

From: <ERIC.RAMBERG who-is-at>
Date: Fri Sep 28 2007 - 08:09:57 PDT

Hello all:

What a great topic for discussion. I always feel self-conscious about
posting on XMCA because I lack the writing experience much of the other
participants have appropriated. But catharsis is not the reason for the
post. Back when I was in the stacks looking for references for my master's
paper I was blindly picking books that were located near Vygotsky's and I
stumbled upon a book that was a study of the different languages utilized
in New Guinea. I do wish I would have written down the title because it
truely was fascinating and if I wouldn't have been pressed for time I
certainly would have checked it out and studied it. I believe it was from
the 50's and the author was a woman. Fascinating because the author spoke
of languages as having values in different settings. Don't want to say
more because time has wearied my memory. One of these days I will venture
back to those stacks and take another gander.

: > eric

                      Tony Whitson
                      <twhitson@UDel.E To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
                      du> cc:
                      Sent by: Subject: languages Re: [xmca] On being silent at XMCA
                      09/28/2007 09:40
                      Please respond
                      to "eXtended
                      Mind, Culture,

Michael's post reminds me of one afternoon in 1973 when I was sitting in a
small cafe in Taibei, with a group of college-aged students standing next
to me. Apparently they came from from diverse Asian and Pacific countries
where they spoke different native languages, but they were conversing
fluently with each other in a form of English that was different from
anything I've heard spoken in any native English-speaking country, but
seemed like a very well-formed and linguistically "regular" form of
English in which they were all fluently conversant (and I would not have
   I expect that there is research literature on such phenomena, although I

am not informed about that.

On Fri, 28 Sep 2007, Wolff-Michael Roth wrote:

> Dear all,
> rather than thinking of English as the language of hegemony and cultural
> oppression, think of it as lingua franca, there is no other spoken as
> widely---Esperanto never has had wide impact.
> Then think of English as a MANY rather than as a one, and in this move to

> thinking of speaking Sabir, one of those merchant languages that mixes
> languages for the purposes at hand, shifting heterogeneity to an
> level, but doing nothing other than what happens at the heart of
> French, Spanish, German, Russian.....
> Language and culture are mêlées, so don't worry about formalists and
> grammarians...
> Cheers,
> Michael
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