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

From: Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth who-is-at>
Date: Fri Sep 28 2007 - 08:29:06 PDT

Hi all,

one of the ways in which such hybrid languages are referred to is by
means of the term "pidgin". But this term is deficit laden and
totally inappropriate for the following reasons.

Anyone who has learned a new language or worked with those learning a
new language or with those who are ESL, EFL, and others knows that we
don't appropriate it from one second to another in the way we can
have a candy bar in the store. There is a long process during which
the different languages hybridize each other---rather than simply the
new being expressed in terms of the old.

The hybrids therefore are NECESSARY forms of talking/writing rather
than DEFICITARY modes.

Now, IF we consider ourselves to be a LEARNING culture, then we have
to admit the necessary forms of being that imply learning to be going
on. Hybridized languages are nECESSARY forms of speaking/writing in
learning cultures, if there were no hybrid form, then there would no
longer be learning---or something like it I would hypothesize.

This also is the case for math and science. Yet too often we see
teachers mark "right" from "wrong," whereas hybrids are neither and
both simultaneously.


On 28-Sep-07, at 7:40 AM, Tony Whitson wrote:

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 been).
   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 unfamiliar level, but doing nothing other than
> what happens at the heart of English---or French, Spanish, German,
> Russian.....
> Language and culture are mêlées, so don't worry about formalists
> and grammarians...
> Cheers,
> Michael
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