Uzbek, Kazakh, and Kirghiz

A recent What Language Is This post featured Uzbek. A commenter just got the correct answer today. Hence it is time for a post on Uzbek and two neighboring Turkic languages, Kazakh and Kirghiz.

Uzbek

Uzbek. Uzbek is a well-developed language. I see scholarly papers written in Uzbek. In addition, Uzbek is two separate languages. The well known language to the north, Northern Uzbek, that is the official language of a nation and another language to south, Southern Uzbek, spoken by 2.5 million people in Afghanistan, which has no official status. The two  Uzbeks are not mutually intelligible.

Kazakh

Kazakh has a lot of problems. A lot of people don’t speak it, and there are many ethnic Russians who speak Russian there. They live in the north. There was a lot of talk of them leaving with the independence of Kazakhstan, but most of them stayed. Insane Russian ultranationalists claim the northern part of Kazakhstan for the Russians and wish to incorporate it into Russia (just to show you how insane those lunatics are). A lot of people would rather speak Russian than Kazakh, even a lot of ethnic Kazakhs.

They have had a hard time developing Kazakh into a full modern language, and there are a lot of issues with Kazakh in the schools. Furthermore, there has been profound Russian influence on the language in terms of vocabulary, phonology, and possibly morphology.

There are many Kazakh speakers in China, over 2 million of them. They have gotten caught up in the Uyghur political mess.

New information shows that they speak a separate language from Kazakh in Kazakhstan. So many Russian words have gone into Kazakh since World War 2 that Kazakh speakers in China can no longer understand the Kazakh TV and radio broadcasts which can be heard in China. Therefore, Chinese Kazakh is a separate language, and within Macro-Kazakh, there are two languages, Kazakh and Chinese Kazakh. I didn’t get this new information in time to incorporate it into my book chapter published in a recent book (Lindsay 2016) when I redid the Turkic language family, creating a number of new languages.

Kirghiz

First of all, it is not entirely certain that Kazakh and Kirghiz are separate languages.  In my book chapter (Lindsay 2016), I decided that this was one language called Kirghiz-Kazakh, with two separate languages, Kirghiz and Kazakh. This is because they are largely mutually intelligible. However the communication is more one way than two ways. I believe that the Kazakhs can understand the Kirghiz well, but the Kirghiz have some problems understanding Kazakh. However the difficulties were not great enough for me to split it into a separate language.

However via communication with a Kazakh speaker, he insisted that Kazakh and Kirghiz were definitely separate languages. I forget the reasoning but he had an intuitive sense of whether a pair of languages consisted of one being a dialect of the other or whether they were two separate languages.

That is, native speakers have excellent intuition on the language/dialect question, which shows how preposterous the Linguistics profession is that the language/dialect split is not a scientific question. If it’s not a scientific question, how is it that native speakers the world over have an intuition over whether a lect is a separate language or a dialect of another language? Apparently humans have excellent intuitions about things that simply do not exist in a scientific sense. Who knew?

Kirghiz has a lot of problems. I think just about everyone speaks it, but the problem is the language is not well developed into a modern language yet, so all sorts of technical and modern terms have had to be invented. Even whole new dictionaries have been created. Bottom line is Kirghiz is not really ready to serve the functions of a national language even for the state. I believe they might use Russian, instead but I am not certain.

References

Lindsay, Robert. 2016. “Mutual Intelligibility among the Turkic Languages,” in Süer Eker and Ülkü Şavk. Çelik. Endangered Turkic Languages, Volume I: Theoretical and General Approaches: Before the Last Voices Are Gone (Tehlİkedekİ Türk Dİllerİ Cİlt I: Kuramsal Ve Genel Yaklaşimlar Son Sesler Duyulmadan), Ankara, Turkey/Astana, Kazakhstan: International Turkish-Kazakh University and International Turkic Academy.

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What Language Is This?

Have fun with this one. If you’re smart, you should be able to spot at least the language family here. This language is related to a language that is quite well known. We could even say that it is a European language. There may be up to 53 languages in this family, of which the European language above is the largest. What once you get the family, which language is it? This is the language of a nation-state, I’ll give you that.

This language has massively expanded recently and there are now all sorts of materials being produced into it, even including university textbooks. I believe that in this country, you can earn your university degree in this language. The schooling is of course done in this language, but another major language of a different family is also popular which was formerly an official language in this land. This language is a sort of lingua franca  for many of the surrounding countries.

Shuni ham hisobga olish kerakki, oxirgi bir yil ichida Markaziy Osiyo davlatlari o‘rtasidagi xalqaro munosabatlarda yangi bosqich boshlandi. Oxirgi 25 yil davomida adovat ruhida aytilgan ko‘p gap- larga chek qo‘yila boshlandi, millatlararo totuvlik, ahil qo‘shnichilik munosabatlari tobora avj olib bormoqda. Bu esa xalqlarimizning er- tangi kunga ishonchini va integrasion jarayonlarning ijobiy natija- larga olib kelishiga umidini yanada oshirmoqda.

Shunday bo‘lsada, qabul qilingan milliy koncepsiyalarni va ular asosida yozilgan kitob va maqolalarni, internet saytlarini hali hech kim bekor qilgani va olib tashlagani yo‘q. Shuning uchun talabalar bu koncepsiyalar haqida ob’ektiv ma’lumotga ega bo‘lishlari zarur.

Mazkur fanningmaqsadi “Markaziy Osiyo xalqlari tarixi” kafed- rasi magistrantlariga bugungi kunda Markaziy Osiyo tarixi tarixshu- nosligida mavjud bo‘lgan dolzarb muammolar haqida umumiy tu- shuncha va tasavvurlar berishdan iborat. Shuningdek, qo‘llanmada ko‘rib chiqiladigan masalalarning ilmiy-nazariy va amaliy-usuliy asoslari haqida ham batafsil ma’lumotlar beriladi.

Ushbu fan dasturida magistrantlar tarixchi mutaxassis uchun zarur bo‘lgan darajada Markaziy Osiyo mintaqasi tarixi tarixshunosligining nazariy muammolari bo‘yicha yangi tarixiy voqelikdan kelib chiqqan holda hozirgi kunda mavjud bo‘lgan yangicha ilmiy qarashlar va yonda- shuvlar bilan tanishtiriladi, shuningdek, turli ilmiy qarashlar ichida milliy g‘oya manfaatlariga xizmat qiluvchi ilmiy qarashlardan ilmiy tadqiqotlarda asos sifatida foydalanishga o‘rgatiladi.

Fanning asosiy vazifalari

quyidagilardan iborat: – talabalarni hozirgi davrda Markaziy Osiyo mintaqasidagi mus- taqil davlatlar dagi tarixchi olimlarning bir yoqlama yondashuvlari va ularning salbiy jihatlari bilan tanishtirish; – talabalarga Respublikasining milliy g‘oya mafku- rasining asosiy tamoyillari va uning boshqa mafkuralarga nisbatan haqqoniy asosga ega ekanligini ko‘rsatish

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An Interesting Mostly Southern Chinese Phenotype

A good friend of mine who resides in Singapore. He is very interested in his background and gave me his photo to analyze.

Looking at it, I believe he is definitely Southern Chinese fore the most part. His father is Hainanese and has a rather distinctive genotype that looks something like his son’s. His mother is a certain type of Malay that dates back to the 1400’s and is significantly mixed with European blood, mostly British and Dutch, as Europeans have a presence in the area dating back centuries. I believe that they are called Pernakans. He also has some female relatives that look very Malay. I do not know who the older man to the right is, but he looks quite Malay to me.

I think my friend ended up looking more Chinese than Malay. The Hainanese are definitely a Chinese type people. Whether they also have a Vietic type SE Asian component is not known as I do not know the history of Hainan.

Although my friend definitely has a strong Southern Chinese look, he also has another component that makes him look, well, different. I’m not going to attempt to describe this element, but it does make him look somewhat “odd,” “interesting,” or “unusual, ” from a Southern Chinese POV. A typical Southern Chinese would say that he looks like a Southern Chinese, but he’s not like us. A Southern Chinese has more of a Modern Mongoloid look. My friend is mostly modern Mongoloid, with some elements of transitional Mongoloid or archaic Mongoloid – this is what the Malays are after all – added in.

The evolution from Negritos to moderns occurred much later in Malaysia, much taking place in only the last 5,000 years. The Senoi are an example of an archaic group that is definitely Australoid yet nevertheless more progressive than the Negritos. These are the “dream people” of psychological and anthropological literature, though modern research has shown that they do not incorporate dreams as much into their waking lives as we previously thought and that the extent to which they do this was much exaggerated.

There are also Negritos (or original Asians) in Malaysia. In fact, there is a group in Malaysia that genes that date back to 72,000 YBP. This is actually before the main Out of Africa event, yet is has now been shown that other small groups went out of Africa before then.

Most of these groups were devastated by the vast Toba volcanic explosion in India 72,000 YBP that exterminated almost all humans in South and Southeast Asia. It is thought that only 1,500 of this group survived the explosion. This means that humans went through a severe genetic bottleneck no doubt accompanied by massive selection pressure and huge genetic effects. Whether this explosion’s effects extended to Central Asia (probably), the Middle East (maybe), or East Africa (unknown) is not known. At any rate, this original group departed from East Africa near Somalia and Djibouti.

The main OOA group left out of here too. No one quite knows what these people looked like but they have appeared somewhat Khoisan. The Khoisan are the most ancient group in Africa with genes dating back 52,000 YBP. Further, their click language to me seems like a good candidate for the original human language. It does seem to be quite primitive. Before that, we clearly used sign language. Neandertals could not speak due to their hyoid bones. The great apes also have this problem. So when Neantertals vocalized, they may have sounded like great apes.

The Sasquatch, which I believe is an archaic hominid related to Heidebergensis which somehow survived, has a very odd speech pattern (it speaks on the inhale, bizarrely enough – try it sometime) and a friend of mine who shot and killed two of them told me that the juveniles were using extensive sign language. They ran half the time on all four and half the time on two legs, which is very odd. Sasquatches can run up to 30 mph on all fours. That must be quite frightening to watch but it can be seen in the Port Edward Island Sasquatch footage. Anyway, enough about Bigfoot for today!

It’s not known how far modern human language dates back. Sergei Starostin feels it cannot date back more than 50,000 because so many cognates remain that we can actually construct a bit of Proto-World. One Proto-World term is “tik” meaning one, to point, index finger, etc. From this comes our word to teach. Imagine a teacher pointing at a blackboard with his index finger. I worked on an Indian language a while back and they had a very archaic word found only in the earliest vocabularies – tik, meaning “the point of a spearhead. I cannot prove it but I believe deep down inside that this is from the same root. I

It’s more of a gut feeling or intuitive thing, and intuitions are often wrong because they overgeneralize, throw out logic altogether, and rely exclusively on notoriously unreliable and subjective (the very word subjective implies emotional response) feelings, especially deep or gut feelings that can be described as “Gestalt.” I’m a birdwatcher and we use something called Gestalt to identify fleeing glimpses of a bird.

All we can see is what philosophers like Heidegger might call “the essence” or essential nature of the bird rather than it’s surface characteristics which are too fleeting to identify. Heidegger discusses surface versus essence interpretations of objects a lot. It seems hard to figure out but it’s easier than you think.

Logic relies on surface or appearance, including the human definition we have given to the object.

Intuition on the other hand pretty much throws out the surface stuff and looks for the “essence of the thing” or the “deep meaning” or “true meaning” of the object. We are getting into Plato here with the concept of “pure objects” that actually do not exist in reality.

An example of Platonic pure objects would be what I call the Masculine and Feminine spirit (see the brilliant and wrongly derided Otto Weininger’s “Sex and Character” for more. And Weininger comes from Nietzsche in my opinion and leads to Heidigger, also in my opinion. He seems to be a sort of a bridge between the two. Note that all were Germans, Weininger an Austrian, but oh well.

The Masculine Spirit and the Feminine Spirit is one way of dividing the universe or world in a binary manner. Not that there are not other binary methods of chopping the world into opposite halves, but this is just one of them.

I would argue that the world is half Masculine principle and half Feminine principle and that neither is better than the other and the marriage of the two opposites creates a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts, hence the human pair bond where each pair of the male-female couple fills in the missing blanks or parts of the other one, each creating a whole person in the other where only a “half person” had existed before.

We are also getting into Taoism here, but the ancient Chinese were awful damn smart, so you ignore them at your peril in my opinion. Furthermore, the Taoist maxim of how to live your life – “moderation in all things” is an excellent aphorism, not that many of us ever do it. It’s clearly the route to a long lifespan.

To do the opposite is to burn candles at both ends, life fast, die young, and leave a pretty corpse, which sounds very romantic and appealing when young (it did to me) but which sounds increasing idiotic and even suicidal for no good reason with each advancing year past 30. I now find it laughable, pathetic, and openly suicidal and delight in mocking the concept. But I survived another 30 years past the expire date on that concept, so perhaps my new attitude is simply the inevitable product of living out that maxim twice and hence nullifying it.

There are a number of Southern Chinese groups with more of an indigenous look, sometimes prognathous. These date back to the original indigenous elements in Southern China and SE Asia, who all date back to the Negritos. The Montagnards of Vietnam are definitely one of these indigenous types. The indigenous went from

Indigenous (Negrito) -> Proto SE Asian (with Melanesian component) -> modern SE Asian (Modern Mongoloid with archaic components. This effect is quite pronounced in the Vietnamese, who were completely overrun by a Chinese invasion 2,300 years ago after which there was much interbreeding and a huge infusion of Cantonese words, which now make up 70% of Vietnamese vocabulary.

However, the core vocabulary of of Vietnamese remains Austroasiatic (a language family nevertheless with Southern Chinese roots derived from the archaic Mongoloid peoples of the region 5-7,000 YBP, who later moved into SE Asia. This core vocabulary is shared by the Munda branch of Astroasiatic, completely isolated India, particularly Eastern (Mongoloid) India. The fact that Vietic shares a common core vocabulary with the geographically separated Munda proves the existence of Austrasiatic.

In fact, it is the final convincing argument. Anyone who says that Austroasiatic does not exist is a fool.

Further, the evidence for Austroasiatic, a proven family, is no greater than the existence for Altaic, and in fact Altaic may be better proven. The “numerals” argument against Altaic is belied by the 13,000 year old Afroasiatic language, the numerals of which are a complete disaster.

Numerals are more often innovated and replaced than people think. Often the old cognates survive in archaic words or words used for related concepts, but it’s not unusual at all for the main term to be an out and out innovation. Most Altaic numerals are innovated, but there are a few cognates. Further most of the numerals have cognates in related or archaic words.

This is the most archaic layer of Austroasiatic. Some of these peoples are archaic Mongoloids with a strong Australoid component. A branch of these Australoids called Carpenterians went from India to Australia 11,000 YBP and become part of the Aborigines. Another group of archaic Australoids were called Murrayans. They came from Thailand 17,000 YBP and went to Australia. It is not known what Australians looked like before that but no doubt they were quite primitive. It’s long been thought that they have more Erectus component than the rest of us, but I’m not sure that is proven. Certainly their appearance resembles that.

The Murrayans are the core element of the Ainu, who went to the Philippines 16,000 YBP in an unusual, Caucasian appearing type, and then moved to the Southern Japanese islands north into Japan 13,000 YBP, quite possibly replacing an ancient Negrito type already there. This Negrito type definitely existed in Southern China and may well have existed in Korea. Some Australoids or especially Australoid-Mongoloid mixes can have a superficial “Caucasian” appearance, but that’s just parallel development, coincidence or more probably the fact that the possible human phenotypes is only a small subset of the possible ones.

It is this coincidentally “Caucasoid” appearance that led many observers to believe that the Ainu were somehow ancient Caucasians (Norwegians, joked one anthropologist was) that got stranded from the rest of Europoid flock way over on the other side of Asia. In fact, the Ainu are Australoid by skull and Mongoloid by genes. Their language, like the Japanese language, has an ancient Austronesian layer that has led many to falsely conclude that the Altaic Japanese language is actually an Austronesian one. The argument is even better with Ainu, the deeper group of which has not been shown to my satisfaction.

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Anatolian Homeland for Indo-European: The Argument Is Over

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: I don’t have a dog in this fight and I not an Indo-Europeanist. But check this anti-Kurgan Hypothesis video. The talk about ‘wheel’ cognates across three continents is fascinating.

I know some Indo-Europeanists pretty well. We communicate back and forth. And they have told me that it is now unanimous among Indo-Europeanists that the proper name for the family is Indo-Anatolian, similar to Joseph Greenberg’s Indo-Hittite. In other words, Anatolian itself is so divergent from the rest of IE that it is a sister to all of the non-Anatolian languages.

The argument is over. Indo-European is divided into Anatolian and everything else, so Anatolian is a sister family to all of the rest of IE. That right there shows that Anatolian split far before all the rest. According to the Kurgan Hypothesis, that can’t be so.

And if Anatolian split is that far from the rest of IE, obviously it was the initial homeland and Colin Renfrew’s Anatolian homeland theory gained backing when a phylogenetic or Bayesian analysis by Atkinson and Grey showed that IE goes back 9,000 YBP.

However, the Kurgan Hypothesis is also correct. Obviously, the Kurgan area was a secondary homeland for the IE people. It looks like IE sat  in Anatolia for ~3,000 years, not doing a whole lot, and then went to the Kurgan area 6,000 YBP. I would argue for a secondary split of Tocharian after Anatolian and then all of the rest of IE splitting off from that.

Indo-European being divided into Anatolian first and then all non-Anatolian languages after that, similar to how

  • Turkic is actually Bulgaro-Turkic, as Turkic is divided into Chuvash, etc. and all of the non-Bulgaric languages.
  • Tungusic is now divided into Manchu-Tungus, ie, Tungusic is divided into Manchu and all of the non-Manchu languages.
  • Tai is split into the Kadai languages and then all of the non-Kadai languages.
  • Inuit is divided into Aleut and then all of the non-Aleut languages.
  • Austronesian is obviously divided into the languages of Taiwan and then all of the non-Taiwan languages, but they are not formally split that way.

We don’t have a lot of these splits in IE itself that I’m aware of.

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On the Phrase “Jerry Rigging” (And a More Racist Equivalent Phrase)

Polar Bear: There’s such a thing as Black stability. I went to college with a postal worker and had multiple black coworkers that remind me of the same black guy. Simple men that were easy to get along with.

More like Black practicality to me  rather than stability. But practicality itself is rather stabilizing, no? Black people are pragmatic. They have common sense. That’s one thing I really like about Black people.

You know that phrase called jerry-rigging? Well, another name for that is nigger-rigging. I know, racist. But people around me (My peers, not my parents and their friends – are you kidding?!) have been using that word my whole life in reference to their own actions, so I’m not even sure if it’s an insult.

I mean is it really a racist insult? A White person says he nigger-rigged something. Ok? That means…what? It means he’s acting like a nigger, right? That’s why I’m not even sure it’s all that racist. It’s sort of Whites calling themselves niggers, which doesn’t seem all that racist.

Incidentally, we Whites do call ourselves and each other niggers. It’s a lot more acceptable than calling Black people that word. I just called my friend a nigger or called myself a nigger? How is that racist? I mean it’s an insult when you use it against a Black…when you use it against a White, what does it even mean?

It’s like straight guys calling  each other fags, which is a lot more common nowadays than calling gay men that. How is that hatred of gays? I just called my friend a fag as a joke. That means I hate gay guys? Come  on.

Anyway, back to the subject.

Even people who almost never called Black people niggers would use that phrase nigger-rigging.

“How did you fix it?”

“Oh, I just kinda nigger-rigged it. It’s good for now at least anyway.”

Usually chuckles follow because that word is always sort of funny for some reason.

To nigger-rig or to jerry-rig (let’s switch to jerry-rigging – enough with uncomfortable words) something means a cheap, adaptive, half-assed yet workable and ultimately ingenious sort of a half-fix that is “good for now” but is not a long-term solution for the problem. It’s just a cheap, temporary fix.

It’s not a half-assed fix because you are lazy. It’s half-assed because you don’t have the materials on hand to fix it properly. But it’s a temporary fix that “works for now.” There is also a hint of ingenuity, inventiveness, cleverness, and adaptability in it. Which is why, despite the racism, the phrase is ultimately a compliment to Blacks.

Black people perhaps historically being often short on the money and materials needed to do a proper fix on something would then master the art of jerry-rigging (hence the version with the slur) not out of laziness but out of the necessity of the moment. Necessity being the mother of invention after all. Why do it? Because you don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, that’s why.

What I like about the idea of the association of Blacks with jerry-rigging is that it suggests that Blacks are inventive, clever, adaptive, and ingenious in a sense (in a practical, not world-class inventor) way. And if you know Black people well, you know that is indeed a characteristic of them. Jerry-rigging isn’t good for long-term fixes. What’s it good for? Short-term fixes which are needed for…what? How about survival? Black people know how to survive. I’ll give them that.

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How the Word Berserk Came to Be

The word berserk comes from two Danish brothers named Berserk who lived on an island off the coast of Denmark back in the ~1600’s or maybe even later. They lived there for some time, murdering everyone who visited the island in the most horrible ways and maybe even eating them to boot. This went on for a while, and at some point, a group of people undertook an expedition to the island and killed the brothers.

The brothers’ name became a word, Berserker, in the Danish language for anyone or anything that seemed out of control and maniacal.  At some point, it got borrowed into English as berserk with the same meaning.

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The Preposterous Altaic Controversy, or the Failure of Empiricism and Growth of Faith-Based Dogmatism in Modern Linguistics

Polar Bear: Interesting how North Chinese Mongol types made it down to Korea.

Yes, and keep in mind that that same group on the shores of Shandong Peninsula also became the Japanese. They were together as some sort of Proto-Japanese-Koreans as early as 8,000 YBP. That finding is controversial though because it is based on Altaic Theory and a paper by noted Altaicist Martine Robeets of the Max Plank Institute in Switzerland.

Although Altaic is as obvious a language family as Algonquian, for some reason, a group of fanatics have attacked the idea and have now turned it into the “crazy theory.”

However, I did a recent survey of Altaic linguists, and 73% of them support some form of Altaic Theory. The loudmouths are the 27% minority, and they are running the show.

General Linguistics despises Altaic Theory, it is now an ojbect of ridicule, and if you believe in Altaic you are regarded as a super-kook. I think most linguists are just going along with the fanatics due to peer pressure. Peer pressure is extreme in my field. It’s as bad an 8th grade playground, especially when they are under the cover of anonymity like the losers on the Bad Linguistics Reddit. They’re such cowards that they won’t even tell us their names.

I think the peer pressure and bullying of the erudite by the ignorant obscurantists has gotten so bad that if you said you believed in Altaic, you might have a hard time getting hired at a university nowadays.

Anti-Altaic fanaticism has come out of the US. This is unfortunate and it is because the US is the center of the linguistic scholarly universe. US linguists act as arrogant American exceptionalist “linguistic imperialists of the US hegemon” in the same way that US politics revolves around the arrogant American exceptionalist Deep State theorists promoting the US Empire and the US as the hegemon or dictator of the world.

That most of these linguists are actually on the Left while spouting the worst conservatism and reaction is even more pathetic, but it makes sense if one sees the modern Cultural Left as actually a backwards, reactionary, throwback movement.

As an example, the Cultural Left is now the Sex-Hating Left, the Victorian Left, the Comstockian Left, the Prude Left. Conservatives are more sex-positive than your average dour, sour-faced, turd-in-the-punchbowl, party-pooping Cultural Leftist.

Problem with this is that like American foreign policy know-it-all dimwits, US linguist know-it-all dimwits leading the charge against Altaic overwhelmingly know absolutely nothing whatsoever about Altaic Theory. They’re just going along with crowd, and following the bully-boys, throwing rocks and calling names at the designated victims, the Altaicists. Like I said above, it’s 8th grade all over again.

It’s pathetic, especially if you realize that these are grown men and not pubescent children engaging in such theatrics and over the top histrionics.

As an example, the Wikipedia article on Altaic has been completely ruined by these fanatics, and it stands now more as a monument to know-nothingism in the social sciences than to any sort of actual empiricism. It’s a sad day when we linguists join the rest of the social “science” crowd in their war against facts and truth in favor of ideology being led by ideologues masquerading as scientists.

One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

As a result of this “virus pandemic” of ignorant anti-Altaicism coming out of the land of the free, a large majority of linguists reject Altaic Theory. I might point out that this stupidity virus didn’t spread too far across the pond.

European linguists still generally believe in Altaic, though most don’t know it well. I have seen these poor sods wander into linguistic debates shaking their heads wondering why the Hell Altaic is even controversial at all, when it’s really about as easily proven as Uto-Aztecan. They’re dumbfounded.

So this ignorance epidemic is a lot less contagious than we first feared. The anti-Altaic virus is not particularly harmful for those who catch it. The coarse is mild but very long-lasting. The only notable symptom is being reduced to drooling, screeching, straitjacket cases whenever the word Altaic is mentioned. The prognosis is good, but some might be cooking a heart attack or stroke if they don’t calm down soon.

Please note though that my research has proven that among those who specialize in Altaic,  the overwhelming majority (73%) support Altaic. I have my research written up in notes, and I really need to put it into an article. Let me know if any of you readers want me to write this up.

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Ethnic Nationalists and Language Classification Mix Like Oil and Water

Mithridates: What’s for damn sure is that ethnic nationalists (Oh, the myriad varieties of them!!) are the #1 threat to any sane and sensible discussion on topics like… and language classifications…

I am not sure if you have read any of my linguistic work, but some of it has already been published. I had to deal with ethnic nationalists a lot (Turkish ethnic nationalists – some of the worst of them all), and it was definitely not pleasant. For instance, they insist that the (IMHO – 53) Turkic languages are all just dialects of Turkish! And good luck trying to disabuse them of that notion. They’re very aggressive and they’re even violent (check out recent videos), and that makes them even more scary.

Right now I am dealing with a Macedonian ethnic nationalist (all Balkan varieties are very unpleasant to say the least) and he was extremely unpleasant. He is trying to get me fired from my professor job LOL. I’m flattered that he thinks I’m obviously a university professor, but nope, I’m not. So I wish him luck getting me fired from a job I don’t have.

Beyond that, ethnic nationalists are the bane of language classification. There are so many “dialects” that are so obviously separate languages but we can’t split them because ethnic nationalists run the discourse in those countries. Idiotically, my field utterly unscientifically states that there is no way to tell a language from a dialect.

Oh yeah? We can put a man on the moon but we can’t develop a successful definitions of language and dialect? How absurd is that?

So we stupidly throw up our hands and say this is not a linguistic question (though obviously it is) and say the distinction between the two is a political matter (!), so we throw it over to the most dishonest  reprobates people on Earth next to out and out criminals, namely, politicians! Of course politicians  never lie or anything like that!

So really we should take all of our scientific questions over to politics and let politics answer these questions! Hell, politics won’t even give you a straight answer if you ask it what time or day it is. If a politician’s mouth is moving, he’s lying. It’s practically a requirement to score high on the psychopathy scale to be a politician. So let’s let these pathological lying sociopaths called politicians answer our scientific questions in Linguistics!

Ethnic nationalists have infiltrated language classification by petitioning to get languages removed from their countries, as they wish to believe that the only language in say Ruritania is Ruritanian, and all of the other languages, no matter how different, are dialects of Ruritanian!

So Basque is just a dialect of Spanish, right? And Suomi or Lappish is a dialect of Swedish. And Sorbian is a dialect of German. And Breton and Basque are dialects of French. As you can see, we could go on and on here.

There are probably 2,000 languages within the scope of “Chinese,” yet the Chinese government lies and says there is only one Chinese language. We linguists have to go along with this insanity because…why?

Ethnic nationalists dishonestly removed several Occitan languages and several North Germanic languages in Sweden, among other places. I can’t believe that SIL (the publishers of Ethnologue who are now in charge of handing out ISO codes for new languages) fell for this.

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The Languages of Sweden

Ethnic nationalists in Sweden got several full-fledged language removed from the Swedish section of Ethnologue by petitioning the ISO committee at SIL, the organization that gives out new language codes. I can’t believe they fell for this, but SIL is not really that smart when it comes to individual languages and they are easily swayed by slick liars.

In Sweden for instance, there are at least six different languages and probably more.

Scanian or Skåne in Southeast Sweden is a separate language – it’s actually the same language as Bornholmian in Northeast Denmark which is also a separate language. Swedes have told me that the harder forms of Scanian are not fully intelligible with Swedish.

Jämtish in Jämtland in Southwest Sweden is a separate language – actually the same language as Trøndersk in Southeast Norway. Jamtish lacks full intelligibility with Swedish. It’s closer to Norwegian, but the Norwegian lect with which it is a part is not comprehensible at all to Norwegians.

Gutnish on the isle of Gotland is a completely separate language – closer to Old Norse and modern Icelandic than to Swedish. One Swedish man said he lived on Gotland, and after eight years, he still couldn’t understand the old farmers.

Dalecarlian in Dalarna in the west is surely several different languages – Elfdalian in Älvdalen being the best known, and even Swedish linguists confess that this is a separate language. Even Wikipedia admits that a lot of the Dalecarlian dialects are not intelligible with Swedish.

The Swedes in Finland speak a completely different language called Österbotten that is full of Finnish borrowings. I have heard that Swedes cannot understand this language well.

So “Swedish” then is at least six separate languages and probably more as a number of the Dalecarlian dialects can’t even understand each other.

  • Swedish Proper
  • Scanian (closer to Danish)
  • Jamtish (closer to Norwegian)
  • Dalecarlian (same as Jamtish)
  • Gutnish (ancient, closer to Icelandic)
  • Österbotten or Finnish Swedish

However, the Swedish government, probably worried about separatism, refuses to go along with this and insists that all of these are dialects of Swedish. To be fair, there is indeed a separatist movement in Scania, but I’m not sure how popular it is.

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Which Version Is Correct: SJWs or SJW’s

Jason: In a discussion about SJWs:

SHI: On Queera and a few other sites, they will often write that word as SJW’s. Isn’t that an object of preposition? Looks like SJW-era grammar rules to me, since I’m seeing it used so frequently. Also on Reddit.

Can’t we think up some faggy insulting name for Reddit and Redditors? I’m really want to troll those fucks so hard.

It is not an object of a proposition. These are two different ways of pluralizing nouns in all caps. No one understands how to do this and many morons are over-correcting are putting apostrophe’s on non-proper lower case nouns and obviously take no apostrophes: “melon’s for sale.”

What can I say? Your average 100 IQ person is just not that smart. As George Carlin said, “Think of how stupid the average person is. That person has an IQ of 100. Now imagine that half the population is even dumber than that!”

With all upper case nouns, there are two ways of pluralizing them, without an apostrophe and with one: SJWs or SJW’s.

You can do either with all pluralized nouns written in all upper case. Idiot Internet loudmouths like to scream that the version with the apostrophe (SJW’s) is wrong, and the new trend does seem to be without the apostrophe (SJWs). They’re wrong. I believe the apostrophe version is older and was first and the non-apostrophe version is newer and favored, but the older version with the apostrophe is still correct.

Of course, as an old-fashioned, increasingly socially conservative stick in the mud, near-old fogey and semi-Luddite, I continue to defiantly use the old method with the apostrophe. And like a typical old fashioned conservative jerk, I hate the new version, think it’s sloppy, and regard people who use it as idiots.

Of course, I’m also sort of an asshole, so I am of course deliberately using the old version to the troll the whole damn world, piss off Normies and loudmouths, and watch them squirm in self-righteous retarded ignorance while they scream that right is wrong, and I’m a dumbfuck for believing this, except of course right isn’t wrong. I mean a 6 year old could tell you that. Just shows you 6 year olds know a lot more than a lot of self-styled ivory tower eggheads.

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A Bit on the Celtic Languages: Welsh, Cornish, and Manx

@SHI comments on this post.

SHI: A Welshman fluent in his native tongue must be the saddest person around.

Why would a Welshman be sad? 20% of the population speaks Welsh now.

SHI: I believe the last native Cornish speaker died sometime in the 19rh century.

Cornish supposedly died out in the late 1700’s. The last speaker was said to be a woman,  a  fishmonger or seller of fish. But incredibly enough, it actually looks like it lingered on all the way into the early 20th Century or maybe later. A recent article I read said that actually Cornish never really died and has always been with us.

SHI: Manx must be doing well though. A separate island breeds isolation and preservation.

Manx died out in 1974, but it’s been revived lately too with 2,500 speakers. Some speakers are even raising their kids in Manx! There are now ~35 native speakers who grew up speaking Manx!

There is a Manx-native school too. The last speaker was Ed Mandrell, a fisherman who died in 1974. He was the last native speaker of Manx, not the last speaker of Manx. At the time that Mandrel died, there were ~300 second language speakers who could speak it more or less fluently but were not native speakers. So Manx actually never even went away! That second language speakers learned it as students.

Mandrell speaking in 1964. He’s talking to Brian Stowell, who learned Manx when he was older. However, Stowell is still alive and he is one of the best modern Manx speakers out there, with a large vocabulary.

That English accent of Mandrell’s is a kicker. It sounds very much like Scots, the English-like language still spoken in parts of Scotland. It’s actually not English at all. It’s a separate language and English and Scots have ~41% intelligibility. They split 500 years ago. Modern speakers from Man sound a lot like Scousers or Liverpudlians.

There are speakers in the comments saying that they speak Irish, and they can understand a lot of his Manx. Manx was created after all by a movement of Irish speakers to the Isle of Man. One commenter says it sounds a lot like Ulster Irish, his dialect of Irish.

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A Bit on Breton and Other Minority Languages of France

@SHI, responding to this post:

Sounds like Welsh or something in the Celtic languages family.

Perhaps, Breton or any other minority languages? I think it’s spoken in modern France.

Yes, it is Celtic. Good job for getting that.

Nope, it’s not Breton. Yes, Breton is spoken in Brittany in France at the far northwestern part of the country. It stems from a migration by Welsh speakers to that part of France in 1300, so it’s close to Welsh. Apparently they can’t really understand each other though. I would guess ~30% intelligibility, if that.

Both languages are part of a branch of Celtic called Byrthonic. Believe it or not, 2,000 years ago, Byrthonic languages were the only languages spoken in England and Wales. They’ve gone extinct now except for Welsh, Manx, and Cornish.

The other branch is called Goidelic and includes Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

Although Breton has 500,000 speakers, it’s not in very good shape because France tries to destroy every non-French language spoken in the country. Most speakers are older and there are few young speakers.

However, a number of private schools have been set up to teach children. The teach them a new form called Unified Breton, which oddly and comically enough is so different from the other Breton languages spoken that the older speakers cannot understand these New Breton speakers.

France has even attacked the other langues d’oil, of which French (Parisien) is only one. Parisien happened to be the langue d’oil spoken in Paris, so it became Standard French. However, in WW 1, 80% of French troops could not speak French! Can you imagine that?

They spoke the other langues d’oil, the various Occitan languages (perhaps as many as 18),  Arpitan  or Franco-Provencal (which may also be u to 20 languages), Souletin Basque, Breton (four different languages), Alsatian (German), or West Flemish. Incredible, isn’t it? The other langues d’oil are in horrible shape, though most have not gone extinct yet.

They split from Parisien and the other langues d’oil from Old French around 1,000 years ago, so they are very divergent. Intelligibility between Poitevin and Lorraine is estimated at 1%! Believe it or not, Poitevin still has monolinguals in their 60’s. A form of Norman spoken on the border of Normandy and Brittany also has monolinguals, usually farm workers in their 40’s and 50’s. Isn’t that incredible?

SHI: It’s clearly not Manx or Cornish.

Ha ha, what makes you so sure about that second opinion, my man?

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Spot the Language

Dres moy es hanter bledhen an yeth o kov passys yn. Y’n jydh hedhyw, byttegyns, yma an yeth yn argerdh dasserghyans ha, wostalleth yma niver freth ha nebes kowsoryon a vyhan. An Ruwvaneth Unys a sinas an Chartour Europek rag Yethow Ranndiryel po Byhan ha res yw dhedha gwitha an yeth.

Y’n gwettha prys, nyns eus hwithrans sad dhe selya an niver, avel yma yn Kembra. Tus ha governans a deby yma ‘ogas veth’ po ‘marnas nebes kansow’ a gewsel, ytho yma fowt a arhasow ha gwriansow a-barth an yeth. Dhe orthtreylya an studh ma, an kows ma atemptya selya niver yn mar hardlych dell bossybyl. An niver ma a yll bos dhe besya gans an difressyans an yeth yn fordh wiw.

This one is not as hard as it seems. You should at least get the language family right, if not the language itself. And yes, it is definitely spoken in Europe. This language is not widely known though, and probably a lot of people have never heard of it or think it doesn’t exist. Unlike many European languages, it does not have a large number of speakers.

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Minority Languages in Russia

I’ve been working on this article for at least a year now, but actually I think it has been in my files for longer, up to five years. You can see that much of the information is a bit out of date as a result. A lot of this information was translated from Russian sources. The translations to English were poor, so the whole mess needed a huge rewrite from mangled Russian to English translation to a more proper English.

I’ve done this a number of times before and it was never easy. For some reason this is always a lot harder than it seems. For one thing, I had to eliminate entire sentences because I couldn’t properly understand what they were saying or they were saying something that didn’t seem correct to me.

For that matter it is quite hard to rewrite something written in seriously mangled English by someone who can’t write or even worse by someone who has English as a second language and doesn’t write it well. You would think it would be easy to turn mangled English into proper English, but it’s just not.

This post is pretty long. It runs to 33 pages on the web. If it were in a book, it would run to 16 pages.

According to the Constitution of Russia, Russian is the official language on the whole territory of the Russian Federation, but regions are given the right to establish republics and set their own their national languages. The Constitution also guarantees the right of all the peoples of Russia to preserve their native language and to create conditions for its study and development.

According to the Basic Law of Languages, citizens have the right to use their native language as the language of communication, education, learning, and creativity.

We will now look at the study of native languages in the schools of the Russian Federation in the areas within the jurisdiction of the regional authorities. In Russian schools, 89 different languages are studied, of which 39 are used as the language of instruction.

Adygea

In 2007 Parliament passed a law mandating the compulsory study of the Adygean language for Adygean children in schools where Russian is the mode of instruction. However, this law was repealed in 2013. Recently, March 14 was designed the Day of the Speaking and Writing the Adyghe Language. Parents of preschoolers may also choose to put their children in Aegean-language public kindergartens.

The Ministry of Education and Science reported the results of Adygean language teaching in the schools: in 43 preschools, 4,759 Adygean children study the language. In 127 preschools, children are taught the basics of Adyghe culture, customs, and traditions.

All students in Russian-medium schools must study the history and geography of Adygea, and Russian-speaking pupils have a choice of studying Adyghe Language or Adyghe Literature. 22,000 students are currently studying Adygean Language, and 27,600 are studying Adygean Literature.

Altai

There are regular proposals from the Altai people and educators to mandate the compulsory study of the Altai languages Northern Altai and Southern Altai for Altai children. Both Northern and Southern Altai are divided into three divergent dialects each, so there are actually six separate Altai languages. The three languages of the northern and southern groups each were combined into a Northern Altai and Southern Altai official language respectively.

Recently, an attempt was made to pass such legislation, but government legal scholars felt the law would violate children’s rights.

In Gorno-Altaisk on March 15, 2014 at the 9th Session of the Altay Culture Meeting, representatives of the Altai people went further, adopting a resolution to mandate Altai languages study for all students, no matter their ethnicity. However, attendees warned about a Russian backlash.

They felt that such a law would inevitably lead to rising dissent among Russians and other non-Altaians in the republic. This unrest could conceivably lead to the elimination of republic status for the Altai Republic itself.

Bashkortostan

A law is in place in Bashkortostan mandating the compulsory study of the Bashkir language by all students. Each educational institution gets to decide how many hours per week they wish to devote to Bashkir study. Parents of Russian children regularly protest this law and propose to make the study of Bashkir voluntary instead. Chuvash parents have also protested the law. Ethnic tensions have heightened in the area recently.

Buryatia

The question of the possible introduction of compulsory study of the Buryat language in republic schools has been discussed recently and has wide public support. Recently, a video titled, Buryad Heleeree Duugarayal! – “Let’s Speak Buryat!,” was released, urging Buryats to not forget their native language.

However, regional authorities decided to keep the study of Buryat optional in the republic. A few deputies appealed the ruling, and various amendments were adopted at their request, but the amendments did not substantially change the authorities’ decision to keep Buryat study optional. Opponents of the idea of compulsory study of Buryat in the schools fear that it will lead to the emergence of ethnic tensions.

Chechnya

In Chechnya, the national language is taught in all schools of the republic as a separate subject. Since 95% of the population is a member of a titular ethnic group, there have been no protests about people being forced to study a non-native language. There are no problems with Chechen in the countryside – on the contrary, children in Chechen villages have a poor knowledge of Russian.

Despite the fact that the national language is widely used in everyday life, nevertheless, the scope of its use continues to steadily narrow. At the last roundtable of the Ministry of Culture of the Chechen Republic, officials noted what they felt was the alarming process of mixing Chechen and Russian in speech as well as a gradual tendency towards replacement of Chechen in the official sphere.

According to the director of the Institute of Education of the Chechen Republic, Abdullah Arsanukaev, the introduction of Chechen language instruction in the schools could ameliorate this situation. The government for its part is working to equalize Russian and Chechen ​​on the official level. It is expected to create a state commission for the conservation, development, and dissemination of the Chechen language.

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug

The main languages ​​in Chukotka are Chukchi, Eskimo, and Even. The government is now working on a program for the development of the these languages. So far, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Chukotka has organized courses in Chukchi and Even.

Chukchi is the language of everyday communication for most Chukchi in the family and when engaging in traditional economic activities. In schools in Chukchi villages, Chukchi classes are compulsory in primary school and optional in high school.

Chuvashia

The Chuvash language is taught as a compulsory subject in schools and in a number of universities for one or two semesters.

“In the beginning, a lot of parents opposed their children studying Chuvash. But today I can say with confidence that these parents no longer feel this way. In contrast, some even want their the child to know the native language of Chuvashia, and probably rightly so,” says Olga Alekseeva, a teacher of Chuvash language and literature in School № 50 in Cheboksary.

The acuteness of the language issue in the country can be judged by recent events – in 2013, a court found Chuvash journalist Ille Ivanova guilty of inciting ethnic hatred for a publication about how the Chuvash language was disadvantaged in the Chuvash Republic.

Discussions around the native language exacerbated the recent language reform. According to opponents of reform, the new rules impoverished the language and could catalyze its Russification.

Crimea

The newly adopted constitution of the new Russian region declared three official languages ​​- Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean Tatar. Education in schools will be carried out in these three languages​​.

Russian-speaking parents of children from Buryatia, Bashkortostan, and the Tatar Republic residing in Crimea have already appealed to the President of Russia and the leadership of Crimea requesting making the study of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar voluntary in Crimea.

Activists fear that unless the law is rewritten, in the future, all children regardless of nationality will be obliged to study all three official languages. Signatories cite the example of their national republics, where Russian-speaking students have to learn a foreign language, the titular language of the republic.

Dagestan

The people of Dagestan speak 32 languages​​, although only 14 native languages are officially recognized. Elementary schools allow instruction in 14 different languages, depending on the region. The rest of the instruction is in Russian.

According to Murtazali Dugrichilova of the North Caucasus radio station Freedom, the native language of the ethnic group is spoken in the most parts of the country as the language of the home. “In rural areas, all of the local languages are spoken. In large cities such as or in Makhachkala or Derbent, teaching in national languages is optional,” he said.

In the future, at the suggestion of Ramadan Abdulatipova, Dagestan will form a commission on the use of Russian and local languages ​​of the republic. It is also expected that after the adoption of the law “On Languages ​​of the Republic of Dagestan,” all 32 languages ​​in the country will receive the status of the official language.

Director of the Institute of Language, Literature, and Art at the Dagestan Scientific Center Magomed Magomedov believes that after enactment of the new law, all of the native languages of the region will be present in the school system.

Dagestan took into consideration the negative experiences of other national republics in this area, and according to Magomedov, the law will prohibit demonstrations and pickets about language issues.

Ingushetia

According to the law “On the State Languages ​​of the Republic of Ingushetia,” Ingush and Russian are both used as official state languages in all educational institutions in the country.

Experts believe that the preservation and development of Ingush is necessary to ensure it is on an equal footing with Russian in all aspects in the republic. In addition, there has been a lot of discussion about the need to develop new words in Ingush for modern things such as industrial terminology.

Kabardino-Balkaria

In Kabardino-Balkaria, the debate over language issues flared up in connection with the adoption of amendments to the law “On Education.” The law mandates that both languages,​ Kabardian and Balkar, be used in education for children who have one of these languages as a mother tongue.

Kalmykia

According to the law “On Languages ​​of the Republic of Kalmykia,” in schools where instruction is in Russian, the Kalmyk language will be introduced starting in first grade as a compulsory school subject. Representatives of non-Kalmyks in the republic are unhappy with this law, but they have not said much about it.

Language activists point out that Kalmyk has a low status in Kalmykia. As an example, they cite the fact that cultural events and even national holiday celebrations are exclusively in Russian.

Karachay-Cherkessia

In the republic, Abaza, Karachay, Nogay, Circassian, and Russian are all official languages​​. The Constitution of the republic mandates compulsory education in the native language for students who have one of the above as a native language.

In addition, according to the law “On Education,” in those Russian-language schools, students who have a native language other than Russian must be taught their native language as a compulsory subject. National activists think that the best outcome is achieved when native languages are used as a mode of instruction and not taught as a special subject. At the moment, the republic is in the process of updating textbooks in Abaza, Karachay, Nogay, and Circassian.

Karelia

Karelia is the only national republic of the Russian Federation in which Russian is the only state language. One of the problems with raising the status of the Karelian language here has been the fact that Karelians are a minority in their own republic, and as a consequence, the republic has only a relatively small number of Karelian speakers.

Recently, President Anatoly Grigoryev of the Karelian Congress fielded a proposal to declare three official languages in Karelia ​​- Russian, Karelian, and Finnish. They modeled this notion on Crimea, where authorities promised to introduce trilingualism as the official policy.

National languages are optionally taught in preschool, elementary school, and high school. According to the Ministry of Education in 2013, 6,500 students studied Karelian, Finnish, and Veps.

Khakassia

As in many republics, the Khakass language is preserved mainly in rural areas that are densely populated by indigenous peoples. Compulsory Khakass language study is mandatory in all national schools in the republic.

Meanwhile, Political Science professor Gunzhitova Handa said that in Khakassia on September 1, 2014, Khakass classes became mandatory from grades 1-11, with an exam in Russian, Russian-Khakass, and Khakass schools.

Khanty-Mansiysk

According to NGO’s, there is only one native language course for the 4,000 speakers of Khanty and Mansi in the republic. Language loss in both languages has been accelerating in recent years. Representatives of youth organizations of indigenous peoples of the North have offered drastic solutions, including depriving national benefits to Khanty and Mansi peoples who do not know their native language.

According to the Hope Moldanova, president of the Ob-Ugric Peoples youth organization, “Young people have a different attitude towards their native language nowadays. Some of them are fluent in two languages but only understand but do not speak their native language, and others think it is sufficient to only know Russian, which is spoken by the majority.”

She too is concerned that the new generation is less interested in the national languages​​. Due to the low demand for the specialty, Ugra State University even closed its Finno-Ugric language Department.

Khanty still has 10,000 speakers in three divergent dialects.  The dialects are so divergent that they are actually separate languages. 40% of Khanty speak their language. In the north, Khanty is still widely spoken in the home, but a boarding school system often causes children to shift to Russian during school age.

In the east, there are still some child speakers but there has been a general shift to Russian. Intergenerational transmission of Khanty has stopped in the south. Schools in Khanty-speaking areas generally use Russian as  the mode of instruction.

Mansi has 1,000 speakers, 50% of the ethnic group. It formerly consisted of four highly divergent dialects, two of which have either gone extinct or are probably extinct. These dialects were so different that they were actually separate languages. Up to 50% of children are still brought up in Mansi. However, the population is shifting to Russian. Schools in the area generally use Russian.

The northern dialect has most of the remaining speakers. There are only a few remaining elderly speakers of the eastern dialect. The southern dialect went extinct before 1950, and the western dialect is probably also extinct.

Komi

The Ministry of Education introduced the compulsory study of Komi language from the first grade in 2011. Later that year, in September 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that the study of the Komi language in schools of the republic was mandatory. Now schools may choose two different Komi language study programs – “like a native” (up to 5 hours per week) or “as a state language” (2 hours per week in the primary grades).

According to Natalia Mironova, an employee of the Komi Scientific Center’s Ural Branch, this has led to latent discontent among the youth. She said high school students do not understand why they should waste time studying the Komi language when it takes away precious time they could be using to study for their math exams.

Mari El

In the Republic of Mari El, where the official languages ​​are Russian and Mari (Meadow Mari and Hill Mari), mandatory study of Russian and one of the Mari languages was introduced in 2013. Analysts say that among the Russian population, there is growing dissatisfaction with the fact that they are forced to learn what they consider to be an unnecessary language, but there have been few protests about the matter.

Mordovia

The republic introduced the compulsory study of either the Erzya or Moksha languages ​​in all schools of the republic in 2006. Originally, mandatory study of these languages only took place in national schools in districts and villages where there were many Erzya and Moksha people residing. Prior, since 2004, teaching of these languages had been optional in Russian-language schools.

When the compulsory study of these languages was introduced, there ​​were signs of dissatisfaction on the part of the Russian-speaking parents. Now, the number of dissatisfied parents has significantly decreased, and their voice is almost imperceptible.

Nenets Autonomous Okrug

In NAO there are 43,000 people, of which about 7,500 are the members of the titular population, the Nenets. The main problem in the study of the Nenets languages, Forest Nenets and Tundra Nenets, is the lack of books and teachers.

Tundra Nenets still has a good number of speakers, but Forest Nenets is only spoken by a small population. Tundra Nenets has speakers of all ages and is still spoken by children. However, in the west of the republic, a shift to Komi and Russian is underway.

According the Lyudmila Taleevoy of the Methodist SBD Nenets Regional Center for Education Development, the pedagogy programs at the university level no longer prepare specialists in teaching Nenets. Instead, children are taught Nenets by Russian-speaking teachers who studied Nenets when they were students. An old outdated Nenets grammar is used in instruction.

North Ossetia

According to the regional law on languages​​, children have the right to choose schooling in one of two languages – Russian or Ossetian. Ossetian consists of two dialects, Iran and Digorian. The two dialects are so divergent that they are basically separate languages.

According Ossetian journalist Zaur Karaev, all students who have another language as a native tongue, such as Armenians, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, and others, must study their native languages in language classes in the primary grades. The language teaching program is more complicated in high school.

Tatarstan

In Tatarstan, where only half of the population is a member of the titular ethnic group, the Tatars, the study of the Tatar language is compulsory for all. Non-Tatar speaking parents regularly protest this law. They even appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office claiming that the law discriminated against Russian-speaking students, but an inquiry by the prosecutor’s office found no violations.

Meanwhile, Tatar nationalists for their part remain alarmed about the state of the Tatar language. According to them, Tatar has a low status in the republic – for instance, in the streets, most writing on storefronts is in Russian, not Tatar. There are also problems with Tatar in TV media, and there is no university that conducts all of its teaching in Tatar.

Nevertheless, the republic regularly implements Tatar language projects and programs, a recent one being the introduction of the Tatar study in kindergartens.

Tuva

In contrast to most of the other republics, in Tuva, it is the Russian language that is in bad shape, not the titular language, Tuva, which is in much better shape. In 2008, a report noted that Russian was in terrible shape in Tuva.

According to Valerie Kahn, a researcher in the Sociology and Political Science Departments at the Tuvan Institute of Humanitarian Research, the authorities were forced to pay attention to this problem. 2014 was declared the Year of the Russian Language in Tuva. As a consequence, systematic measures have been taken to ensure that children in rural areas can learn Russian.

According to Khan, the Tuvan language is in excellent shape. Travelers also note that residents of the republic mostly communicate in Tuvan, although most signs on the streets are in Russian.

Meanwhile Tuvan journalist Oyumaa Dongak believes that the national language is oppressed. On her blog she notes that it is difficult to find Tuvans who speak pure Tuvan without Russian admixture, and even in the government, most employees do not know Tuvan. At the same time, she points out that the state allocated $210 million for the development of the Russian language and nothing for Tuvan.

Udmurtia

The State Council of Udmurtia recently rejected an initiative on compulsory study of the Udmurt language  in the schools of the republic.

Earlier, a similar initiative was made by the association “Udmurt Kenesh.” According to them, the compulsory study of the Udmurt will fight the loss of the Udmurt language in families where the parents do not speak Udmurt with their children as well as develop a culture of multilingualism among citizens. Russian activists have sharply opposed the proposals.

According to the interim head of Udmurtia, Alexander Solovyov, the budget annually allocates money for teaching and training in the titular language.

Yakutia

According to the law of the Sakha Republic “On Languages”, the languages ​​of instruction in secondary schools are Sakha or Yakut, Evenki, Even, Yukaghir, Dolgan, and Chukchi, and Russian in Russian-language schools.

In the non-Russian medium schools, Russian is taught as a subject. Local official languages of various parts of the republic ​​are also taught as a subject in Russian schools in areas in the north where there are large numbers of Evenki, Even, Yukaghir, Dolgan, and Chukchi speakers. In spite of the measures to preserve native languages other than Yakut, all except Yakut have been losing speakers in recent years.

In fact, Evenki, Even, Yukaghir, Dolgan, and Chukchi are only used as the principal means of communication in seven villages and towns. In all other places, most residents no longer speak those languages, and the languages are used mostly by the middle aged and elderly, and even then only in the home or in families that preserve traditional lifestyles like reindeer herding.

In Even areas, Even is taught as a subject from preschool through primary school. Even is an  endangered language. Even has 5,500 speakers.

In areas where the Evenki live, Evenki is taught from preschool through primary school, with an optional course in the eighth grade. Evenki is considered an endangered language. It has 25,000 speakers.

Dolgan, a language very closely related to Sakha, only has 1,000 speakers, and the number continues to decline. Mixed marriages are a problem as when a Dolgan speaker marries a speaker of another language, the children are raised in Russian and hence inter-generational transmission is broken. However, Dolgan is still spoken by all ages and is still being learned by children.

Chukchi still has 5,000 speakers and is considered to be in good shape. It is used in mother tongue education in regions where Chukchis predominate.

Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug faces problems common to republics where languages with only small numbers of speakers remain. The main indigenous languages ​​spoken here are Nenets, Khanty, and Selkup.

YaNAO has problems with  shortages of teachers for all three languages for both native language study classes and mother tongue education, which is offered in the nomadic schools. Other problems these languages face are language teachers who lack language teaching skills for beginning language learners and a shortage of instructional materials in the languages.

The Selkup language has 1,000 speakers, but it is in fairly good shape. It is only taught in the north of the speaker region and even there only until the fourth grade. In a couple of areas of the north, the language is still spoken by Selkups of all ages and also spoken by non-Selkups who reside there. In the north, 90% of Selkups continue to speak their language. In the south it is down to 30%.

Problems

Virtually all minority languages in Russia suffer because parents and students themselves prefer to learn and speak Russian. This is not surprising, as Russian is not only spoken by the majority of the population, but it also remains the main language of interethnic communication in multinational Russia.

Students must pass the compulsory USE exam, a Russian proficiency test, in order to graduate from high school, hence students tend to study Russian more than other languages, including their own native language, in order to pass the test.

Nevertheless the fact remains that the native language remains the basis for the culture and preservation of the ethnic group. If the languages dies, the culture and in a sense the group itself die with it. Hence, promotion of native languages remains an important goal in Russia. Each region is trying to solve the native language problem in its own particular way.

Compulsory study of the official language of the particular region for all students has not had good results. For example, in Tatarstan, all students are required to study Tatar whether even if their native language is not Tatar.

This led to opposition by Russian-speaking parents who saw no use in their children studying Tatar. Further, it has led to the feeling that people who do not speak the language of the titular republic are being oppressed on the basis of their nationality.

Voluntary native language classes in schools do not lead to increased interest in native languages among youth. Realizing this, many regional governments have begun moving the national native language more into day to day life; for instance, by translating books and street signs into the national language.

Communication in the family itself from p parents to children remains the best way to preserve native languages. Peoples who pursue traditional occupations also tend to preserve their languages longer. Also, not everything can be translated into Russian. For instance, in the north, people still use their native language for items and concepts that have no good translation in Russian.

With the Internet has come increased interest among native peoples in preserving their culture and consequently the Net now offers more opportunities to learn native languages. On the other hand, the presence of Russian on the Net had a bad effect on native languages.

For instance, with the advent of the Internet, many more Russian borrowings and neologisms went into native languages. In addition, people on the Net using native languages often do not write their languages properly. This leads to impaired learning of the correct rules and spelling of the language.

As the head of the Center for National Education Problems FIRO MES Artyomenko Olga, a number of republics are reducing the hours of Russian instruction in the schools.

According to her, changes in the laws are needed in order to remove tension between ethnic groups and improve the quality of language instruction.

In particular, she recommended the removal of terms such as “non-Russian native,” “nonnative Russian,” and “Russian as a foreign language” from the laws of Russia.

A bill to update the legal place of the native languages of Russia has been in the works for a long period of time by the State Duma Committee of Nationalities. The bill has been received positively by the regions. Nevertheless, it has not yet passed the Duma.

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Most of the Languages of the Iberian Peninsula Are Halfway Between Two Other Iberian Languages

Or Asturian-Leonese, Galician, and Oliveno are halfway between Castilian and Portuguese, better. Or Catalan, like Occitan, is halfway between Spanish and French, better.

Getting even fancier, Extremaduran-Cantabrian is halfway between Asturian-Leonese and Castilian. Or how about Mirandese and Rio de Onorese, halfway between Asturian and Portuguese. Getting even crazier, how about Murcian and Andalucian, halfway between Mozarabic and Castilian. Or Eonavian-Ibino, halfway between Asturian-Leonese and Galician. Or Fala, halfway between Galician and Asturian-Leonese.

I’m not quite sure what to do with Manchengo and Aragonese. They’re just splits off the Castilian trunk. The latter is for sure a separate language. The former, could be.

The Spanish from the south of Spain is quite different from the Spanish of the north of Spain. Castilian actually came from way up in the north in Cantabria and spread south after 1100, taking out the Kingdoms of Leon, Asturias, Aragon, etc. as it moved south. The Kingdom of Castile is simply the kingdom that came out on top, so it’s language got to be the standard.

Leonese, Asturian, and Aragonese are simply the forms of Iberian Romance that were spoken in those Kingdoms.

Interest fact, Portuguese is actually a dialect of Galician and not the other way around! Not only that but Portuguese and Castilian were one language until Galician-Portuguese split off in 1300. Galician and Portuguese did not split until ~1500. The split between the two is analogous to the split between Scots and English.

Aragonese didn’t split from Castilian until later, I believe in the 1600’s. That’s why it is so close to Spanish. Asturian-Leonese and Castilian probably split ~1300 also.

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European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese Are Almost Two Different Languages by Now

PB: The Portuguese Royalty set up shop in Brazil during Napoleonic Wars. Other former colonies of Portugal understand European Portuguese better than Brazilian Portuguese. Brazil likely received Portuguese from Royals as earlier settlers spoke Tupi or Tupi-Portuguese blend.

Indeed the Portuguese made the same mistake as the Spanish. They didn’t bring any chicks over! Nothing but a sausage fest on those boats to Brazil. It was another story when they landed of course, as the place was full of horny Indian women for the taking, and take them they did. There was a famous case of a Portuguese man who had ~10-15 Tupi Indian wives and maybe ~50 kids between them all. People wonder how Brazil got so race-mixed. Well, there ya go.

Later they brought Black slaves over, and the country was darkening up awful fast. Not that that matters really, but the rulers thought this was an catastrophe. In the 1800’s, they implemented an emergency project called Blanquimiento or the Whitening  Project. This involved mass encouragement and importation of as many White settlers from Europe to Brazil as possible.

The goal? To Whiten the place up, dammit! I always chuckle when I think of this project. Like Hell you could get away with that anywhere in the Current Year. The UN would probably drop a nuclear bomb on anyone who did.

PB: Was this just a romantic Brazilian fantasy or is Brazilian Portuguese more for Lords and Ladies? Basically, what’s the Portuguese equivalent of Castilian Spanish?

Oh Eu Portuguese is absolutely the gold standard lol. Br Portuguese is considered to be much more slangy. A lot of the older tense and mood inflections that have gone out of Br Portuguese are still present in Eu Portuguese. E

u Portuguese can understand Br Portuguese just fine. I mean Brazil has, what? 15-20X as many speakers as Portugal? Portuguese people watch Brazilian movies and news all the time. Their TV is flooded with that stuff.

On the other hand, with a speaker base maybe 7% of the size of Brazil’s, Brazilians don’t get exposed to much Eu Portuguese. This may be more of a problem in written material. I have heard that Br Portuguese can only understand ~50% of Eu Portuguese written material, and it’s a big problem.

The language is written differently in both places. In terms of written language, Brazil would be the equivalent of Castilian Spanish because they continue to write Portuguese based on Portuguese from the 1600’s! The time of the Jamestown, the Mayflower, and Shakespeare.

Imagine if we spoke English like we do now but we still wrote it in Shakespearean Middle English? Crazy or what? By the way, I can only understand 27% of Shakespearean Middle English, and I understand exactly 0% of the Old English of Beowulf.

So there is this huge diglossia issue between the spoken language and the written language, similar to the case of Western Punjabi, spoken in Pakistan, more or less intelligible with Eastern Punjabi spoken in India but written in a completely different way. Indian written Punjabi is more like Sanskrit or Hindi with all sorts of Indianisms. Written Eastern Punjabi is full of Arab and Persian borrowings, and it is very hard for Western Punjabi speakers to read.

Czech also has two languages – a spoken language and a written language. I believe that the written language is an archaic Czech frozen in the 1700’s.

I believe there are some other languages that are written differently from how they are spoken, but they elude me now.

So the way Br Portuguese is written, it is indeed a language for Lords and Ladies, correct. But for spoken Portuguese, Eu Portuguese would be the more archaic and classic form.

Portuguese is actually a rather complex language if you wish to speak it correctly, which few Portuguese speakers bother to do.

I knew a Brazilian woman who proudly told me that her written Portuguese (the 1600’s) was superb, as she used to be a Portuguese teacher. This took me aback a bit, as I thought this was an easy language. The spoken language also has a lot of complex verbal forms, some of which have gone out of the rest of Romance, like the Future Subjunctive.

They are having all sorts of problems in Brazil nowadays but maybe not in Portugal, with Br Portuguese speakers neither writing nor speaking the language properly.

That’s prescriptivist, but so what? Languages have rules. Are you going to speak the language properly or you going to ignore all the rules and botch it up? I can’t believe that linguists actually think that is a stupid question and think it’s real groovy to go ahead and botch up any spoken or written language any way you wish.

“It’s all just nonstandard, dude,” they say, taking another hit on the bong.

Yeah right.

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Test: Anthony Burgess List of the 99 Greatest Modern Novels 1940-1983

Anthony Burgess’ list of the best novels in the English language from 1940-1983.

Burgess is British, so there is a bias here in favor of British novelists and against Irish, Canadian, Australian, and to a lesser extent, American novelists. I am not as up on British novelists as I am on American novelists, so this is probably part of the problem here in a lot of these books I am not familiar with.

The first yes/no statement is whether I have heard of the book.
The second yes/no statement is whether I have read the book.

This is how I did. See how you can do. You don’t have to tally them all up like I did here. Feel free to discuss any of the listed books or authors below if you are familiar with them or heave read them.

1940
Party Going, Henry Green YES NO
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, Aldous Huxley YES NO
Finnegans Wake, James Joyce YES NO (OWN, PART)
At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O’Brien YES NO

1941
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene YES NO
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway YES YES (FORMER OWN)
Strangers and Brothers (to 1970), C. P. Snow NO NO
The Aerodrome, Rex Warner YES NO

1944
The Horse’s Mouth, Joyce Cary YES NO
The Razor’s Edge, W. Somerset Maugham YES NO

1945
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh YES NO

1946
Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake YES NO

1947 The Victim, Saul Bellow YES NO
Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry YES NO

1948
The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene YES NO
The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer YES NO
No Highway, Nevil Shute YES NO

1949
The Heat of the Day, Elizabeth Bowen YES NO
Ape and Essence, Aldous Huxley YES NO
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell YES YES (FORMER OWN)
The Body, William Sansom NO NO

1950
Scenes from Provincial Life, William Cooper NO NO
The Disenchanted, Budd Schulberg YES NO (OWN)

1951 A Dance to the Music of Time (to 1975), Anthony Powell YES NO
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger YES YES (FORMER OWN)
A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight (to 1969), Henry Williamson NO NO
The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk YES NO

1952
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison YES NO
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway YES YES (FORMER OWN)
Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor YES NO
Sword of Honor (to 1961), Evelyn Waugh NO NO

1953
The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler YES YES (FORMER OWN)
The Groves of Academe, Mary McCarthy YES NO

1954
Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis YES YES (FORMER OWN)

1957
Room at the Top, John Braine NO NO
The Alexandria Quartet (to 1960), Lawrence Durrell YES NO
The London Novels (to 1960), Colin MacInnes NO NO
The Assistant, Bernard Malamud YES NO

1958
The Bell,, Iris Murdoch YES NO
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Alan Sillitoe NO NO
The Once and Future King, T. H. White YES (OWN, PART)

1959
The Mansion, William Faulkner YES NO
Goldfinger, Ian Fleming YES NO

1960
Facial Justice, L. P. Hartley NO NO
The Balkan Trilogy (to 1965), Olivia Manning YES NO

1961
The Mighty and Their Fall, Ivy Compton-Burnett NO NO
Catch-22 Joseph Heller, YES YES (FORMER OWN)
The Fox in the Attic, Richard Hughes NO NO
Riders in the Chariot, Patrick White NO NO
The Old Men at the Zoo, Angus Wilson NO NO

1962
Another Country, James Baldwin YES NO
An Error of Judgement, Pamela Hansford Johnson NO NO
Island, Aldous Huxley YES NO
The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing YES YES (FORMER OWN)
Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov YES NO

1963 The Girls of Slender Means, Muriel Spark YES NO

1964
The Spire, William Golding YES NO
Heartland, Wilson Harris NO NO
A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood YES NO
The Defense, Vladimir Nabokov YES NO
Late Call, Angus Wilson NO NO

1965
The Lockwood Concern, John O’Hara NO NO
Cocksure, Mordecai Richler NO NO
The Mandelbaum Gate, Muriel Spark YES NO

1966
A Man of the People, Chinua Achebe YES NO
The Anti-Death League, Kingsley Amis YES NO
Giles Goat-Boy, John Barth YES NO
The Late Bourgeois World, Nadine Gordimer NO NO
The Last Gentleman, Walker Percy NO NO

1967
The Vendor of Sweets, R. K. Narayan YES NO

1968
The Image Men, J. B. Priestley NO NO
Pavane, Keith Roberts NO NO

1969
The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles YES NO Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth YES YES (FORMER OWN)

1970 Bomber, Len Deighton YES NO

1973
Sweet Dreams, Michael Frayn NO NO
Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon YES YES (OWN)

1975
Humboldt’s Gift, Saul Bellow YES YES (FORMER OWN)
The History Man, Malcolm Bradbury NO NO

1976
The Doctor’s Wife, Brian Moore NO NO
Falstaff, Robert Nye NO NO

1977
How To Save Your Own Life, Erica Jong YES NO
Farewell Companions, James Plunkett NO NO
Staying On, Paul Scott NO NO

1978
The Coup, John Updike YES NO

1979
The Unlimited Dream Company, J. G. Ballard NO NO
Dubin’s Lives, Bernard Malamud YES NO
A Bend in the River, V. S. Naipaul YES NO
Sophie’s Choice, William Styron YES NO

1980
Life in the West, Brian Aldiss NO NO
Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban YES NO
How Far Can You Go?, David Lodge NO NO
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole YES YES (FORMER OWN)

1981
Lanark, Alasdair Gray YES NO
Darconville’s Cat, Alexander Theroux YES NO
The Mosquito Coast, Paul Theroux YES NO (MOVIE)
Creation, Gore Vidal NO NO

1982 The Rebel Angels, Robertson Davies YES NO

1983 Ancient Evenings, Norman Mailer YES NO

I am familiar with 66 out of the 99 books or 2/3 of them. It doesn’t seem real great, but I bet if you asked 100 people, my score would be better than almost all of them.

So I’m not familiar with 1/3 of the best books from 1935-1985, which is a bit pathetic. But if you asked 100 people again, my score is probably better than almost all of them.

I have read 12 out of the 99 books or 12% of them. I’ve read 12% of the best books from 1935-1985. Pathetic. But still it’s probably better than 95% of the people you ask. So I haven’t read 88% of these books. However, I have read a 2% out of those 88% but only a few pages in each. In one case, I saw the movie but didn’t read the book.

But I also read 25 novels, partly read four others and 10 cases of short story collections and nonfiction written by the authors above that did not make the list. So I read 39 books that did not make the list by the authors above.

In quite a few cases, I am familiar with the author but not his books or at least not that particular book. There seem to be 89 authors listed above of those 99 books. The numbers don’t line up because some writers have more than one work up there. I have heard of 74 of the top 89 novelists of 1940-1983, or 83% of them. I am not familiar with 15 of the authors of 17%. Once again that’s probably better than 95% of the people you will talk to.

For some of these authors, I have read some of their works but not others.

William Faulkner
Light in August

Aldous Huxley
Brave New World
The Doors of Perception

James Joyce
short stuff
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
Ulysses (few pages)

Ernest Hemingway
short stuff
The Sun Also Rises
Across the River and into the Trees

George Orwell
short stuff

J. D. Salinger
Nine Stories
Franny and Zooey
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters

Flannery O’Connor
short stuff

Evelyn Waugh
The Loved One

Kingsley Amis
Jake’s Thing

Ian Fleming
You Only Live Twice (few pages)

Joseph Heller
Something Happened

James Baldwin
short stuff

William Golding
Lord of the Flies

Vladimir Nabokov
short stuff
Lolita
Bend Sinister

Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart (few pages)

John Barth
short stuff
The Sot-Weed Factor

Thomas Pynchon
short stuff
V.
The Crying of Lot 49
Slow Learner
Vineland

Brian Moore
The Green Berets

Erica Jong
Fear of Flying

John Updike
short stuff
Hugging the Shore
To the End of Time (50 pages)

Norman Mailer
short stuff
Cities of the Night
An American Dream

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Answer to Spot the Language 30

SHI: So, out of Dagestan, Abkhazia, and Chechnya, I’ll going with:

Dagestani? I don’t know if it’s a real language.

There is no language called Dagestani, although it might be nice if there was. I believe there are 28 different languages spoken in that tiny republic. But Russian is the main language of interethnic communication. This is an area of frighteningly steep mountains in the towering Caucasus range, and the very tall mountains kept most of these languages isolated for a long time.

It also probably allowed a lot of strange features to develop that might have gotten ironed out of a more widely spoken language.

Like islanization in genetics where an isolated group spins out of control genetically because it’s not getting much feedback from other groups, so it takes off on its own development, and all sorts of odd things can happen genetically. The Kalash people of Northwestern Pakistan are an example of the island effect.

This is one of the insane Northeast Caucasian languages. This one is called Tsez. It’s quite famous for probably being one the hardest languages on Earth to learn. Even native speakers make mistakes pretty regularly when they speak it. There are lot of Northeast Caucasian languages spoken in Dagestan.

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Spot the Language 30

Just no. You’re never getting this one either.You will never get the language, so just give me the general region where it is spoken and if possible the language family this is a part of.

I like to toss out this language when I ask linguist morons who insist that all languages are equally difficult or easy to learn. I ask them,

Is (this language) as easy to learn as Malay? Is Malay as difficult to learn as (this language)?

This language actually has 15,000 speakers. It is spoken in a part of the world where there are many small languages spoken by different tribal groups. They typically have only small numbers of speakers, and in general they are not official languages where they are spoken.

This language is interesting because studies have shown that it is so complicated that even native speakers often make errors when they speak. There is also a possibility that there may be 70,000 possible forms of any verb.

Unfortunately, this language has no official status. For the first five years of education, another language in this group, albeit with many more speakers, is used as the mode of education. After that it switches over to education in the large language of the state which these people are citizens of, which is completely different from this language. As a result, children have a better command of the state language than their native tongue.

Nevertheless, most people over age 35 are fluent speakers of this tongue and it is still the first language of most children. It has two different alphabets, a non-Latin one which is most used and a Latin one, an example of which can be seen below.

Neither are much used and speakers of this language are more literate in the language used in the first five years of elementary school than they are in this language. These languages are known, in addition to their maddening complexity, for having very large inventories of both vowels and consonants. And just to give you a huge hint, yes, the speakers of this language are Muslims, as are almost all speakers of this language family.

Kʼetʼus Hunar

Zewnoƛax zewčʼeyƛax bˤeƛon bocʼin zirun qayno. Sidaquł šigoħno sadaqorno boyno ħukmu: yaqułtow begira bocʼi ħonƛʼār miƛʼeł xizāz xizyo rišʷa yoł. Bˤeƛā begirno qay łˤāł xizāz, bocʼin zirun regirno ħonƛʼār miƛʼeł xizāz. Ɣudod, žedi raynosi beƛʼez reqenyoxor, ziru boqno uhi-ehƛada buq boƛāxzāzarno boqno. Zirus uhi-ehi teqxoy, ɣʷaybi kʼoƛin elār, bocʼi buq bātuzāzarno boqno bikʼin reqenyoƛer, besurno ƛʼarayaw miƛʼi. Miƛʼin bisno bocʼin zirun xizor rutin qʼayƛʼār.

Rizirno cʼidoƛʼor ƛoħon begirno łāƛʼor qay. Kikxogon zewno bočʼikʼxo kʼetʼu. Qayir zewāčʼey rikʷayxo; nešuruxay nełor rikʷayxo zewčʼey. Kʼetʼu, ełor baynosi qay, boqno kʼekʼbikʼa. Kʼekʼbikʼni teqnosi, qay łikin rixerčʼeytow boxin xizor. Bˤeƛā esirno: “Šidā boxā rayirčʼey łin?” Elo didiyƛa žekʼu yoł-ƛin eƛin qayā. Aħugon rikʼin łāxor zirun qayno.

Žedi raynosi kikxor žedā esirno kʼetuq: “Mi šebi?” Di žekʼu yoł-ƛin eƛin kʼetʼā. Šebi že debez ħiroƛʼ esirxo zirā. Tupi ƛin eƛix kʼetʼā. Dicce rˤuƛʼno zirun qayno, amma biyxoy kʼetʼu yāłru, xizyo łˤonon zenzi rikʼin raħira reƛ. Bˤeƛo buqełno bičin ažoz kʼodrexāzay, rołikʼno aħyabin kecno, kʼetʼu tataniłxo zewno cʼidox.

Bˤeƛā kʼekʼrikʼerxo zewno aħyabi. Že rikʷayxoy, kʼetʼuz rokʼƛʼor rayno, že elo aw ƛin, hudu betʼtʼun kʼoƛin elor. Dicce bˤuƛʼzāq bˤeƛqo regin ixiytʼatow qˤaƛubin, boxin ciqxār. Bocʼezno qayizno, ziruzno rokʼƛʼor rayno baysi bāsu ixiytow ħaywan šebin, nełoq že riqičʼey kʼiriłno roxin. Cʼikʼiy reƛ miƛes ƛexun kʼetʼur. ʕoƛiran ɣˤudeł kʼetʼu bišno, racʼno baɣʷace dawla bocʼesno zirusno.

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Spot the Language 29

Just forget about this one too. You’re not getting it. Just tell us where this is spoken –  the general region is just fine. If you know something about linguistics, you might get a hint in the prenasalized vowels which are often found in languages in this region. The language has only 10,000 speakers, but it is still doing quite well anyway as the country where it is spoken is quite undeveloped.

The language family that this language is a member is quite famous, and a number of well-known world languages are a member of this family. This family has actually been reconstructed, and incredibly enough, this family is up to 13-15,000 years old, which is beyond the so-called 8,000 year barrier beyond which no reconstruction is possible. However, reconstructing the numerals has been very difficult, similar to Turkic.

One of these languages is the official language of a nation. It is written with its own special script not used by any other language. It is associated with a major world non-Christian religion.

Another one is the official language of many nations, although it contains up to 35 major dialects, many of which are actually separate languages. Nevertheless, there is a standard written form taught in school that most educated people know so conversations with those who speak different languages in this group is possible.

This is another language that is written one way and spoken another. This language also has its own script which is used for this language. It also forms the base of a script for some other languages. All of these nations are associated with another  large non-Christian religion.

Both of these scripts leave out vowels for some reason and words are formed mostly on the basis of triconsonantal roots.

However, if you are familiar with the other languages of this group, this language doesn’t look much like them.

It seems odd to have a language from this family in this location, but when we learn that these people may have been brought here but invaders from the North, it makes more sense as these languages are spoken to the north and northeast of this language for the most part. One of these languages is even spoken in Europe!

Ele ndana ege na, ne a Kosewa. Ne məndəye ga elé əwla. Ne ɗəwer ga.Alala na, gogolvan na, olo alay. Acar a hay kəre ava fo fo fo. Sen ala na, okfom adaɗala ɓav! Ne awəy, “Alma amədəvala okfom nehe may?”

Mbaɗala ehe na, nabay oko, nazaɗala təystəlam əwla. Nabay cəzlar. Nábay na,námənjar na, mbajak mbajak mbajak gogolvan! Ne awəy, “A, enen baj na, memey na!” Ne mbət məmbete oko əwla na,kaləw nazaɗala ɛɮɛrɛ=uwla. Mək ava alay, Mecesle mbəraɓ! Ele a Hərmbəlom ele ga ajənaw etekəl kəl kə ndahan aka Ádəɗala vbaɓ a wəyen ava.

Ne dəyday məkəɗe na akaHor əwla olo alay awəy egege,“A a nəngehe na, Hərmbəlom aloko ehe.Bəyna anjakay nok ha a slam məndəye ango ava,alala Hərmbəlom ajənok na, səwse Hərmbəlom.”Hor əwla ahaw kəygehe. Alala, nəzlərav na ala gogolvan na a amata ava.Ko dedew babəza əwla ahay aməzləravala amata na, tawəy, “Baba ákaɗ gogolvan, baba ákaɗ gogolvan!” Tájaka kəygehe. Ka nehe ləbara a ma ndana ɗəwge.

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Spot the Language 28

You’ll never get this one. Just forget about it. I will say that this is the language of what could be called a tribe, although there are tribes in Southeast Asia, Siberia, India, Central Asia, the Arab World, Africa, North Africa, the Americas, New Guinea and Australia.

This language still somehow has 2,000 speakers out of a population of ~10,000, so it is doing quite well. The other languages of this particular racial group are for the most part doing quite poorly, and many are moribund if not out and out extinct.

Since you will never get the right answer, just give us the general location where this language is spoken and if possible the racial group that speaks this language. Many of the 1,000 languages of this ethnic group have a similar look to them, and quite a few of them look a lot like the below.

Most of these languages are polysynthetic. This language has only three phonemic vowels, which is interesting. The following is actually an extended joke in this language.

Móhnôhonėhevōhe emȯhónėheo’o. Móhvêehevōhe. Na’ėstse mó’onéahtȧhēhe naa na’ėstse mó’ô’o’enėhēhe naa na’ėstse móho’nóhe’ȧhtsenėstse naa na’ėstse móho’nóhestsé’kónėstse naa na’ėstse móho’nóhestone’óoneestse.

Mósėsto’semȧhéestomo’hehevōhe. ”Nétȧhêemȯhónémáne!” móxhehevōhe. Naa nėhe’se mósėstȧhosotómoehevōhe.

“Otahe, nánéstóvó vá’kȯhéáso,” móxhehēhe tséonéáhtȧtse.

“Náa’hanehe!” éxhesėstse tséó’ó’énėstse.

“Taameha!” éxhetóvȯsesto tsésâahe’ȧhtsenéhetsese.

Mó’anevo’amȧsȯhevōhe.

“Néhnô’oohé’toveha!” éxhetóvȯsesto tsésâahestse’konéhetsese.

Naa tséhne’éseevȧho’esotséóse móxhetȯhevōhe tséaâahestone’óonéhetsese, “Nevé’kénȯhéstóva néxho’xeha!”

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Answer to Spot the Language 27

Ertuğrul bilal: My best guess would be a people of South East Asia; I am tempted to assert Dayak; yet Aceh is better choice out of the hints you gave.

Note: I couldn’t help myself out of curiosity and cheated somewhat. The correct answer came along quite fast following a quick web search: Paiwan, an Austronesian people from Taiwan. That explains the statement regarding they are among best mariners of planet’s history.

Ertuğrul is a poster from Turkey. He’s quite good at languages. He’s of Laz ethnicity but I don’t think he speaks Laz.

He did a good job! Dayak and Acehese are not far. After all, they are close to the location, and they both speak Austronesian languages!

That explains the statement regarding they are among best mariners of planet’s history.

Exactly! They were the Lapita, the greatest mariners in history! They settled all of the Polynesian and to a significant extent the Micronesian islands. I don’t understand the settlement of Micronesia very well.

They also settled the coast of New Guinea, but there were already Papuans living there whom they apparently supplanted. They also settled all of Melanesia even though there were probably already people there. They settled the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, you name it.

It’s not known what languages were spoken in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, or even Melanesia before the Austronesians showed up. I would assume that Papuan languages were spoken in Melanesia. Papuan languages may still be spoken in far eastern Indonesia, hence Papuan is a good choice for Indonesia too.

Howevever, I’m not aware of much if any substrate in Austronesian hinting at the languages that were supplanted. The Negritos of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are obviously the indigenous people whose languages and ethnicities were supplanted by the Austronesian colonists.

However, all Negritos in this area speak languages Austronesian languages. Whatever their ancestral languages were – possibly Papuan as the Andaman Islanders appear to speak a Papuan language – were lost and replaced by the languages of the colonizers.

Even genetically, the Negritos of Malaysia and the Philippines are not different. Genetically, the Negritos of Malaysia resemble Malaysians and the Negritos of the Philippines resemble Filipinos. This is due to genetic swamping – the Austronesian colonists bred massively into the local Negrito populations, rendering the genetic similar in both cases.

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Spot the Language 27

Ok, no one’s getting this one. If you can get the part of the world where this is spoken, much less the specific nation, you are doing well. If you recognize the language type and therefore the language family from the look of it, then that’s good too. If you can figure out the nation and the language family (there are hints here) you may be able to get the subfamily, but I do not think you will get which of the 14 existing languages this one is. Anyway, have fun!

However, it still has 66,000 speakers! Albeit many of them are elderly. There was a 100 year campaign to wipe out the language, first by the colonial occupiers and later by the invaders who came to the land and set up their own government there, supplanting the existing government which was part of a larger state. This state still claims this nation.

The language itself is part of a very large and famous language family that goes back 6,000 years. The original speakers were some of the greatest mariners who ever lived and colonized a vast amount of territory via sea voyage. Granted many of the places they colonized were, believe it or no, uninhabited.

The language family is split between languages of this type, which are very old, and the vast majority of the languages which are newer and are a result of the colonizations of the sea voyagers. There are 14 existing languages of this subfamily, but seven of them are severely endangered.

The nation where this language is spoken has recently passed a law designed to try to save these languages. Classes are now offered in these languages in towns where there are a significant number of members of members of the tribes that speak the tribal language.

These people were regarded as fierce warriors and before the colonization discussed above, they were headhunters. The women were also fierce warriors. There are battles against the colonizers where scores of armed women crying, “You have killed all of our men!” charged into battle against the colonial troops.

Gemati a Cemas tua kana nemanemanga.

Ka patagil a Cemas a qemati tua kalevelevan katua J-kacauan, 2 a i kacauan namaqaluvu saka nekanan nu nemanema. A inu tu nazuanga tua kacauan lavek sakamaya, a namiseleman a neka nu telar; lakua a kate piculan a Vavak nua Cemas i taivavaw tua zalum a palavalavak. “Ula izua a telar!”

Kaya Cemas a qivu, izuanga a telar. Pka nanguaq a Cemas tua telar, sa peneti a papartimali a telar katua selemanan. A telar pinaka muqadadaw, a selemanan pinaka qezemezemet. Cemalivat a qezemezemet, sa kalia. Aicu mavan a kinudan nua Cemas tua sika qadaw.

“Ula izua kalevelevan a patatukuda tua zalum i teku katua i vavaw!” Kaya uta a Cemas a pazazekat, maitazua mapasusu. Maitazua Cemas a qemati tua kalevelevan a patatukuda tua zalum i taivavaw katua i taiteku. Azua sinipatatideq pinaka kalevelevan. Cemalivat a qezemezemet, sa kalia. Aicu mavan a sika qadaw.

“Ula matevetevel a mapataita a zalum i taiteku tua levelevan, ula mapacun a qipu!” Kaya Cemas a pazazekat, maitazua mapasusu. Iazua namapacun a qipu pinaka kadunangan, azua namapataita zalum pinaka lavek. Paka nanguaq a Cemas tua qinati nimadu a kadunangan katua lavek.

“Ula cemuvuq a kemasi kadunangan a martimalimali a cemel katua kasiw, a mavan a venavat katua venangavangal!” Kaya Cemas a pazazekat, maitazua mapasusu. sa kirimu a veneve a kemasi kadunangan a artimalimali a cemel katua kasiw. Paka nanguaq a Cemas taicu a marka qinati nimadu. Cemalivat a qezemezemet, sa kalia. aicu mavan a sika a qadaw.

“A i kalevelevan ula izua marka telar a papartimali tua muqadadaw katua qezemezemet, a pukelang. tua cavil, tua qadaw, katua kalavevean kalazalangzangan kalauragan kalalaleqelan, i saka patelar uta tua kadunangan a kemasi kalevelevan!” Kaya Cemas a pazazekat, maitazua mapasusu.

Ipai qemati a Cemas tua telar a 2: a qadaw a kisan paqulaqula nu muqadadaw; katua qilas a paqulaqula nu qezemezemet.

Gemati uta tua marka vituqan. I’pizua-i i kalevelevan, a paqula tua kadunangan, ia uri kilalaing (kemareng) tua kacauan nu muqadadaw nu qezemezemet, a papartimali tua qulalan katua namiseleman. Paka nanguaq a Cemas tua qinati nimadu a telar. icemalivat a qezemezemet, sa kalia. Aicu ma van a sika a qadaw.

“Ula maudal a maka zalualum a martimalimali a qemuzimuzip; ula maudal a marka qayaqayam!” Aya pazazekat a Cemas. Gau qemati a Cemas tua qemuzimuzjip a martimalimali, a maka zalualum, katua maka vavavavaw a marka qayaqayam.

Paka nanguaq a Cemas taicu a qinati nimadu a penulat. Igenayan nua Cemas azua marka qemuzimuzip, sa pazazekati a maka zalualum a marka ciqaw tu maudal a pulingelinget tua lavek; sa pazazekati a marka qayaqayam tu maudal i kacauan. cemalivat a qezemezemet, sa kalia. aicu mavan a sika a qadaw.

“A i kadunangan ula maudal a martimalimali a qemuzimuzip, a paquziquzipen, a maka cemcemcemel katua marka qatuvituvi!” Kaya Cemas a pazazekat, maitazua mapasusu. Spi qatin nua Cemas a marka qemuzimuzip a penulat i kacauan. Paka nanguaq a Cemas taicu a qinati nimadu a penulat.

Pitaivilil taicu, qivu a Cemas a mayatucu: Uri
pakiamaw iten tua ta kinakemudamudan a qemati tua uri nakiparu titen a caucau. Uri ku pakarengen

Timadu tua marka ciqaw, tua marka qayaqayam, katua qemuzimuzip a paquziquzipen, a maka cemcemcemel, katua marka qatuvituvi a penulat. Aya. Pai qemati anga Cemas tua caucau a uqalai katua vavayan a pakiamaw.

Tua kinakemudamudan nima du; ga kisena-i tiamadu a maytucu: ula mun a pualak a pakaliaw, ula sptiliiigeliilget a nu alak a nu taivilivilil tua i kacauan a palavak. Ayatua uri ku paparangezan mun tu kemareng tua marka ciqaw, qayaqayam katua marka qemuzimuzip a penulat.

Ku sinipadele anga mun tua martimalimali a lami katua vangal nua kasiw tu uri nu sika valut. Qau a marka qemuzimuzip katua qayaqayam a penulat, ku sinipadele anga tua cem katua veve nua kasiw. Kaya Cemas, maitazua mapasusu. I paka nanguaq aravac a Cemas tua marka qinati nimadu a mapacucun a penulat. Cemalivat a qezemezemet, sa kalia. Aicu mavan a sika a qadaw.

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Praise for my Work

I hope I haven’t published this before, but if I did, hey, chalk it up to vanity, eh?

These two glowing  recommendations are from  this fellow. I really like him a lot!

Peter S Piispanen
Stockholm University, Graduate Student

On my work below, presently a 242 page, well, let’s face it, at this point, it’s basically a book, right? I have not yet found a publisher for it, though I have received some rave reviews from such far-flung places as Japan and Russia.

Mutual Intelligibility of Languages in the Slavic Family

Intelligibility studies are both interesting and of importance for the study of phonology, grammar, historical linguistics, the effect of language contact situations, as well as the sociocultural factors influencing languages perceived as high or low status, and so on.

Lindsay here presents the intelligibility between many of the Slavic languages in great detail – and this clears up many common and unspoken questions about these languages…the paper comes well recommended!

This paper was actually published, believe it or not, and it had to go through two peer reviews to get there.  The second peer review included the world’s top Turkologists.

Here’s the cite in case any of you are interested:

Lindsay, Robert. 2016. “Mutual Intelligibility among the Turkic Languages,” in Süer Eker and Ülkü Şavk. Çelik. Endangered Turkic Languages Volume I: Theoretical and General Approaches: Before the Last Voices Are Gone (Tehlİkedekİ Türk Dİllerİ Cİlt I: Kuramsal Ve Genel Yaklaşimlar Son Sesler Duyulmadan), Ankara, Turkey/Astana, Kazakhstan: International Turkish-Kazakh University and International Turkic Academy.

I also came up with the subtitle of the series – “Before the Last Voices Are Gone.” We went round and round about a few choices until we settled on that one. It has a nice literary beauty to it, I think.

I never did get a hard copy of that book I am published in. It was extremely hard to get a copy in part because it cost $75 and also because it would have had to have been shipped from Turkey to the US, and I understand that shipping costs for such things are just awful.

I have an e-copy of course, but it’s just not the same thing as a book, right? A book – you know, that hard thing with pages in it that you actually hold in your hand? Remember those things from a long time ago, maybe before some of you were born? If you don’t remember what a book is, perhaps ask your parents. They should definitely know what a book is.

It seems that a lot of publications are going pretty much e-publication only with no hardcover. Color me disappointed. No folks, it’s not the same thing. It’s just not. Sorry.

Mutual Intelligibility Among the Turkic Languages

A massive paper by Robert Lindsay on the study of mutual intelligibility of the Turkic languages, dispelling many myths and including language examples, historical considerations, and more – heartily recommended for any Turkologist or student of any Turkic language!

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Alt Left: The Meaning of the Word “Uppity”

Alpha: “Uppity” is Jason’s word, but I take it to mean arrogant or self-important. Trump does think he’s better than other people. He bragged about his behavior toward women, saying that when you’re a star “they let you do it.” He declared, wrt America’s problems, “only I can fix it.”

He’s told us that if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue he wouldn’t lose any votes. He has declared that “Article II” of the Constitution allows him to do anything he wants. He refers to himself as “your favorite President.”

You say that’s all narcissism, not uppityness. Doesn’t matter to me one way or another.

Yes, that is narcissism, not uppityness. Another word for narcissist is blowhard, jerk, overbearing, douchebag, braggart, full of himself, arrogant, ass, etc.

If uppity means narcissism then sure Trump is uppity. I just think it means something other than that. It implies that someone doesn’t know his place – that someone of relatively low status is trying to pretend that he has higher status and that this is therefore insulting to the persons of higher status he is interacting with.

You know the history of word – an uppity nigger who doesn’t know his place might be Black person standing up to White person about some sort of injustice the White are perpetrating on the Black.

Or a woman who doesn’t know her place in the patriarchy and is getting out of line, talking back to male superiors.

The Black and the woman both need to be put back in their places by the Whites and the men.

In these cases, the uppity person is really a hero going up against oppressors who think they are superior.

The word is ugly and I don’t think we should use it. It has an ugly anti-Black racist history, and we should just junk it except to refer to the old use of it.

I would use uppity to describe women who viciously attack male strangers for no good reason. Or kids who openly and outrageously defy adults. Neither is acceptable to me.

A male stranger can attack me viciously. Fine, now it’s mano a mano, man to man.

If a female stranger attacks me, it’s infuriating. The first thought in my mind is that I want to kill her. I’m not going to do it of course because I have controls, but that’s the feeling. It’s unfair for female strangers to attack us men. I can fight back against a man, but I’m not allowed to fight back against a woman, or a kid for that matter. A kid doing the same is equally outrageous. I probably wouldn’t want to kill the kid but maybe I might want to slap him upside the head.

I still wouldn’t use the word in either case though except sarcastically. That’s due to its racist pedigree. The word’s contaminated and it’s hardly good for anything anymore.

Just my two pfennig.

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Why Destroy the Reputation or Ruin the Career of any Scholar?

There are a group of linguists on the Net who have dedicated themselves to the cause of completely destroying my reputation in that field. Whenever anyone links to any of my work, often saying how great it is, one of these brainwashed clowns jumps in to say, “Robert Lindsay lacks all credibility in Linguistics. He is not a credible source of linguistic knowledge.” Usually a few other pieces of shit jump in too.

This is an odd statement. You mean in all of my work, there is not even one single true statement? That would be remarkable if it were true.

Even more curious is why they are on this kick in the first place. I’m not out to destroy anyone’s scholarly reputation. I’m not out to destroy anyone’s career or life or whatever.

What do I care? So they say things that aren’t true? Ok, then they are like 90% of the journalists in the mainstream media. They are like 80% of the government figures who make statements. They are like 95% of corporations. If our ears are open, we are barraged with tidal waves of lies and liars from dawn to dusk. Why should I go on a jihad to destroy “purveyors of lies” when half of what I hear is a flat-out shameless falsehood? I’d never have time to do anything else.

In particular, I do not have time to destroy scholars who publish nonsense. I assure you they are out there, but even they publish a lot of great work full of great data and brilliant conclusions. On a few subjects, they are so wrong it is pathetic. But why should I try to destroy their careers over that? Isn’t that a bit vicious?

I am not sure if there are many scholars in this country who deserves to have his scholarly reputation ruined, and of those that do, it will never happen anyway because they are printing lies that the Establishment wants to gobble up. Even the ones most laughably full of it have legions of SJW followers biding on every word they utter.

Why should I try to get some dangerous Establishment liar or some deranged SJW kook fired from their job? Over what they said? Isn’t that a violation of free speech and the principle of academic freedom?

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The Laz People of Turkey

The last Spot the Language piece was solved by a Turkish commenter who is one-half the ethnicity of the language: the Laz people. Here is his comment about the Laz and the region where they reside. Very nice comment and I would like to thank the commenter very much.

Ertuğrul Bilal: I am a Turco-Laz half-breed. There are at least half to close to one million people like me. I identify as a son of the homeland and as any particular ethnicity. This is also the primal identity adopted by almost all Lazes, who see themselves ethnically Laz only secondarily. Let’s put it his way: Black Sea people’s loyalty is more territorial than ethnic, just like cats.

FYI: Laz is not related to Turkish or any other Turkic language. It is part of the Kartvelian linguistic family, consisting of Georgian, Svan, and the Mingrelian-Laz twin peoples. The single substantial difference between the last two being that Mingrelians remained Orthodox, while Laz converted to Islam in late 15th and 16th century; otherwise the discrepancy is solely dialectal.

Laz people live on Northeastern Black Sea coast, actually at the eastern end towards the Turkish-Georgian frontier. This region has always been multi-cultural just as Anatolia used to be, only somewhat more so; even if superficially it is less obvious nowadays.

The local populace was originally mainly Tzans, a rather obscure culture, apparently resulting from an amalgamation of indigenous populace with immigrating/invading Cimmerians, westward-advancing Kartvelians and perhaps some other not well-known tribes ancestral to both Mingrelians and Laz in Antiquity when Greek colonizers founded practically all cities and most of the towns.

Today, you may find Turks (Alevi Turcomans forcibly relocated there by the Ottoman empire in 16th century who converted to Sunnism, except for a few thousand who remained Alevi) and other people of Turkic origin like my late father who told me his paternal lineage emigrated from Northern Dagestan and was either Nogay or Kumyk.

In addition, there are now Lazes, Georgians, Armenians (Hemshinids Islamicized long ago and some others forcibly assimilated to Turks in 1915), and Islamized Greeks, to mention only the most numerous.

Let’s put it this way – we are accustomed to quite a wide diversity of ethnicities in our country and especially in my parents’ native region, even if the official doctrine still tends to disregard the fact, and while it is not outright denial as in the past, a more subtle denial yet exists.

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What Language Is This?

E Bozo çkim mangana
Vavaça divu Nana
Gomirçinit mosterit
şa isterit kaybana
Oropapes meşvenit
He’pe gogisvan na’ti
Ciraten muçoş ordo
Golulun kayiş Çana..?

Bozo’s ela’ciçinu
Nana mut mo miçumer
Ko giçkin canger Karfi
Mupete gebuçumer
Laşungis nuku gyaktu
Mat tuça Lu momaktu
Var giçkini do guris
Misa dov ya uçumer..!!?

Nana’muşik ognu’şkul
He’pe şkas ko ni’bacgu
Onna si gogihtare
Guris mu mega’bacgu..?
Ondğener gyar momikti
Veraneş Noğamisa
Var giçkini oropaş
çkar mitiz tol var acğu..!!

Ar hekol elinkanu
Ar hakol oncğor hvala
Mendiçkedu mit va’ren
Ğocis na nohen vava
Aciru oropa’muş
Ar gohvelu duskidu
Yukapu’şkul moktu’yi
Tuça Lu ncaher Sarğa..!!

Çkomil isa gavasen
Nuku
Gurişen nena moyğaşkul kayiş
İris gyavasen
Var tkvanon nudruku
Daçonu do oskidu hayiş..!!

Mi gorum…?
Mu gorum ma giçumeri çe ağnose?
Okturu
Moyselaşkul muşen çarbi horum…?
Mutuş otkuşen gur var giğun na izmoce
Var ciromi mcveşişikal oğuru…?

Pote Koçoba var mebaşkumer
Ha leta isaş Menthel uhenu
Var bioropam
Gemdgan na gzstaronis kva te Hener
Tangrik duhenu
Gza muşima ptkvar si mu çarçalam…?

This is a sample of poetry in this language.

This language has anywhere from 30-300,000 speakers. It is on the decline as it does not have any status at all in the countries where it is spoken. It probably separated from its nearest relatives 2,000 speakers. It is spoken by a particular ethnic group, but the ethnic group is as little known as the language.

It is spoken in mountainous areas of the Near East. Oh Hell, I will give you a massive clue…one of the places where it is spoken is Turkey!

Ok go to it folks…see if you can figure out what this weird language from outer space is.

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A Backgrounder on the Kurds of Turkey, Syria, and Iran

Kurds finally get to speak their language and can take Kurdish classes in school, but they do not have mother tongue education. A private Kurdish mother tongue education school opened up but closed after a while due to constant harassment by the Turks. Recently a boy speaking Kurdish in a hallway was beaten by Turkish boys.

Kurdish holidays such as Nawruz, the Turkish New Year, are not recognized. Kurdish culture is often banned. The only Kurdish TV station recently shut down. Newspapers and magazines in Kurdish  are scarce and are often  shut down. Kurdish radio stations are also few.

Bilingual road signs in Turkey and Kurdish are not allowed. Business signage in Kurdish is also not allowed. The state formerly even denied their existence, calling them Mountain Turks, but that has ended.

Kurds have only recently been allowed to serve in Parliament. The HDP, the Kurdish party, got 13% of the vote last time around. A Kurdish MP recently caused a huge furor by speaking Kurdish on the floor of Parliament.

A PKK-Turkey truce of a few years was recently broken by ISIS attacks on Kurdish rallies that killed many Kurds and leftwing Turks. The police appeared to know about the attacks and allowed them to happen. Then the police blocked ambulances and medical crews from getting to the site and beat Kurdish protestors who were leaving. This is the sort of crap that the Kurds have to put up with.

A couple of days after one huge attack on a rally, a Turkish police officer shot a PKK member dead on the  border. The PKK then ended  their cease-fire and went back to war.

Turkey says the PKK are terrorists, but really they are just guerrillas who generally attack Turkish police and military. They also target the village guards, an armed Kurdish force that works for the state.

The PKK has formed an alliance with a number of armed Turkish communist parties, of which there are a few. Some of these communist fighters and  now fighting alongside the  Kurds in  Northern Syria.

Turks say that most Kurds in Turkey do not support the PKK, but I would say that a majority of Turkish Kurds support the PKK. It is true that the YPG, the major component of the SDF in Syria now defending Kurdish lands, is really just the PKK in Syria. Nevertheless, the YPG does not give any material assistance to the PKK. Some PKK do cross the border to go fight in Syria though.

The PKK has many clandestine camps in the far northern mountains of the Kurdish area in Iraq. The Kurds now have considerable autonomy and near independence in their Kurdish zone. However, the Iraqi Kurds allow the Turks to bomb the PKK in the mountains. They have also allowed the Turks to set up a number of small military bases inside Iraq that the Turks use to attack the PKK.

Kurds in Iraq have full rights, including mother tongue education. There is also an armed movement called PEJAK in Iran. This is just the PKK in Iran. Iranian Kurds may have it better than Turkish Kurds but they do not have much in the way of rights and there is no mother tongue education.

The Kurds of Syria have always had the most rights of the Kurds of any nation. There was a reason why there was an armed insurgency in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran but there never was one in Syria. All Kurds in Syria speak Kurdish. Kurdish is even often heard in Damascus! Nawruz is a national holiday and Kurdish culture flourishes. There are many Kurdish newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations in Syria now.

They do not yet have mother tongue education and speaking Kurdish is a bit restricted as you are not allowed to speak Kurdish in government offices. I am not sure about bilingual road signing or business signage.

With Rojava, the Kurds had a massive expansion of rights as the leftwing political party of the YPG took over and ran the area as a de facto separate state for a few years.

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The Non-Castilian Languages of Spain

Spanish hit the other languages hard but after the dictatorship things got a lot better. Catalan is the official language of the region. I recently met several mostly Castilian speakers from Catalonia and they told me that they all understood Catalan. Whether they spoke it or not was another man. A young man there was a native speaker.

Basque is actually doing quite well. I think ~20% of the population are native speakers and there are quite a few second language speakers. There are Basque schools, Basque media, Basque signage, on and on. I recently met a young college aged man who was a Basque native speaker. Quite a few children are still being brought up in Basque. I am not sure if there are any Basque monolinguals left.

Native Catalan speakers might be ~35% of the population, and many children are still being brought up in Catalan. There are Catalan schools, Catalan media, Catalan as an official language in the government, etc. There is a huge pool of Catalan second-language speakers. There are probably not any Catalan monolinguals left, but if there are, it is an old lady in a tiny village in the mountains.

There is a form of Catalan spoken in La Franga and the Strip in Aragon that speakers say is a separate language. There are regular calls to have it recognized. However, in spite of the fact that speakers say that they speak a separate language, Catalan speakers say they can understand it just fine.

I think it is called Chapurillo a variation on the term churro, etc. which means more or less broken Spanish or bad Spanish. Many of the languages above are called churros or chapurros, and many Spaniards think they are just forms of broken Spanish spoken by poorly educated people.

Even speakers of these languages often think that they simply speak broken Spanish or bad Spanish, are often ashamed of their speech, and refuse to speak it. Speaking churro also implies ignorance, rural residence, poverty, lack of intelligence, etc.

There is dialect called Churro spoken in this same region around La Franja. It is probably the most diverse Castilian dialect in Spain. It seems to be a form of Aragonese Spanish with a lot of Catalan or Valencian mixed in.

Valencian is spoken in Valencia and the Valencian speakers insist that they speak a different language from Catalan although there is 94% intelligibility between the two. Catalan speakers do not want to break up the language and refuse to recognize Valencian as a separate language.

There is an Institute of the Valencian Language, an official orthography, etc. In particular, Valencians reject the Catalan orthography as they say it does not suit the language that the speak. ~20% of Valencians speak Valencian. It is in much worse shape than Catalan.

There is a form of Catalan that is spoken on the Mallorca Islands in three different dialects. Some have difficult intelligibility with Catalan, and they are probably closer to Valencian. Whether these qualify as separate languages is not known. Mallorcan is one of these dialects of Catalan.

There are forms of speech spoken on the border of Catalonia and Aragon in the very high mountains that are definitely not Catalan and probably not Aragonese. However, the official language institutes of Catalan and Aragon both claim these speech forms. One is called Benasquesque. This is a very remote mountain region. Whether this is a form of Catalan, a form of Aragonese or a separate language altogether it not known. It’s obviously Catalan-Aragonese transitional.

Murcian, spoken in Murcia, is mostly a Spanish dialect called Murcian Spanish, albeit quite a strange one. There are regular calls to have it recognized as an official language, but they go nowhere. However there is a hard form of it called Panocho spoken in the remote mountains in Eastern Murcia that cannot be understood outside the region. Andalusians cannot understand it either. It is probably a separate language. It has 6,000 speakers.

Mantegno spoken in La Mancha is part of a “Southern Castilian” that ranges to Andalucian. When Mantegno speakers go to Madrid, they say they are not understood. This is probably also a separate language. When spoken in rapid speech, intelligibility even with Andalucian Spanish/Extremaduran Spanish is 50%.

Andalusian is mostly a Spanish dialect albeit an extremely divergent one. However, there are a few villages in the mountains where a hard Andalucian is spoken that is not intelligible even to other Andalusian.

Aragonese is still spoken in Aragon. It is not fully intelligible with Castilian, and it is a separate language. This region was under the crown of Aragon, hence a different speech evolved here. It sounds a lot like Spanish. There are 30,000 Aragonese speakers.

It is an official language in the state of Aragon but Spain refuses to recognize it. It was formerly spoken in three forms like Extremaduran, and like that language, only the remote northern form survives. Otherwise Southern and Central Aragonese turned into dialects of Spanish, Aragonese Spanish.

Aragonese is spoken in the very high mountains of the Pyrenees in villages that are often almost totally depopulated. There are still children being brought up in Aragonese though, especially around the Benasquesque-speaking region. The children show up at school as Aragonese monolinguals.

Extremaduran is still spoken in Extremadura by 100,000 speakers. It is a highly Castillianized form of Eastern Leonese that got cut off from the rest of Leonese 400-500 years ago. Otherwise Eastern Leonese is nearly extinct. It is spoken in the mountains in tiny depopulating villages which is where it originated.

I know a Spanish speaker who actually grew up in the region, has been hearing Extremaduran all his life, and he can only understand 17% of it. The accent is wild. There is much confusion as Extremaduran is also called Castuo, and Extremaduran is the northern form of Castuo from the mountains that survived while Southern and Central Castuo turned into dialects of Spanish.

However there may be some “Extremaduran” spoken in the south too, as my friend has a word list from a tiny village in Bajadoz, and he said he could only understand 50% of the lexicon. This may be some far southern form of Extremaduran. Southern and Central Castuo is just a Spanish dialect, albeit an odd one, but it is heavily spoken and often confused with Extremaduran because people refer to both by the same term. Extremaduran is an official language in Extremadura, but Spain refuses to recognize it.

strong>Oliveno is spoken on the border of Portugal, but it’s not Portuguese. It still has ~3,000 speakers. It is spoken in a single village. Officials refuse to recognize this language, and Portugal says it is just Portuguese. It is a sort of heavily Castillianized Portuguese. Portuguese speakers say they can’t understand a word of Oliveno.

Asturian is still very much alive although it is not an official language of Spain. It is an official language of the state of Asturias. ~20% of Asturians speak Asturian and I believe there are children still being brought up in Asturian.

Leonese is the same language as Asturian spoken to the south and is in much worse shape. It is also not an official language of Spain but it is an official language of Castille and Leon where it is spoken. Amazingly, there are still Leonese monolinguals in the high mountains in Northwestern Castille and Leon.

Leonese was their first language and they learned Spanish in school but subsequently forgot Spanish and now speak only Leonese. There are still children being brought up in Leonese in the tiny depopulated villages in the mountains of Southeastern Castille and Leon near the Portuguese border. This form of Leonese is often called Porteno, and it is quite close to the Mirandese language spoken in Portugal.

There is actually a language called Eonavian/Ibino spoken between Asturian/Leonese and Galician. It is a completely separate language but no one will recognize it as such. It is closer to Galician but it is not Galician. There are still native speakers of Ibino, not sure about Eonavian.

Galician is still doing quite well. ~35% of the population of Galicia speak Galician. Almost all also speak Castilian. It is an official language of Galicia and Spain. There are Galician schools. There is some Galician media but not nearly enough. You hear Galician a lot more in the rural areas than in the big cities.

A very Castillianized Official Galician is used in the media, and it has high intelligibility with Spanish of 78%. A much harder Galician is spoken in the villages in the mountains where intelligibility with Spanish is as low as 40%. The form of Galician spoken in the far south on the border with Portugal is not intelligible with Portuguese or the rest of Galician and is not spoken outside the region. It is actually a separate language though no one will recognize it.

Rio de Onoro is a village on the Portuguese border. Rio de Onorese is still spoken, though everyone thinks it is extinct. It is a form of Mirandese spoken in Spain and should be recognized.

Cantabrian is said to be a form of Spanish, but actually it is part of Extremaduran. Extremaduran is nothing less than Eastern Leonese and Far Eastern Asturian that started going over to a form of Old Spanish ~500 years ago. Asturian-Leonese survived in the coastal mountains and in the mountains of Extremadura to the far south, but the rest of it mostly went extinct. Today Eastern Leonese is just about dead.

But Extremaduran speakers say if they go to Cantabria, everyone understands them, and it sounds like they are speaking the same language. These same speakers say that if they go to Oviedo in Central Asturias where people speak Asturian and speak Extremaduran, they are not understood. Therefore Extremaduran and Asturian-Leonese are two different languages, and Cantabrian, instead of being a Spanish dialect, is part of Extremaduran.

Some Cantabrian speakers held out for a long time in the rugged mountainous province where some areas are still reachable only on foot or maybe by donkey. One speaker said his recently deceased grandmother was a Cantabrian monolingual who died in the last 20 years. She had stubbornly refused to learn Spanish as she considered it to be “an imposed language.”

Formerly there was a separate language called Montanes spoken in the mountains, while Cantabrian was spoken on the coast. Half a century ago, they could not understand each other. But now with leveling, the people in the mountains understand the people on the coast just fine.

There are reports that Cantabrian may be going out in Cantabria. But Cantabrian is still spoken and it is children are still being brought up as Cantabrian monolinguals. In the mountains, the children all show up at school speaking only Cantabrian, and the teachers can’t understand the students.

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