> Let’s try and nail this invader/change of language business
> once and for all.
> We might conveniently start with two cases involving
> English-speakers and with which even my sternest critic
> (Doug) would agree:
> 1. The English invasion of North America
> 2. The English invasion of the Indian sub-continent
> The first led to a language change and the second did not.
Vastly different situations.
> Now we’ll enter all the caveats that waste so much time:
> Yes, it’s true that there are still pockets of Native
> American language-speaking in North America
In spite of official policies (prior to and during the early years of the 20th century) aimed at completely eliminating native populations and their descendants and ridiculing their culture to encourage to abandon it in favor of English.
> Yes, it’s true that plenty of people in the Indian
> sub-continent can speak English, some even as a first language
11 million second language speakers compared to 364 million native speakers and 23 million second language speakers of Hindi which is only 50% of the population of India which does not include the rest of the sub-continent. So, relatively few.
> Yes, it’s true that English has picked up various Hindi,
> Urdhu etc loan-words
> Yes, it’s true that all the languages of the Indian
> sub-continent have picked up various English loan-words
> Yes, it’s true that there are slight variations in North
> American English, English English and English as she is spoke
> in India
> NEVERTHELESS it is an observable fact that the language got
> changed in North America and it remained static (to use
> Ishmael’s term) in India.
By the same reasoning, you could say, and more accurately, that the ancestry of the people in North America "got changed" and it "remained static" in India.
The observable fact was not "that the langauge got changed," but that 1. speakers of native languages in North America were reduced by wars and illness so that their population did not grow at the same rate as that of the more recent immigrants/invaders, 2. non-English speaking immigrants encouraged their children to learn English thus out-populating the descendants of Native Americans, and 3. the children of native speakers were, in many cases, forcibly removed from their families and placed in orphanage-like schools where speaking their native language and learning about their native culture was prohibited and ridiculed, forced instead to speak English and admire English speaking cultural heros. This practice persisted well into the 20th century while the active policies to exterminate the population was discontinued, as far as I know, at the end of the 19th century.
Although the native populations of India suffered from wars, it was the British visitors and not the natives who were more proned to suffer from local illnesses, there was no massive immigration of non-English speaking European immigrants who encouraged their children to speak English, and the natives were not, to my knowledge, placed on reservations, where their children were taken from them and forced to speak English.
On the one hand, the native generations following the invasion were reduced and forced to speak English while the descendants of the invaders multiplied, reinforced by the descendants of other immigrants who adopted English, and on the other hand, the native generations following the invasion were not reduced and were not forced to speak English while the descendants of the invadors did not multiply rapidly and were not re-inforced by other immigrants who adopted English.
So neither the language nor the ancestry of the people in the Indian sub-continent "got changed."
> OK, are we all together so far? Excellent.
> My book says that Model 2 (languages remaining unchanged when
> a country is occupied by invaders speaking a different
> language) is the norm.
> Orthodoxy also says that Model 2 is the norm.
Under what circumstances is that model the norm?
If a country were simply occupied by invaders, the invaders not mingling with the natives, not forcing them to learn a new language and culture, not purposefully devising ways to extinguish them and make way for settlers from their home country, then Model 2 would clearly be the norm. The natives of the occupied country would likely borrow words from the invaders, but the substrate language of the natives would remain the same.
> Where we take issue is that when Orthodoxy requires a
> Creation Myth i.e. when it requires an explanation for the
> origin of a language spoken by a particular people, it
> sometimes unwarrantably slips in a Model 1 (language changed
> by invaders).
So, correct me if I'm wrong, orthodoxy says that English, the language that we speak, was derived from Germanic languages, the languages of the Jutes, Angles and Saxons who invaded this country and occupied it for centuries as a rulling class. Orthodoxy says (without justificaton) that the native Celtic population encouraged their children to speak the language of these Germanic newcomers?
Are you saying then that the English language is actually derived from the languages of these Celtic populations who, at best, borrowed extensively from their Germanic rulers?
I suppose it's possible. Has anyone done the necessary linguistic research to refute the claim that the substrate of English is Germanic? The orthodox view of the History of English, as I understand it, has the Germanic languages of Britain, not merely the language of the invading Jutes, Angles and Saxons, but also the North Germanic Danes and Vikings who colonized Northumbria and other parts of the British Isles, forming a sort of standardized Pidgin Germanic that eventually developed into a Germanic Middle English lacking most of the case and gender endings of other Germanic languages.
Isn't there a better case for a Germanic language comprising the substrate of English than a Celtic language?
If the norm is model 2, but model 1 has clearly occured before (North America being the most recent example) then isn't it possible too that Model 1 occurred in Britain during the first millennium AD and the only thing lacking in the orthodox explanation are the atrocities comperable to what English speakers did to the native populations of America, the systematic extermination of Celts?
The fact that such atrocities actually occurred in relatively modern times and the vast majority of English speakers less than 100 years later are completely oblivious to it leaves plenty of room for similar incidents occurring in the more distant path between Germanic invaders and Celtic natives and the subsequent amnesia and creation of a myth to explain how the language of the Anglo-Saxons came to be dominant in Britain.