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"Inertia" is not a founding principle of modern emperical science for nothing. That things tend to keep on doing what they are already doing has a corrolary: things may be assumed to always have been doing what they are currently doing.

When knowledge is limited, and the observable sample is small, it is only by extrapolation in accordance with the principle of Inertia that we can theorize about both the future and the past. Change is not a natural action but an exception requiring the introduction of some force. Unless the existence of a changing force can be demonstrated, Inertia dictates what conclusions we are alowed. We can't just make up the past out of whole cloth.

Working backward through time, if one argues the English were once Celts or that the English were once Picts, you need a force to enter the equasion by which these Picts or Celts might be transformed into English. Orthodoxy realizes this of course, so they appeal to the Anglo-Saxon invasion as the catalist for change. Harper demonstrates however, that this force of foriegn invasion, in every comparable situation where direct observation is possible, has proven inadequate to the task of effecting linguistic change. Orthodoxy must make of the Anglo-Saxon invasion an exception -- so they do so, but without any evidence to demonstrate in what way this invasion might be characterized as exceptional. We have nothing to indicate that the Saxon invasion was any different from the Roman, Danish or Norman conquests (as three specifically British examples) which effected no such change in the spoken language.

Having failed to demonstrate that the Saxon invasion was capable of altering the linguistic landscape of the British Isles, we are left with no choice but to leave Inertia undisturbed -- and conclude that the English were always English.


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Subject Views Written By Posted
AOM: Inertia 164 AOM-Presenter 25-Apr-03 13:28
Re: AOM: Inertia 128 Doug 25-Apr-03 16:56
Ignorance is Bliss 99 AOM-Presenter 25-Apr-03 17:54
Re: Ignorance is Bliss 91 Doug 25-Apr-03 19:52
Re: Ignorance is Bliss 132 hera 25-Apr-03 20:10
Off-hand Comment 143 AOM-Presenter 29-Apr-03 16:44
Re: Off-hand Comment 109 hera 29-Apr-03 17:35
Apologies 124 AOM-Presenter 29-Apr-03 19:26
Re: AOM: Inertia 82 M J Harper 25-Apr-03 18:38
Re: AOM: Inertia 146 nonconformist 26-Apr-03 20:05
Re: AOM: Inertia 72 M J Harper 29-Apr-03 17:42
Re: AOM: Inertia 105 DPCrisp 29-Apr-03 18:14
Re: AOM: Inertia 165 Dr. Sunil 29-Apr-03 18:29
Re: AOM: Inertia 99 jameske 29-Apr-03 18:51
Indus Valley Seals Deciphered 718 Astikapati 29-Apr-03 21:44
Re: Indus Valley Seals Deciphered 199 Dr. Sunil 30-Apr-03 13:52
Re: AOM: Inertia 120 nonconformist 30-Apr-03 04:09
Re: AOM: Inertia 153 BrianAmbrose 30-Apr-03 10:46
Re: AOM: Inertia 99 Doug 30-Apr-03 13:15
Re: AOM: Inertia 162 M J Harper 30-Apr-03 15:40
Re: AOM: Inertia 79 Doug 30-Apr-03 17:22
Re: Stupidity vs Ignorance 106 Doug 25-Apr-03 21:20

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