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  • hardie karges 12:52 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Great Vowel Shift, vowels   

    Monolingual Cunning, Surviving Vowel Sh**ts… 

    Anglo culture has always seen the need to separate people by class, and American culture is getting there, little by little, kept from it not so much by virtue as by a belief in progress, and the fundamental theory that merit makes virtue, and not vice versa.

    But to use language as an enforcement tool seems perverted, developing a special ‘palace language’ that only a select few can or care to master, as almost certainly happened with the 14th century English vowel shift—upward, which substituted for the French that was no longer in upper-class vogue, they now in league with renegade Scotsmen and Catholics universal…

    I think Europeans are lucky to have so many languages to contend with, keeping their minds fit, and keeping their thoughts occupied; we Anglo-Americans should be so lucky to have multiple approaches to life, instead of being forced to create new apps and programs to occupy our time, or use language to subjugate the lower classes as the Brits did with their native Celts and the Mexicans do with their native Indians.

    Instead of passing ‘English only’ laws, maybe we should pass laws requiring proficiency in a second language, like maybe Spanish, since that’s the language of our neighbor Mexico and its many compatriots resident in-country, not to mention the fact that we stole much of this country from them as part of our ‘manifest destiny’.

    Yeah, that sounds like a good idea—require it. Our we could just continue our current course and delineate social classes by proficiency in tech talk, text-speak, twitter-food, gobbledy geeks: naahhh….

  • hardie karges 4:11 am on December 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , vowels   

    People put other people down in order to puff themselves up, 

    and so does language. The great English vowel shift in the 15th century made sure that leaning ‘proper’ English would be a trial by fire and that only the fittest would survive. With French no longer the language of government and pretentiousness, the upper classes had no quick easy way to prove they were better than the smiths, bakers, millers, carpenters, and Joneses. So they formed their own dialect of English. Only they knew the code. Long I’s became long E’s, long E’s became long A’s, and short and long vowels separated entirely, rendering the concept largely meaningless, though still taught, at least as of my tenure. In reality, a system of dual pronunciation for each vowel was adopted, similar to the Khmer system of ‘registers’. It was complicated, but easier than learning Latin, now that French was out of favor, never to be united with England regardless of who’s the reigning monarch. Latin came in vogue at the same time, but more as a language of writing, than of speech. Spoken Latin had long since become Italian and other bastard mutations, much of the changes from classical Latin occurring even before the Empire fell.

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