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Can you tell the difference between a planned language and an ethnic language? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-4-25 13:11:26 |Display all floors
Can you tell the difference between a planned language and an ethnic language?


I was wondering how easily one can distinguish between an a priori planned language, a naturalistic planned language, and a standard ethnic language. In the case below, I'll include an a priori planned language (i.e. a constructed language that has borrowed as few roots as possible from other languages, preferring to create new words from already established roots), a naturalistic planned language (i.e. a more a posteriori constructed language, meaning a language that tends to borrow words that a number of control languages share in common, but still relies on internal root formation otherwise), and a standard ethnic language.

The main structural difference is that a priori planned languages tend to be the easiest to learn to use (though they might be unrecognizable to anyone who's never learnt them owing to many internally created words unique to the language); a posteriori naturalistic planned languages tend to be easier to recognize to the eyes of those who speak any of their control languages (languages that they're based on), but might be a little more difficult to learn to use owing to their emphasis on 'naturalness' as opposed to logical word construction; and ethnic languages tend to be more difficult all around owing to their ad hoc and unplanned evoluion. Planned languages are designed either by a person, an academy, or some other group of persons, whereas an ethnic language has generally been created by a large number of people over a period of generations. Here they are in no particular order. Try to identify which is which:

Specimen 1:

Feliĉaj estas la malriĉaj en spirito, ĉar ilia estas la regno de la ĉielo. Feliĉaj estas la plorantaj, ĉar ili konsoliĝos. Feliĉaj estas la humilaj, ĉar ili heredos la teron. Feliĉaj estas tiuj, kiuj malsatas kaj soifas justecon, ĉar ili satiĝos. Feliĉaj estas la kompatemaj, ĉar ili ricevos kompaton. Feliĉaj estas la kore puraj, ĉar ili vidos Dion. Feliĉaj estas la pacigantoj, ĉar filoj de Dio ili estos nomataj. Feliĉaj estas tiuj, kiuj estas persekutitaj pro justeco, ĉar ilia estas la regno de la ĉielo. Feliĉaj estas vi, kiam oni vin riproĉos kaj persekutos kaj false vin kalumnios pro mi. Ĝoju kaj raviĝu, ĉar via rekompenco estos granda en la ĉielo; ĉar tiel oni persekutis la profetojn, kiuj estis antaŭ vi.

Specimen 2:

Berbahagialah orang yang miskin di hadapan Allah, karena merekalah yang empunya Kerajaan Sorga. Berbahagialah orang yang berdukacita, karena mereka akan dihibur. Berbahagialah orang yang lemah lembut, karena mereka akan memiliki bumi. Berbahagialah orang yang lapar dan haus akan kebenaran, karena mereka akan dipuaskan. Berbahagialah orang yang murah hatinya, karena mereka akan beroleh kemurahan. Berbahagialah orang yang suci hatinya, karena mereka akan melihat Allah. Berbahagialah orang yang membawa damai, karena mereka akan disebut anak-anak Allah. Berbahagialah orang yang dianiaya oleh sebab kebenaran, karena merekalah yang empunya Kerajaan Sorga. Berbahagialah kamu, jika karena Aku kamu dicela dan dianiaya dan kepadamu difitnahkan segala yang jahat. Bersukacita dan bergembiralah, karena upahmu besar di sorga, sebab demikian juga telah dianiaya nabi-nabi yang sebelum kamu.

Specimen 3:

Palaiminti vargšai dvasia, nes jų yra dangaus karalystė. Palaiminti, kurie liūdi, nes jie bus paguosti. Palaiminti romieji, nes jie paveldės žemę. Palaiminti, kurie alksta ir trokšta teisumo, nes jie bus pasotinti. Palaiminti gailestingieji, nes jie susilauks gailestingumo. Palaiminti tyraširdžiai, nes jie regės Dievą. Palaiminti taikdariai, nes jie bus vadinami Dievo vaikais. Palaiminti, kurie persekiojami dėl teisumo, nes jų yra dangaus karalystė. Palaiminti jūs, kai dėl manęs jus šmeižia ir persekioja bei meluodami visaip piktžodžiauja. Būkite linksmi ir džiūgaukite, nes didelis jūsų atlygis danguje. Juk lygiai taip persekiojo ir iki jūsų buvusius pranašus.

Which do you think looks more esthetically pleasing, interesting, or enjoyable?

Also, I was curious to know whether one can distinguish between a script that has evolved in an ad hoc manner and one that has been strategically constructed by an academy of scholars to be easier to learn. Again, in no particular order, the specimens are below:

Specimen 1:

심령이 가난한 자는 복이 있나니 천국이 저희 것임이요 애통하는 자는 복이 있나니 저희가 위로를 받을 것임이요 온유한 자는 복이 있나니 저희가 땅을 기업으로 받을 것임이요 의에 주리고 목마른 자는 복이 있나니 저희가 배부를 것임이요 긍휼히 여기는 자는 복이 있나니 저희가 긍휼히 여김을 받을 것임이요 마음이 청결한 자는 복이 있나니 저희가 하나님을 볼 것임이요 화평케 하는 자는 복이 있나니 저희가 하나님의 아들이라 일컬음을 받을 것임이요 의를 위하여 핍박을 받은 자는 복이 있나니 천국이 저희 것임이라 나를 인하여 너희를 욕하고 핍박하고 거짓으로 너희를 거스려 모든 악한 말을 할 때에는 너희에게 복이 있나니 기뻐하고 즐거워하라 ! 하늘에서 너희의 상이 큼이라 너희 전에 있던 선지자들을 이같이 핍박하였느니라

Specimen 2:

Блажени нищите по дух, защото е тяхно небесното царство. Блажени скърбящите, защото те ще се утешат. Блажени кротките, защото те ще наследят земята. Блажени които гладуват и жадуват за правдата, защото те ще се наситят. Блажени милостивите, защото на тях ще се показва милост. Блажени чистите по сърце, защото те ще видят Бога. Блажени миротворците, защото те ще се нарекат Божии чада. Блажени гонените заради правдата, защото е тяхно небесното царство. Блажени сте, когато ви хулят и ви гонят, и говорят против вас лъжливо, всякакво зло заради Мене; радвайте се и веселете се, защото голяма е наградата ви на небесата, понеже така гониха пророците, които бяха преди вас.

Again, which do you find to be the more esthetically pleasing, interesting or enjoyable script to look at?

Happy guessing. And please, try not to cheat and guess based on your gut feelings. I am curious as to whether the planned aspect of a language or script shows up to the foreign eye.

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Post time 2009-4-26 07:39:00 |Display all floors

ok, after my frigging ADSL modem spat the dummy......

Thanks for an interesting thread.

No cheating, on my part despite the temptation.
Spoken language
Specimen 1, I think is artificial, the Polish guy, um, Esperanto
Specimen 2 is Bahasa (Indonesia/Malaysia -  I can't tell the difference)
Specimen 3 is something like Hungarian (non Indo-European language) or possibly Basque.

While Esperanto has some elements familiar to European language speakers, it is "artificial" but constructed from elements common to European languages. Whether or not it suffers as a result of being artificial, I don't know.

Bahasa, I believe, is some sort of "lingua franca" for Indonesia and Malaysia which covers areas which originally involved many dialects or tribal languages.
I heard somewhere, that it was a relatively easy language for an English speaker to learn.
As it is spoken by somewhere in the vicinity of 300 million people, they must be doing something right.

Hungarian (or other Finno-Ugric languages) seem to be some linguistic anomaly in Western Europe.
Obviously, as languages in their own right, they have just as much validity as any other, however their sound, vocabulary and structure are possibly even more foreign to the Indo-European ear than Chinese or Malay.

Writing system
Specimen 1 is Hangul (Korean)
Specimen 2 is Cyrillic but I don't think is Russian.

I understand that the Hangul (Korean) writing system was developed as an alternative to Hanzhi (chinese characters) in a fit of nationalistic fervour only fairly recently (within the last 100-200 years) .
One interesting thing about Hangul is that some characters represent a diagramme showing the placement of the tongue and teeth in the mouth used to produce the sound which the character represents.

I think this is a brilliant idea which could be expanded to produce a neutral phonetic written language.

As for Cyrillic, well it was derived from old Greek, but had characters added to conform to the sounds used for Slavic languages.
Some of the characters are, of course, familiar to Western Europeans (who use the roman/latin alphabet) however they sometimes represent different sounds. C N(written backwards) H P in Cyrillic represent S, EE, N and R in Latin characters.
As far as comparing Cyrillic with Hangul, well I think I would learn Cyrillic quicker, therefore it would be a more sensible choice for me, but there seems to be some visual clarity with Hangul in your sample, though it might be just the comparitive sizes of the typefaces.

Now that I've nailed my colours to the mast, I am gonna google and see how wrong I am!!


[ Last edited by emucentral at 2009-4-26 09:55 AM ]
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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Post time 2009-4-26 08:02:51 |Display all floors

Well, I've checked to see how wrong I was.

Not all right and there's one major error, but not all wrong either (as far as picking the languages).

[ Last edited by emucentral at 2009-4-26 10:15 PM ]
"他不是救星, 他是一个非常淘气男孩" - Monty Python

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Post time 2009-7-5 06:17:12 |Display all floors
For spoken languages:

Specimen 1: Esperanto, a planned language.

Specimen 2: Bahasa Indonesia, a naturalistic planned language.

Specimen 3: Lithuanian if I remember correctly. An ad hoc language.

As for scripts:

Specimen 1: The Korean script, a planned script created by committee under the guidance of King Sae Jong a few centuries ago.
Specimen 2: The Cyrillic script, an ad hoc script.

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Post time 2009-7-5 06:20:34 |Display all floors
As to your question of whether Esperanto's planned quality affects its range of expression, consider the arts:

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Post time 2009-7-5 06:22:15 |Display all floors
Esperanto also includes a wide range of literature of thousands of books on science, technology, business, fiction, poetry, etc. as well as its own CD industry including pop, rock, acapella, folk, etc.

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Post time 2009-7-5 06:34:06 |Display all floors

only if i could i would...

as well as majorin in linguistics if i could distinguist the darn two for you (but do you REALLY think i have the time)  

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