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Old November 16th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #11

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Soviet linguists and ethnologists were notorious for making up BS connections with linguistics between modern and ancient groups. as i already noted many times, the soviet conference at tashkent in 1921 was instrumental for attaching the false label of "uyghur" to the eastern turki people of the tarim basin and taranchis in ili, whilst the real descendants of the uyghurs were the yugur. I don't know if there were any other fake ethnic groups created by the soviets at that conference because I have not studied it in depth.

This is why i think soviet academics is trash. If anyone has access to russian documents relating to the tashkent conference or fake ethnic groups created by the soviets they should post it here.

The entire modern "uyghur" nationalist revisionist history propagated by the world uyghur congress and rebiya kadeer are copied and pasted from soviet books. They claim that "uyghurs" lived in xinjiang for thousands of years, which is a massive joke. Their hero Ehmetjan Qasim was a member of the soviet communist party and puppet of stalin, but every time the "uyghurs" tell other muslims and americans about "evil chinese occupiers", they somehow forget their soviet copy and paste history and Ehmetjan Qasimov's communist party membership, or that the Second East Turkestan Republic was a soviet puppet state, or that they were backed by the Red Army in their revolt against China.
Soviet linguists were not trash. You had some pan-slavists and others who were creating a notorious image of all of them. In fact, there are many scholars who are really really good in the field.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 11:37 AM   #12

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At first I thought you were talking about linguistics and black nationalism.

We've seen this with Turkish a number of times on the board, are there other groups that do this? Because of the remote origins of Turkish and 19th century attempts to connect it to other languages I wondered if that caused some of these theories.
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Turkish certainly seems to be the most prominent these days, but it's not the only one. There's one infamous writer who claims that every prominent ancient civilization was African and that their modern languages were derived from African languages.
Actually, it is a coincidence we had many Turkish extremes lately. It is not that often you see them, however, there might be a rise. I am not sure yet, so I will take distance from agreeing with both of you.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #13

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Soviet linguists were not trash. You had some pan-slavists and others who were creating a notorious image of all of them. In fact, there are many scholars who are really really good in the field.
Soviet ethnologists were certainly better than Nazi ones at least, and yet the New Age movement ironically endorses a lot of beliefs spouted by Nazi archaeologists.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 02:09 AM   #14

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Is it only me, seeing this rapid spread of language abuse? Is it becoming a similar trend like the genetics back in the 30s-40s?
Language has always been a crucial part of nationalism. It helps the legitimacy of a nation if they speak their own language, preferably one older than the languages of their neighbors.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 05:05 AM   #15
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Well, I don't know if Linguistics has anything to do with that really. Linguistics studies languages, but it doesn't dictate how they should work and don't say what's the best, exactly because there is not a "best language evah". The best language is the one which fits its people well, and all languages can be like that when they vary.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 05:43 AM   #16

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Well, I don't know if Linguistics has anything to do with that really. Linguistics studies languages, but it doesn't dictate how they should work and don't say what's the best, exactly because there is not a "best language evah". The best language is the one which fits its people well, and all languages can be like that when they vary.
No, I didn't mean that. It is not about which language is the best. It is about linking your language to an unrelated, high status and old language, just to boost the ethnic (not just national) pride.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 01:16 PM   #17

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Re: Linguistics is the new black for nationalism


When I read the title of the thread, I thought that it must be about the Aryan invasion / Out of India / Dravidian linguistic theories.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 02:11 PM   #18

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When I read the title of the thread, I thought that it must be about the Aryan invasion / Out of India / Dravidian linguistic theories.
No, it isn't. But speaking of India, see the battle between Tamil speakers and the speakers of the northern parts. It falls to the same branch of conflicts.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #19

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Language has always been a crucial part of nationalism. It helps the legitimacy of a nation if they speak their own language, preferably one older than the languages of their neighbors.
Antonio de Nebrija (1441-1522): “Language has always been the companion of empire”
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Old November 18th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #20
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many of the pseudo-linguistic nationalist claims are from the 19th and early 20th century and the new "alternative theories" just recycle them. in the ex-commie block there was/is certainly a renaissance of them since the 90s when they became available again with the end of communist censorship. But then we all live in a period of global informational revolution now when all kind of BS became so easily accessible and themes like "our language is the oldest" gains much more attention. I think serious linguists should engage more in challenging them and not only in academic journals as only fellow linguists read those. they should also write more popular works for the "laymen" audience.
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