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Old June 12th, 2017, 07:06 AM   #1

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Lingua Franca through history and outside it


Hi, I've recently been interested in the history of languages, looking at the development of the orito-indo-european family, the Semitic languages, and the Chinese scripts. It's really amazing.

It got me thinking, though, on how we use common language in a variety of walks of life. Here's a write up by me, if anyone is interested
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Old June 12th, 2017, 01:17 PM   #2
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Is there a question there? Perhaps one could ask why a language becomes a lingua franca. It's certainly not ease of learning, otherwise Esperanto would have conquered the world a long time ago. Maybe that's a good discussion point.
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Old June 14th, 2017, 11:24 AM   #3

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Whoever controls the political/economic order of things, or what is seen as fashionable or legitimate by that class. Latin was such in the medieval period. English is today, as was French in the early modern period.
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Old June 14th, 2017, 12:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by notgivenaway View Post
Whoever controls the political/economic order of things, or what is seen as fashionable or legitimate by that class. Latin was such in the medieval period. English is today, as was French in the early modern period.
Certainly economic dominance, both by the Briish and later the US in post the WWII years accounts for the widespread use of English. It's so well established in parts of Europe and India that users consider it their own (so I'm told). There's no obvious replacement since Mandarin is an unlikely candidate even after China's GDP surpasses the US. Esperanto still has its strong advocates, but its synthetic vocabulary is a problem. It's the only constructed language that has had any measure of success (about 8 million users). Franch remains a competitor for English, but appears to be losing ground.

Latin was the western Lingua Franca until it gave way to French in the 18th century. It was still the standard academic language until the 19th century. Mathematician Guiseppi Piano developed "Latin Sine Flexion" in the early 20th century as a simplified Latin. It used the Latin vocabulary helping to solve the problem with Esperano, but never really caught on. It survives under the name "Interlingua".

Last edited by stevev; June 14th, 2017 at 01:40 PM.
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