Category Archives: Europe

Problems with Newly Created Standard Languages and Speakers of Traditional Varieties: Evidence from France In Occitan and Breton

Mountleek: And it’s quite problematic that there are five Breton languages. The official written version is probably quite alien to actual speakers. Then they don’t use the written form, and extinction will probably speed up. Or maybe not. It depends on how people speak among themselves. I wonder how much it is possible nowadays to maintain a spoken language through generations where the written language is different.

There is an official Breton. It may be used on radio and TV and whatnot. I have no idea if the traditional speakers understand it. Who knows? It would be nice to have a Breton koine.

The problem is that they have created some Neo-Breton that is being taught to the youngsters. Some young people are growing up to speak it quite well. The problem is that it is a fake language, and tragically the Neo-Breton speakers say they cannot understand the speakers of the traditional Breton languages and the traditional speakers say they cannot understand the Neo-Breton speakers either. I do believe that Breton will continue on until the end of the century though if only in the Neo-Breton form . A Breton koine is certainly needed if it does not already exist, but given the gap between traditional and new speakers, it seems a schism has already opened between the two groups.

A somewhat similar situation is developing with the creation of a new Neo-Occitan out of the ~20 Occitan languages and many more dialects. It isn’t a language that anyone ever spoke. There is some sort of problems regarding this Neo-Occitan but I am not sure what they are. The main thing is the traditional speakers are not giving up their native lects in favor of this new fake language.

Occitan also should last until the end of the century if only in the Neo-Occitan form. However, children are still being raised speaking Occitan, especially in the Occitan Valleys of Italy where entire villages speak the local lect which in most cases is actually a separate language. There are still many speakers of the traditional Occitan languages. Most are older, but there are quite a few speakers in their 30’s and 40’s in some areas. Aranese Occitan in Spain seems to be spoken by most everyone, but people worry that even it is in trouble.

A koine for Occitan would also be very nice, or they could just speak French, but that sort of defeats the notion of speaking Occitan in the first place.

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Filed under Celtic, Europe, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Italy, Language Families, Linguistics, Occitan, Regional, Romance, Sociolinguistics, Spain

Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in France?

Montleek: Robert, is it possible that in Western Europe, the regional lects have been preserved better, while in eastern Europe are preserved worse? There was communism/socialism in Eastern Europe, therefore more tendency not to continue speaking with regional lect.

In France, the regional lects are the langues d’ oil (still spoken, believe it or not!), Occitan, Breton, Alsatian, Franconian, Arpitan, and Flemish.

With Arpitan, Alsatian, Occitan and the langues d’oil, you can definitely get to the point of having a different lect in every major city if not every town in some cases.

There are a number of languages split through these regional lects. There are probably at least 10 full languages in the langues d’oil, ~20 in Occitan and Arpitan, five in Breton and more than one in Alsatian. The Flemish spoken in France is a separate language from that spoken in Belgium, hardly intelligible to a Belgian.

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Filed under Belgium, Celtic, Europe, France, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Linguistics, Moselle Franconian, Occitan, Regional, Romance

Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in Germany?

Montleek:  Robert, is it possible that in Western Europe, the regional lects have been preserved better, while in eastern Europe are preserved worse? There was communism/socialism in Eastern Europe, therefore more tendency not to continue speaking with regional lect.

Germany is a very chaotic situation with a dialect in every town or village.

Dutch is actually spoken up near the Dutch border, but the form is not intelligible at all with Dutch across the border. You get into the different dialect in every town here.

Danish spoken a bit up by the Danish border.

Sorbian is spoken in the central east.

Frisian is spoken in the northwest and in the far north.

There are up to 138 separate languages within German by my calculation and splitting down to dialects, there must be many more, surely hundreds and maybe over a thousand. There are 3-4 languages within the Macro-Dutch spoken on the border and a dialect in every town. The Danish spoken in the north is not very dialectally diverse. Frisian is spoken as North Frisian and Saterland Frisian, but there may be up to five languages inside North Frisian. Sorbian is spoken in two forms, Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian, and both are separate languages.

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Filed under Balto-Slavic-Germanic, Danish, Dialectology, Dutch, Europe, Frisian, German, Germanic, Germany, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Language Families, Linguistics, Regional, Sociolinguistics

Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in Spain?

Montleek:  Robert, is it possible that in Western Europe, the regional lects have been preserved better, while in eastern Europe are preserved worse? There was communism/socialism in Eastern Europe, therefore more tendency not to continue speaking with regional lect. Robert, is it possible that in western Europe, the regional lects have been preserved better, while in eastern Europe are preserved worse? There was communism/socialism in eastern Europe, therefore more tendency not to continue speaking with regional lect .

In Spain, there is are several major languages such as Asturian-Leonese, Extremaduran-Cantabrian, Eonavian/Berciano, Basque, Catalan, Aragonese, Benasquesque, Galician and some odd forms of Portuguese. Murcian, Andalucian, Churro and Manchengo are very marginal cases, but are probably better seen as divergent dialects of Castillian.

With Catalan and Asturian-Leonese, you are absolutely in a situation of a different lect in every town or even village.

Eonavian is absolutely a separate language though it is not recognized. Berciano is the southern part of the Eonavian language.

There is definitely more than one language in Galician.

Cantabrian is actually a language and not a Spanish dialect. In fact, it is a part of the recognized language called Extremaduran.

There may be 3-4 languages inside Basque; surely there are at least two.

Benasquesque is actually a separate language between Catalan and Aragonese.

Occitan is only spoken as Aranese, but is probably a separate language.

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Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in the Netherlands?

Montleek: Robert, is it possible that in Western Europe, the regional lects have been preserved better, while in eastern Europe are preserved worse? There was communism/socialism in Eastern Europe, therefore more tendency not to continue speaking with regional lect.

In the Netherlands, regional lects of Dutch Low Saxon, Limburgs, Dutch, Frisian, Low Dietsch and Southeast Limburgs are spoken.

Dutch is spoken in a bewildering variety of lects. There is nearly a separate lect in every village or city.

Limburgs is spoken a bit in the far south and there is a different lect in every town here too.

Dutch Low Saxon is spoken in the north and center of the country, once again as a different lect in every town. Whether this is really Macro-German or Macro-Dutch is not certain, but I would call it more Dutch than German.

Frisian is less dialectally diverse.

There are also very strange languages like Low Dietsch and Southeast Limburgs spoken in the far south. These are classification nightmares. After a lot of study, I concluded that these are neither German nor Dutch but actually something completely in between. With Southeast Limburgs and Low Dietsch, you also run into a the dialect in every town situation.

There area number of separate languages within Dutch in the Netherlands, probably over a dozen. There are three Dutch Low Saxon languages, but the situation is very confused and is almost a classification nightmare. There are probably 3-4 languages inside Frisian, though the vast majority speak the standard lect. There are probably two lects inside Limburgs. Southeast Limburgs and Low Dietsch are separate languages, though each seems to have a few languages inside of it.

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Filed under Balto-Slavic-Germanic, Comparitive, Dutch, Europe, Germanic, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Language Classification, Language Families, Linguistics, Netherlands, Regional

Western Europe: What Native Languages Are Spoken in Belgium?

Montleek: Robert, is it possible that in Western Europe, the regional lects have been preserved better, while in eastern Europe are preserved worse? There was communism/socialism in Eastern Europe, therefore more tendency not to continue speaking with regional lect.

In Belgium, there are regional lects of Flemish, Dutch, French, Limburgs and German.

Flemish is diverse, though I am not sure if you get to a situation of a different lect in every town.

Dutch is spoken in Belgium, sometimes in forms like Brabants not intelligible to a Dutchman.

Limburgs is actually a separate language spoken in the east. German is spoken in the far south.

The German spoken is a separate language called Ripaurian.

French is spoken as Walloon, actually a separate language

There are probably several languages in Belgian Flemish. There may be two in Limburgs. and there are at least two languages in Walloon. There are probably a few languages inside Belgian Ripaurian. There are at least two languages in Walloon.

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Filed under Balto-Slavic-Germanic, Belgium, Dutch, Europe, French, German, Germanic, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Language Families, Linguistics, Regional, Riparian, Romance

Have Communist Parties Ever Won a Democratic Election?

Ed: The myth of Hitler being elected is important to debunk because it helps justify a corrosive anti-populism among left-identifying bien pensants. In fact, voters have never elected a (real) fascist, or for that matter a communist, party to office ever.

Allende, a Marxist, was elected in 1970. Marxist and Communist parties have been winning elections in various Indian states for a long time. Just recently that started happening in Nepal too. Moldovan Communists have been voted into power for a couple of decades and I think recently a Communist Party was voted into power in Malta. Communist Parties have been winning local elections and governing much of Northern Italy for decades.

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A Dark and Ominous Phoenix Rises from the Past

A Black Bird Rises in the West

My understanding is that in 1932, Jews were 1%* of the population of Germany. At that time, the Jews reportedly had 32%* of the wealth in the Germany.

The very next year, in 1933, Adolf Hitler of the Nazi Party was elected to rule German democracy. They quickly did away with that pesky democratic part of the state and imposed a dictatorship on a shocked but quite willing populace. This party had been trafficking in toxic anti-Semitism since its birth in German beer halls in the early 1920’s. Almost all of the leaders of this movement were very racist White men. All were White Supremacists and anti-Semites.

They preached ethnic ultranationalism and taking back the nation from the (((liberal and decadent cosmopolitan Establishment))) that had run Germany into the ground in the previous decade. It was time to take the country back from these (((liberals usurpers))) and make Germany great again. A vicious antisemitism was imposed very early on and quickly assumed savage and even homicidal proportions. Several years afterwards, those homicidal tendencies detonated into a full-blown genocidal project targeting not only Jews but also many other hated peoples such as Slavs and Gypsies. For four short years, this unstable and deranged party set the world on fire worse than it had ever been lit up. The fading remnants of that darkly incandescent blazing inferno leave traces that to reverberate among us to this day.

Of course I opposed (to put it very mildly) the Holocaust, the whole Nazi antisemitic project and the German/Japanese alliance in World War 2. It was as if a dual headed Satanic hydra had simulatenously risen in both the West and the East to menace all of mankind itself.

But then I look at that figure. Jews were 1% of the population and they controlled 32% of the wealth in a nation with an increasingly immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

I look at that figure. 1% of the population controlled 32% of the wealth. And I think, “You know what? There’s not too many countries in the world where people would put up with that for very long. At some point, the majority is going to rise up and try to take back a lot of that money from that tiny group that is monopolizing it.

In Another Century in Another Land…

In 2016, Jews are 2% of the US population. At this time, they reportedly have 28% of the wealth of the nation in a nation with an increasingly, immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

That same year, a fascist-like movement was elected to rule American democracy. They planned to quickly do away with some of the pesky democratic part of the state and impose an authoritarian government on a shocked but significantly willing populace. This party had been trafficking in increasingly toxic racism since its rebirth in the orange groves of the nation in the early 1980’s. A significant number of the leaders of this movement were quite racist White men. A few were White Supremacists and antisemites.

This movement preached an increasingly ethnic form of hyper-nationalism and taking back the nation from the (((liberal and decadent cosmopolitan Establishment))) that had been running America for most of the previous two decades. It was time to take the country back from these (((liberal usurpers))) and make America great again. A vicious racism loomed very early on. No one knew if this unstable and deranged party would set the world on fire in the next four years.

Let’s look at these two paragraphs again.

In 1932, Jews were 1% of the German population. At this time, they reportedly had  32% of the wealth of a nation with an increasingly immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

In 2016, Jews are 2% of the US population. At this time, they reportedly have 28% of the wealth of a nation with an increasingly, immiserated, disenfranchised and enraged majority.

I suppose my position would be that if the Jews, 2% of America, really do have 28% of my country’s wealth, I would say that not many countries in the world would put up with that for very long. I would also say that being 2% of the country and having 28% of the wealth is definitely not good for the Jews. Of course I don’t always support what is good for the Jews (Why should I?) but in this case, I definitely would, out of worry, fear, alarm and compassion for my fellow man alone.

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Open Democracy: The Voice of the Suicide Left

Here.

This man is from Open Democracy, a very crappy organization that is a symptom of everything wrong with the Democratic Party in the US. This group is all about “rights.” That’s all they care about: rights. They don’t care about anything else. Of course this boils down to Identity Politics. The group is run by George Soros.

Apparently what’s needed is to double down on Identity Politics X 10!

The struggle is now about democracy, democratic organization, reaching out, building coalitions of support that weaken the fascist base and getting into, in a serious way, class, race and identity.

Apparently, the “Left” position is “Assad must go!” What?

And foreign policy: Assad and Putin know that they can crush Aleppo with impunity because President Trump is only interested in something they also want, a massive air attack on ISIS.

Apparently the “Left” position is full throttle support for the North Atlantic Terrorist Organization!

This isn’t even to start on Trump’s repudiation of generations of US foreign policy consensus on NATO…

The “Left” position is free trade uber alles! more trade agreements, please, on the double!

The seismic economic shifts are impossible to reverse without cutting off trade and growth, in which case greater fairness will come at the cost of huge economic contraction.

The “Left” position is the usual fake lie of education and retraining which has never worked anywhere yet.

What’s needed is a long-term plan of retraining, strategic investment in education and a great deal of research and development work for the new economy.

The “Left” position is bipartisanship and working hand in hand with the Republican Party!

All of which requires coordination, rather than endless bipartisan confrontation in both political and legal systems.

The Left position is that those stupid redneck Whites are so evil for hating the foreigners who took their jobs or are doing them in China. How evil and racist of those White Supremacists! Why can’t they just lose their jobs quietly and go homeless so an illegal alien or a Chinaman can enjoy a meal tonight? You know, sometimes you have to give a little.

You just have to take back power from the government and throw out the foreigners who have stolen your jobs or are doing them in China.

 

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The Democratic Party Is the Suicide Left and It Deserves to Lose

The Israeli Right calls the Israeli Left “the Suicide Left.” Now I happen to like the Israeli Left a lot, but they may have a point. Their point is that the Israeli Left is trying to get us killed. So if the option is vote Left and get killed or vote for some fash like Sharon or Netanyahu and stay alive, a lot of basically decent people will vote fash. This is how a lot of non-fascists vote for fascist-type parties and leaders. Hell, if voting fash meant saving my life, I might just vote fascist myself, and I hate fascists!

I now believe that the US Democratic Party is the “Suicide Left” of America. They just don’t get it. I think what is going on here is that the party has been taken over by wealthy and upper middle class professionals on both coasts. The Republican Party is also represented by these types, among others. The Left and Right upper middle class professionals on the coast claim to hate each other, but they share the same class interests. Both are utterly out of touch with the working classes. These Democrats are well-to-do suit and tie types who only talk to others of their class and ilk. Incredibly, when a well-known liberal columnist interviewed a White working class Trump voter to see how he felt, he had to make up an imaginary person because apparently he didn’t know any actual working class people!

In other words, the Democratic Party is completely out of touch. Sure, the TPP was going to royally screw 90% of the country, but 10% were going to make out great. Guess who those 10% were? Those well to do upper middle class professionals on the coasts, including the entire leadership of the Democratic Party! Of course they push these crappy trade deals. They’re making lots of money off of them. What about the other 90% of Americans? Well, the Hell with them. If it’s not your ox getting gored, most people could care less what happens to you.

The entire Democratic Party has been sold on free trade madness. Go over to Daily Kos, the home of the left wing of the Democratic Party (the base). There’s article after article about how this election proves how racist and sexist and homophobic and transphobic and awful White people, oops I mean Americans, are. That’s what this whole election was all about. White Supremacy. White folks bein’ raciss again. Were there any other issues at play? Of course not.

Please understand that Kos is 100% free trader as far as I can tell. The left wing of the Democratic Party is hardcore freetrader! They never met a trade deal they didn’t love. There’s not one single article on trade over there right now, and I’m not sure when or if you will see another one. It is just not discussed. Occasionally in the comments someone will remark about these lousy trade deals, and “liberal Democrats” will rush over and bombard this person with attacks. According to them, the trade deals had nothing to do with working class job losses in Middle America. It was all automation! This is a complete lie, and actually, that is a very neoliberal, freemarketeer line. So the left wing of the Democratic Party is made up of neoliberals, freemarketeers and freetraders.

Every now and then you see tiny bits about trade. All they say is that Trump’s anti-free trade plans are going to be horrible for US workers. Like those Carrier Air Conditioning folks. Trump’s anti-free trade policies are going to throw millions of people like that out of work. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like crap to me. In other words, we cannot go back on free trade. Not one step back. In another article, it said that US trade policy definitely needed some tweaks (Like what?), but we cannot succumb to protectionism.

It ought to be clear now that Americans have had it up to here with mass immigration in all forms, legal, illegal, and all of the myriad fake guest worker programs. On Daily Kos, if you criticize illegal immigration even one time, you are banned forever. We cannot criticize those Holy illegal aliens, Gods among men!

The other day I saw a comment that said something like, “Hey look, don’t you think we need to do something about mass immigration, illegal immigration and especially these fake guest workers like H-1B’s?” They piled all over him, beating the crap out of him. On Daily Kos, apparently even attacking guest worker scab programs is verboten. Sure, they throw Americans out of high paying jobs and give them to job-stealing 3rd World scabs, but so what? Don’t you realize that these guest workers are those wonderful people called immigrants? All immigrants are Holy People! They are Godlike! We must worship at their feet!

The Democratic Party just doesn’t get it. They are dead-set on free trade crap and neoliberal economics. They’re free-trading freemarketeers. And they will not budge one inch on the insane immigration issue because muh racism. What they offer in place of any pro-worker project is endless Identity Politics screeds. Go to Daily Kos and scroll down the page. It’s: Racism! Sexism! Homophobia! Transphobia! Stop White Supremacy! Black Lives Matter! Up with Black People! Up with Mexicans! Down with Whites! White People Suck!

The Democratic Party is the goddamned Suicide Left. The reactionaries under Trump will completely destroy the country, but it will in part be the fault of the Suicide Left who handed it over to them. The same thing happened in the 1920’s and 1930’s when the German Communist Party attacked the German Social Democratic Party, calling them “social fascists,” sort of like how the SJW’s attack everyone not Cultural Left enough, calling them reactionaries and fascists. This idiotic infighting played a strong role in handing the country to the Nazis. And once again, we see an insane, tone-deaf, suicidal Left playing a a major role in handing the country over to a fascist movement.

The Democratic Party is the Suicide Left. They deserve to lose!

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