DailyDirt: You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Dead languages don't change and evolve. It's the languages that people speak the most that develop new words and new dialects. In the past, it's been difficult to track the evolution of language, but with more and more wiretapped phonecalls digital voice recordings available for analysis, linguists are in a better position to study how languages are changing. Here are just a few interesting links on language dialects. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    I disagree modern literacy is creating new dialects, put a physicist and a chemical engineer in the same room and they will not be able to communicate.

     

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  2.  
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    Miff (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 6:46pm

    Yeah, but now that we live in the error of grammar nazis calling out every minor "error", English is not going to evolve even in the minor ways it still could.

     

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  3.  
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    Ferel (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 7:40pm

    Re: [screaming internally]

    but now that we live in the error of grammar nazis...

    (must... resist... urge... to correct... with 'era'...)

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 7:55pm

    Nice.

    On the Katz link in the Dialect Survey Map : 1st question
    "How to you say aunt?"

    option: "I have the same vowel in "ah", "caught", and "aunt".

    The Electric Company - still paying off decades later. Awesome.

     

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  5.  
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    McCrea (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 9:13pm

    Re:

    "Yea" shouldn't have an "h". (etc.)

     

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  6.  
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    Allen (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 5:31am

    barriers that prevent various English dialects from becoming their own languages

    Is it lack of Geographical Isolation? or is it that teh interwebs (and ok the Plain old Telephone Service before that) have made Geographic Isolation != total isolation?

    But he leaves off two other factors:

    1) USAian entertainment syndicated at prices below those that local producers can compete with. Whether you call this cultural pollution (bay watch) or cultural enrichment (some example I can't think of right now)you can't deny that US TV and cinema are globally pervasive.

    2) The two most globally dominate countries of the last few centuries were Britain and (at least for the time being) the US. Which means that English is The lingua franca.

    Who knows? in 100 years the international lingua franca might be Chinese and condescending arseholes will be using English instead of Latin to say things like lingua franca.

     

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  7.  
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    RyanNerd (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 5:50am

    Navajo

    My friend who is a Navajo once told me that most dinner conversations in Navajo homes are usually arguments about the meanings of different words.

     

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  8.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    Nobody takes grammar nazis seriously, so I don't think they'd have any effect.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:16pm

    I've never heard anyone say "tomahto" in my life (unless as a joke). Seriously, who talks like that?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re:

    "Yea" is pronounced "yay". "Yeah" is a different word and pronounced differently. Yea verily!

     

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  11.  
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    Miff (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 4:52pm

    Re:

    I think it's the Pacific Northwest region of the US, but I'm not sure.

     

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  12.  
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    McCrea (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are incorrect

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How so? You make a statement like, "You are incorrect", but give no details. Until you point out HOW I'm incorrect, I'm going to assume that you are a liar.

     

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  14.  
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    McCrea (profile), Jun 29th, 2013 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't play sillily. "Assume good faith" is the rule. You didn't really say anything more than I was wrong, either.

    I did check a few dictionaries for you. Alas, they were different than they were 35 years ago; I have no evidence for my case. When we researched this in school, as instructed, generally "yeah" was not listed, or was listed as slang. Moreover, "Yea" had the secondary pronunciation which we are speaking about.

    Offhand, I don't know how to prove the past to you, unless I find a suitable 1970 dictionary, and you happen to have a sister. You can either believe me or not. Hence, why I gave no reason that doesn't change anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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