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 Post subject: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 01:46 
greek
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1000 years ago, English was unrecognizable. What may it look like in another 1000 years?
It is clear irregularity will erode, and what inflection we have left will dissapear too, eventually. The first stage is likely participle dropping.
There will be many sound changes, mergers, and splitters, which form subtly. Many of these are currently happening, such as the thin-fin merge and the-duh merger (in my dialect). There are also regular sound changes, such as /h/ dropping, voiceless fricitives becoming /h/, everything becoming a fricitive, intervocallic voicing, and so on.
It is mandatory you put your dialect (preferably in flag form)


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 03:15 
mongolian
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GamerGeek wrote:
1000 years ago, English was unrecognizable. What may it look like in another 1000 years?
It is clear irregularity will erode, and what inflection we have left will dissapear too, eventually. The first stage is likely participle dropping.
There will be many sound changes, mergers, and splitters, which form subtly. Many of these are currently happening, such as the thin-fin merge and the-duh merger (in my dialect). There are also regular sound changes, such as /h/ dropping, voiceless fricitives becoming /h/, everything becoming a fricitive, intervocallic voicing, and so on.
It is mandatory you put your dialect (preferably in flag form)


My guess is that simplification of the vowel inventory will proceed at an alarming rate. I suspect the future inventory of English to largely recollapse to something similar to Latin in the US.

Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)
Loss of distinction between /ɑ/ and /ɔ/ (Happening as a result of caught-cot merger)
Merger of /o/ and /ə/ or /o/ and /u/. (Result of unrounding of /oʊ/ to /ʌʊ/ or /əʊ/)
Merger of /ʉ/ and some close vowel (likely /i/, /u/, /ʊ/ or /ɪ/) (Because of yod collapse producing independent /u/)
Loss of distinction between /ʌ/ and /ə/ (Hardly differentiable as is)

The resultant inventory would be a lot simpler, maybe something analyzable as /ə a e i o u a: i: u:/

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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 06:33 
greek
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Quote:
Loss of distinction between /ɑ/ and /ɔ/ (Happening as a result of caught-cot merger)

As I already have the caught-cot merger, and my dialect treats [ɔ] as /l/, it is wierd to think a cult-cot merger (Also, my /a/ is a [a], so I don't see that happening any time soon)
There are also splitters: don't forget that!


Also, I technically said this:
Quote:
It is mandatory you put your dialect (preferably in flag form)

:usa: :us-ca:


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 13:04 
MVP
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GamerGeek wrote:
It is mandatory you put your dialect (preferably in flag form)

*checks to see whether GamerGeek owns this forum, or has any authority here whatsoever.*

No, no it isn't.
Quote:
1000 years ago, English was unrecognizable. What may it look like in another 1000 years?

Nobody knows. There are many options. It may of course not be a single language by then.

Phonologically, the biggest "problems" in English are:
- an insanely large (and not even all that symmetrical) vowel inventory, and specifically one with two many low vowels. [my dialect has six vowels in the lower third, plus three more close by, plus at least one more developing, and that's more vowels than most languages have in total]
- an unusually (by world standards) permissive phonotactics
- a number of unusual sounds, like the interdental fricatives, and English /r/ (and the US has the further problem of two contrasting rhotics, though one isn't called that).

These are probably the most likely targets of change, but of course changes aren't always the expected ones. And fixing one problem can make another problem worse. For instance, in one future english of mine (which you can some notes on on see on this board), I merge the alveolar flap with /r/, but in the process transfer some of that contrast onto the vowels via sulcalisation, which makes the vowel system even more of a mess.

Quote:
It is clear irregularity will erode, and what inflection we have left will dissapear too, eventually. The first stage is likely participle dropping.

On the contrary, I think English at the moment is largely heading toward more inflection, rather than less. And some 'losses' are actually gains. For instance, if you lose the distinction between the past tense and the past participle, you can end up with much more complicated tense marking: "I would have broken it" and "I broke it" become "Idve broke it" and "I broke it", with a conditional inflection on the pronoun. That's typologically unusual, so, combined with the spread of the disjunctive pronouns, you'd probably end up with "Me ibroke it" and "Me idvbroke it" (more likely actually 'ivbroke', but you get the idea).
See for instance the rise of construction like "I have've broken it", where we're starting to see "'ve" turning into a purely grammatical clitic.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 15:57 
runic
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Salmoneus wrote:

- a number of unusual sounds, like the interdental fricatives, and English /r/ (and the US has the further problem of two contrasting rhotics, though one isn't called that).


Interesting! What's the other rhotic? Can you point us to some examples?

Salmoneus wrote:
GamerGeek wrote:
It is clear irregularity will erode, and what inflection we have left will dissapear too, eventually. The first stage is likely participle dropping.


On the contrary, I think English at the moment is largely heading toward more inflection, rather than less. And some 'losses' are actually gains. For instance, if you lose the distinction between the past tense and the past participle, you can end up with much more complicated tense marking: "I would have broken it" and "I broke it" become "Idve broke it" and "I broke it", with a conditional inflection on the pronoun. That's typologically unusual, so, combined with the spread of the disjunctive pronouns, you'd probably end up with "Me ibroke it" and "Me idvbroke it" (more likely actually 'ivbroke', but you get the idea).
See for instance the rise of construction like "I have've broken it", where we're starting to see "'ve" turning into a purely grammatical clitic.


Agree. English already has an incréased amount of inflexion compared to the post-Middle / post-Early Modern period's loss of A.S. inflexion.

As Salmoneus points out, our verbal conjugation is already making steam for Complexity City. Just listen to some of the compound tense-aspect-person-object agglomerations you hear from ordinary folks on Divorce Court or Cops. It's already pretty close to incomprehensible and will probably only become worse.

I suspect that the future situation will become very much like the Latin~Romance situation of a thousand years ago or to an extent like the French situation now: people will speak various patois in everyday life, a higher register lingo very much like our recognisable ModE, but pronounced all funny, and will continue to write using a variety of registers depending on social context. This assumes that civilisation doesn't break down entirely, that educational standards remain (relatively) high and that English itself continues to be the IAL of choice in the world.

If the next thousand years are all Mad Max, then chances are good English will just disappear and its descendants will rapidly evolve into distinct languages. Anyone still literate enough to read what we're writing today will almost certainly not speak this way and would probably be vanishingly rare in any event.

A thousand years after that, when civilisation rises again from the ashes, a whole new investigation into philology will piece together the curious relationships between the languages spoken in Diemvi, Mouddalan, Nyewuh, and so forth. How surprised they will be to find three so divergent languages have common roots! And what a wonderful day it will be when some curious monument of ancient times is dug up out of the dust of the past and has written on it words in a strange language, very much like the ones they have been laboriously reconstructing, yet also startlingly different!

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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 16:36 
MVP
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elemtilas wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:

- a number of unusual sounds, like the interdental fricatives, and English /r/ (and the US has the further problem of two contrasting rhotics, though one isn't called that).


Interesting! What's the other rhotic? Can you point us to some examples?

The alveolar flap! Americans (and to a lesser extent other English speakers) don't think of it as a rhotic, but it's pretty much the prototypical rhotic. And indeed, you sometimes see people here using <r> when trying to write out an American accent, although the fact that we know it's "really" <t> or <d> does often prevent people from realising what they're hearing.


One other thing worth pointing out: the degree of change over time can be highly variable. It's not clear that there's any fixed 'rate' of sound (or other) change, but even if there is, some changes are more important than others. GG is correct that the English of 1017 is completely incomprehensible today... but the English of 1517 is actually pretty easily understood. [There are occasionally 'original language' Shakespeare performances, for instance - it may take a little while to get your ear in (it sounds half-American, half-West Country), and of course some idioms will pass you by and if he's trying out some clever wordplay or poetic syntax it may lose you, but it's basically "odd accent of English" and give or take the odd -eth, if someone told you this was a real modern accent from rural norfolk or somewhere you probably wouldn't know for sure that was a lie.]

That's because the changes between 1017 and 1517 were particularly dramatic. Massive loss of inflections and influx of continental vocabulary to give us middle english, and then the Great Vowel Shift and the loss of final schwa to give us modern English. As a result, Chaucer is only barely intelligible when spoken (more like "closely related language you can spot a lot of English words in" than "odd dialect"), and Old English just isn't (you'd be better off if you spoke Dutch or German than if you spoke English). Something like the GVS is just a little general upward shift of the tongue, an easy-enough sound change, but it completely destroys intelligibility, at least until you work out what's happening. Many other sound changes objectively as 'large' may have relatively little impact on how easy something is to understand.


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 23:18 
greek
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qwed117 wrote:
Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)

They're all pronounced [mɛj.ɹi] :/
There's always monopthongization (and diphthongization), but you seem to have not mentioned that.


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 23:21 
greek
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elemtilas wrote:
If the next thousand years are all Mad Max

Interesting choice of reference. I would think more along the lines of Fallout ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 23:25 
mongolian
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GamerGeek wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)

They're all pronounced [mɛj.ɹi] :/
There's always monopthongization (and diphthongization), but you seem to have not mentioned that.

It's actually relatively hard to determine what happens to hat extent. It's easiest to just determine what is no longer distinguished.
And the thing is that Mary-marry-merry can all be pronounced differently. With the three vowels mentioned. I find it strange how you act like some infinitely knowledged sage.

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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Thu 25 May 2017, 23:53 
greek
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qwed117 wrote:
GamerGeek wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)

They're all pronounced [mɛj.ɹi] :/
There's always monopthongization (and diphthongization), but you seem to have not mentioned that.

It's actually relatively hard to determine what happens to hat extent. It's easiest to just determine what is no longer distinguished.
And the thing is that Mary-marry-merry can all be pronounced differently. With the three vowels mentioned. I find it strange how you act like some infinitely knowledged sage.

I certainly don't have [mɛj.ɹi] (that looks odd to me actually, I never know people used that). For me, the phonemes /e(ː)/ and /o(ː)/ are rising diphthongs most of the time, but something like a monophthong or falling/centering dipthong before tautosyllabic /r/ or /l/. So hay, hate, hair, hale are [heɪ], [heɪt], [heɚ̯], [heɫ~heə̯ɫ] and stow, stoat, store, stole are [stoʊ], [stoʊt], [stoɚ̯], [stoɫ~stoə̯ɫ].

My predictions would mainly be about continued vowel changes, since those seem to be a historical trend for English, although I'm not sure exactly which.

- Probably pre-l mergers are likely to spread more. I know l-vocalization has been said to be on the rise in Britain, and in my own speech, although I don't have any actual non-standard mergers as far as I know in this environment, I definitely notice a lot of unstable-seeming allophones before /l/, like an l-colored allophone of /ɛ/ in "bell" that seems prone to merging into /ʌ/ and a l-colored allophone of /ʌ/ in "adult" that seems prone to merging into /ɑ/ (I have the cot-caught merger).

- Completion of the fronting of /u(ː)/, probably followed by unrounding to something like /i/. The fronting trend seems well-established, and historically sounds like /y/ have an established tendency to unround to /i/. 1000 years seems like long enough for that to occur.

With consonants, I guess I'd expect to see some kind of palatalizations since those have been common in the history of Indo-European languages. I don't know exactly how it would go, though, since English already has /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ and while merger with these is possible it doesn't seem quite likely to me. Maybe something like: current /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ shift to /tʂ/, /dʐ/, /ʂ/ and /ʐ/, /r/ is lost in onsets since it's not a very strong sound, new /tɕ/ /dʑ/ arise from palatalization of /k g/ or /t d/ in some environments (next to front vowels or something).

Coda consonants will probably be lost to some extent, but it's hard to predict how far that will go. It could be extreme, as in French or Mandarin Chinese, or it might be less so.

I have a Californian accent.


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Fri 26 May 2017, 02:05 
greek
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Quote:
I have a Californian accent.

As do I.
I have learned that my idolect is strange in my training in linguistics, however I am a younger speaker, so that can be considered.
Besides my (apparently) strange vowels, I have noticed that [θ] and [f] are almost allophones (Not exactly a lisp), [ð] is merging with [d], and [h] is becoming palatalized to [ç].


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Sun 04 Jun 2017, 21:22 
greek
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I believe that, without a nuclear war or similar situation, English will form an example of diglossia in places with it as an official language: In formal situations, "Standard English" will be used, while "English Dialects" will be used in informal situations. To some amount, this already happens, but will become more exhagerated over time.


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Sat 10 Jun 2017, 23:19 
rupestrian
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Irregularity might not get lost. Of course some irregular forms will disappear. But maybe new ones will arise. Consider especially the impact of future sound changes that might feed irregulairty. We don't know what they will be.

And maybe there will be new morphology. Perhaps some auxiliaries will become affixes, as often happens in other languages. Maybe even prepositions might develop into new case marking, as is already starting to happen in Spanish. It's hard to know what will happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul 2017, 09:00 
greek
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GamerGeek wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)

They're all pronounced [mɛj.ɹi] :/

No. They're pronounced [ˈme̞ːɹɪi̯] [ˈme̞ɹɪi̯] [ˈmæɹɪi̯] respectively ...

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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul 2017, 09:22 
cuneiform
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I always thought it would be interesting if English develops "reverse" conjugation from the traditional european languages; instead of conjugation based on the subject (I have vs He has) we get it based off the object:

-Haveme vs Haveya vs Havim vs Haver vs Havit, etc.

or even more with palatals,

-Catchme vs Catchya vs Catchim vs Catcher vs Catchit, etc.

I also assume we'll have a lot of metathesis (speaking for some americans):
-Ek cetra vs Et cetra
-Aks vs Ask
-Any word with a syllabic /r/ being unsyllabalized: Fruniture vs Furniture (real common in texas)


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul 2017, 18:14 
rupestrian
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elemtilas wrote:

Agree. English already has an incréased amount of inflexion compared to the post-Middle / post-Early Modern period's loss of A.S. inflexion.

As Salmoneus points out, our verbal conjugation is already making steam for Complexity City. Just listen to some of the compound tense-aspect-person-object agglomerations you hear from ordinary folks on Divorce Court or Cops. It's already pretty close to incomprehensible and will probably only become worse.



Do you have any specific examples of this? I've never really thought about it and it sounds interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul 2017, 18:42 
greek
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Imralu wrote:
GamerGeek wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)

They're all pronounced [mɛj.ɹi] :/

No. They're pronounced [ˈme̞ːɹɪi̯] [ˈme̞ɹɪi̯] [ˈmæɹɪi̯] respectively ...

egg, ehg, agg, whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Mon 17 Jul 2017, 04:47 
mongolian
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GamerGeek wrote:
Imralu wrote:
GamerGeek wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)

They're all pronounced [mɛj.ɹi] :/

No. They're pronounced [ˈme̞ːɹɪi̯] [ˈme̞ɹɪi̯] [ˈmæɹɪi̯] respectively ...

egg, ehg, agg, whatever.

Merry-Mary-Marry is a merger that has already happened in most dialects outside of the North East. I'm saying that the distinction between the phonemes as a whole will disappear, meaning that cat, Ket and Kate, will all be pronounced the same in the future..

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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Mon 17 Jul 2017, 07:31 
greek
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qwed117 wrote:
GamerGeek wrote:
Imralu wrote:
GamerGeek wrote:
qwed117 wrote:
Loss of distinction between /æ/ /ɛ/ and /e/. (Based off Mary-merry-marry merger)

They're all pronounced [mɛj.ɹi] :/

No. They're pronounced [ˈme̞ːɹɪi̯] [ˈme̞ɹɪi̯] [ˈmæɹɪi̯] respectively ...

egg, ehg, agg, whatever.

Merry-Mary-Marry is a merger that has already happened in most dialects outside of the North East. I'm saying that the distinction between the phonemes as a whole will disappear, meaning that cat, Ket and Kate, will all be pronounced the same in the future..

"the North East"? Of the world?

Also, I'm pretty sure that merger is only taking place before /r/, no? It seems like a likely merger with the influence of a lot of L2 speakers, but it seems weird to justify it by pointing to the merger of marry-merry-Mary in US dialects.

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 Post subject: Re: Post-Modern English
PostPosted: Mon 17 Jul 2017, 21:04 
cuneiform
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If anything, I’d expect those three vowels to spread apart. In dialects that have the NCVS, they’re somewhere around [eə ɜ eɪ], and in California they’re approximately [a/eə ɛ eɪ]. That doesn’t seem like the behaviour I’d expect from three vowels about to merge.

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