Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

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Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by HinGambleGoth » 01 Aug 2014 07:39

You come across this all the time,

Languages only change due to foreign influence.
When left isolated, languages don't change at all.
We have always spoken the same way, but you haven't.
You used to speak our language, now you speak a bad version of theirs.
Whenever a language displays odd traits, there must be a substrate.
Language kinship can only be proven trough lexical overlap.
Inflections are just decoration.
When two languages sound similar, they must have influenced each other, regardless of distance.
Standard High German is the most Germanic language.
Latin was never spoken, only written.
French got uvular r and front rounded vowels from old Frankish.
It is impossible to tell what historical language sounded like, since we lack recordings.
Our language has a unique sound not found in any other (or in IPA), that only natives can utter.
Rural accents never change, only urban ones.
English is based on Danish/French/Latin/Welsh whatever.
Icelandic and Lithuanian are "unchanged".
Sanskrit is the "mother tongue"
Some languages are more logical and wiser than others, which hinders ones thoughts whenever not speaking it.
Northern English sounds different due to Norse influence.
Scottish English is just a Gaelic accent.
Danish is lazy slurry Swedish.
Our language was spoken over this large (insert land here) area, then they stole it and hid our true past.
Our language has all the root words of your language, look!, they still sound the same!

Any more?
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Systemzwang » 01 Aug 2014 08:36

"There is something illogical about double negation."

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Ahzoh » 01 Aug 2014 08:52

That every thing is a descendant of Arabic, even Chinese pronouns...
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Systemzwang » 01 Aug 2014 10:01

Ahzoh wrote:That every thing is a descendant of Arabic, even Chinese pronouns...
Butthe evidence is so compelling!

https://www.alislam.org/topics/arabic/

Ahmadiyya muslims are not representative of mainstream islam, though.

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 01 Aug 2014 11:59

Systemzwang wrote:"There is something illogical about double negation."
But there is...



...in English.
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Thakowsaizmu » 01 Aug 2014 17:33

Systemzwang wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:That every thing is a descendant of Arabic, even Chinese pronouns...
Butthe evidence is so compelling!

https://www.alislam.org/topics/arabic/

Ahmadiyya muslims are not representative of mainstream islam, though.
Flawless logic.

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by thetha » 01 Aug 2014 17:49

XXXVII wrote:
Systemzwang wrote:"There is something illogical about double negation."
But there is...



...in English.
As a user of double negatives I am offended!

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by HinGambleGoth » 02 Aug 2014 01:53

For some reason, all languages stem from the Balkans.
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Systemzwang » 02 Aug 2014 11:22

XXXVII wrote:
Systemzwang wrote:"There is something illogical about double negation."
But there is...



...in English.
But there's nothing about logic per se that makes the English approach the 'natural' approach and other approaches evidence of people being illogical. Also, some dialects have the other logical approach of using negation as an operator with this truth table:

Code: Select all

    | ⊥
pos | neg
neg | neg
The column to the left is input values, the ⊥ is the "contradiction" operator, and the column to the right the output values. Such an operator is well permissible within logic.

Some speakers even master some variety of diglossia with regards to this, knowing when to parse a statement as having a homophonous negating particle that operates along the "classical negation" ¬ truth table and when to parse using the ⊥ operator. In most natural uses of negation in speech, the results will be indistinguishable.

However, the ¬-operator has some drawbacks: the linguistics part of the brain is not good at counting, and you basically need to count to keep up with what the truth value is at the moment (there's even a suggested universal saying "grammar can't count beyond two", explaining, among other things why Wackernagel positions exist, but not Wackernagel+1 positions - i.e. grammar can require elements to go in the second spot, but not in the third spot; phonology seems to be able to count to three though, wrt antepenultimate stress and such.) . Since we also live in a noisy background and actually don't hear all the words and syllables that we actually think we hear, but actually reconstruct many of them by somewhat reliable guessing this puts a lot of strain on our brain. The chances that we actually heard *each* of the negations OR that every negation we thought we heard actually was uttered is increasingly reduced the more of them you have present in the utterance. If it's the contradiction operator, that's not a problem though - the truth value remains unchanged even if you accidentally reconstructed one too few or many.

(Of course, the ⊥ operator is less expressive than the ¬ operator, but only by little. ⊥ is not complete for truth values attainable by unary operators, but ... given that there are exactly two possible truth values, that's not a big problem. Omit ⊥ from a statement and that problem is fixed.)
Last edited by Systemzwang on 02 Aug 2014 11:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 02 Aug 2014 11:45

Systemzwang wrote:But there's nothing about logic per se that makes the English approach the 'natural' approach and other approaches evidence of people being illogical.
Never said there was. I was mostly joking, after all. Shoulda thrown a smiley in there. Then again, I thought I was being preposterous (/anglocentric) enough to not be assumed as serious. Guess not.
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Systemzwang » 02 Aug 2014 13:27

XXXVII wrote:
Systemzwang wrote:But there's nothing about logic per se that makes the English approach the 'natural' approach and other approaches evidence of people being illogical.
Never said there was. I was mostly joking, after all. Shoulda thrown a smiley in there. Then again, I thought I was being preposterous (/anglocentric) enough to not be assumed as serious. Guess not.
Yeah, but I figure about half or even two thirds of what I said is unknown - most people don't know formal logic, and most people don't know a bunch of the things I said about linguistics in general.

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Hālian » 03 Aug 2014 19:45

French is polysynthetic.

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Xonen » 03 Aug 2014 23:36

Carl Miller wrote:French is polysynthetic.
Bleh, that's not a myth as much as it is a matter of definition. A whole bunch of definitions, in fact: affix, word and many, for starters. :roll:

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by abi » 05 Aug 2014 06:34

When explosm.net used to have forums there was a topic on American vs British English. There were a couple posters who insisted that American English was fundamentally wrong because English evolved in England and it belonged to them, we American's where just screwing it up.

I find that even among American's there's this sense of improperness with our dialects. I've had someone tell me that American English is full of slang while British is "correct" English.

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Ahzoh » 05 Aug 2014 06:56

abi wrote:When explosm.net used to have forums there was a topic on American vs British English. There were a couple posters who insisted that American English was fundamentally wrong because English evolved in England and it belonged to them, we American's where just screwing it up.

I find that even among American's there's this sense of improperness with our dialects. I've had someone tell me that American English is full of slang while British is "correct" English.
And that indeed flies in the face of the fact that English is pluricentric.
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Thrice Xandvii » 05 Aug 2014 07:02

Not to mention how much slang there is in Brit-Land too... not that that's even a measure of "correctness."
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by gach » 05 Aug 2014 12:54

Xonen wrote:
Carl Miller wrote:French is polysynthetic.
Bleh, that's not a myth as much as it is a matter of definition. A whole bunch of definitions, in fact: affix, word and many, for starters. :roll:
I guess Mordvinic should then also be considered. [:P]
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Lao Kou » 05 Aug 2014 13:24

abi wrote:we American's where just screwing it up ... I find that even among American's there's this sense of improperness
Two cases in point. [xD]
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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by Xonen » 05 Aug 2014 16:41

Ahzoh wrote:
abi wrote:When explosm.net used to have forums there was a topic on American vs British English. There were a couple posters who insisted that American English was fundamentally wrong because English evolved in England and it belonged to them, we American's where just screwing it up.

I find that even among American's there's this sense of improperness with our dialects. I've had someone tell me that American English is full of slang while British is "correct" English.
And that indeed flies in the face of the fact that English is pluricentric.
I'd imagine that's the whole point. That is, it is a lamentable state of affairs that such pluricentricity exists when only one of those centers centres is proper English. :roll:

gach wrote:
Xonen wrote:
Carl Miller wrote:French is polysynthetic.
Bleh, that's not a myth as much as it is a matter of definition. A whole bunch of definitions, in fact: affix, word and many, for starters. :roll:
I guess Mordvinic should then also be considered. [:P]
Well, I guess it arguably allows less affixes per verb... Then again, some things that might still count as clitics in French correspond to what are clearly affixes in Mordvin. Most importantly, though, typological classification is such an arcane and mostly pointless area of study that I'll gladly leave it to typologists. [:P]

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Re: Langauge myths that persist on the Internet.

Post by mbrsart » 05 Aug 2014 23:48

Speaking a language that has a future tense, like English, causes you to save less money. You should speak Chinese instead. (I don't know how many times I've tried to kill this story, even on TED, for f's sake!)

Also, [insert applicable language here] has no verb for "have"; therefore, they are a very generous people. (My Hebrew professor insisted on perpetuating this one. What part of "to me is a book" doesn't translate directly to "I have a book"?)
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