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Cronish language extinct

Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 12:00
by Aelfarh

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 12:06
by skh
Wouldn't it be great if new learners and speakers revive the language just to spite the experts? :grin:

peace /|\
Sonja (also a linguist)

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 12:20
by Corwen
My mother in law speaks fluent Croneish...

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 13:43
by ennys
There should be made a difference between original languages and revived languages. When a language is only spoken by non-natives as a second language, the language is dead...Sorry to say this, it actually hurts me physically inside, because following this definition my own beloved breton is on the verge of extinction.

But what I do hear flowing from the mouth of neo-speakers also hurts at times; a huge french accent, a french syntax, and only the words themselves are breton. In the worst cases, neo-speakers are unable to communicate with native speakers because their accent is too heavy for natives to understand, and vice versa. Also, the traditional language has no standard but consists of a variety of dialects, where neospeakers almost all speak the same...that is, those who do not take the pains to learn a dialect.

Is this the same language, then, in a revived form, or are most neospeakers speaking some kind of conlang?

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 20 Feb 2009, 18:37
by pworrell
It would have been nice if the article had stated what is meant when a language is declared 'extinct'.

This is a term used by we linguists when a language is no longer learned as the first language.

To truly revitalize a language, it *must* be taught as a primary language. I have run a program attempting to revitalize an extinct language, and I know how hard and difficult it is for those involved. So, kudos to those who do exactly that.

As far as dialects go, I agree with Max Weinreich:
אַ שפראַך איז אַ דיאַלעקט מיט אַן אַרמײ און פֿלאָט
"A language is a dialect with an army and a navy."

Ennys, I totally understand your pain. We hold so much identity with our language - personal and cultural. As far as it being a constructed language, no - at least not by the technical definition. (If I understand properly the terms of the language you are describing.)

I could go on forever about the technical stuff, but that is kind of outside the scope.

Personally, it saddens and bothers me anytime any language goes extinct.

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 30 May 2009, 19:59
by tannos
I agree it also saddens me greatly when languages die out. Especially the knowledge that they usually die as a result of English (my mother tongue :-( ). The fact, however, that people are trying to learn different minority languages fills me with great hope for the future. The thing is, is that the native speakers and the neo-native speakers need to take the time to communicate. They do in any other language anyway, e.g. French (I have a friend from Wolverhampton who lives in France) or German ( I myself, born and raised in Birmingham live in Berlin). If the natives of German and French decided that they didn't want to communicated with us (my English accent was very strong when I arrived here, so that people also had difficulty understanding me - it still happens), then we wouldn't have been able to continue living here.

Basically what I'm saying is, those who have learned the language need to communicate with natives, despite possible troubles understanding each other. That is a problem that will go in time and also the native dialects are more likely to be upheld, because people will just pick up words or constructions that the natives of that area use. It's up to the natives and the neo-speakers to make the effort. If only one of them makes the effort then it's doomed to fail.

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 01 Jun 2009, 16:57
by willowcrow
My M.A. is in linguistics, so maybe I can help with this a bit.

Linguists consider a language "moribund" when the native speakers of a language have not passed that language on to their children--so when they die, the language dies with them. A startling amount of world languages are moribund today.

Linguists consider a language "extinct" when there are no more native speakers of a language. For example, even though there are people today who can read Latin fluently (or claim to speak it, although there are questions about specific pronunciations) Latin is still considered a "dead" language because it has no more native speakers. Of course, we could try to revitalize any language by speaking it to our children. They wouldn't learn it as the previous native speakers might (since they would be learning it from a non-native speaker) but eventually it would evolve and take shape of its own. This is the beauty of the human brain and of a child's ability to acquire language!

Are there any native speakers (i.e. people who have grown up speaking it since childhood) of Cornish? If not, that is why they are calling it dead. Of course, if there are any left and they make efforts to speak it to children, then there is hope!

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 01 Jun 2009, 23:13
by tannos
The last known native speaking Cornish person was Dolly Pentreath from Mousehole (pron. Moosul) who died in 1777.

However, and this goes with great respect to the Cornish, there are apparently people who are growing up through the medium of Cornish.

The question is, if a child grows up through the medium of Cornish (which to be honest takes about four generations of REALLY hard work), then does that constitute a language as living again?

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 02 Jun 2009, 01:53
by willowcrow
I would think so! This is called "language revival"--when new speakers begin to speak a dead language (compared to "revitalization" when it is an endangered language and efforts are made to preserve it). There's lots of linguistic terminology, lol.

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 02 Jun 2009, 14:40
by tannos
cool.....I miss my linguistics degree :-(

Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 06 Jun 2009, 17:04
by Anna
The European Community lists Cornish on its European Charter for minority there is hope....(i think they wouldn't list it if it were really dead....) ... _Languages

I do not have the info from Wikipedia, that's where I found it now, to quote here. The info I got from Edinburgh university, when I did study there.


Re: Cronish language extinct

Posted: 07 Jun 2009, 04:16
by wyeuro
linguists have their good reasons for categorising a language as dead or extinct, but their definitions don't always work in the real world. if you think cornish is dead after listening to a few week's worth of these:



i'll be wanting a new definition of 'dead'. it just doesn't go with 'cornish'.

there are cornish families very fluent in cornish having learnt it as a second language who are raising their children with cornish as their first language, and some of those children will be old enough to be rearing a first generation of genuine native speakers now, so maybe it's already 'revived'.

wyverne /|\