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Csonicgo

The future of the English language

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As you all know, English is the new Latin. After all, it deserves to be. It's simple, has a vast vocabulary, and, while being germanic, has easier grammar and genderless nouns. English in its modern form is as stripped-down as it can get...

However, that was probably the same assumption given during old english, when english had gender, complex conjugations, and the like.

So, 1000 years from now, will "english" speakers look at what we're speaking and writing and wonder in amazement how we did it? Will English be further morphed into a completely new language?

Discuss.

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1000 years from now it will no doubt be an entirely different language. I can't really predict much about it, but I think it will have an even larger vocabulary than we do today.

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Csonicgo said:

As you all know, English is the new Latin. After all, it deserves to be. It's simple, has a vast vocabulary, and, while being germanic, has easier grammar and genderless nouns. English in its modern form is as stripped-down as it can get...

However, that was probably the same assumption given during old english, when english had gender, complex conjugations, and the like.

So, 1000 years from now, will "english" speakers look at what we're speaking and writing and wonder in amazement how we did it? Will English be further morphed into a completely new language?

Discuss.

Actually, English grammar is on par with many languages in terms of difficulty. However, the lack of gender is always nice (having taken German, I can vouch for that one). Also, don't forget the roots that it has in old English, Gaelic, Celtic and all that good stuff too.

In the near future, possibly upwards of 200 years or more, English will probably still be spoken. The morphology of many words will make it less intelligible by today's standards, but that's because English is fairly flexible and adaptive. In any case, no one will wonder anything, because that'd imply that the language has died, and for that to happen pretty much 99% of the language's speaking population has to die. So short of conquest by another country (fairly ironic, given that is primarily how English became so widespread). English's security is, well, pretty secure. There's not really too much to speculate regarding English's future.

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1000 years from now, more efficient means of representing and transmitting thought than the present human language will no doubt be used. Until then, English will continue to evolve like it always has, though the information revolution is probably changing the pace.

Csonicgo said:

English in its modern form is as stripped-down as it can get...

Right.

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Csonicgo said:

English in its modern form is as stripped-down as it can get...

Not until we start speaking in pure acronyms!

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Job said:

Actually, English grammar is on par with many languages in terms of difficulty. However, the lack of gender is always nice (having taken German, I can vouch for that one). Also, don't forget the roots that it has in old English, Gaelic, Celtic and all that good stuff too.

In the near future, possibly upwards of 200 years or more, English will probably still be spoken. The morphology of many words will make it less intelligible by today's standards, but that's because English is fairly flexible and adaptive. In any case, no one will wonder anything, because that'd imply that the language has died, and for that to happen pretty much 99% of the language's speaking population has to die. So short of conquest by another country (fairly ironic, given that is primarily how English became so widespread). English's security is, well, pretty secure. There's not really too much to speculate regarding English's future.


Yet the same might have once been said of other lingua francas, such as Latin or Greek (once used throughout the Hellenistic world). As unbelievable as it may now seem, there will almost certainly come a time after days unimaginable when English, or at least anything we currently recognize as it, will cease to be the dominant language. Consider that there are more speakers of Spanish worldwide, and then also consider the number of speakers of all the dialects of Chinese. They're very significant also :P

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If it ceases to be a dominant language, would a class of languages split from it? or is this impossible now due to the information age?

I can safely say that spoken english is completely different than written. As a person that can speak a fluent appalachian dialect, I can attest to that.

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Csonicgo said:

If it ceases to be a dominant language, would a class of languages split from it? or is this impossible now due to the information age?

I can safely say that spoken english is completely different than written. As a person that can speak a fluent appalachian dialect, I can attest to that.


Appalaichan dialect? Ain't that prrty-talk for redneck speak? (not insulting you...seriously asking.)

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exactly. it's actually an old dialect from late middle to early modern english that has been preserved due to isolation.


Living in a trailer and flying a rebel flag while mudriding in a 4x4 has nothing to do with it.

It's a shame that ignorance and the "redneck" label in general is applied to the dialect.

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Csonicgo said:

exactly. it's actually an old dialect from late middle to early modern english that has been preserved due to isolation.


Living in a trailer and flying a rebel flag while mudriding in a 4x4 has nothing to do with it.

It's a shame that ignorance and the "redneck" label in general is applied to the dialect.


I hear ya...just like crotch-grabbin' and "fuhgeddaboutit" is associated with mine.

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XDelusion said:

Besides I'm not trying to turn the topic, I'm pointing out that the mere fact that English has become the MAIN language of the world says something very terrible about the state of things.

It is a shadow of conquest.

In the future, everyone will be required to speak english.

Uhh, what? I think it's more of an indicator that English is an easy language to learn (easy to learn, difficult to master :P) than anything. Of course, England had colonies all over the world which initially spread it (which is also why Spanish is so prevalant), but I really don't think that means it is forced onto people. Most former British colonies that still have more native population than European population still speak their native tongue. In fact, the vast majority of countries on the planet DON'T have English as an official language.

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I was going to bring up the future of irregular verbs, but since my native tongue is the tongue of EVIL CAPITALIST SCUM OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER, I will become a hermit and speak a form of yiddish. HEIL LEDERHOSEN!

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English is easy for the world to learn hugh?

Given the fact that english sentences are spoken in reverse of how every other language on the planet speaks...

...I'd assume it would not be quite so easy to learn.

Granted it is generic, and the alphabet is generic when compared to say the Chinese, Japanese, pre-Egyptian, or Mayan alphabet, but you must also consider all the slang we have, and the fact that we like to change the meaning of our words all the time too...

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baronofhell said:

The way things are going here in the U.S., Spanish might eventually become the major language within the next century.


I certainly hope not. In my area, it seems Portugese and Haitian Creole is more dominant than Spanish.

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XDelusion said:

English is easy for the world to learn hugh?

Given the fact that english sentences are spoken in reverse of how every other language on the planet speaks...


English is an AVO language. The AVO and Agent Object Verb orders are by far the two most common, accounting for more than 75% of the world's languages which have a preferred order. English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Khmer, the Romance languages, Russian, Bulgarian, Kiswahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Nahuatl, Quiche, Guaraní, Javanese, Malay and Indonesian are examples.


anyway, now that the thread is CLEANSED...


What do you think will happen to our irregular verbs? go/gone or wend/went or whatever.

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Csonicgo said:

English in its modern form is as stripped-down as it can get...


not until we start using newspeak.

anyway, a good series to check out detailing the evolution of english is "the adventure of english". melvyn bragg does a great job as the presenter.

as far the future of english is concerned? I won't be here 1000 years from now so it really doesn't matter much to me.

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Csonicgo said:

English in its modern form is as stripped-down as it can get...

How can you say that when we often have two or three words for the same thing - Germanic, Latinate, or Norman? The way English words are spelled is atrocious and in no way self evident. Why don't we have letters for the sounds ch, sh, th, zh? On that note what exactly is the letter "c" good for that "k" and "s" couldn't do? Why don't we have a singular vs. plural "you" like most other languages? Why is there no proper singular antecedent, instead having to use the incorrect "they"? What's the deal with all the irregular verbs?

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Why don't we have letters for the sounds ch, sh, th, zh?

For th we did but people think the symbol is a y and start saying ye old instead of the old. AFAIK we had 28 letters, the cut ones being: the german S-thing and our mistaken y-thing.

I believe these were destroyed when spelling became standardised when the dictionary was written (since before then people used their own methods to spell just using the sounds of the characters, 'ghoti' is another way of spelling fish!)

I believe the C you hate so became so flexible either when the French invaded or when french words became a fad among 'intellectuals'.

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Janderson said:

For th we did but people think the symbol is a y and start saying ye old instead of the old.

If I remember correctly, that letter was known as thorn.

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Þorn?

awesome.

Linguica said:

Why don't we have letters for the sounds ch, sh, th, zh?


What symbols would you propose?

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Janderson said:

I believe these were destroyed when spelling became standardised when the dictionary was written (since before then people used their own methods to spell just using the sounds of the characters, 'ghoti' is another way of spelling fish!)


So you know about the band Ghoti Hook too?

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Snarboo said:
If I remember correctly, that letter was known as thorn.

Looks more like to me...

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Heh, it's like going back in time to my history of the English language class. Anyway, English will be just fine as long as there's plenty of saps...er...people to take it as a major (or even minor, I suppose) for their degree. I speak from a position of experience regarding this.

And regarding the plastic changes of English, namely Ebonics, I have only one thing to say about that. Women have been raped for as long as humankind has existed and they're still around. In the same way, you can relentlessly rape the English language, but it'll stick around. It just might not be the same language you used to know. Maybe a little more skiddish...and she won't call you back anymore...

I still can't believe Ebonics is being taught as a course in some colleges.

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