On Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 7:11 PM, Dr. David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> > http://www.omniglot.com/blog/?p=5591
> I wonder if the scenario mentioned on this blog entry can be applied
> to Ireland and Irish.
lrf -- This blog of Dennis's, is magnificent.
> "Ingrown" languages presumably need a long time
> to "grow in", ideally undisturbed and without the interaction with
> other languages.
lrf -- but look at the Navajo example: the Navajo were the most recent of
all the southwestern Indian groups, total blow-ins compared to the Hopi next
to whom they lived.
> . During the entire first millennium, Irish was in
> contact with other languages (British, Pictish?, English, Norse, and
> possibly (a) lost language(s) of Ireland).
lrf: I don't know too much about Pashtu, except that it's one of the two
national languages spoken in Afghanistan and that it belongs to the Iranian
branch of Indo-European. Being on the continent, even in the high
mountains, means that you're always in contact with somebody, and clearly in
Iran, they're very much in contact with the other official language, modern
Persian, with all its borrowed influences.
All of this doesn't look
> to me as being conducive to linguistic ingrowth as imagined in that
> blog entry.
lrf: I know it's not fashionable anymore to speak of the Viking period as
having had any effect at all on Irish culture, but as a blow-in to Ireland
myself, I strongly believe that whole argument needs re-investigating. So,
okay, there are some Viking loanwords in Irish, but not a huge number. What
about the structural systems, though, has anybody looked closely to see if
there are any parallels?
Also I seem to recall it has been said that either the language or the
kinship systems were already showing signs of simplification purely for
internal reasons before the first Viking onslaughts. I wonder if that is
not a bit of wishful thinking? To me it just does not make sense that a
society could go through the trauma that Ireland clearly did -- which our
historians used to be so very fond of harping on -- and emerge unscathed and
pristine, no-feather-out-of-place-on-me,-thankyou, as historians now seem to
be trying to argue. Sure, you can't have it both ways. It seems to me that
the 'no Viking influence' theory is actually a piece of Nativism disguised