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Re:

13 Apr 2015 11:12

Maaaaaaaarten wrote:In the Netherlands, outside of some area's with a stronger regional identity which have retained strong dialects (e.g. Twente, Limburg, Zeeland), few people really have a separation between a dialect and a standard language register, I think. I mean, when I was discussing dialects with some Belgian friends it turned out all of them spoke differently if they were with their family or just with people from their region than if they were in a group with people from various different area's, especially if said group includes Dutch people (like me). But for me that's not the case at all, I only have one type of Dutch that I speak and I think it's the same for most Dutch people outside of certain regions that do have a clear dialect.

Is this because the dialect from the Amsterdam-Rotterdam area has been spreading out?
There seems to be a difference between how Holland-Dutch now and decades ago. Though not native Dutch-speaking myself, it seems like Holland-Dutch uses much more very sharp sounds now than it used to. I heard this song by Herman Van Veen, and I thought it sounded much more beautiful and soft than the Dutch that is spoken on television often ('Faaif, Ses, Seejfe'). Flemish Dutch (where I live now) seems to have preserved more of those soft sounds (soft 'g', soft 'v', etc).
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Re: Re:

13 Apr 2015 15:26

Jagartrott wrote:Is this because the dialect from the Amsterdam-Rotterdam area has been spreading out?
There seems to be a difference between how Holland-Dutch now and decades ago. Though not native Dutch-speaking myself, it seems like Holland-Dutch uses much more very sharp sounds now than it used to. I heard this song by Herman Van Veen, and I thought it sounded much more beautiful and soft than the Dutch that is spoken on television often ('Faaif, Ses, Seejfe'). Flemish Dutch (where I live now) seems to have preserved more of those soft sounds (soft 'g', soft 'v', etc).


Well, the specific elements you name can change per speaker even if they are speaking standard Dutch. Coming from a city that's in the Den Haag/Rotterdam area I guess I speak the ugly type of Dutch according to you. ;)

Many of the elements that you name are definitely present in the South Holland dialect but I think they are more common throughout the Netherlands, especially above the rivers, though they're not universal. I'm sorry if I'm getting a bit to technical in the rest of my post by the way:

The examples that you name have to the with the series of fricatives that Dutch has. Originally Dutch has a series of consonants called 'voiceless fricatives': /f s x/ which are usually written <f s ch> and a corresponding set of 'voiced fricatives': /v z ɣ/ usually written <v z g>. In (almost?) all northern Dutch dialects (everything in the Netherlands except Brabants and Limburgs) the set /x ɣ/ has merged to /χ/. Okay, so /χ/ is further back in your throat; it's typically called 'harde g' in Dutch. I think this phoneme is actually extremely rare in European languages.

However, in Hollandic dialects this doesn't just extend to velar fricatives (the /x ɣ/ series), but to all voiced fricatives; so they all merge with their voiceless counterparts. That means /v z/ become /f s/. It might be more accurate to say that Hollandic Dutch is in the process of losing them though, because in the heads of the speakers they still seem to be two distinct consonants, but in practice, when they're talking, it's hard to tell the difference between /v/ and /f/ both being pronounced more or less like [f].

Another feature of Hollandic Dutch which you come acros when you mention ' Seejfe' (I assume this is a phonological spelling of the Dutch word 'zeven' pronounced in a Hollandic way). So you write the long 'e' (that is /e:/) as 'eej'. So here's another typically Hollandic phonological phenomenon happening, though this is again more widespread that just Holland. This is called the diphthongization of the long e and o (/e:/ and /o:/). So that name speaks for itself, the long monophthongs /e/ and /o/ are realized as diphthongs [eɪ], [oʊ] (you would write <eej> and <oow> in Dutch). Oh this also happens with the vowel written in Dutch as <eu>, this represents /ø:/ and it becomes [øʏ], so that's parallel to the other ones. This diphthongization is alsoo very common in (Netherlandic forms of) standard Dutch, but it's much clearer and stronger in Hollandic dialects; the more vernacular the Hollandic Dutch becomes, the stronger people tend to do this. So the word <zeven> would be /'ze:vən/ in proper standard Dutch and in my dialect of Dutch it would be pronounced as ['seɪfə] which you could write like <seejfe> indeed. :)

If anyone wants further phonological elaborations on the South Holland accent/dialect and specifically the Den Haag and I can provide them, because I'm quite familiar with it and to some extent I'm a speaker of it myself. But yeah, I thought this would be enough for now. :D
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13 Apr 2015 15:30

That was really interesting. Thanks! And yes please, tell us more!

But don't call standard Dutch or any other dialect "proper", please. Only you can say no to prescriptivism! :p
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13 Apr 2015 16:22

I used the 5, 6, 7 example because Dora the Exlorer pronounces it like that on TV (I have small kids). :D
It's different than how people here say it.
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Re:

13 Apr 2015 17:49

hrotha wrote:That was really interesting. Thanks! And yes please, tell us more!

But don't call standard Dutch or any other dialect "proper", please. Only you can say no to prescriptivism! :p


Okay, I will post some more in a couple of days, because there is some more funny stuff going on in The Hague with vowels and with their rhotic, but these things are less widespread outside of The Hague than the diphtongization of long middle vowels and the devoicing of the fricatives. However, it will have to wait a couple of days, because I'm leaving early tomorrow morning to go hitchhiking to Lyon and back, so I won't have time until I come back in a couple of days :)
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16 Apr 2015 22:11

I don't wander much to the general forum and then this! Some of you people are plain crazy, with all the different stuffs you know much about:D And that's amazing, I hope I get some opinion from you on some kind of language chaos in my country.
Almost every Indonesian, apart from those living in big cities, basically grows up learning two or more languages at once, one is the local language which is spoken in the area (which is not neccesarily the parents' mother tongues), and the other is Bahasa Indonesia used in school, media, and public affairs.
Most of the ethnic languages, including two most largely spoken, Javanese and Sundanese, have for most of their existence developed separately from the Malay language group (which includes Bahasa Indonesia), therefore, despite grammatical similarities and mutual influence, they are still very different sets of logical construction to learn simultaneously from year zero, like most of Indonesian children do.
As the national language become more dominant and local languages lose some political importance (although not romantic significance), current generations tend to mix them up in non-formal situation, and too many of us have difficulty to sufficiently express ourselves in either language when confronted by situation when we have to use one of them exclusively. It contributes to - but is not the only reason - why the 'degree of correctness' in speaking either language is extraordinarily low, you can be a foreigner who spend years studying Indonesian languages and still feel cheated upon listening to how natives actually speak them. I dare say approximately 0% Indonesian speak standardized Indonesian on daily basis, grammar and vocabularies go wild everytime one open his/her mouth, from the president announcing the new cabinet, to a priest speaking in a funeral, and to a mother talking to her 2-year old kid.
I'm sure it happens in many other society at some point of history, though, we Indonesians are just probably in a critical phase of it. How do you see such things and how does it compare to your own country?
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17 Apr 2015 18:13

interesting post!

The status of Bahasa Indonesian seems somewhat comparable to that of Classical/Standard Arabic in e.g. Morocco, in that it is the home language of very few (if anyone), but is very widespread as the official language in formal/educational domains. In Morocco people at home speak different dialects of either Berber or Arabic. The Berber dialects are not all mutually intelligible. Some speakers of different Berber dialects might take recourse to Standard Arabic in order to understand each other.
Some (most?) of the Arabic dialects spoken in different parts of the Arabic world aren't mutually intelligible either, though I don't know how far exactly they have grown away from Classical/Standard Arabic.

There are no doubt other cases comparable to what you describe for Indonesia (really very interesting).
Still, I'm not so sure if "it happens in many other societies", as you say.
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Re:

18 Apr 2015 19:18

hrotha wrote:That was really interesting. Thanks! And yes please, tell us more!

But don't call standard Dutch or any other dialect "proper", please. Only you can say no to prescriptivism! :p


Alright then, I'll write some more about it. :)

One thing that changes a lot with different dialects of Dutch is the rhotic. I think the 'normal' rhotic for Dutch is simply an alveolar trill and especially in my experience especially though not exclusively in Flemish dialects the rhotic is always realised as an alveolar trill. However, uvular realizations of the rhotic are also very common, both in several Dutch dialects and in several Flemish dialects. The most common source of uvular rhotics is the South Holland type of Dutch spoken in the The Hague/Rotterdam area. The uvular rhotic can be either a trill [ʀ] or a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ] in the onset and it is usually an approximant [ʁ̞] in the coda. In the The Hague dialect the rhotic is usually vocalized in the coda, similar to German. So for instance the word <raar> which means 'weird' is /ra:r/; for many speakers it will simply be realised as [ra:r], but I would say [ʀa:ʁ̞] myself and this pronunciation is quite common in Holland. Especially the approximant in the coda is seen as a typical feature of Northern dialects of Dutch and especially Hollands; for instance when Flemish people try to caricaturize Netherlandic Dutch they often use a very strong approximant in the coda. For the Haags accent it can be a bit more complicated though; for instance <bier> /bi:r/ meaning 'beer' is [bi:r] for many speakers, for me it would be [bi:ʁ̞] and for a speaker from The Hague it might be [bi:ɐ̯]. <hart> meaning 'heart' is /ɦɑrt/. For me it would be [ɦɑʁ̞t], but in Haags the rhotic will be devoiced and it becomes [ɦɑχt]. Anyway, in conclusion, the uvular rhotic is very common in but not exclusive to Hollandic Dutch; especially having an approximant in the coda is considered very Hollandic.

One feature of the Haags accent that I've always thought to be funny is the monophthongization of all pure diphthongs of Dutch. They diphthongize their long middle vowels, as I explained in the previous post, and the monophthongize their diphthongs, though the latter is actually very uncommon outside of Den Haag. Dutch has three common diphthongs; <ei au/ou ui>, which are /ɛi̯ ɑu̯ œy̯/ (<au> and <ou> represent the same sound /ɑu̯/). In the Hague these might be realized as [ɛ: ɑ: œ:]. So for instance the Dutch word 'Ei' (which means 'Egg') is /ɛi̯/, but in The Hague they might say [ɛ:]. So the word <kwart voor vijf> which means 'a quarter to five' is /kʋɑrt vo:r vɛi̯f/ (<ij> also represents /ɛi̯/ in Standard Dutch). For me and for most Hollandic speakers it would be something like [kʋɑʁ̞t fʊ:ʁ̞ fɛi̯f] (/e: ø: o:/ before /r/ become [ɪ: ʏ: ʊ:]; though not universal, this is very common throughout Dutch, it's not considered specifically Hollandic), but for somebody from The Hague it might be [kʋɑχt fʊ:ɐ̯ fɛ:f].

Finally, one difference I've noticed between Hollandic Dutch and virtually every other dialect I've encoutered is how they treat syllables that end with /ən/. Because <en> is a plural suffix and an infinitive suffix and a suffix for plural finite verbs and a suffix for the gerund, these syllables are extremely common. But yeah, it appears to me that almost every dialect of Dutch (and German) drops the schwa and maintains a kind of syllabic /n/, whereas Hollandic drops the /n/ and maintains the schwa. So the word <fietsen> meaning 'to cycle' is /fi:tsən/. In Flanders and in the North and East of the Netherlands they will say [fi:tsn̩], whereas I and all Hollandic speakers will say [fi:tsə]. Because the urban area in the West of the Netherlands is the area of the Hollandic dialects and the North and East of the Netherlands are much more rural, speaking Netherlandic Dutch but with the syllabic /n/ makes you sound like a farmer. :p

Grammatically speaking actually Hollandic dialects are virtually identical to Standard Dutch. The only somewhat significant grammatical feature of Hollands I can think of is that they can use the word <eigen> as a reflexive pronoun. So I might say <hij is zijn eigen aan het wassen> which means 'he's washing himself', whereas in standard Dutch I should say <hij is zichzelf aan het wassen>. To be honest, I only use <eigen> as a reflexive pronoun very rarely and exclusively when I'm speaking very informally. The lack of grammatical differentiation of Hollandic Dutch is simply because historically Standard Dutch has been based mostly on the Hollandic dialect; That's why especially Hollandic speakers don't have the idea that they speak any type of dialect, even though when you study it more in depth it becomes clear that Hollandic has some specific phonological features. Having lived in Belgium for a couple of years I've become very much aware that I devoice voiced fricatives, diphthongize long middle vowels and use a uvular rhotic; all of which are moderately widespread but still represent the specific dialect of the area in which I grew up (namely South Holland).

So this is it for now, but I'm always happy to answer questions about Dutch. :D
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Re:

18 Apr 2015 22:26

sniper wrote:interesting post!

The status of Bahasa Indonesian seems somewhat comparable to that of Classical/Standard Arabic in e.g. Morocco, in that it is the home language of very few (if anyone), but is very widespread as the official language in formal/educational domains. In Morocco people at home speak different dialects of either Berber or Arabic. The Berber dialects are not all mutually intelligible. Some speakers of different Berber dialects might take recourse to Standard Arabic in order to understand each other.
Some (most?) of the Arabic dialects spoken in different parts of the Arabic world aren't mutually intelligible either, though I don't know how far exactly they have grown away from Classical/Standard Arabic.

There are no doubt other cases comparable to what you describe for Indonesia (really very interesting).
Still, I'm not so sure if "it happens in many other societies", as you say.


I was only guessing, actually, having looked at the maps of old Europe in some previous page, where what was then a 'small language' is a big one now. I'm not really sure if it's comparable, though, haven't looked to much about it.

As for the standard/classical Arabic in Morroco example. I think it's quite similar in terms of comparison of original number of speakers to its later widespread influence. It's interesting to know such thing also happen in another country.
But I see the difference in the fact that it is indeed standard/classical Arabic, which is a globally influential language, not some local Arabic dialect. While the main body of Bahasa Indonesia is 'only' a local Malay dialect of either Northeast Sumatera or Southern tip of Malay Peninsula. Not that it's completely unknown to people in the Indonesian archipelago though, many older variations of it was one of popular trading languages in the region for hundred years, but nothing compared to Arabic influence.
Or maybe I just confuse classical Arabic with Quranic Arabic or other widely known versions of Arabic :D Please enlighten me...

Also curious to know: how good are Moroccans speak standard Arabic currently? As I previously said, Indonesians are getting worse. Example : as a language ladden with bound morphemes, everyday B.Indonesia are spoken in mostly stems, sometimes with affixes borrowed from other language, complete with improbable syntax and messed up vocabularies. Sad thing is this also happen to most local languages.
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Re: Re:

19 Apr 2015 07:27

gunara wrote:
sniper wrote:interesting post!

The status of Bahasa Indonesian seems somewhat comparable to that of Classical/Standard Arabic in e.g. Morocco, in that it is the home language of very few (if anyone), but is very widespread as the official language in formal/educational domains. In Morocco people at home speak different dialects of either Berber or Arabic. The Berber dialects are not all mutually intelligible. Some speakers of different Berber dialects might take recourse to Standard Arabic in order to understand each other.
Some (most?) of the Arabic dialects spoken in different parts of the Arabic world aren't mutually intelligible either, though I don't know how far exactly they have grown away from Classical/Standard Arabic.

There are no doubt other cases comparable to what you describe for Indonesia (really very interesting).
Still, I'm not so sure if "it happens in many other societies", as you say.


I was only guessing, actually, having looked at the maps of old Europe in some previous page, where what was then a 'small language' is a big one now. I'm not really sure if it's comparable, though, haven't looked to much about it.

As for the standard/classical Arabic in Morroco example. I think it's quite similar in terms of comparison of original number of speakers to its later widespread influence. It's interesting to know such thing also happen in another country.
But I see the difference in the fact that it is indeed standard/classical Arabic, which is a globally influential language, not some local Arabic dialect. While the main body of Bahasa Indonesia is 'only' a local Malay dialect of either Northeast Sumatera or Southern tip of Malay Peninsula. Not that it's completely unknown to people in the Indonesian archipelago though, many older variations of it was one of popular trading languages in the region for hundred years, but nothing compared to Arabic influence.
Or maybe I just confuse classical Arabic with Quranic Arabic or other widely known versions of Arabic :D Please enlighten me...

Also curious to know: how good are Moroccans speak standard Arabic currently? As I previously said, Indonesians are getting worse. Example : as a language ladden with bound morphemes, everyday B.Indonesia are spoken in mostly stems, sometimes with affixes borrowed from other language, complete with improbable syntax and messed up vocabularies. Sad thing is this also happen to most local languages.
good point wrt the difference bwteen B.Indonesian and Classical Arabic.
I don't know much about the degree of command of Classical Arabic among the average Moroccons, so somebody else has to do the enlightening in that respect.
Your last paragraph is superinteresting, B.Indonesian stems with morphemes from other languages.
Do you know of any instances/places where such mixed varieties have gelled into a more or less new, stable language (or trade language)?
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Re: Re:

19 Apr 2015 09:03

Maaaaaaaarten wrote:
hrotha wrote:That was really interesting. Thanks! And yes please, tell us more!

But don't call standard Dutch or any other dialect "proper", please. Only you can say no to prescriptivism! :p


Alright then, I'll write some more about it. :)

One thing that changes a lot with different dialects of Dutch is the rhotic. I think the 'normal' rhotic for Dutch is simply an alveolar trill and especially in my experience especially though not exclusively in Flemish dialects the rhotic is always realised as an alveolar trill. However, uvular realizations of the rhotic are also very common, both in several Dutch dialects and in several Flemish dialects. The most common source of uvular rhotics is the South Holland type of Dutch spoken in the The Hague/Rotterdam area. The uvular rhotic can be either a trill [ʀ] or a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ] in the onset and it is usually an approximant [ʁ̞] in the coda. In the The Hague dialect the rhotic is usually vocalized in the coda, similar to German. So for instance the word <raar> which means 'weird' is /ra:r/; for many speakers it will simply be realised as [ra:r], but I would say [ʀa:ʁ̞] myself and this pronunciation is quite common in Holland. Especially the approximant in the coda is seen as a typical feature of Northern dialects of Dutch and especially Hollands; for instance when Flemish people try to caricaturize Netherlandic Dutch they often use a very strong approximant in the coda. For the Haags accent it can be a bit more complicated though; for instance <bier> /bi:r/ meaning 'beer' is [bi:r] for many speakers, for me it would be [bi:ʁ̞] and for a speaker from The Hague it might be [bi:ɐ̯]. <hart> meaning 'heart' is /ɦɑrt/. For me it would be [ɦɑʁ̞t], but in Haags the rhotic will be devoiced and it becomes [ɦɑχt]. Anyway, in conclusion, the uvular rhotic is very common in but not exclusive to Hollandic Dutch; especially having an approximant in the coda is considered very Hollandic.

One feature of the Haags accent that I've always thought to be funny is the monophthongization of all pure diphthongs of Dutch. They diphthongize their long middle vowels, as I explained in the previous post, and the monophthongize their diphthongs, though the latter is actually very uncommon outside of Den Haag. Dutch has three common diphthongs; <ei au/ou ui>, which are /ɛi̯ ɑu̯ œy̯/ (<au> and <ou> represent the same sound /ɑu̯/). In the Hague these might be realized as [ɛ: ɑ: œ:]. So for instance the Dutch word 'Ei' (which means 'Egg') is /ɛi̯/, but in The Hague they might say [ɛ:]. So the word <kwart voor vijf> which means 'a quarter to five' is /kʋɑrt vo:r vɛi̯f/ (<ij> also represents /ɛi̯/ in Standard Dutch). For me and for most Hollandic speakers it would be something like [kʋɑʁ̞t fʊ:ʁ̞ fɛi̯f] (/e: ø: o:/ before /r/ become [ɪ: ʏ: ʊ:]; though not universal, this is very common throughout Dutch, it's not considered specifically Hollandic), but for somebody from The Hague it might be [kʋɑχt fʊ:ɐ̯ fɛ:f].

Finally, one difference I've noticed between Hollandic Dutch and virtually every other dialect I've encoutered is how they treat syllables that end with /ən/. Because <en> is a plural suffix and an infinitive suffix and a suffix for plural finite verbs and a suffix for the gerund, these syllables are extremely common. But yeah, it appears to me that almost every dialect of Dutch (and German) drops the schwa and maintains a kind of syllabic /n/, whereas Hollandic drops the /n/ and maintains the schwa. So the word <fietsen> meaning 'to cycle' is /fi:tsən/. In Flanders and in the North and East of the Netherlands they will say [fi:tsn̩], whereas I and all Hollandic speakers will say [fi:tsə]. Because the urban area in the West of the Netherlands is the area of the Hollandic dialects and the North and East of the Netherlands are much more rural, speaking Netherlandic Dutch but with the syllabic /n/ makes you sound like a farmer. :p

Grammatically speaking actually Hollandic dialects are virtually identical to Standard Dutch. The only somewhat significant grammatical feature of Hollands I can think of is that they can use the word <eigen> as a reflexive pronoun. So I might say <hij is zijn eigen aan het wassen> which means 'he's washing himself', whereas in standard Dutch I should say <hij is zichzelf aan het wassen>. To be honest, I only use <eigen> as a reflexive pronoun very rarely and exclusively when I'm speaking very informally. The lack of grammatical differentiation of Hollandic Dutch is simply because historically Standard Dutch has been based mostly on the Hollandic dialect; That's why especially Hollandic speakers don't have the idea that they speak any type of dialect, even though when you study it more in depth it becomes clear that Hollandic has some specific phonological features. Having lived in Belgium for a couple of years I've become very much aware that I devoice voiced fricatives, diphthongize long middle vowels and use a uvular rhotic; all of which are moderately widespread but still represent the specific dialect of the area in which I grew up (namely South Holland).

So this is it for now, but I'm always happy to answer questions about Dutch. :D

great stuff.
lots of points of recognition.
reflexive "me eigen", indeed, that's very informal.
I don't know any such thing in any variety of German (which doesn't mean it doesn't exist).
Still, i don't think it'll be very rare crosslinguistically.
Reflexive "my own" occurs in some nonstandard (and/or creole) varieties of English, iirc, though i'm not sure if in those varieties it is generalized or only occurs with a subset of verbs (e.g. 'defend my own').
Perhaps hrotha knows if (mi/meu) prop(r)io occurs as a reflexive pronoun in non-standard varieties of Spanish or Portuguese?
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19 Apr 2015 14:34

sniper wrote:Your last paragraph is superinteresting, B.Indonesian stems with morphemes from other languages. Do you know of any instances/places where such mixed varieties have gelled into a more or less new, stable language (or trade language)?
[/quote][/quote]

Ah, maybe I should've been clearer, what I mean is that Bahasa Indonesia are full of affixes to construct various meaning of a certain root word (stem). But, in practice, people tend to ignore that and use the roots (stems) instead, sometimes by making the sentence even longer, due to more words used. As alternatives, they replace the Bahasa Indonesia/Malay affixes with the simpler Javanese/Sundanese/or any of their local language affix, without clearly defined 'rule'.

For example (sorry I've never majored in linguistic, so there must be lots of wrong terminology):
Most verbs root words in theory have very limited use, you have to apply certain affix to give it certain meaning. In this case I use word 'beli' which mean 'to buy' .
The standard Bahasa Indonesia will have this following forms to the word 'beli' with different meaning :
aku membeli sebuah buku = I buy a book
aku membelikan dia sebuah buku = I buy him a book
buku ini sudah dibeli = the book has been bought
ini adalah buku yang yang dia belikan = this is a book that he buy (for someone else)
buku ini tidak terbeli olehku = this book can not be bought by me
pembelian = expenditure
(some words can have more afflixations, but let's stick with 'beli')

In real life, everywhere in the country, you will hardly ever hear people use those above formations, instead you will hear :
aku beli buku = I buy (a) book (preffix 'mem-' is completely dropped, always, and article 'sebuah' is rarely used, and when is really needed, people use word for number 'satu' (one) instead)
aku beliin dia buku = I buy him a book (-in suffix is from Javanese language, but it's used by many speakers from other ethnics when speaking Bahasa Indonesia)
buku ini udah dibeli = ('udah', an informal form of 'sudah'/have, probably come from Betawi Malay dialect)
ini buku yang dia beliin = this is a book that he buy (for someone else) (again, the suffix '-in', which is never a standard suffix).
buku ini nggak kebeli sama aku = this book can not be bought for me. This sentence uses 'nggak' which is Javanese-influenced informal form of 'tidak' (not), prefix 'ke-' which is a modification of Sundanese prefix 'ka-' and is not a standard B.Indonesia prefix, and cojunction 'sama', which is also non-standard, and not even have root with other language, and have different meaning in standard B.Indonesia.
There are worse example, but this is what I can come up with when waiting for something to happen at AGR :D)

I know a lot of languages borrow affixes from other languages into their codified rule, but I don't know any other national language so grammatically afflicted by local languages without formally accepting those influence (vocabularies-wise it absorbs new words everyday, but only words to fill the void not to replace already existing words). Personally, I sometimes wonder why a language stays with a set of rules that's not popular at all with its speakers, maybe it needs to consider giving in, but I also think that this 'alternative form' don't deserve formal acceptance as it doesn't really offer anything new to enrich the language.
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Re: Language discussion thread

20 Apr 2015 13:05

gunara. very interesting thanks.
this is all about language contact, language change, (grammatical) borrowing, code-mixing, prescriptivism, standardization, koineization, second language acquisition, language shift, areal linguistics.
so many factors to take into account.
I need to read up on Bahasia Indonesian in order to make more sense of the examples you give.
If you have more such examples, maybe you can underscore the borrowed/nonnative elements, so that it's easier to distinguish them from the original/native (i.e. original Bahasia Indonesian) elements.

on an aside: an Indonesian who watches cycling? how rare (or not) is that?
have you ever been to the Netherlands before? Any impressions?
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Re: Language discussion thread

21 Apr 2015 05:04

sniper wrote:gunara. very interesting thanks.
this is all about language contact, language change, (grammatical) borrowing, code-mixing, prescriptivism, standardization, koineization, second language acquisition, language shift, areal linguistics.
so many factors to take into account.
I need to read up on Bahasia Indonesian in order to make more sense of the examples you give.
If you have more such examples, maybe you can underscore the borrowed/nonnative elements, so that it's easier to distinguish them from the original/native (i.e. original Bahasia Indonesian) elements.

on an aside: an Indonesian who watches cycling? how rare (or not) is that?
have you ever been to the Netherlands before? Any impressions?


Good suggestion about the underscore, I'll try it later at home, can't do it with this silly phone.
As for watching cycling, yeah, I am practically alone in the neighborhood, even a continental rider from my town can't make his friends watch cycling, and he himself doesn't follow as much as I do anyway. Last month, the tv provider that I subscribed dropped Eurosport from its channel list, I tried to initiate a petition, and the grand total of subscribers who are interested in joining me is...three :p It used to be far more popular in the 80's, though.
No I haven't been to the Netherlands, I wish I've had. Everyone in Indonesia would love to see Netherlands. It's interesting though, that unlike other most former colonies, and for a 350-year of interaction, Dutch influence on Indonesian culture is less than obvious. It's there in every facet of life, but one may need to look closer to recognize it. There are lot of reasons for that subtlety. In language, Dutch lend a good portion of the vocabulary, maybe not as much as Arabic, Chinese, and Sanskrit, but it can be found a lot in law and administrative terms and idioms, and we can also find a lot of loan words with suffixes -si, -as, -an, -ar etc. which comes from Dutch words end in -tie, -aat, -ant, -aar etc., even if the root words come from other language than Dutch.
But it's cycling that made me really need to go to Holland, via Flanders, of course :D
User avatar gunara
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21 Apr 2015 06:51

hrotha wrote:That was really interesting. Thanks! And yes please, tell us more!

But don't call standard Dutch or any other dialect "proper", please. Only you can say no to prescriptivism! :p


I don't agree. So much of today's language is debased by the consumption culture we live in and the horrendous example on commercial television, for which vulgarity and ignorance predominate. Then there are the ridiculous and grotesque Anglo-Americanism, like "Jobs-Act" or "Fiscal-Compact," even when the native tongue has its own perfectly suitable terminology. What thus tries to be cosmopolitan and trendy, always comes across as pretentious and ultimately ridiculous, provincialism at its finest. Even worse is when the politicians use them as a mystifying means to address a public that is viewed as too bumpkinish to understand such "complex issues."

Whereas it seems to me the less good common language usage comes, the greater the volks' inability to express complex issues or thoughts elegantly, which can't be fortuitous in terms of the public debates and, therefore, the state of the democracy.


So, vabbè, che se ne frigga...namo a manja na pizza (er romanaccio - vulgar Roman ) "Ok, who gives a ?%£$...let's go eat a pizza" versus, va bene, che importa...andiamo a mangiare una pizza (italiano) "Ok, what does it matter...let's go eat a pizza." :)

Now I suppose you could say one is as good as the other. However, often the difference between the two speakers is like that between somebody who frequents the ultra curves in the stadiums, and one who attends a Bach concert. Naturally I use the diametric opposition metaphorically, as regards incivility versus civility.
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21 Apr 2015 08:28

rhubroma wrote:
I don't agree. So much of today's language is debased by the consumption culture we live in and the horrendous example on commercial television, for which vulgarity and ignorance predominate. Then there are the ridiculous and grotesque Anglo-Americanism, like "Jobs-Act" or "Fiscal-Compact," even when the native tongue has its own perfectly suitable terminology. What thus tries to be cosmopolitan and trendy, always comes across as pretentious and ultimately ridiculous, provincialism at its finest. Even worse is when the politicians use them as a mystifying means to address a public that is viewed as too bumpkinish to understand such "complex issues."

Whereas it seems to me the less good common language usage comes, the greater the volks' inability to express complex issues or thoughts elegantly, which can't be fortuitous in terms of the public debates and, therefore, the state of the democracy.


I can see the truth to these two paragraphs, in line with what I was trying to say in my posts on separate issue. Not that I am so much into discipline, but the way some languages 'evolve' hardly upgrade their capability as expression tools and only represent the simplistic nature of today's information barraging.
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21 Apr 2015 09:22

gunara wrote:
rhubroma wrote:
I don't agree. So much of today's language is debased by the consumption culture we live in and the horrendous example on commercial television, for which vulgarity and ignorance predominate. Then there are the ridiculous and grotesque Anglo-Americanism, like "Jobs-Act" or "Fiscal-Compact," even when the native tongue has its own perfectly suitable terminology. What thus tries to be cosmopolitan and trendy, always comes across as pretentious and ultimately ridiculous, provincialism at its finest. Even worse is when the politicians use them as a mystifying means to address a public that is viewed as too bumpkinish to understand such "complex issues."

Whereas it seems to me the less good common language usage comes, the greater the volks' inability to express complex issues or thoughts elegantly, which can't be fortuitous in terms of the public debates and, therefore, the state of the democracy.


I can see the truth to these two paragraphs, in line with what I was trying to say in my posts on separate issue. Not that I am so much into discipline, but the way some languages 'evolve' hardly upgrade their capability as expression tools and only represent the simplistic nature of today's information barraging.


It's true language is ever in a state of evolution. Evolution, however, as you correctly perceived, doesn't necessarilly mean progress as a process of amelioration. At times involution occurs, because language is fundamentally utilitarian and adapts to the necessities and mores upon which its function as a means of communication is to be termed.
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21 Apr 2015 09:49

Elitists have been complaining about language debasement for millennia, so I'm not particularly moved by any arguments in that vein made by a speaker of what classical authors would regard as a base and vile corruption of their tongue. For my part, I'll just mention that the ability to switch between registers is a sign of language mastery - and that includes the ability to use an informal register. You don't speak better English, Italian or whatever just because you only use formal words and structures. Quite the contrary, actually.

Maaaaaaaarten, that was beautiful. Dankjewel!
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21 Apr 2015 11:02

hrotha wrote:Elitists have been complaining about language debasement for millennia, so I'm not particularly moved by any arguments in that vein made by a speaker of what classical authors would regard as a base and vile corruption of their tongue. For my part, I'll just mention that the ability to switch between registers is a sign of language mastery - and that includes the ability to use an informal register. You don't speak better English, Italian or whatever just because you only use formal words and structures. Quite the contrary, actually.

Maaaaaaaarten, that was beautiful. Dankjewel!


You see to me this is precisely the problem, namely that common language usage (notice I didn't say "correct" language usage) as a parlance today has degenerated to such a degree that anything which aspires to a certain decorum gets invariably branded as "elitist." Elitism has nothing to do with quality and vice versa. The fact that one would inevitably draw that conclusion, is precisely indicitive of how far removed langage is from the idea of something edifying.

And I wasn't referring to classical language, or even a language of "big words," but the language impoverishment that has currently taken over the public forum, which is undeniable; practically as much in the political discourse, as in the schools and the social media.

Common language remains tolerable, not because it can use big words or the formal register (although to speak the romance languages properly, it is indispensable to use the formal tense when addressing strangers and elders), but because it fulfills the criteria for the adequate communication of thoughts, especially complex thoughts. Colloquialisms are, of course, fine, but one shouldn’t be exclusively limited to them as I see from all too many university students in the classroom setting today. Far from an "elitist" attitude in recognizing this fact, to me it speaks of our culture's inability to prevent a general lowering of expectation and standard, in the name of what though? Not wanting to be accused of elitism?
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21 Apr 2015 12:26

Of course it's elitist to suggest the speech of the popular classes is debased, corrupt and inferior. How could it not be? That's what makes your argument elitist, not the way you talk.

I wasn't addressing any point you raised about the classical language, I'm raising it myself by saying the speech you hold so dear is nothing but a "corruption" of older variants. It's arbitrary to draw the line at a particular speech and say that's the standard that should be upheld forever and ever, regardless of all other considerations.

This model of "linguistic corruption" is outdated for a reason.
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