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  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    I think International English will remain fairly simialar, though local varieties may become less intelligible. Given that the whole function of international English is to \communicate across cultures, it would be fairly pointless for it to change regionally and lose its purpose.

  2. #12
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    The vicious Circle
    But Tdol how can you say such a thing. After all anything living is destined to change otherwise it's dead. It's a law of nature and there is no escape.

    However, I agree with you if you mean it won't change at the same pace as before. The wheels of change will slow down due to the dominance of written communication over spoken communication. On the other hand people of different nationalities speaking only English will definitely shape it according to their needs, habits and articulation practices. Will the vicious circle come back?
    Regards
    Jamshid

  3. #13
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    It will change, but the driving force of the change will be simplification, etc, to make it more useful for convenience. This means it might break away from local versions like British and American English, but the aim of international English is to create a system for worldwide communication. Therefore, the changes, I feel, will be to make the language better for this purpose, so I expect simplification, spelling changes, etc.

  4. #14
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    Hi Tdol
    Simplification means starting with a new Esperanto. But English is a natural language. Do you think it is possible to contol language artificially?
    Regards
    Jamshid
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 13-Aug-2005 at 14:14.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim
    On the other hand how can the present human language cope with the future speed pace and information density? There must a kind of a tool to take on this challenge. But any digitization is certainly simplification, reduction and language poverty.
    Is there really a need for such a language tool? As you have mentioned, language is forever changing so why can't it 'change' to accommodate the society we live in. It has done so since the begining.
    I agree that digitization of language will rob language of much of its beauty. Luckily I don't think such a revolution will occur. If language was purely a mean of exchanging information then there might be a future. However language is for much more than that (eg. A primary tool for 'social cuddling' ^^) Computers and machines can employ such a language but we cannot.

    Right now I cannot see a Global Language (wherther it be a variant of English or not) that is the same everwhere. Simpliy because I think it's impossible to create or mould a language devoided of any complication (eg. ambiguity). There are so many different cultures in the world and our views on matters are so different. So even if a global language is introduced, it will soon cease to exist as people modify it to their needs. Because we don't know if language will change culture or will culture change language.

    Manually controlling a language is about as easy as controlling a culture.

    ~minna
    Last edited by minna; 14-Aug-2005 at 08:02.

  6. #16
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    Hi Minna
    Thanks for your post.
    My thoughts on linguistic predictions are a result of a variety of drastic changes in our global society. However, You should not forget I am solely making predictions based on the present world situation:

    1. Desnity, Memory and Speed
    As you know information is increasing on a daily basis. Our human knowledge has grown, is still growing and will continue to grow due to advances in nearly all disciplines. we are already experiencing information overlaod. The question is what will be in 20 or so years? Even computers are facing difficulty with memory challenges and new search engines like Google are adapted to more effective ways of information storage and retrieval. Academic language takes refuge in nominalization. Our present languages are not prepared to keep pace with such density and speed not experienced before and I don't know whether our memories and brains can accomodate and cope with these developments.

    2. Global English
    English is experiencing a development unprecedented in human history. Every day there are new speakers of English.Again what will be in 20 years or so? The impact of this new situation will be three-fold:
    First, dominance of English to the "disadvantage" of other languages and cultures.

    Second, loss of linguistic identity (to the "disadvantage" of the so-called "native speakers") which might have advantages since linguistic variety despite its beauty has been a source of tragic conflicts in the world. No more BE or AmE but a global English.

    Third, English will change in its new role to accomodate other cultures and languages. Even now people mix BE and AmE and don't care about the pedantic view not to mix the two varieties.

    Of course, in every change and development lie advantages and disadvantages but perhaps the advantages outweigh the advantages. In addition to what I mentioned, we will save a lot of time and energy spent on translations and removing communications barriers. This doesn't mean that a Global English in turn won't change or split but the fact that people in our global village and a 24-hour society are not kept apart as they used to by geopgraphical barriers. You and me can communicate freely and quickly through the medium of a global English. We have already reached the age of more direct and instant contact, communication and travelling. Future linguistic changes consequently will be of a different nature.

    3. The priciple of convention and demorcracy in change:
    I am not pleading for an aritificial replacement of the present world languages. On the contrary and as you said natural language are a means of social cuddling and cannot be changed by the dictatorship of a minority. It's always the dictatorship of the majority. There will be no revolution but changes are already underway. The natural flow of languages cannot be stopped or controlled because languages comply with the behaviour of people who speak it. It's a fact that a Global English is already underway to overrun many a language.

    4. The Versatile and analogue Character of Natural Languages:
    Natural (analogue) languages are cetrainly superior to artificial or digital languages because they accomodate nearly all of our present needs and can be used for all disciplines. However, we have already developed mathematical and computer languages to satisfy specific needs. In addition, natural languages leave room for ambiguity which still might be very useful to satisfy certain human needs (like literature, playing on words, implications, jokes ....) but can be a source of misunderstanding. On the other hand digitization is simple, boring and poor, cannot satisfy our present social needs but are precise, mathematical, can be reduced, stored and manipulated.

    Regards
    Jamshid
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 14-Aug-2005 at 10:53.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    I find this thread very interesting.
    If you let me, I'd like to say my opinion about the future of English as Global Language:
    in the next future the number of non native people who speak English as SL or use it for functional purpose (eg. reading manuals, communicating with "strangers", ecc.) will be so high that there will be a regularization of the pronunciation.
    Since most English SL learner are more able in writing than speaking and English spelling is more steady than pronunciation, there will be an adjustment of pronunciation to spelling, not vice versa, and the same letters or cluster of letters will be uttered in the same manner.

    That shift could gradually spread among native speakers.

    What do you think about this "forecast"?

  8. #18
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    Hi Fabio
    I think you are totally right there.
    1. The number of people who speak English is increasing on a daily basis which is unprecedented in human history.

    2. People who speak English as a second language has already outnumbered those who speak it as a first language to a great extent. The implications on pronunciation cannot be even envisaged.

    3. Inspite of internet and globalization the geographical distance will create new varieties of English. There is already a global English emerging which mixes varieties of English, doesn't care about grammar mistakes and shortens messages (SMS)

    4. Finally English will reshape, change or even destroy other languages but it will destroy itself too. Those who speak it as a first language have already lost their linguistic identity because English has become a world property.

    5. Spelling is definitely not as sensitive as pronunciation but ultimately it cannot conform to the fast mode of communication in our ever changing cyberworld.
    Regards
    Jamshid
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 29-Aug-2005 at 20:22.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim

    4. Finally English will reshape, change or even destroy other languages but it will destroy itself too. Those who speak it as a first language have already lost their linguistic identity because English has become a world property.
    I don't think English will really destroy itself, I just think it could change and regularize its pronunciation because the influence of non native speakers.

    Has anyone else an opinion about this subject?

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Linguistic Predictions

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio
    I don't think English will really destroy itself, I just think it could change and regularize its pronunciation because the influence of non native speakers.

    Has anyone else an opinion about this subject?
    Yes, given the emergence of India in the global economy,
    and given that many Indian words were included in the
    OED recently, we can expect to see more Indianization.
    A language, being a living thing, changes and 'wrong'
    usages come to be considered as acceptable. Expect
    a lot of such changes.

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