From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 04:40:01 +0200

2012/7/10 Michael Everson <>:
> No, the inheritors of the Roman heritage are Aragonese, Aromanian, Arpitan, Asturian, Catalan Corsican, Emiliano-Romagnolo, French, Friulan, Galician, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladino, Leonese, Lombard, Mirandese, Neapolitan, Occitan, Picard, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sardinian, Sicilian, Spanish, Venetian, and Walloon. And various French-, Portuguese-, and Spanish-based creoles.

You coudl as well add English to the list (it includes more French
words now, than what French is integrating from English). The two
languages are converging, no longer diverging, with many new terms and
syntaxic structures adopted jointly from various cultures of the
world. There's also a convergence between most European languages (at
least those written with the Latin script in the Romance, Germanic and
Nordic groups, except possibly Slavic languages which converge
together even when they are romanized in their script, and Finnish or
Basque that are very different but are still borrowing a lot from
their infliuent neighbors).

There are more languages to add, at least in France : Norman/Normand,
Guernesiais, Picard, Angevin, Gallo... Though some standards still
consider them as dialect of French, even though French is a modern
creation from an aggregate of northern Oil languages that have had
their own history before borrowing lexical and gramatical inputs from
Latin (vernacuar, church and classical), Germanic languages (the
common difference between Oil and Oc languages of France and nearby
areas), some of these "French" languages are in fact nearer from other
Romance languages like Spanish. Occitan is also a collection of
languages whose standardisation is far from being effective, from
Northern current Spain to Northenrn current Italy: see Niçard vs.
Provençal vs. Auvergnat.
Modern languages are arbitrary creations from a lot of languages,
pressured by a form of standardization caused by the legislator in
power and the administration, or the official school programs (notably
in France where regional languages were banned and called "dialects",
and their orthography was severely modified, notably in people names
and in toponyms).

Now the French language is much more permissive and allows integrating
regional forms and it evolves more freely according to actual usage.
It is no longer regulared by France alone. Even if the language usage
is mandatory, it allows lots of variations and a perfect gluing to the
standard is no longer necessary. But this also means that regional
languages are now much moire easily integrated as part of the
language, and tend to disappear more easily as there's no longer a
strong division line between them (the phonological differences are
now no longer visible, the phonolgy is largely simplified, and this
now impacts the orthorgraphy of combining accents, many of them are
disappearing at the same time as the differentiation of regional vocal
accents and better acceptation of foreign accents (English, German,
Arabic, Vietnamese...).

French will probably evolve like modern English now : with an
orthography that will survice partly (by tradition) but that will no
longer match the actual phonology which is extremely variable across
regions, and many simplifications (grammatical structures and rules
are no longer observed, conjugations are disappearing like the
subjonctive mode, in favor of the use of fixed adverbs or expressions
and only 3 times : indicative present and compound past, simple future
and compound future which could override the conditional mode as well,
mute letters, including for plurals which not heard, unlike Englush,
tend now to be no longer written ; yes the language will become more
ambiguous, but this will be compensated by use of additional
disambiguating words, and by borrowing more words from other languages
and by a very productive system of popular abbreviations and
progressive shifts in semantics).
Received on Tue Jul 10 2012 - 21:43:10 CDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Tue Jul 10 2012 - 21:43:11 CDT