Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by pjdude1219, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Damn You William Wallace.... (Just kidding)
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  3. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

    It would help if most of you could pronounce "Iraq" correctly.

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    Imagine how confusing it would be if the Norwegians still held the Orkneys! Not to mention the Faroe's are not part of the UK, despite close proximity.

    Virtually all of us use Yankee or Yank to refer to any American. Specifically which of them does it refer to in it's correct usage?

    Or perhaps any of those invading white devils calling themselves American? After all they are themselves not really American.

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  5. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

    She would have taken it with good humour and given some back. That's why she was so popular.

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  7. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

    Did he follow it up with the words "look, there's a NEW Mexico!" and some funny comments about Uruguay?
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    As for England, Great Britian and the United Kingdom as a whole....

    Obviously it's already stated England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are seperate countries. There is a long sordid history of heirarchal figures backstabbing, in-house fighting, invasion and marrying one another. Which is why the countries became United in the first place. (albeit Ireland has always suffered a divide for this, some wanted to be apart of this United Kingdom while other wanted their own country, which historically was divided by many Kings itself in the past.)

    Is a Welshman an Englishman? No (unless of course there is extreme circumstances)
    Is a Scotsman a Briton? Yes
    Is an Irishman a Briton? Thats dependent on location of origin and how they personally feel about it.
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    So when they had maps with pink over them and said,

    "Britannia, rule the waves: Britons never will be slaves.
    The nations not so blest as thee, Shall in their turns to tyrants fall,
    While thou shalt flourish great and free,
    The dread and envy of them all."

    did that include the Welsh and Scots and [North] Irish?
  10. PieAreSquared Woo is resistant to reason Registered Senior Member

    Is it ok just to call it third world ?
  11. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    What Manchester?

    If the shoe fits.

    Just FYI, In Australia we celebrate (gag) the Queen's birthday and have a holiday in her honour. I usually pull on my Union Jack undies, drink warm beer and chuck a few darts around. There have to be some advantages to having that eyesore on our flag.
  12. rpenner Fully Wired Registered Senior Member

    Hey Ozzie -- what is wrong with Queensland? If I get a crazy anti-evolutionist post or anti-relativity post when the UK and America are asleep, it's never Singapore, New Zealand or Sydney. Always. Effing. Queensland.
  13. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Benzene in their water supply.
    Lovely place. Full of nutjobs.
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The newscasters still get it right, as opposed to "Beijing."
    Originally it only referred to people of English ancestry in the little corner of the country called New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. However, during the Civil War and the lead-up to it, the Rebels/Confederates generalized the word to apply to all "Northerners," the people in the states that did not secede. (Missouri and Kentucky are asterisks since slavery was practiced there and they were and still are regarded as "Southern" states, but their populations did not vote to secede.) 150 years after the Civil War the enmity has not dissipated. The name is still accepted for, and by, any American who is not a Southern sympathizer and doesn't have a hyphen such as African-American, Mexican-American, or Asian-American: anyone who is not a Redneck or a member of an ethnic community. With the massive migrations of the last few decades there are now plenty of Yankees in Georgia and plenty of Rednecks in California, but the original eleven Confederate states I listed in my previous post are still "The South," plus, arguably, Missouri and Kentucky. It would be most unwise to call anyone who lives there a Yankee unless he identifies himself as one to you first.
    In Spanish we're called estadounidenses, "United Statesians." But most languages, including English, don't have even such an awkward way of forming an adjective from the name of the country. So in most languages we are indeed known as "Americans" for lack of any other name with fewer than seven syllables.

    The other North, Central and South Americans have the greatest claim to resentment over our seizure of the name "American," and they stopped complaining about it quite a while ago and often even refer to us as americanos in their own languages. So "American" it is.
    That song was written in 1740, when the Scots, Welsh, Cornish and Manx (two other Celtic tribes you seem to have overlooked) had long been assimilated into Great Britain.

    At that time all of Ireland was under British occupation but not part of the United Kingdom, so the Irish were no more British than the Indians or the Shona. Ireland regained its sovereignty in the early 20th century, but the British still hung onto the northern counties, whose populations contained a high percentage of Protestants of Scottish ancestry. (I have greatly oversimplified that story, which fills entire libraries and still generates hostility.) Nonetheless, Great Britain is the political name of the island of Britannia, and Northern Ireland, being located on the island of Ireland, is not part of it. This is obvious from the name of the country: "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland." I'll let someone more familiar with the politics of the region rule on this, but my guess is that the Orangemen may consider themselves "British," but the Catholics of Irish ancestry almost surely do not.
  15. superstring01 Moderator

    There is no central, governing authority on what is and what is not correct pronunciation in English. Whatever the people say, is correct. Even if the people in "Iraq" say "Eee-Rahk", it's still correct for people in the USA to say, "Eye-Rak". In the same vein, we don't say "Deutscheland" for Germany, "Suomi" for Finland, "Magyarország" for Hungary, "España" for Spain, "Nihon" for Japan, and on and on.

    Every "foreign" language comes up with its own way of naming every other nation. If the British call France "Frogland" then it--in effect--become the correct name for it in Britain.

    Outside the USA it's not totally incorrect. Trust me, I've been all over the world, and every single American I knew--many of them from the south--took no umbrage at being labeled a "Yank". Even the southerners I know now have no serious issue with it anymore when used internally (My brother lives in the rural Texas, my buddy CounteZero is from Georgia, my father is from West Virginia). I've lived in Ohio, Florida and Arizona and have yet to meet many people who had an issue being labeled a "Yankee". Though, within the USA, calling a southerner--from rural areas--usually insights some degree of annoyance. But, like most people: Once outside the borders of the home country, there is some solidarity and the last thing they worry about is the label, "Yankee".

    If you want specifics: Traditionally it's a label for those from New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Main [though the last two weren't independent states at that time]) of British descent. New Yorkers consider themselves to be Yankees (Baseball, anybody?) as to New Jerseyans and Pennsylvanians as well. People from the Midwest willingly accept the label "Yankee"/"Yank" without reservation, though on historical level, it really doesn't apply.

    More importantly, I wouldn't worry about it. Those Americans that get pissy about it, need to get a life. It's a word. A name. Most of the world uses it to describe Americans. I believe in linguistic democracy, so if the world uses it to describe all Americans, then I consider it to be correct.

    Since "American" is a European term, it's totally correct!

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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  16. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

    except for the scots, welsh, and irish
  17. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Hence the use of the 'if'... as in 'if you are both British and English'
  18. Gypsi Registered Senior Member

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "long assimilated." Certainly can't imagine you mean culturally, that being barely so even today...!

    Anyway... By 1740, Scotland had only been part of Great Britain for 33 years. Scotland had had the same monarch as England since the early 1600s but there were two crowns, and right up until 1707, Scotland was an entirely separate, self-governed state.

    So far as Scotland was concerned, the Union was essentially a matter of bribery and other nasty doings, Scotland being bankrupt and consequently vulnerable at the time, due to the failure of the Darien venture which was an ill-fated pursual of the same idea that did eventually lead to the building (by others) of the Panama Canal, pursued in the hopes it would succeed and lift Scotland out of its dire straights, which were largely caused by the knock-on effect of England's constant warmongering and distinctly anti-Scottish shenanigans (as the Irish would say).

    Of course England with its East India Co. and general desire to stymie Scotland whenever possible, and keep it in the worst possible state, did it's best to scuttle the whole venture from the outset, preventing any English investment, imposing embargoes, etc. Then, when it all went wrong, and Scotland was utterly ruined (including countless of Scotland's very ordinary, even poor people, who'd invested what they could) England saw its chance, through bribery, more embargoes and all sorts of further shenanigans, to turn the knife and finally get agreement to a Union that Scotland had always refused.

    Incidentally, I believe the Scot who wrote the song was known for preferring England.
  19. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Well to be fair its not really the worlds fault when the british use the word "country" to mean 2 different things. A country is anything under the control of a central unifided goverment (oviously eroupe is a different situation), for instance the commonwealths of the US and Australia are made up of states but the state of victoria is not a country because its under the control of the federal goverment.

    Therefore the use of the term "the united kingdom" as a country is correct as everything under it is subject to london. Therefore it is INCORECT to refer to england as a country untill they are willing to cesseade scotland, Northan irland and wales into there own countries and not under the control of london
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    You sound like a native. Welcome to sciforums.

    Has the culture of the Scots, Welsh, Cornish and Manx and the English always been different from each other? Or are they derived all from a single people made different by invasions or assimilations?

    Also, whats the cultural difference between the Scots Welsh Cornish and Manx? It seems like such a small place to have disparate cultures

    I read about the Manx language in an old book once and it sounded really bizarre nothing like English at all. Who are the Manx?
  21. superstring01 Moderator

    Celts. Like the ancient Galicians, Gauls and modern Welsh, Irish and Scottish. Modern Brittany and Galicia (in Spain) claim Celtic origin, but their languages are all Romance. Gaelic (the indigenous languages of Scotland and Ireland: Scots Gaelic & Irish Gaelic) are quite different from English (AFAIK, about as different as two European languages get).

  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The Celts were the first Indo-European tribe to arrive in Europe; estimates vary but certainly before 1000BCE. Homo sapiens had already lived in Europe for 30,000 years. But as we often see in prehistory, the larger, more stabilized core population in Asia made more rapid technological progress than their distant cousins in Europe. Technology is primarily knowledge rather than artifacts, so it travels easily and the Celts, with the Iron Age technology they had learned on the periphery of Mesopotamian civilization, quickly came to dominate the Neolithic tribes of Europe.

    They spread over most of the continent and even back into Anatolia, and reached the British Isles around 600BCE. By now of course the Hellenic and Italic Indo-Europeans had followed them and were busy recreating Mesopotamian civilization (aided by commerce with the Phoenicians) in the southeast, and the Germanic tribes, having taken the long route through Scandinavia, had come down through Jutland and were pushing the Celts out of northern sub-Scandinavian Europe.

    By Roman times the only major Celtic populations on the continent were the Bohumil (after whom the Romans named Bohemia, although we call its modern people Czech because it's easier to spell and pronounce) who would later be displaced by the Slavic Indo-Europeans; the Gauls of southern France (after whom the Romans named Gallia, although it was renamed by the dominant Germanic Franks in its northern part, and both of their languages were displaced by Latin, which evolved into French) who blended with the Franks into the French population; and various Celtic tribes in Iberia (they still have bagpipes there), who were overrun by Roman colonists and contributed their DNA but not their languages.

    The Continental Celtic cultures are known only from archeology and their languages are poorly attested. Since Insular Celtic culture survives, we know considerably more about it. Basically the two British Isles diverged into distinct cultures and languages with considerable contact.

    The Celtic culture of Britannia (or Albion) is called Brythonic. The original Celtic Britons are lost to history, but the Brythonic Celtic languages which survived long enough to be studied and cataloged are Welsh, Cornish, Cumbric and Breton (the language of the Brythonic people who fled the Anglo-Saxon invasion and returned to the continent).

    The Celtic culture of Ireland is called Goidelic. Gaelic is the major living Goidelic language but the Isle of Man was populated by Irish explorers and Manx, which is struggling for revival, is a Goidelic language. The people who now live in Scotland are the descendants of Irish explorers (Scoti is actually the Romans' name for the Irish) and Irish and Scots are two dialects of Gaelic. Before they arrived the region was inhabited by the Picts, whose ethnicity is not known.

    There were plenty of Homo sapiens living on the British Isles before the Indo-European Celts arrived; they built Stonehenge after all. They did not vanish but were merely assimilated. Their genetic markers are still there but it will be some time, if at all, before we can place them with any precision in the overall pattern of prehistoric human migration.

    Skipping back to more modern times, as I explained in an earlier post, the Anglo-Saxons were a group of Germanic Indo-European tribes who occupied the southern part of Britannia when the Romans went home. They themselves were overrun by the Norman French in 1066, a people of mixed Frankish (Germanic), Gallic (Continental Celtic), Roman (Italic) and Norse (Germanic) Indo-European ancestry.

    So to answer your question, the two largest populations on Britannia, the English and Scots, have a complex ancestry and cultural history, but the Welsh and Cornish are ancient peoples as are the Irish, the dominant population on Ireland. They each have their own ancient traditions. Clearly the English are outsiders, a non-Celtic people who assimilated their own French occupiers. But the Scots are also invaders, who moreover arrived more recently than the Anglo-Saxons; it's just that they're a Celtic tribe so perhaps in some cosmic sense they "belong there."

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    The Scots and Manx are descended from Irish explorers; the Welsh and Cornish are of native Brythonic stock. The Scots and Irish speak dialects of the same language (when they're not speaking English). Cornwall and Man were assimilated long ago so their cultures are diluted and I don't know much about them.
    The British Isles had an Iron Age Neolithic culture of agricultural villages, but they had not organized themselves into the politics and economy of a true civilization (a network of cities, with or without metallurgy) until the Roman conquest. Without the quantum increase in travel and communication which that level of commerce and government brings, it's quite easy for strong cultural differences to exist within a small geographical area.
    Manx is a Celtic language closely related to Gaelic. English is a Germanic language, so none of the Celtic languages are anything like it. English is closely related to Frisian, Dutch, German, Yiddish, Afrikaans, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, and several other tongues with small populations of speakers whose status is argued by linguists.

    The Germanic and Celtic languages are both groups in the Western Branch of the Indo-European family, which makes them cousins, along with Greek and the Romance languages, but they're not closely enough related to each other to show any obvious similarities. You'd never guess that English "five," Latin quinque and Greek pentos are the same word after centuries of phonetic shifts.

    English and Manx are as closely related as Urdu and Russian.
  23. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member


    Thanks for the overview.

    I believe the Roman presence in England should be given greater emphasis. Unlike the peoples of Iberia, France, etc., when the Romans conquered England the local people did not lose their language and adopt Latin (French, Spanish, etc.). Instead, they kept their original language (a Germanic tongue I believe, having already displaced the Celtics), and added the Latin vocabulary. Thus, English is primarily a teutonic language in structure, though primarily Latin in vocabulary.

    The scots of the day were giving the Romans such a hard time that the Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of a wall separating northern england from england proper, to keep them out. This wall was staffed by permanent Roman garrisons over the course of centuries, until it was abandoned with the fall of Rome. I'm sure the wall had profound influence on the development of the English language.

    Later, as you know, the French occupied England (1066 AD), but again, they only added vocabulary to the language, and the local people continued to speak the native tongue, until they drove out the French centuries later.

    Anyway, it is a fascinating history of the origin of English.

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