Oral and written tradition - Sociolinguistics

Oral and written tradition

With the emergence of a written tradition in the state, diglossia is becoming stronger. In essence, all official functions pass to written language. Literacy within a certain state or cultural area is becoming prestigious, few are mastering it, and getting an education depends little on how much the native idiom of a person is close to the written language. In the early Middle Ages, Latin was a written language equally for the Romance, Germanic and Celtic peoples. The diversity of Eastern Christians is somewhat greater, in some churches Greek, Armenian, Georgian, Syriac, Coptic, Church Slavonic and a number of others are used as literary languages, but here, too, a direct link between the idiom of the individual and the literary language he used for a long time time could be absent (Romanians, for example, used the Church Slavonic as a literary language until the New Time).

The situation in the rest of the world was (and in some cases remains) similar: for Muslims the role of the prestigious literary language is Arabic, Hindus (both Indo-Aryans and Dravidians) - Sanskrit, in the Far East (not only in China, but and in Korea, Japan, Vietnam) - vanyan. Somewhat more diversity in the Buddhist milieu - in the south Pali is used, in the north are Vianyan and Tibetan. There were significant exceptions to this rule, but they were few.

In Europe, ethnic consciousness begins to form only in the late Middle Ages and the modern form in many peoples acquires only in the XIX century, and even later. Before the new written languages ​​in the position of dialects of Latin were not only Romance, but (in functional terms) and the German idioms of everyday communication. The average position in the language functional paradigm was occupied by numerous koine, which were formed mainly within the framework of feudal possessions. It was such regional koines that became court languages, in particular because feudal lords often did not know the letters

(that is, the Latin language). In the late Middle Ages and especially in the Renaissance, many idioms that go back to the regional koine receive a written fixation. Some of them have spread beyond their region, but the chances of their development have been unequal.

Provencal, being just the language of popular poetry, became for some time quite popular in the Roman-speaking world and even beyond, but with the emergence of a single French kingdom, he gradually surrenders his positions (north) to French. Tuscan, who was the first of the Italian idioms received a literary treatment, thanks to the works of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio became prestigious throughout Italy. But due to feudal fragmentation, its official functions have long been limited, and in the small Italian states from the XV-XVI centuries. Literature on regional idioms begins to develop quite successfully. With the formation of a single state for Tuscan, the status of a literary language is fixed, and other written traditions are called dialectal, but their right to a legitimate existence is not disputed by anyone. Translations from dialect into language and from language into dialect (including "auto translations" performed by the authors themselves, such as C. Goldoni, etc.) have long been the guilt of the literary life of Italy & lt; ... & gt; An age-old tradition also has the Italian dialect theater & lt; ... & gt; The strongest dialectal theater in the late XIX century. was Venetian (with the two leading actors were not from Venice, but from Piedmont and Genoa!) " (Kasatkin, 1976, pp. 176-177). Even in the XX century. The dialect in Italy is slowly losing ground and penetrating into new genres. The film by L. Visconti Earth trembles (1946) was delivered in the Sicilian dialect; when it came to the mass screen (1951), it was dubbed Italian (Kasatkin, 1976, p. 178).

In Germany, which was much more fragmented, the ancestor of modern German was much more pressed by local written traditions, including the strong Lower German, long-supported power of the Hanseatic League. Here is the reason in the religious authority of the translation of the Bible, made by Martin Luther. In the extreme west of the Lower German territory, the Dutch and Frisian written traditions have been functioning since the Middle Ages. The first of them was consolidated within the framework of one of the most developed states in the New World, and the territory of the Frisian idioms (structurally different from the Low German) was divided between the Netherlands, Hanover, Bremen, Schleswig. Literary Frisian language in fact did not arise, and Dutch in the XVI-XIX centuries. outside the Netherlands competed in the official sphere with the German. As the language of the school and the church, it continued to be used even in united Germany and finally lost its position to Germany only in the 20th century. (Plank, 1988).

The reasons why the set of idioms in Europe turned out to be structured into an existing hierarchy of languages ​​and dialects are often not related to linguistic phenomena proper. Romance dialects & lt; ... & gt; initially had equal chances of development into multifunctional, standardized languages ​​& lt; ... & gt; Numerous written traditions (such,

As the Galician, Asturian, Aragonese in Spain, Gascon, Provencal and many others in France) have significantly weakened or completely died down in the New Age due to the lack of political and economic independence of the respective regions " (Narumov, 1994, p. 310).

The concepts of language and dialect in their hierarchical contrast, inherited from comparative-historical linguistics and structural dialectology, are easily subjected to idealization, since they are used not only to describe the state of the inner structure of a lingua, but also to establish certain hierarchies of the type "Galician is a dialect of Spanish or Portuguese "or" Corsican is a variation of the Tuscan dialect of Italian. " Independent dialects in the traditional, and, more often than not, in modern romanistics are not allowed, they are always attributed to one or another literary language that covers it (compare the term German novelists Dacrypacile - 'tongue-roof') & lt; ... & gt; The Asturian and Aragonese dialects are equipollent with the Castilian dialect underlying the Spanish literary language, since they are all the result of the development of spoken Latin in the respective regions, while the Anadalus dialect is genetically derived from the Castilian " (Narumov, 1994, p. 309).

The main property, declared for the dialects of one language, -a mutual monotony - is achieved in Europe only with the introduction of universal primary education. Mutually understandable they become, on the one hand, due to the use of local idioms by the native speakers of the learned normative language or variants close to normality, on the other hand, due to the accelerated in the 20th century. leveling the differences between idioms falling under one "tongue roof". This comparatively recent example is indicative: King of Italy Victor Emmanuel III, during a trip to the Calabria earthquake in 1906, resorted to the services of an interpreter (Kasatkin, 1976, p. 164).

As mentioned above, the complex of European nations was mainly formed in the XIX century. In a number of cases, the written languages ​​that served them turned out to be not entirely suitable for various reasons.

In Norway, which for many centuries was in union with Denmark, the literary language was Danish, but in the Norwegian capital there was a Norwegian-date koine with Norwegian phonetics and mostly Danish vocabulary and morphology. By virtue of the lexical and morphological proximity between the Danish language and Norwegian dialects, the Danish text could be read, so to speak, in Norse (Steblin-Kamensky, 1968, p. 48). This koine and formed the basis of the Norwegian language riksmol ("state language", later it became known as the Bokmål "book language"). In parallel, in the middle of the XIX century. there was a movement for the creation of a new language based on Norwegian dialects proper, which was first called lansmol language of the country or rural & quot ;, and later Nynorsk New Norse & quot ;. Somewhat simplifying, we can say that both languages ​​have experienced a convergent evolution, but their norms are still significantly different; Literature in Norway actually forms a continuum (albeit uneven) between two poles.

A similar situation has developed in Greece, where before reaching the beginning of the XIX century. the written standard was close to the New Testament Greek. A somewhat modernized norm, called kafarevus, remained very archaic, and from the end of the 19th century, radical supporters of orientation to oral-colloquial speech began to develop a new standard - dimotiki. Far from all welcomed the democratization of the language; the publication of translations into the dimotiki of the tragedies of Aeschylus at the beginning of the 20th century. caused student unrest, which led to human casualties (Yeloyeva, 1992, p. 13). The literature on the new standard continued to be published, but official recognition as a literary language of dimotics was received only in 1973, after which there was some convergence of the two norms.

The situation in the field of the spread of the Czech language developed somewhat differently. Here to the XIX century. all official positions were taken by German, and the Czech, which in the Middle Ages had a rather rich literature, became unwritten. In the process of national revival, the orientation was made precisely on the medieval language of the era of Jan Hus, although the Prague koine by that time rather strongly pressed dialects in the territory of the Czech Republic itself (not Moravia) and turned into a single standard language of everyday communication. New literary Czech language in the XIX-XX centuries. slightly modernized, but its oral form is used only in a strictly formal situation. The conversational standard, obenna sevdina, is gradually increasingly receiving a written fixation and now becomes relevant even in the university auditorium; The use of the literary language in any kind of unconstrained situation is ruled out. The difference between the two norms can be illustrated by the comic poem by Emanuel Frinta "Professor", where the synonymous first and third stanzas are written in written and spoken standards:

Where the school and the media provided an opportunity for mutual understanding within the states, the need to realize regional identity leads to revitalization of old and creation of new written traditions. Recognition of the nature of minorities often contributes to the publication of a significant amount of literature in such languages. A striking example is post-francist Spain, where, say, the international magazine "Courier of UNESCO" is published, besides Spanish, in Catalan and Galician (and also non-Indo-European Basque). There is no purely information need in this, since all Galicians and Catalans are bilingual, and their languages ​​are fairly close to Spanish. Let us illustrate their proximity by the example of the same text from this journal in four Ibero-Romance languages ​​(for comparison, the Portuguese have been added to the three named ones). The text is devoted to the languages ​​of interethnic communication.

Spanish, El Correo de la UNESCO, Febrero 1994:

Hay muchas lenguas de eso tipo en el mundo. Han alcanzado esa condition por diversas razones, sea que expresen una cierta proyeccion cultural about the simbolicen una supremacia politica, cosa que les confiere and prestigious entre las demas comunidades linguisticas.

Galician, About Cotreo da UNESCO, Marzo 1994:

Ilai moitas linguas deste tipo no mundo. Alcanzaron esa condicion por diversas razons, sexa que expresen unha certa proxeccion cultural ou simbolicen unha supremacia politica, about que ends confire uneven prestixio entre as demais comunidades linguisticas.

Portuguese, About Correio da UNESCO, Abril 1994:

Ha muitas linguas desse tipo no mundo. Alcangaram essa condigao por diversas razoes - por expressarem uma certa projegao cultural ou refletirem supremacia politica. Dessa forma, adquiriram consideravel prestigio entre as demais comunidades linguisticas.

Catalan, El Correu de la UNESCO, Magde 1994:

N'hi ha una gran varietat arreu del mon. Han adquirit aquest status per diverses raons, be sigui perque expressen una certa projeccio cultural about be perque simbolitzen una supremacia politica, fet que els dona un prestigión entre la resta de comunicants lingQistiques.

All these texts are independent translations from the English original (The UNESCO Courier, February 1994):

The lexical proximity of all four languages ​​(especially Portuguese - Galician - Spanish) is quite obvious and can not seriously impede mutual understanding. In modern Spain, along with illustrated literary traditions, others are being revived or are being created: Asturian, Aragon, Anadalusian, Extremadur, Valencian, Arapian; it is clear that we are talking about the written implementation of local identity.

A classic example of the reverse situation is the position of many Chinese languages, primarily Chinese itself. Unity of language is based solely on hieroglyphic writing, even a single standard for voice recording hieroglyphic recording does not exist. United States Sinologist P. P. Schmidt at the beginning of the 20th century. wrote: "If the Chinese adopted the European alphabet, then at least ten new languages ​​would be formed" (Moskalev, 1992, pp. 144); we must add that the mutual understanding of the dialects of some of these languages ​​would still remain low.

A similar assessment was made by Sun Yat-sen, a native of Guangdong Province, who reported that Chinese traders, who originated from different provinces of southern China at the end of the 19th century, usually communicated through the English pidgin. He describes the ratio of dialects yuz and south min: "Although Shantou is only 180 miles (north) away from Guangzhou, nonetheless their spoken languages ​​are also unlike one another, like Italian and English" (cited in: Yakhontov, 1980, p. 155). Of course, this non-professional assessment should not be taken literally, genetically Chinese idioms are closer than English and Italian. This impressionistic judgment roughly means: "languages ​​of a similar structure, but completely unrecognizable."

It is not surprising that outside of China the unity of the "Chinese language" is not recognized everywhere. For example, in Australia, where a census records the languages ​​of the population, each group of Chinese dialects is recorded as a separate language. Who is right? Both in China and in Australia, most Chinese adhere to the views adopted in these countries, which has little effect on their ethnic identity. They consider themselves to belong to a single people whose language of culture is the single literary Chinese language; the status of the spoken idiom used in everyday communication practice is not significant.

There is also an artificial, imposed from above, the consolidation of ethnic groups that do not feel their unity and, as a consequence, the union of their idioms. In some cases this is quite possible, as happened with a number of "newly formed" peoples of the USSR. A vivid example is Khakass. Here is the characteristic of the Khakass language in the mid-1930s:

"Khakass language, the term adopted after Sovietization and in connection with the development of the national culture of the Minusinsk district, for the newly created state language of those nationalities that were formerly collectively called Minusinsk Tatars or Abakan Turks <...> The Khakass language as their [languages ​​of "local nationalities": ak-kas, sarygkas, kara-kas, etc. - VB] the synthetic design occurs mainly in writing & lt; ... & gt; and includes a number of features of phonetics and morphology peculiar to individual of these languages ​​ (TSB, 1st ed., Vol. 59, p. 396).

The name for the new people and language was given to the tribal community that existed many centuries ago in the Sayan region. The Khakases began to feel themselves as a single ethnos, but a single language standard was not imposed, as in most similar cases.

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