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Glottocide? Glossocide?

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Glottocide? Glossocide?

Postby Brazilian dude » Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:22 am

This morning I saw the Portuguese word (it's not in my dictionary, though, it must be a recent neologism) glotocídio to refer to the "killing" of a language. I looked up glottocide on google and found only 7 hits, and none of them took me to a dictionary, which probably means that it's a pretty recent invention. Now I'm wondering about the propriety of the term glottocide vis-à-vis glossocide. Which do you think should be preferred? Besides, glotto/glossocide is a patent hybrid, shouldn't something like linguaecide be used instead? (I know, television, etc.)

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Postby Apoclima » Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:07 pm

I prefer Glottocide for some reason, but what would the grrek root for "kill" be? Do we have that active Greek root in English?

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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:05 pm

On this site, I've found θανατώνω (thanatono), φονεύω (foneuo), σκοτώνω (skotono), but in Modern Greek.

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Postby passionandparadox » Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:50 am

I prefer the Portuguese over the English you suggest... How exactly would you go about "killing" a language, anyway? I can imagine a passive death of a language, but the active killing...?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:01 pm

I didn't suggest it

I looked up glottocide on google and found only 7 hits, and none of them took me to a dictionary, which probably means that it's a pretty recent invention.

Besides, what's to like about Portuguese glotocídio and not to like about English glottocide? Are you suggesting the Portuguese (or the Brazilians for that matter) are the only ones able to kill a language? Anybody can do that by imposing a colonizer's language to a given native community. French, English and Portuguese qualify for that role in Africa, for example.

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Last edited by Brazilian dude on Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby passionandparadox » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:10 pm

Sorry, I didn't mean to ascribe the English words to you, I meant "suggest" in the sense "the ones you mentioned as potential translations".
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:22 pm

Okay, but the question remains:

Besides, what's to like about Portuguese glotocídio and not to like about English glottocide?

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Postby passionandparadox » Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:34 pm

Somehow I missed everything past the quote the first time I read it. :?

I think the Portuguese appeals to me simply for the phonlogy... I have a lazy American accent, so it might be different elsewhere, but I'd expect the "tt" to be voiced (/d/) in English, which sounds ugly. But perhaps that's fitting of the word...

I understand now how you might destroy a language...

There's also the possibility of of using "dialektos" over "glossia"...
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:10 pm

I have a lazy American accent, so it might be different elsewhere, but I'd expect the "tt" to be voiced (/d/) in English, which sounds ugly. But perhaps that's fitting of the word...

Oh, okay, makes sense. :)

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Postby Stargzer » Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:06 am

passionandparadox wrote: . . . I can imagine a passive death of a language, but the active killing...?


Ask the Scots and the Irish about the English, and the Native Americans about the U. S. Cavalry and the missionaries . . . :wink:
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Postby passionandparadox » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:15 am

I should clarify, I'm not completely ignorant :) When I said "active killing" I was thinking more of "total annihilation". I understand plenty of situations where cultures have been repressed and populations massacred, but it seems like there's always traces... Perhaps I was misunderstanding the definition?
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Postby Apoclima » Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:10 pm

I think that "glottocide" refers to both the killing and the attitude of repression of languages, just as "genicide" refers to both the killing and the attitude of elimination, even when the elimination of a race is not complete!

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Postby passionandparadox » Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:57 pm

That makes a lot more sense. Thanks for humoring my ignorance :)
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Postby Stargzer » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:14 am

Hey, some of us are wise, and some of us are just plain wise-ass. :wink:
Regards//Larry

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Postby Apoclima » Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:47 pm

But few of us are as much of both as Larry!

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