word order (was Re: Random DWJ discovery of the day)

Colin Fine colin at kindness.demon.co.uk
Tue Apr 5 19:25:38 EDT 2005


Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) wrote:

>Colin postulated:
>
>  
>
>>However a case can be made that expressions such as "It is I" and "He
>>and I went there" are not part of English, but part of an artificial
>>language invented by people
>>    
>>
>
>Well, they are both expressions that I use naturally, being part of the
>language I absorbed as a child.  Does that mean that my native language
>isn't English?  (Thinking about it, I would say "It is I" or "It's me",
>but I wouldn't mix and match.)
>
>  
>
As I said in another post, I accept that you learned these as a child, 
but I am suggesting that it was at a different stage, and by a different 
process from when you previously learned 'It is me'.

>What, though, do you mean by "an artificial language invented by
>people"?  If English wasn't invented by people, who was it invented by?
>Or whom was it invented by? [*]  The distinction between an artificial
>and a natural language is easier to grasp, but I would argue that it is
>seldom if ever clear cut in the real world.
>
>  
>
I chose my words carefully.
Languages are not invented - they happen.
Many languages have one or more varieties (often called 'standard') 
which *are* invented in the sense that somebody has sat down and tried 
to codify the language, and in the process has actually introduced 
distinctions or rules which were not actually there - or at least, not 
rigidly there.

Colin

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