Swastika: A Stupid Taboo in European and American countries

Hindu SwastikaThe swastika (Wikipedia)– from Sanskrit svástika स्वास्तिक – is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing (卐) or left-facing (卍) forms. The term is derived from Sanskrit svasti, meaning well-being. The Thai greeting sawasdee is from the same root and carries the same implication.

It is a widely-used symbol in Dharmic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism). Hindus often decorate the swastika with a dot in each quadrant. In India, it is common enough to be a part of several Devanagari fonts. It is also a symbol in the modern Unicode. It is often imprinted on religious texts, marriage invitations, decorations etc. It is used to mark religious flags in Jainism and to mark Buddhist temples in Asia.

Archaeological evidence of swastika shaped ornaments goes back to the Neolithic period. In 1920 the swastika was appropriated as a Nazi symbol, and has since then become a controversial motif. In the Western world, it is this usage as a symbol of Nazism that is most familiar, and this political association has largely eclipsed its historical status in the East.

It occurs in other Asian, European, African and Native American cultures – sometimes as a geometrical motif, sometimes as a religious symbol.

Indo-European and Sanskrit Etymology

The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit svastika (in Devanagari, स्वस्तिक), meaning any lucky or auspicious object, and in particular a mark made on persons and things to denote good luck. It is composed of Skr. su- (Indo-European (a)sus, cognate with Greek ευ-, and Hittite asu-), meaning “good, well” and asti a verbal abstract to the root Skr. as, “to be” (Indo-European es); Skr. svasti, IE (a)suesti, thus means “well-being”. The suffix –ka forms a diminutive, and svastika might thus be translated literally as “little thing associated with well-being”, Indo-European (a)suéstikā, corresponding roughly to “lucky charm”, or “thing that is auspicious”, although some relate it to the IE reflexive swe (“self”), thus Indo-European swéstikā. The word first appears in the Classical Sanskrit (in the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics). For more on these etymologies see the Etymological notes of our online Indo-European grammar and Indo-European etymological dictionary.

The Sanskrit term has been in use in English since 1871, replacing gammadion (from Greek γαμμάδιον), from Greek gamma.

Alternative historical English spellings of the Sanskrit word include suastika and svastica. Alternative names for the shape are:

* crooked cross
* cross cramponned, ~nnée, or ~nny (in heraldry), as each arm resembles a crampon or angle-iron (German: Winkelmaßkreuz)
* fylfot, possibly meaning “four feet”, chiefly in heraldry and architecture (See fylfot for a discussion of the etymology)
* gammadion, tetragammadion (Greek: τέτραγαμμάδιον), or cross gammadion (Latin: crux gammata; Old French: croiz gammée), as each arm resembles the Greek letter Γ (gamma)
* hooked cross (German: Hakenkreuz);
* sun wheel, a name also used as a synonym for the sun cross
* tetraskelion (Greek: τετρασκέλιον), “four legged”, especially when composed of four conjoined legs (compare triskelion, Greek τρισκέλιον)
* Thor’s hammer, from its supposed association with Thor, the Norse god of the weather, but this may be a misappropriation of a name that properly belongs to a Y-shaped or T-shaped symbol. The Swastika shape appears in Icelandic grimoires wherein it is named Þórshamar
* The Tibetan swastika is known as nor bu bzhi -khyil, or quadruple body symbol.

Doubtfully proven hypothesis: Holocaust vs. Revisionism, Creationism vs. Evolution, and Indo-European vs. Latin & Greek?

About the Proto-Indo-European language, one could say that a “proven hypothesis” is a fact. It’s not a certainty and it never will be until we invent time machines, but it’s a well-supported and widely accepted theory. With this kind of theory, it’s not a question of proven or unproven, because you can’t ever prove it. As far as the PIE reconstruction goes, there are a lot of competing reconstructions, and we’ll never know which one is right, although certain features can be established with a high level of confidence.

After reading what some pretentious guys from textkit.com had to say in their forum about our revival project, I decided to talk with my uncle about Indo-European; he was the Dean of a Spanish University, and is an expert philologist in Classical languages (i.e. Latin and Greek) – he has translated Latin authors and all that stuff, and was recently in the US to translate an author (Catulo?) from some original texts that an important eastern University had bought from a European library.

Who could be more open to the idea of a reconstructed Indo-European language than him? I just mentioned the word “Indo-European” and he said: “what, that! an invention, nothing more. So, hm…, you have English ‘father’, Latin ‘pater’, and… ehh…then you have Indo-European ‘pater’ or what? pfff what a language” and so on. He said more or less what other Spanish famous linguists are saying about our project: Francisco Villar (Latin professor at Salamanca, author of “Lenguas y pueblos indoeuropeos”) and José Antonio Pascual (member of the Royal Spanish Academy, RAE).

Let’s examine other similar sentences:

– “I think we have sufficiently talked about this matter and these Holocaust events need to be further investigated by independent and impartial parties”. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. Holocaust denial.

– “Certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection (‘Darwinism’)”. Discovery Institute Think Tank. Creationism (Evolution denial)

– “The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. … We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of the carbon dioxide increase. Our children will enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are blessed. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution.” Oregon Institute, in opposition to the Kyoto protocol. Climate change denial.

Such ‘denials’ usually refer to disinformation campaigns promoted and funded by groups with an interest in misrepresenting the scientific consensus on different issues, particularly groups with ties to a group with opposing ideas. Denialism is thus the rejection of views that are strongly supported by scientific or historical evidence by governments, business groups, interest groups or individuals who seek to influence policy processes and outcomes.

I guess the interest of some Americans (and Europeans too) in denying the existence of PIE, and thus the possibility of reconstructing and using it as a modern language, is about simple fear (or rough hate) of the idea of Europe becoming united as a single country, what is called Euroscepticism in Great Britain. Latin and Greek linguistic experts fans, probably don’t want to see their beloved classical languages somehow ‘reduced’ to simple dialects of an older (thus, more important for them?) language, after having dedicated all their lifes to the study of what seemed the only ancient European languages.

Anyway, trying to be as neutral as possible, I think the only solution here – when we want to remain within scientific limits – is to answer a simple question: who has the Onus Probandi (Burden of proof)? After more than 200 years of Indo-European studies, I think that to be a University Dean, a member of the Royal Spanish Academy or a professor at Salamanca doesn’t allow anyone to simply say “Indo-European is an invention” and “let’s use Latin as Europe’s lingua franca“.

If Modern Indo-European is or is not a good approach to the reconstruction(s) of the Proto-Indo-European language, and if Europe needs it, or if Europeans wish or will be able to adopt it as Europe’s national language, that’s another question. But that the Indo-European language existed and that it has been reconstructed with a high level of confidence, that’s undeniable, unless we enter in the non-scientific field of personal opinions.

A well-known Spanish saying is “opinions are like asses: everyone has one”; I just don’t have the time nor the patience necessary to look at every ass out there.

Wikipedia articles: accuracy, vandalism, spam and administrators

I have discovered (among tons of anti-spam spam) a mail from a Wikipedian asking for collaboration on the discussion about some controversy regarding an article on Dnghu’s project, about Indo-European language revival – as far as I’ve read, it seems to deal with the question “is Modern Indo-European as Modern Hebrew?” – Even if I wanted to participate, I don’t know what else could I say, that is not already written down in our grammar.

Some months ago I saw that some links were coming from the Wikipedia article “Europaio” – of course, I felt excited about it, but then I read the talk page, the first entry log was a certain user CrCulver (now disappeared, I’ve found the same user in Citizendium) trying to delete immediatly the entry saying “Non-notable conlang project, and it appears that the initiator of it himself has put up this article (and put links to it in inappropriate places), so it’s also vanity“. That had already happened weeks before, and the question appeared to be solved, but it still bothered me a lot when I first read what was written about me and the project, and in the most visited online Encyclopedia.

I looked for the creator of the article, and it was a Mr. Extremaduran – hence probably from Extremadura, and apparently a new user created just to add the project. So, OK, there were signs that it could be me or one of us, and a bad day is a bad day, and all of us have accused or suspected from others, but that guy left his comment publicly “non-notable” “conlang” and “vanity” – two strikes against the project (without even reading it, as it was minutes after the addition), and one against me personally, without even giving me the possibility to answer – a personal mail could have made the difference (even a post in our forum like “hey dude, you fucking spammer, I’m insulting you and your stupid project publicly, just in case you wanna answer me”, that could have saved me the annoyance).

Then some others have tried to discuss in the talk page about our project, trying to ascertain what is exactly all about, and some absurd comments about what we really mean and do and want (which is what we clearly state in our website) and the rest can be seen in the discussion page.

Then I received incoming links from a discussion page in the German wikipedia to this personal blog, and again some were talking about our “conlang” – I showed up and (using one of our IPs, so there could be no confussion) I said I didn’t want the project to appear as a conlang. They eventually deleted it – “not even the creator thinks it is notable” – yes, that was the point, not even reading my comment…

Adapted from a R. Galli’s post I read some time ago (in http://mnm.uib.es/gallir/):

I think wikipedians can do whatever they think appropriate with their project, I understand it and think we should support this free project. But when they begin to 1) accuse others of spamming (without us being even aware of what is going on), 2) take arbitrary decisions like deleting articles because of “spam” (even after they have been vandalized), without following its own rules and “consensus”, 3) that even the same persons (a certain Mr. Christian Culver and others) dare to criticize the projects and works of others from the most profound ignorance, and 4) that they use their own opinions as arguments to justify their public editions in a work read by many – Now, even after some wikipedians tried to solve it (moving it to “Modern Indo-European”), other wikipedians are trying to delete it for “not notable enough” – so, now eventually using their self-defined rules -; That whole mess could discourage everyone.

And all this is brought to you without having even asked or tried to be there.

I don’t know if I wanted the project to be there one year ago, but I certainly thought before that it was a honour to be written about. Now I don’t – just see the discussion page on the German Wikipedia article, where dozens of personal “conlangs” were talked about as ‘personal shit’ along with our serious revival project of a language reconstructed by Indo-European scholars. Today it can happen that someone brands you as spammer, and that people think you are a spammer, or that wikipedians (just by creating an account) become judges of thousands of hours of work even without reading or knowing first what is all about.

Unless you are a very famous person, a friend of the administrators, or some project related to them, preferably North-American (or British), and that you or your project falls near the environment of some administrators, you might have it very hard to defend an article, it seems — some seem to know about everything, to the point they can decide about what is relevant and what not: I would really like to be an administrator, with all that knowledge about everything.

They can do with wikipedia.org whatever they like, they have the right to do it, and the Internet doesn’t end with the Wikimedia Foundation.
But things should be clear. One day you may wake up and see that because some well-minded person (or not so well-minded) wanted you or your project to be there, you are a “spammer” and a “vain” “conlanger” – and you still drinking your first coffee…

No, I don’t want to be there editing articles and participating in discussions with their administrators. If they want to talk about the project, they will have to read first about it (in our websites or in the press) – if they have questions, there is an open forum. It’s better not to be there and being able to work hard on the own projects, instead of trying to convince others that this or that account is not you, that this or that information is notable enough, or even care about your article just to apologize because some have considered your project “notable”, and have used their time to work a neutral and brief description of it. No, thanks.

Edit: By the way, what some Spanish media have done, vandalizing the Spanish Wikipedia to show how easy is to change it, showing it on TV, is a shame, and indeed I support wikipedia.org against such stupid examples of how to bother an online project.

Tamil vs. Sanskrit, or Indian ‘official classical languages’, and the first tongue in India (AKA. Indus Valley Civilization language)

I have read and heard many stupidities regarding linguistic status and language differences:

– Brazilian is a different language (i.e. not Portuguese), because Galician is a language also (yes, Galician is interestingly enough a ‘language’ which stops in the administrative division between Spain and Portugal – more or less like Valencian and Catalan).
– French is a beautiful language, and because of that many African countries learn it (yes, South-American Indians also wanted to learn Spanish because it was so cool).
– English comes from Latin, as French, Spanish or Portuguese (no comments)…
– Language x (say, Esperanto, Spanish or Polish) is great because it is read exactly as it is written! (yeah, let’s give a value to each letter or pair of letters, or invent new characters, and then invent something great to praise the own language!)
– Proto-Indo-European cannot be reconstructed, because it wasn’t written down, therefore it is, unlike Latin or English, not real (yes; we’ll wait till somebody invents a MET powerful enough to watch chemical bonds, instead of studying all those stupid unproven hypothesis…)
– Basques, Finns and Hungarians will hate speaking Indo-European in the EU (yes, they love to speak English; but a common Indo-European language? that’s colonization and racism!)
– and so on.

Now, only from time to time, there is a question so obviously misinterpreted that nobody seems ‘neutral enough’ to comment on it. Today is the time of the “Tamil question” – I like Indo-European languages, and I’m thus not ‘neutral enough’ for Tamil lovers, but I think it is not important, since everyone has an opinion and mine won’t change anything.

The whole question is summed up here (Wikipedia discussion), where some Tamil speakers are short from calling Tamil the Indus Valley Civilization language. It is not surprising, since N. Kazanas and others pretend that Sanskrit fits that role, being itself almost Proto-Indo-European, and this in turn spoken of course in the Indus Valley some thousands of years before any study can possibly lead us to (Out of India Theory).

Now, Indo-European studies are full of hypothesis, as comparative grammar. In the 20th century, physics and chemistry were disciplines where different hypothesis (their supporters) fought against each other, and nationals got involved defending their scientists. This had a good consequence, namely that normal people were involved in scientific evolution, and that scientists were like today’s football (or soccer) players – well, maybe not so important, but almost so renowned.

Nowadays, due to the neo-romanticism brought back by neo-nationalisms (in which race and genetics is not spoken about so loud, and thus only language remains as a differentiation factor), linguistics is a discipline spoken about by anyone, and linguists are cheered up by politicians and stupid followers alike. If I talk in the BBC about a research paper (whatever its value) on Tamil dating back to 9.000 BCE, I will be the hero of lots of Tamil speakers, whereas if I talk about Sanskrit being the oldest language on earth, Indo-Aryan speakers will lift me up to the category of ‘experts in linguistics worth mentioning in popular sites like Wikipedia or Yahoo! Answers’…

The question here is easy, and is not worth more than a paragraph to solve: roughly, Tamil corresponds to Hindi, Old Tamil to Old Hindi, Proto-Tamil (or Proto-Southern Dravidian) to Late Sanskrit, Proto-Dravidian to Sanskrit, pre-Proto-Dravidian to Vedic Sanskrit, pre-pre-Proto-Dravidian to Proto-Indo-Iranian, pre-pre-pre-Proto-Dravidian to Proto-Indo-European, and so on. The conclusion is simple: language history, reconstructed language, literature’s history, etc. all speak in favour of Sanskrit as the oldest attested language in India, and therefore India’s only classical language – just like Latin and Greek in Europe. The fact that the European Union recognizes in the near future, say, Balto-Slavic or Germanic as “classical languages of Europe” won’t change that fact either.

I could get deeper, but I wrote already about a similar question, “Basque:the oldest language“.

[tags]Tamil,Sanskrit,classical language,language,classic,classical,linguistics,comparative grammar,history,Indus Valley Civilization,Indus Valley,Indo-European,language,linguistics,hypothesis,Uralic,Nostratic,Anatolian,Greek, Indo-Aryan,Germanic,Italic,Celtic,Baltic,Slavic,dialect,Europe,writing system,grammar[/tags]

Indo-European Grammar, 1st Printed Version in English, translated into Deutsch, français, español, italiano, Nederlands, Polski, português, Russian, and other languages thanks to direct web machine translation

The Final Version of A Grammar of Modern Indo-European, 1st Printed Edition, is ready for the Printer, after the Indo-European Revival News.

For more information on this release and the changes made since last version, please go to the Indo-European language Association.

The association has some collaborative websites prepared for volunteers ready to add some translated sections of the book, and also for experts and people interested in IE languages, to add information about the Proto-Indo-European language and its revival as a modern language within the European Union, namely Indo-European (in English), Indo-Europeen (en Français), Indogermanisch (auf Deutsch), indoeuropeo (in italiano), etc.

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Indo-European language or Indo-European languages?

I’ve recently received an email from a new reader who wanted to share with us “his language”, namely a ‘modernized Indo-European’, which he had been working on for very very long before we began our public work at the Indo-European Revival Association, and which he deems “a more modern version of our Indo-European“.

After telling him he was not the first who show up with such a project (there are at least one or two more out there in the Net), I told him very clearly what our opinion about IE is:

A) There are different schools about how to reconstruct the Proto-Indo-European language: those who make a main Satem-Centum distinction, those who talk about a very very old Indo-Hittite, those who (like us) distinguish a Graeco-Aryan dialect (or IE IIIa) and a Northern one (or IE IIIb), those who defend the existence of only one ‘original’ a-vowel, later colored, those who defend only 5 original cases (as we did before changing for a 7+1), those who talk about 9 or more laryngeals, and so on.

B) There are indeed different times for the reconstruction: the theory of the 3 main Stages let one reconstruct at least 2 languages (if we don’t take on account the highly hypothetical IE I or Early PIE), namely IE II or Middle PIE – which includes Proto-Anatolian and Pre-IE III -, and IE III or Late PIE, which is the one usually reconstructed. Also one could go still later in time and try to divide the (seemingly) two main dialects, the Northern or European Dialect (also IE IIIb) and the Southern or Graeco-Aryan Dialect (or IE IIIa): the problem with such a further division is that 1) Balto-Slavic dialects seem to be either in the middle of that classification, or at least within IE IIIb but very influenced by IE IIIa (due possibly to different contacts with Scythians, Persians, Greeks, etc.), and that 2) The IE IIIa (and thus Late PIE as a whole) may be better reconstructed than IE IIIb, as the former was attested earlier (in the form of Vedic Sanskrit and Mycenaean).

C) Also, there are many different ways to use a modern language system using an old language. For example, if we had to use Latin as a modern language, we could select different vocabulary (older forms, mediaeval and newer loans), different expressions (older syntax, newer modisms), etc. and there could be lots of schools defending more purism, more tradition, a complete renewal, etc.

If we sum up the aforementioned possibilities, and try to ascertain the number of possible outputs, one could conclude that there is no single Indo-European, but a hundred different combinations:

Indo-Hittite with 3 laryngeals and without feminine, 5 noun-case declension, with Latin-only alphabet and Satem-Centum distinction in writing, OV syntax.

Northern Dialect without laryngeals (with an -a), without augment in Aorist, with 8 (or 7+1) nominal cases, with dialectal Conditional and Passive, OV and VO mixed syntax.

– and so on…

Each one could have a different name, say ‘Bokmål’, ‘Nynorsk’, ‘Samnorsk’, ‘Riksmål’ ‘Høgnorsk’, etc., as the different Norwegian ‘languages’ or, better, language systems. But I think everyone would agree that, while the language may differ a lot from one system to another, the language spoken would still be the same, i.e. a very diffuse “Indo-European”, or (following the example above), a very diffuse “Norwegian” language.

There are a hundred different examples about how such internal and external tensions are usually dealt with, as with the unified Basque (Euskara Batua) opposed to its dialectal diversity, or the different Cornish language systems, or the Hebrew revival (with Semitic purists against modern influences), etc., not to talk about the inner and external tensions of ‘normal’ languages like Spanish or French, which are often subjected to “unifying-dividing” efforts – as e.g. the Asturian “language/dialect”, sometimes included as Spanish by Spanish philologists, sometimes not, always trying to include modern dialects like Argentinian, Mexican, etc. along with the ‘traditional’ dialects like Asturian-Leonese or Aragonese; or Francoprovençal with French, or Alemannic within High German (Hochdeutsch), and so on.

In any case, I think, there is a very clear line which separates all those language systems designed (more or less artificially) for a natural language, from artificial languages like Volapük, Solresol or Esperanto, which are inventions not distinguishable from Klingon, Sindarin or any secret language that anyone could have created at home when still a child.

One example I use with sceptics on PIE reconstruction could be mentioned here.

Proto-Indo-European is like the corrupted skeleton of a very old dinosaur: you can discuss whether such skeleton was actually this or that way, pertained to this or that species of dinosaurs, came from this or that hypothetical ancestor, and derived in those other dinosaurs this or that way, etc. You cannot, however, discuss (in a serious conversation) whether they lived with Noah, whether they didn’t exist at all because it’s a divine proof of our faith, or whether, unlike modern animals, they didn’t exist at all because we have no ‘real proof’ about it.

I will not discuss the implications of trying to draw a complete dinosaur from its bones only, as long as you don’t try to discuss the very existence of those bones, or try to compare our reconstruction of that dinosaur with your drawing of a dragon.Maybe your dragon is widely accepted as something useful, or beautiful, or even as something better than our drawing of the possible dinosaur behind those damaged bones; but please, let be serious to some extent, and don’t try to mix the Lord of the Rings or Star Trek with a manual of paleontology. Tolkien’s masterwork might be great, but it’s not ‘better’ or ‘easier’ (or whatever adjective you may apply) than the manual of paleontology; they just move in different dimensions.

As a conclusion, one may expect different modern language systems for Proto-Indo-European – some will be ‘easier’, some ‘purer’, some others ‘more modern’, etc. -, but still the language will be the same. The question is not whether such systems are possible (they obviously are), but whether this or that system is just an improvement made on the linguistic framework that contains the natural language behind it, or instead include random changes that a visionary (like Mr. Zamenhoff) wants to make to the natural skeleton of a language (or languages), hiding it as an improvement in, say, “usability”, “learning time”, “similarity with modern IE”, etc.

[tags]Indo-European,Proto-Indo-European,Indo-European grammar,grammar,syntax,phonology,morphology,PIE grammar,Proto-Indo-European grammar,Proto-Indo-European morphology,Proto-Indo-European vocabulary,Indo-European etymology,Indo-European book,indoeuropeo,gramatica indoeuropea,etimologia,sintaxis,fonologia,morfologia,protoindoeuropeo,lengua indoeuropea,lingua indoeuropea,ebook,libro,reference,referencia,enciclopedia,europaio,Indo-Europees,Indo-Europese,Indogermanisch, Indoeuropäisch,Indogermanische Sprache,Sprache,Urindogermanisch,Urindogermanische Sprache,Indo-européen,Indo-euroéenne,langue,langue Indo-européenne,Indo-Europeu,indo-europeia,proto-indo-européen,proto-indo-européenne,indoeuropejski,praindoeuropejski,indoeuropeisk, indoeuropeiska,protoindoeuropeiska,indoevropejsk,indoevropejska,Europa,Europe,European Union,Union Europea,Union européenne,Unione europea,Europäisch,Europäische Union,Unia,Unie,Evropa,Evropske,Europeisk,Europeiska,Latin,Greek,griego,Griechisch,traduction,translation,traduccion,traduzione, Spanish,English,español,inglés,italiano,Italian,Nederlands,inglese,français,French,France,UK,España,Spain,Inglaterra,Reino Unido,United Kingdom,Holland,Germany,Deutschland,Deutsch,francés,italien, allemand,portugues,Portugal,Belgie,Belique,Swiss,Sweiz,Svizza,Italia,Polska,Polski,Czech,Russian, Esperanto,Ido,Interlingua,Solresol,Latina,Latine,Lojban[/tags]

Indo-European Grammar, First Printed Edition, with maps, summary tables, etymologies, PIE phonology and syntax…

Yes, we eventually decided to print some copies of our Indo-European Grammar – with public subsidies, we will be able to release some dozens in this first printed edition.

Our objetive was to translate version 2.x (now near 2.2) into Spanish, German and French, to post news in Modern Indo-European and to begin with the Syntax volume, but now the order has changed.

We plan to publish an improved edition (revised by Indo-European scholars), which will probably be called already version 3.x. We plan to include more information about IE dialects and about Proto-Indo-European syntax, and to make printed copies of it – it will be called probably A Grammar of Modern Indo-European.

Then we will try to begin publishing news and podcasts and translating texts in Modern Indo-European – it’s already time to begin writing and speaking in Indo-European!

And, if possible, we will dedicate some time before summer to develop a detailed syntax volume – but, as the different Indo-European languages of Europe share a similar syntax (at least an informal one), we don’t deem the use of the purer Proto-Indo-European syntax essential to begin using the language in Europe.

[tags]Indo-European,Proto-Indo-European,Indo-European grammar,grammar,syntax,phonology,morphology,PIE grammar,Proto-Indo-European grammar,Proto-Indo-European morphology,Proto-Indo-European vocabulary,Indo-European etymology,Indo-European book,indoeuropeo,gramatica indoeuropea,etimologia,sintaxis,fonologia,morfologia,protoindoeuropeo,lengua indoeuropea,lingua indoeuropea,ebook,libro,reference,referencia,enciclopedia,europaio,Indo-Europees,Indo-Europese,Indogermanisch, Indoeuropäisch,Indogermanische Sprache,Sprache,Urindogermanisch,Urindogermanische Sprache,Indo-européen,Indo-euroéenne,langue,langue Indo-européenne,Indo-Europeu,indo-europeia,proto-indo-européen,proto-indo-européenne,indoeuropejski,praindoeuropejski,indoeuropeisk, indoeuropeiska,protoindoeuropeiska,indoevropejsk,indoevropejska,Europa,Europe,European Union,Union Europea,Union européenne,Unione europea,Europäisch,Europäische Union,Unia,Unie,Evropa,Evropske,Europeisk,Europeiska,Latin,Greek,griego,Griechisch,traduction,translation,traduccion,traduzione, Spanish,English,español,inglés,italiano,Italian,Nederlands,inglese,français,French,France,UK,España,Spain,Inglaterra,Reino Unido,United Kingdom,Holland,Germany,Deutschland,Deutsch,francés,italien, allemand,portugues,Portugal,Belgie,Belique,Swiss,Sweiz,Svizza,Italia,Polska,Polski,Czech,Russian,Esperanto,Ido,Interlingua, Lojban[/tags]

The ‘Grin Report’ and its pretended support of Esperanto over Indo-European as European Union’s official language

We have received at Indo-European Language Revival Association an email suggesting us learning more about Esperanto, describing its advantages, and especially talking about the Grin Report, an expert study supposedly favoring Esperanto as the only language for the European Union. This mail comes probably from a reader of Spanish newspapers who read about recent news on Indo-European revival, who possibly didn’t read about our proposal, maybe because we use mainly English in our writings and he just can’t speak but Spanish and Esperanto…

I think that specially any study written about linguistic policy – in our outside the EU – before 2006 (i.e., before we made our proposal) is indeed not intended to support Esperanto over Indo-European, and that even present-day studies supporting the adoption of Esperanto are not – unless expressly doing so – against Indo-European, but just ignoring our project, thus invalidating almost any future use of it against us.

Here is an extract of the open letter sent to the European Parliament defending the adoption of one language for the EU – when it says Esperanto we will write Indo-European, and the Grin Report and the letter will still be saying the same…

We pay € 17 THOUSAND MILLION each year into the British economy!

Dear Member of Parliament,

October 2005 saw the publication of a particularly interesting report, accessible in French in PDF Format, by the Swiss Professor François Grin.

The most startling conclusion of the report is that, due to the current dominant position of the English language, the United Kingdom gains € 17-18 thousand million each year, which is more than three times the famous British rebate, or 1% of its GNP. In other words, each of the 394 million non-English-speaking citizens of the EU, including those from the poorest new Member States, are subsidising the British economy!

This amount comes from the sale of books and other goods relating to the English language, from the 700.000 people each year who go to Britain to learn English, as well as from the savings that stem from the neglect of foreign-language teaching in British schools. This does not account for all of the languagerelated economic transfers to the United Kingdom but for 75% of them, which the author sees as the fruit of the hegemony of English and not just of the demographic weight of the language itself.

François Grin who is a professor at the University of Geneva and a specialist in the economics of language, has released an extensive dossier in which he analyses the language policy of the European Union. The study was commissioned and published by the French Haut Conseil de l’évaluation de l’école (High Council for School Evaluation) – an independent public body which evaluates and analyses the state of teaching in France.

The report poses the question “What would be the optimum choice for working languages in the European Union?

A more equitable system would save the EU at least € 25 thousand million annually!

The Swiss economist proposes a comparison between three possible scenarios:
1. English as the sole language,
2. multilingualism,
3. Esperanto Indo-European as an internal working language the EU institutions.

The third option, Esperanto Indo-European, comes out as the least expensive and most equitable, but Grin believes it is not currently viable because of the strong prejudices against Esperanto Indo-European based on simple ignorance. He believes, however, that it is strategically possible for a new generation, on two conditions:

  • a sustained large-scale information campaign throughout the EU about language inequality and
    Esperanto Indo-European,
  • the cooperation of all Member States in the campaign.

This could lead to net annual savings for the EU of approximately € 25 thousand million! “That is directly and manifestly to the advantage of 85% of the population of the 25 states”, Professor Grin claims.

Now do the same with the Grin Report itself and substitute “Esperanto” for Indo-European as the best option, and you will have a natural, democratic, culturally neutral and thus better language alternative for Europe than Esperanto, supported by previous economic and linguistic policy studies which didn’t take our alternative on account because they couldn’t.

[tags]Indo-European,Indo-European language,Proto-Indo-European language,Indo-European language family,Indo-European studies,Indo-European languages,Indo-Hittite,Europaio,IAL,International Auxiliary Language,EU,Europe,European Union,European language,Esperanto,Ido,Interlingua,Germanic IAL,Slovio,Occidental,Latin,Latine,Latine sine flexione,Occidental,Lojban,natural language,linguistics,linguistic policy,language policy,single language,democracy,politics,economy,culture,neutrality,EU institutions,Nostratic,Indo-Uralic[/tags]