native speakers

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.i lo jbojbe ba jdice (The Lojban-born will decide.)

.i na go'i .i le prenu jdice poi patfu joi mamta lo jbojbe

  • i drani selsku .i lo cifnu na pamei lenu zbasu lo bangrkre'olo .i sarcu fa lo banzu barda cecmu be loi prenu poi na simymintu leka ce'u se bangu pa da -- mi'e nitcion
  • i ku'i na gendrani .u'i .i "lu le prenu poi patfu joi mamta lo jbojbe cu jdice li'u"

Are there any documents discussing those Esperantists who raised children who spoke Esperanto natively?

If you know Esperanto, do a web search for denaskaj ("from birth", plural -- i.e. "native speakers") There's an FAQ at [1] by Esperantist and (in his mundane life) Finnish Slavonicist ouko Lindstedt (who also used to edit the Esperanto-language conlang journal Planlingvistiko.) I see there's also a mailing list he runs, ENASK-L (with several linked resources), so I guess there's more denaskaj Esperantistoj around than I'd assumed -- nitcion

  • Forster's he Esperanto Movement has a little bit about this. Anecdotally, I know most of them lose interest (as for that matter happened to the only native speaker of Klingon.) Esperantists f�te the few "denaskaj esperantistoj", and many an Esperantist claims they hold the key to the kingdom. They still speak ISO Standard Esperanto as far as I can tell; Esperanto got stabilised by Poles who spoke German in the 1900s, there's little a couple of denaskaj are going to do about it now. I don't think the Esperanto paradigm applies, therefore. -- nitcion
    • Nice to hear they speak the same Esperanto. I figured they'd lose interest, though. conlang'ing isn't exactly the kind of family activity that the kids are likely to enjoy. :) --Jay
    • I don't understand this. What does it mean to lose interest in a language that your family uses at home? Why don't children who have parents who speak English/German/Chinese/etc. lose interest in English/German/Chinese/etc., respectively? --mi'e tsali
    • Happens to most low prestige lects in the second generation. No kid loses interest in English in America. But an American kid growing up as the only American in all of Timbuktu? Different story. The kid may well be fluent in Esperanto, but usually ends up having no interest in participating in the organised Esperanto movement. So outside the home, she'll have no opportunity to speak the language: language community of just my parents = no language community as far as the rest of the world is concerned. And most parents will not be using Esperanto non-stop at home anyway. (There are of course couples with no other common language; but I think you can count them on the fingers of one hand.) -- Mi estas nitcion icxjo.
    • It seems - and this being my own experience - that children intuitively orient themselves by the language spoken by that (big) group (around them) which can be expected to guarantee the best social platform for their future life, i.e. that of other young people around them. This usually does not include the idiom spoken by their parents. (E.g. see the 2nd and further generations of once Yiddish speaking immigrants to US! My non-German nor Hungarian-speaking cousins in Australia.) Even if speaking this language in their homes, they're usually rather bored with it. Children plainly do not have any interest in linguistics or experiments of that kind! Now imagine those poor kids called "jbojbe", "denaskaj" etc., abused as linguistical guinea pigs by their cranky parents: do you expect them to really having any grab for speaking *that* language! (Remember Eliezer Ben Yehuda, not only torturing his non-Hebrew speaking wife, sister etc., but also his first-born son who wasn't allowed to hear a single non-Hebrew word! - Not speaking of Frederic II (stupor mundi) and his fatal experiments with babies expecting them to start speaking in Hebrew without ever having heard any human voice.) -- .aulun.
      • But if we had some community where everybody spoke lojban, it would be the natural choice of language for the kids to learn. It wouldn't be a linguistic experiment with them as the guinea pigs, we'd be the guinea pigs. And any who happen to have children should probably teach them English or some other natlang also, so that if they leave (which they probably will) they do fine. So, let's all move to an uninhabited polynesian island, living off grant money we might be able to get because we'd be testing the sapir-whorf hypothesis! - .kreig.daniyl. (No, I don't expect it to happen.)
    • I'd be curious as to how it affected them socially. If they just don't use Esperanto, if they're annoyed at their parents for foisting fluency upon them, if it gets them beat up in school or what... presumably there are more young Lojbanists these days, myself included, who may or may not intend to have children someday, and whom might think it interesting to try talking to their children in Lojban... --Jay
      • Poor 'Armand Speers, computational linguist and father of Alec Speers, the Klingon native speaker who's now lost interest (before reaching the age of 5) --- I heard random linguists in my alma mater talking about him (at third hand!) like he was committing child abuse. People often mutter darkly about logicians driving their offspring insane. Inflated, perhaps, but whatever you do, make sure Lojban isn't the very first language the kid acquires. -- nitcion.
        • Well, I guess you'd just need someone who doesn't really care what other people think about them. I don't think the government could justify taking a child from their birth parents just because the parents refuse to teach the child English. -- rizen
          • Jop:
            • Are you saying by striking that text that what Armand Speers did was not child "abuse"?
    • .kreig.daniyl.:
      • Interesting question - will the kids come upon any problems with lojban phonology? Am I right in thinking that ' and x are too similar, or will the jbojbe discover that I'm full of kalci and should go back to pronouncing my apostrophes as /h/ instead of /T/?
      • Arabic has ', x, and at least one more similar sound, and they get them all right, so I don't worry about any jbojbe iff the parents can do it the right way! --xod
        • In terms of h-like sounds, we have a soft H (say 'h' normally), a hard H (imagine panting after a 10 mile run), and then the Kh sound (x). All of these are very distinct to native speakers, and I'd think the Kh sound would be the easiest to distinguish by non-natives. --.iusris.
      • Kids can learn any phonology, and could, hypothetically, learn to distinguish all the sounds. As it stands, though, most people unknow how to distinguish all the sounds that their language communit(ies/y) don't use when they're children. It can't ever hurt to expose children to more phonetic sounds when they're young, as it keeps them from forgetting how to tell them apart, which would make it significantly easier for them to learn languages using those sounds when they're older.
    • The Ethnologue lists that there are 200-2000 native speakers of Esperanto. You can also read the article I wrote in wikipedia about it at ative Esperanto speakers.

According to Olivia (la olivian.) the best way to teach a child two languages at once is for each parent to consistently use one language. --xod

At the least, associate the language with something fixed --- a certain activity, or parent, or time of day. That's what I'd read... -- nitcion

I can totally agree with that: I used to speak a certain dialect (only) when talking to my mother (although she didn't speak it herself, only would understand!); to me that was kind of a natural mental state I had been stamped in my early childhood. As for my wife, she is still speaking her mediaval German dialect when talking to her mother and sister.

Experience has shown that baby children, raised in more than one language, are beginning learning to speak later than others - but they would talk each of the languages right from the start, and without being really aware of that they're using not just *one* language. -- .aulun.

That jibes with what little I know about first/native language acquisition. --jay

.u'i mi ctuca lo mi cifnu mambu'abe'a piso'u la lojban. .i mi'e ragyv

.i nanla ma .i jibni re

  • I'm starting to really wish my parents did that for me; I could have been naturally multilingual instead of having to work hard at it. Now that I think about it, they never played classical music in my presence either... --Plastic Raven

The issue of raising kids in a bilingual family is very complex, according to "Growing up with two languages" by Una Cunningham-Andersson and Staffan Andersson --Stevo

If I ever have children, I don't ever plan to raise them speaking Lojban, or probably any language that isn't at least somewhat spoken wherever we live. --Plastic Raven