Difference between revisions of "File:647.sip"

From Lojban
Jump to: navigation, search
m
 
 
Line 1: Line 1:
  
== What was the language Zamenhof dreamt in when finding the solution for a/the definite article "la" in his Esperanto? ==
 
 
==== What was Zamenhof's "first" language? ====
 
 
(quoted from the ''Mendele list'' vegn mame-loshn --mi'e .aulun)
 
 
"I thought that the recent postings on the topic of language in dreams
 
 
had pretty much covered the range of phenomena in existence on this
 
 
topic, but it appears that I was wrong.  I was recently browsing
 
 
through a biography of Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, called
 
 
"L'homme qui a d�fi� Babel"(the man who defied Babel) by Ren�
 
 
Centassi and Henri Masson, when i came across an account of a dream
 
 
which Zamenhof had, apparently at the age of about 16.  That would
 
 
have been more than 10 years before 1887, usually considered the
 
 
birthyear of the language, when his first grammar of Esperanto was
 
 
published.  He at that time was concerned with the question of whether
 
 
his language should have a definite article, having noticed that his
 
 
own Polish, and also Russian (presumably the prestige language of that
 
 
time and place, since Zamenhof lived in Bialystok, then part of the
 
 
Russian Empire), did not.  In the dream he was pondering this question
 
 
near a forest with his uncle Jozef and his Greek teacher, whose name
 
 
was Billevitch.  Zamenhof suggested that they might find someone in
 
 
the forest who could help them. Billevitch, on the contrary, warned
 
 
against going into the forest on the grounds that there were three
 
 
girls in red who wanted to harm them.  Zamenhof then looked toward the
 
 
forest, saw the girls in question, and cried out, "there are
 
 
- -the-(author's emphasis) three girls in red."  Zamenhof then woke up
 
 
in a sweat, but decided that his problem had been solved.  The
 
 
definite article had in his view proved its usefulness.  And, as every
 
 
Esperantist knows, there is a definite article, namely the invariable
 
 
"la". I can't remember having or hearing about a dream with this degree of
 
 
linguistic specificity.  It is also not clear what language the dream
 
 
occurred in.  Probably not Polish or Russian, since these lack the
 
 
article which played such a prominent role. Zamenhof knew several
 
 
other languages, most of them with definite articles, so these appear
 
 
to be better candidates.  In any case, postings from others suggest
 
 
that people can dream in languages that they don't know very well.
 
 
The last possibility is that the language was some embryonic form of
 
 
Esperanto itself, since Zamenhof was so intensely concerned with this
 
 
topic.
 
 
D.M.
 
 
E. P. asked about whether L. L. Zamenhof, the
 
 
inventor of Esperanto, knew Yiddish. Although he apparently regarded
 
 
Russian as his first (and favorite) non-invented language, he clearly
 
 
was a speaker of Yiddish and, in fact, wrote a fascinating grammar of
 
 
Yiddish in Russian. The grammar was not published until 1982 with the
 
 
original Russian and a complete Esperanto translation. In it Zamenhof
 
 
argued for Latinization of the Yiddish writing system. He proposes a
 
 
literary pronunciation that is almost exactly the same as the YIVO norm.
 
 
A propos of another thread he states that one should spell 'auf' as
 
 
'af.' His proposed spelling norms totally reject the daytshmerish
 
 
orthography in favor of one reflecting actual Yiddish pronunciation. He
 
 
calls for a purging of daytshmerisms from the language. All in all, a
 
 
very "modern" approach for 1879-1882, the approximate time of
 
 
composition.
 
 
I don't know about the 'the,' but it is widely accepted that only one
 
 
purely Yiddish morpheme made it into Esperanto. This is the suffix (now,
 
 
basically, substantive) -edz-o 'husband,' which is viewed as a back
 
 
formation of -edz-in-o 'wife,' and which appears to derive from the
 
 
suffix -etsn in the word rebetsn.
 
 
By the way, Zamenhof's writings on Yiddish are collected in: Adolf
 
 
Holzhaus. "L. Zamenhof, Provo de gramatiko de novjuda lingvo- kaj
 
 
-Alvoko al la juda intelektularo. Helsinki, 1982.
 
 
H. I. A.
 
 
According to Reyzen's _Leksikon_, Zamenhof's father, Marcus, and his
 
 
grandfather, Fabian, were both teachers of French and German in
 
 
Bialystok, then part of the Russian empire, where four
 
 
languages--Russian, Polish, German and Yiddish--were common. Reyzen says
 
 
nothing about his first language, but points out that Zamenhof once
 
 
thought that Yiddish, because of its widespread character, might serve
 
 
as a basis for an international language. Zamenhof spent three years
 
 
working on a Yiddish grammar, only fragments of which were ever
 
 
published (in a Yiddish periodical). In his publications on Yiddish he
 
 
suggested adopting the Latin alphabet for Yiddish.
 
 
In 1958 the editor of _Yidishe shprakh_, Yudel Mark, gently
 
 
'''corrected a reader who had asserted that Zamenhof's mother tongue was Russian''' (emphasize by me)
 
 
He argued that Zamenhof grew up in a bilingual milieu even if he learned
 
 
Russian as a child and heard Russian at home--and from his mother at
 
 
that (YS 18:80).
 
 
In a subsequent issue of the journal (YS 19 [[jbocre: 1959]]:30) another reader
 
 
expressed his surprise that Zamenhof had written for a Yiddish
 
 
periodical and worked on the language.  He related his own experience of
 
 
being visited daily by Dr. Zamenhof (who was an ophthalmologist) during
 
 
the four weeks in 1902 when he was a patient in a Jewish hospital in
 
 
Warsaw.  He reported that the doctor normally used Polish while making
 
 
his rounds, but since he (the patient) spoke little Polish, Zamenhof
 
 
spoke "a 'daytshn' yidish" with him.  He added that the doctor "(hot)
 
 
ober keyn mol nit oysgeredt keyn ekht yidish vort."  The editor (Mark)
 
 
conceded that this may have been true, but suggested that the strongly
 
 
anti-Yiddish attitude of the time would have made it difficult for a
 
 
doctor to deal officially with his patients in ordinary Yiddish, "nit
 
 
fardaytshndik a bisl zayn shprakh."  Mark added that it is conceivable
 
 
that a person could perfectly well write about linguistic matters in
 
 
Yiddish without being a fluent _speaker_ of the language.
 
 
B. R."
 
 
----
 

Latest revision as of 17:25, 4 November 2013

File history

Click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time.

Date/TimeDimensionsUserComment
current12:46, 8 May 2013 (2.52 MB)Gleki (talk | contribs)
  • You cannot overwrite this file.

There are no pages that link to this file.