turk, turkic, turkmen, turkomen

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alibadani
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Jul 2 2007 20:46
turk, turkic, turkmen, turkomen

Guys I'm curious. What do the terms mean? Does a Turk understand an Iraqi Turkman or someone from Turkmenistan. And Turkic people (?) seem to live everywhere from Siberia to Eastern Europe.

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Devrim
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Jul 2 2007 21:08

Turkic is the entire language group. The Western branch of this group includes Turkish, Azerbajani, and the Iraqi Turkmen.

Between the Turks, and the Azerbaijanis communication is possible, imagine speaking to a drunken Scotsman. We have one Azeri TV channel in Ankara, and people think that they sound like 'yokels'. A Turk can watch a movie on it though, and understand 90% of the dialogue. Actually, when I went to Baku, Both I, and the person I went with found that they understood us better than we understood them. I would put that down to the fact that they probably have more of our TV than we do theirs. Think of how Americans tend to be more confused by British English expressions than vice versa due to the influence of Hollywood.

The only Iraqi Turkman I have ever met grew up in Ankara, but as I understand, it is similar to Azeri, but with more Arabic influence. There is also an Azeri spoken in Northern Iran, which has a more Farsi influence.

Turkenistani is pretty much incomprehensible to Turks, as are the other Central Asian Turkish languages. For all this talk of 'Turistan' at the time when then President Demirel went there after the collapse of the Soviet block, he had to take an interpreter.

I hope that clears it up.

Devrim

lem
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Jul 2 2007 21:27

i just spotted somethig there maybe devrim. you just reminded me of someone grin

shit like i read far too much into things sad

alibadani
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Jul 2 2007 21:34

So Pan-turkism is pretty much loony then.

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Devrim
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Jul 2 2007 21:48
alibadani wrote:
So Pan-turkism is pretty much loony then.

Well, yes. It has been a very popular ideology at times though. The last time it was powerful was post '89 for obvious reasons.

One could compare it to Pan-Arabism though. Is Arabic a language, or a language group. People from the Gulf can not communicate with people from the Magreb in colloquial. Of course educated people can revert to classical (I can't my classical is very week), but it is a bit like Europeans reverting to Arabic.

What about Pan-Slavism? Czech, and Slovak are obviously very close, but the Czechs I know say that their children have problems with Slovak as they didn't grow up in this bilingual state. I have been to political meetings in Slovakia though where both the Czech, and Slovaks (people who grew up with it) spoke their own language. Polish is close, but Czechs don't understand it well unless they are from the boarder regions a grew up with Polish TV. Russian is another language altogether for them. People of my generation there can speak it, but because they had to learn it in school.

Devrim

bastarx
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Jul 5 2007 07:00

I've heard it said that native speakers of any two Slavic languages can carry on some sort of conversation with a bit of effort. I think the Slavic languages are much closer than say German and English which are both members of the Germanic language family.

Personally I didn't understand much when I was in Prague but although I've spoken Serbian my whole life it's very much my second language. But I can sort of read Russian or Czech or Polish and I imagine if I spent a couple of months in one of those countries I'd pick the language up fairly easily.

My dad can speak all of the Slavic languages to some extent.

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Jul 5 2007 10:13
Peter wrote:
I've heard it said that native speakers of any two Slavic languages can carry on some sort of conversation with a bit of effort. I think the Slavic languages are much closer than say German and English which are both members of the Germanic language family.

I think that they can. It all depends on what you mean by a basic conversation. I was talking to a guy at work the other day about the Yugoslavia wars, and he was saying that he had been in Zagreb just before the wars, and talked about having conversations on a basic level. I have also talked to people who have said Czechs can't have a basic conversation with Serbo-Croat speakers. I don't think any of them were lying. They were just defining basic differently.

They are certainly closer than the Germanic languages. Even with my very rudimentary knowledge of Czech I found it easier to understand basic restaurant dialogues in Poland than I would in Germany though*. One point that might be worth bringing up though, when I was in Poland and heard the Poles speaking with the Slovaks, they spoke in English. When the Czechs speak with the Slovaks they don't.

Devrim

*Actually that is not true. In Germany I was fine. Last time we went to even the waiter in the Chinese restaurant was a Turk.

alibadani
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Jul 6 2007 06:26

Some trivia for you fellas. The most widely spoken semitic languages after Arabic are Amharic and Tigrinya . Then comes Hebrew. Amharic is spoken in Ethiopia, Tigrinya in Eritrea. How cool is that? The race theorists would have a hard time explaining that. The same could be said of Turkic languages. Some the native speakers would be classified as Caucasoid, and others as Mongoloid by the race theorists.

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Jul 6 2007 12:31
alibadani wrote:
The same could be said of Turkic languages. Some the native speakers would be classified as Caucasoid, and others as Mongoloid by the race theorists.

Yes, it is a problem for Turkish nationalists. There was a lot of histerical ranting when National Geographic did some world genetic survey, which revealed that the Turks weren't 'Turkish' at all. Basically they say that they are Turks from central Asia. When our website was hacked the other day, it was full of nonsense about originating in Central Asia.
The problem is that they actually don't. If one looks at aTurk, a Greek, and a Khazkh it is very clear, which two are closer to each other. The 'best' explanation of this that I have heard was some girl I was talking to who put it down to evolution. The probable answer though is much more simple. The Turks came, conqured, and ruled over Anatolia, interbreeding with the subject peoples, who were in many cases Greeks. I would imagine that the other cases you refered to have similar explanations. I have also heard about a dead Indo-arayan language that existed in Mongolia, or somewhere.
Devrim

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OliverTwister
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Jul 6 2007 20:25

Devrim aren't Finno-Ugric languages somewhat related to Turkic languages?

Also I've heard that they all come from Korea...

petey
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Jul 6 2007 20:41
Quote:
I have also heard about a dead Indo-arayan language that existed in Mongolia, or somewhere.

that woud be tocharian

Quote:
Also I've heard that they all come from Korea

they don't come from there but korean is distantly related to turkic and finno-ugric languages

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Jul 6 2007 21:28
OliverTwister wrote:
Devrim aren't Finno-Ugric languages somewhat related to Turkic languages?

Also I've heard that they all come from Korea...

I am not sure about this. I think that the idea is a bit controversial. Even if they are they are not closely related.

Of course one could go back to the Sun language theory:

Wiki wrote:
The Sun Language Theory (Turkish: Güneş Dil Kuramı) was a linguistic theory proposing that all human languages are descendants of one Central Asian primal language. The theory further proposed that the only language remaining more or less the same as this primal language is Turkish...Once these works came to the attention of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, he introduced the Sun Language Theory into Turkish political and educational circles in 1935, at the high point of attempts to 'cleanse' the Turkish language of foreign influences.

Devrim

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syndicalistcat
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Jul 6 2007 23:01

a friend of mine who is from Belgrade claims that he has no problem understanding Russian. Macedonian is just a dialect of Bulgarian but the nationalists wanted to say it was a separate language.

a woman i met who is Finnish said she was in Japan as a tourist and went to the Ainu reservations which are on Tokaido in the north of Japan. The Ainu are allegedly the indigenous inhabitants, at lest of northern Japan. She was shocked because she could understand what the Ainu were saying.

Estonian is so close to Finnish that during the Soviet era people in Talinn tuned their TV antennas to pick up Finnish TV from across the Gulf of Finland. I've noticed that often Estonians have Asiatic facial features whereas I've not noticed this so much with the Finns I've met. Finns seem to look like other Scandinavians. The explanation for this is likely to be the same as Devrim's explanation for the similarity in appearance of Turks to Greeks (and Armenians, I'd add), i.e. a conqueror people moves in and intermarries with the conquered.

at this point it's rather misleading to even regard English as a Germanic language. the European language closest to old English is Frisian, which is spoken in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands. but it is said that after the Norman conquest, the Norman-French overlords banned English, and that the language survided as only an oral language spoken by the peasantry. supposedly it was during this period that the language lost its Germanic declensions, as it was sort of pidginized. And then there was a huge absoprtion of French and Latin words. I'm not sure what the exact proportion of Latinate words in English but it is very large.

if you've done translations into other Indo-European languages, you know that other Indo-European languages tend to require more words than English to say the same thing. this reflects the relative simplicity of English syntax.

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Jul 6 2007 23:13
syndicalistcat wrote:
Macedonian is just a dialect of Bulgarian but the nationalists wanted to say it was a separate language.

I can't remember who the quote comes from, but someone said the difference between a language, and a dialect is an army, and a navy.

Are Czech, and Slovak different languges, or merely different dialects?

Is Kurdish one language, or a group of two languages?

To a certain extent these things are politically dominated.

Devrim

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Jul 6 2007 23:21
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I can't remember who the quote comes from, but someone said the difference between a language, and a dialect is an army, and a navy.

Maybe Orwell?

alibadani
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Jul 7 2007 05:46

The whole language thing is tricky. In Anglophone west Africa we all speak the same pidgin based on English. Pidgin is the lingua franca on the street. Anyone from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Anglophone Cameroon can communicate in pidgin. But West African pidgin is not classified as a language, except in Sierra Leone, where the same language is called Creole. The difference: there are no native speakers of the language outside Sierra Leone. Everywhere else it is a second (or third or fourth) language. And who are the native speakers? They are the descendants of freed slaves form the British Caribbean who were sent to Sierra Leone in the 19th century.

The pidgin of the Carribbean is called Patois and is very close (amazingly) to the West African version. For example, the sentence "I am in London" is "I dey for London" in Patois and West African Pidgin. Patois is a language, Creole is a language, but what we speak in Nigeria isn't, that's just a pidgin. Go figure.

I wonder how many languages are actually pidgin in origin. I know that Swahili evolved from a pidgin based on Arabic. I'm guessing French, Italian, Portuguese etc began as Latin pidgins. And maybe English has similar roots. It's all fascinating.

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Jul 7 2007 08:46
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Patois is a language, Creole is a language, but what we speak in Nigeria isn't, that's just a pidgin. Go figure.

I think that there is a distinct difference between the two. I am not sure how it applies to the case you mentioned:

Wiki wrote:
All creoles start as pidgins, rudimentary second languages improvised for use between speakers of two or more non-intelligible native languages. Keith Whinnom (in Hymes 1971) suggests that pidgins need three languages to form, with one (the superstrate) being clearly dominant over the others. The lexicon of a pidgin is usually small and drawn from the vocabularies of its speakers, in varying proportions. Morphological details like word inflections, which usually take years to learn, are omitted; the syntax is kept very simple, usually based on strict word order. In this initial stage, all aspects of the speech — syntax, lexicon, and pronunciation —tend to be quite variable, especially with regard to the speaker's background.

However, if a pidgin manages to be learned by the children of a community as a native language, it usually becomes fixed and acquires a more complex grammar, with fixed phonology, syntax, morphology, and syntactic embedding. The syntax and morphology of such languages may often have local innovations not obviously derived from any of the parent languages.

Pidgins can become full languages in only a single generation. This does not mean that they always do. Tok Pisin, for example, was born as a pidgin and became a stable language after about 90 years. Once formed, creoles can remain as a sort of second, local standard, like the Cape Verdean Creole. Some creoles, like Papiamentu and Tok Pisin, have obtained recognition as official languages. On the other hand, some creoles have been gradually "decreolized" by conforming to a parent language, usually as a result of continuing political dominance, and have become, essentially, a continuum of dialects of the latter. This has happened a little in Hawai'i, and is one theory of the development of African American Vernacular English from Slave English.

alibadani wrote:
I wonder how many languages are actually pidgin in origin. I know that Swahili evolved from a pidgin based on Arabic. I'm guessing French, Italian, Portuguese etc began as Latin pidgins. And maybe English has similar roots. It's all fascinating.

A list is here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic-based_creole_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch-based_creole_languagesno

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English-based_creole_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French-based_creole_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German-based_creole_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay-based_creole_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngbandi-based_creole_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese-based_creole_languages
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish-based_creole_languages

Including this

Wiki wrote:
Unserdeutsch ("Our German"), or Rabaul Creole German, is a creole language spoken primarily in Papua New Guinea and the northeast of Australia. It was formed among the New Guinean children residing in a German-run orphanage. Fewer than 100 native speakers exist today, 15 of whom live in New Britain.

alibadani wrote:
I wonder how many languages are actually pidgin in origin. I know that Swahili evolved from a pidgin based on Arabic. I'm guessing French, Italian, Portuguese etc began as Latin pidgins. And maybe English has similar roots. It's all fascinating.

I don't think that French, Italian, and Portuguese are at all. Maybe it could be argued that English is.

Devrim

bastarx
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Jul 7 2007 08:55

Alibadani, strictly speaking pidgin and creole aren't specific languages but types of languages. A pidgin is the first generation formed when speakers of two or more disimilar languages communicate. They have a fairly limited grammar such that there is a lot of stuff that can be said in 'normal' languages that can't be expressed in pidgin. When children grow up hearing mainly pidgin the language they spontaneously develop is a creole which while simpler in some ways than most other languages can be used to express anything expressible by language. Different creoles all have essentially the same grammar which has been taken as evidence for Chomsky's theory of linguistic innateness.

There's a bit of info on this at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin

Edit: teach my to take too long looking at books for information (Jared Diamond's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee), Devrim beat me to it.

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Jul 7 2007 08:59
Peter wrote:
Different creoles all have essentially the same grammar which has been taken as evidence for Chomsky's theory of linguistic innateness.

I think that this is a bit debateable, Peter.
Devrim

bastarx
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Jul 7 2007 09:18

On the Slavic languages, I wonder if they are mutually intelligible or not depending on generation. People in any Slavophone country who were schooled from roughly 45-89 would most likely have studied Russian so knowing two Slavic languages from different families (except for Ukrainians and Belarussians, whose languages are quite close to Russian) would have made any third one a fair bit easier. Now I imagine English is the foreign language that is mainly taught in school and thus younger people would find it harder to understand other Slavic languages.

Before there were nation states in the Balkans (less than 200 years ago) there would have been much more regional variation in language and virtually the only literate people were priests but they read/wrote in Old Church Slavonic rather than the vernacular. As Serbia became independent there was a concerted campaign to develop a singular national language. A guy called Vuk Karadzic decided that the eastern Hercegovinian variant of Serbian was the most pure - ie least corrupted by the Turkish overlords - and it became official Serbian. He also developed the written form of Serbian and did a pretty good job as it has one of the most phonetic spellings of any language in the world.

This state manipulation of Balkan Slavic languages has continued into recent times too. When Croatia was newly independent the government tried to replace foreign words with ones derived from Croatian root words so for eg 'aerodrom ' became 'zrakoplovna luka = airswimmer harbour' and 'telefon' became 'brzoglas = fast voice'. The Bosnian Serb statelet failed miserably in trying to get its subjects to speak Ekavski, the Serbian version of Serbo-Croatian, instead of Jekavski which is the version spoken in Bosnia and Croatia.

bastarx
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Jul 7 2007 10:22
Devrim wrote:
Peter wrote:
Different creoles all have essentially the same grammar which has been taken as evidence for Chomsky's theory of linguistic innateness.

I think that this is a bit debateable, Peter.
Devrim

Jared Diamond wrote on p.143 of "Rise and Fall..."

Quote:
What is striking is that the linguistic outcomes of all these independent natural experiments share so many similarities, both in what they lack and in what they posess. On the negative side, creoles are simpler than normal languages in that they usually lack conjugations of verbs for tense and person, declensions of nouns for case and number, most prepositions, distinctions between events in the past and present, and agreement of words for gender. On the positive side, creoles are advanced over pidgins in many respects: consistent worder; singular and plural pronouns for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons; relative clauses; indications of the anterior tense (describing actions occuring before before the time under discussion, whether or not that time is present); and particles or auxiliary verbs preceding the main verb and indicating negation, anterior tense, conditional mood, and continuing as opposed to completed actions. Furthermore, most creoles agree in placing a sentence's subject, verb and object in that particular order, and also agree in the order of particles or auxiliaries preceding the main verb.

The factors responsible for this remarkable convergence are still controversial among linguists...The interpretation I find most convincing is that of linguist Derek Bickerton, who views many of the similarities among creoles as a result of a human genetic blueprint for language.

However Diamond is not a linguist and I'm even less of one.

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Jul 7 2007 11:10

I think that there is a bit of a difference between:

Peter wrote:
Different creoles all have essentially the same grammar
Diamond wrote:
all these independent natural experiments share so many similarities

What is 'Rise and Fall...'? I think I have read most of his popular work, and haven't heard of this. Maybe, it had a different title 'down under'.

Devrim

bastarx
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Jul 8 2007 02:52
Devrim wrote:
I think that there is a bit of a difference between:
Peter wrote:
Different creoles all have essentially the same grammar
Diamond wrote:
all these independent natural experiments share so many similarities

What is 'Rise and Fall...'? I think I have read most of his popular work, and haven't heard of this. Maybe, it had a different title 'down under'.

Devrim

Yes you are right. I overstated my case initially, based more on my memory of having read the book years ago than when I re-read the relevant section last night.

The book is called "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee". Here it is at Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-Fall-Third-Chimpanzee/dp/0099913801

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Jul 8 2007 04:01

Yes, I read the book, but even longer ago:

Quote:
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (ISBN 0-06-098403-1), originally published in English in 1992,
A second edition was published in 2004 as The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee: Evolution and Human Life, and a later edition in 2006 entitled The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal.

Did you read any of his others?
Devrim

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jef costello
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Dec 1 2007 01:58

French Italian and Portuguese are all dialects of Latin, I believe the difference between portuguese and spanish is the influence of arabic but I could be remembering badly.
I can tell you that 800 years ago Italian French and spanish were mutually comprehensible (with a little effort and by the educated) as far as they can be said to have existed as languages. Occitan poets (modern southern France) were famed in Italy and catalonia as well as in France.

petey
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Dec 1 2007 17:47
jef costello wrote:
French Italian and Portuguese are all dialects of Latin, I believe the difference between portuguese and spanish is the influence of arabic but I could be remembering badly.

well not dialects but descendants of latin, and portuguese is not specially influenced by arabic, tho' spanish has some arabic vocabulary.

sorry, er, this is what i teach

martinh
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Dec 1 2007 22:19
syndicalistcat wrote:
at this point it's rather misleading to even regard English as a Germanic language. the European language closest to old English is Frisian, which is spoken in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands. but it is said that after the Norman conquest, the Norman-French overlords banned English, and that the language survided as only an oral language spoken by the peasantry. supposedly it was during this period that the language lost its Germanic declensions, as it was sort of pidginized. And then there was a huge absoprtion of French and Latin words. I'm not sure what the exact proportion of Latinate words in English but it is very large.

if you've done translations into other Indo-European languages, you know that other Indo-European languages tend to require more words than English to say the same thing. this reflects the relative simplicity of English syntax.

English is a Germanic language. There are no common words in English derived from Norman French, it is only used in legal and archaic terms, as befits something that was only spoken by the ruling elite. But you are right that English evolved from a pdigin, it's just that it was of Old Norse and Old Anglo-Saxon. Pidgins always simplify grammar by using things like compound tense forms. And differentiated declensions are not unique to Germanic languages - they exist in French, Italian and Spanish, but don't in Norwegian. There used to be more difference in English, which can still be heard in archaic language (such as the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible, e.g. thou shalt not kill).

I've known some people from the north east coast of England who can understand spoken Dutch, Frisian or Norwegian, but only some can do this. IT also makes sense in that the areas settled by the Norse were those, while the Saxons were generally in the south and west.

It's also worth pointing out that the opposite sometimes applies - people often struggle understanding accents from different regions, Glasgow, and Newcastle, are normally the ones that people in the south struggle with. I know Americans struggle with my London accent.

Regards,

Martin

petey
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Dec 1 2007 23:04
martinh wrote:
I've known some people from the north east coast of England who can understand spoken Dutch, Frisian or Norwegian, but only some can do this.

really? frisian maybe, but norwegian?

Mark.
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Dec 2 2007 16:56
newyawka wrote:
jef costello wrote:
French Italian and Portuguese are all dialects of Latin, I believe the difference between portuguese and spanish is the influence of arabic but I could be remembering badly.

well not dialects but descendants of latin, and portuguese is not specially influenced by arabic, tho' spanish has some arabic vocabulary.

sorry, er, this is what i teach

Portuguese has vocabulary from Arabic as well. Spanish developed in an area of northern Spain next to the Basque country and some of the differences with Portuguese, at least in pronunciation, are supposed to be because of the influence of Basque.

petey
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Dec 2 2007 18:26
JH wrote:
Portuguese has vocabulary from Arabic as well.

oh i'm sure it does, but that's not what distinguishes it from castillian.

JH wrote:
Spanish developed in an area of northern Spain next to the Basque country and some of the differences with Portuguese, at least in pronunciation, are supposed to be because of the influence of Basque.

well, i dunno, gallego developed next to basque country but it's close to portuguese. (i like gallego becuase it seems to have preserved unchanged some latin phonology that make it easy for me to read.)

Mark.
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Dec 2 2007 20:17
newyawka wrote:
well, i dunno, gallego developed next to basque country but it's close to portuguese.

Galicia is quite a long way from the Basque country - separated by Asturias, with its own dialect, and Cantabria, where most people speak what sounds to me very standard Spanish. Gallego is pretty much a dialect of Portuguese - if you can read and understand Portuguese you can understand Gallego too. A google search with preferences set to Portuguese only brings up results in Gallego as well - I find myself reading something, thinking the spelling is a bit strange and then realising its in Gallego.