Cornish Anarchists / Cornish Autonomists?

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Salvoechea
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Aug 13 2008 17:17

If you could read spanish or catalan, you could check www.negrestempestes.org
Negres Tempestes is a catalan anarchist group which claims a respect for the catalan culture and language among anarchists. Well, they are kind of anarcho-independentists. They'd like an hypotetically independence of Catalonia, but they'd fight for a libertarian communist Catalonia. They won't support a supposed Catalan state. There are other groups like that or like Breton in Canary Islands (a spanish colony), Basque Country (a place with a big identitarian feeling) and Galicia, Aragon... In fact half of Spain is a quite "anti-spanish".

In the world it's quite common in indigenous struggles to claim for their cultural rights while not claiming for an own state. Examples are Kabilia in Algeria, Mapucheland in Chile and Argentina... and other american indian nations.

martinh
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Aug 13 2008 21:03

Something I overlooked before

cornubian wrote:
Low wages, unskilled Mac Jobs, poverty, social problems, and rocketing housing prices are the often hidden face of the optimistically named “English” Rivera

The English Riviera is Torbay, which is in Devon. Even on a micro-scale nationalism shows its imperialist face wink

The rest of the quote is equally true of Torbay, though.

Regards,

Martin

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Django
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Aug 14 2008 22:38
Salvoechea wrote:
If you could read spanish or catalan, you could check www.negrestempestes.org
Negres Tempestes is a catalan anarchist group which claims a respect for the catalan culture and language among anarchists. Well, they are kind of anarcho-independentists. They'd like an hypotetically independence of Catalonia, but they'd fight for a libertarian communist Catalonia. They won't support a supposed Catalan state. There are other groups like that or like Breton in Canary Islands (a spanish colony), Basque Country (a place with a big identitarian feeling) and Galicia, Aragon... In fact half of Spain is a quite "anti-spanish".

In the world it's quite common in indigenous struggles to claim for their cultural rights while not claiming for an own state. Examples are Kabilia in Algeria, Mapucheland in Chile and Argentina... and other american indian nations.

Nationalism without a state should still be combated. If people in Scotland here started flying Scottish flags with cricle-a's on them they'd be criticised ruthlessly, and rightly.

ernie
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Aug 15 2008 10:05

Django, I totally agree with you. This micro nationalist propaganda is reaching ludicrous levels. In Devon you now have people flying the 'Devon' flag, but this is the logic of all this nationalism and the ruling class is more than happy to watch the population dividing itself up county by county.

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Tojiah
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Aug 15 2008 11:14

The ruling class is happy, but why do the proles play along?

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Django
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Aug 15 2008 11:37
tojiah wrote:
The ruling class is happy, but why do the proles play along?

I finished reading David Harvey's A Brief History of Neoliberalism recently, and one of the more interesting sections was his discussion of the resurgence of nationalism as a reaction to the attack on the postwar settlement and the social atomisation associated with it. I think this is accurate, along with the spead of identity politics in the wake of attacks on workers' ability to make class demands. He talks about the "social anarchy" associated with neoliberalism, i.e. increased crime, unemployment, casualisation, precarity and the instability it breeds needing a corrective acceptable to the bourgeoisie, and nationalism has always provided that. Hence the neoliberal oscillation between imperialist jingoism and the identitarian nationalism of official multiculturalism.

Harvey is a social democrat, but its an interesting and comprehensive book, and I recommend it.

Personalist
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Aug 15 2008 12:13
gwry wrote:
It would seem the anarchist position on culture and ethnicity is, non- western culture good, western-culture bad. Which is equally bad as the BNP line.

I don't remember in the 70's and 80's any anarchists taking the piss out of Irish republicans when they finished meetings with a flurry of Irish. Although issue was certainly taken with political aspects of the war in the North.

No there is nothing wrong with Cornish" people" getting a greater sense of who they are, it isn't anarchism though.Mebyon Kernow are hardly going to start goose-stepping around Truro smashing up English people.But if anarchists are going to uncritically support aboriginal and indiginous groups throughout the world then the same applies here in Britain. Which is where the BNP come in. Well done nice middle class lefties, you played stright into the far-rights hands.The left has done so much to destroy the concept of class, in order to replace it with ethnicity and gender, that it is not surprising that people turn to the certanties of nationalism and religion, in the absence of solid class orientated libertarian alternantives.

What he said.

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Django
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Aug 15 2008 12:28
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gwry wrote:

It would seem the anarchist position on culture and ethnicity is, non- western culture good, western-culture bad. Which is equally bad as the BNP line.

I don't remember in the 70's and 80's any anarchists taking the piss out of Irish republicans when they finished meetings with a flurry of Irish. Although issue was certainly taken with political aspects of the war in the North.

No there is nothing wrong with Cornish" people" getting a greater sense of who they are, it isn't anarchism though.Mebyon Kernow are hardly going to start goose-stepping around Truro smashing up English people.But if anarchists are going to uncritically support aboriginal and indiginous groups throughout the world then the same applies here in Britain. Which is where the BNP come in. Well done nice middle class lefties, you played stright into the far-rights hands.The left has done so much to destroy the concept of class, in order to replace it with ethnicity and gender, that it is not surprising that people turn to the certanties of nationalism and religion, in the absence of solid class orientated libertarian alternantives.

Personalist
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Aug 15 2008 12:29

To be fair, the breakdown of the state through so-called "micro-nationalism" would almost certainly lead to an anarchist society as smaller social groups tend to equalise wealth and power. Which is not to say I support it. However it is simply incorrect to state that patriotism always supports ruling-class interests. There is a difference between the nation and the state. I personally agree with James Connolly and Michael Bakunin on the issue of patriotism and nationalism. I think the break-down of a British identity presents radical horizons that the left are for the most part failing to appreciate. However, our most pressing practical commitment should be to internationalism and working-class unity.

Gramsci said though, and as we've seen in the past in Ireland for instance, the development is towards internationalism but the starting point is the nation. The great liberation struggle in Ireland has been a testament to this. A struggle, of course which goes on. Operation Banner was ended; however, there are still 5,000 "peacekeeping' troops in the occupied counties.

Anyway, as Kropotkin said in "Finland: A Raising Nationality": "…a national movement, which does not include in its platform the demand for an economical change advantageous to the masses has no chance of success unless supported by foreign aid." So working-class patriotism, as Connolly always said, actually finds its ultimate expression in socialism.

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OliverTwister
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Aug 15 2008 17:01
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To be fair, the breakdown of the state through so-called "micro-nationalism" would almost certainly lead to an anarchist society as smaller social groups tend to equalise wealth and power.

Like in Yugoslavia?

petey
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Aug 15 2008 17:13
Salvoechea wrote:
identitarian feeling

i've never seen that phrase, very useful

Mark.
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Aug 16 2008 21:18
Salvoechea wrote:
If you could read spanish or catalan, you could check www.negrestempestes.org
Negres Tempestes is a catalan anarchist group which claims a respect for the catalan culture and language among anarchists. Well, they are kind of anarcho-independentists. They'd like an hypotetically independence of Catalonia, but they'd fight for a libertarian communist Catalonia. They won't support a supposed Catalan state. There are other groups like that or like Breton in Canary Islands (a spanish colony), Basque Country (a place with a big identitarian feeling) and Galicia, Aragon... In fact half of Spain is a quite "anti-spanish".

For anyone who can read Spanish there's an interview with Negres Tempestes at http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/?q=node/8111

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cornubian
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Sep 17 2009 07:52

Kernow Action Now!. Social and environmental direct action for Kernow.

The below is from some Breton friends: Huch! Collectif anarcho-indépendantist Breton.

Quote:
Due to their specific culture, their History, their languages, their feeling of common belonging, Bretons indeed are a people. Every people has a right to exist as such. We are therefore for independence of Brittany, in order to take our future in hand, to develop our languages and our culture and to repair the damage done by French colonialism : loss of our culture, of our languages, total dependence to the state… We want to be actors and actresses of our own History.
France as it is presented to us does not exist. Its national conception eclipses our identity, in spite of the principles it is supposed to be based on. It is a political project leading to standardisation, subservience of peoples and centralisation of competencies. In Brittany and elsewhere, the French state has always behaved as a colonialist state :
- economically (fisheries management, agriculture, industries, …)
- socially (job centres, unemployed people forced to accept unfair contracts under the threat of cutting off of their unemployment benefit,…)
- politically (centralisation of power and decision-making structures in Paris, without local consultation,…)
- as regards military affairs (JAPD, planned repartition of occupation forces, …)
-as well as in all other fields (energy sources and production, education, …).
We are internationalists
… and therefore we stand by other struggling (either socially or for national liberation) peoples and are conscious that fighting for an anarchist Brittany can only be conceived in the framework of a battle fought at world level. With this aim, the Breton fight constitutes a spark which can induce others, in particular as regards emancipation struggles which are a potential pool for radical social changes.
As regards languages, the Breton people as a whole, due to the French language-killing and standardising policy, now speaks French. We are therefore not against the French language, but Breton and Gallo now must take again the place they lost in society, education, the media,.. We are in favour of a multilingual society, in which all languages brought here by immigration will have their place, without exclusion.
Anarchists
Our struggle is in the continuity of the social emancipation movement born with the Industrial Revolution. For us, national liberation cannot be achieved without a collective and individual liberation. Nevertheless, we do not favour any struggle more than another.
The state, in spite of what it pretends, is a tool that works inevitably against peoples and individuals.
Taking care of one’s affairs means not leaving anyone else (elected people, cops, prefects, ..) decide in our place. Whether for social, economy, international relations, ecology…or for everyday life in which laws are repressive tools which prevent the individual from deciding what is good for him / her. We are therefore in favour of a functioning which starts from the people : village, commune, group, country assemblies, which make it possible for every individual can express him / herself and for every idea to be debated with all to reach a consensus, in order to take everybody’s interests into account.
So far, all models which were imposed on us failed (capitalism, Eastern socialism, electoral democracies, …). It is consequently time to imagine and build a new society on human, collective, non-speculative and non-authoritarian bases.
An anarchist Brittany is resolutely against capitalism, authoritarianism and fascism. Because the law of markets is only beneficial to a handful of individuals who exploit the rest of the population and natural resources, we are against all forms of patronat and for the re-appropriation of production tools by those who try to set up self management and produce only what is necessary. Let’s break the productivist logic, which only aim is profit !The cultural standardisation of people answers the needs for standardisation and control of consumption of exploiters. This logic leads to intolerance.
For us, independence means opening towards the others. We won’t erect frontiers and reject the other. Brittany is multiple and multicultural and we are conscious that it is through this cultural diversity that peoples go forward. We stand against every form of chauvinism. Be Breton does not mean being born in Brittany or bearing a Breton name. Be Breton can mean choosing to participate in Breton collective life, in initiatives and decisions, being present in the assemblies.
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Joseph Kay
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Sep 17 2009 09:20
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We are internationalists … and therefore we stand by other struggling (either socially or for national liberation) peoples

you see this is the problem with this whole thing. internationalism does not mean 'nations' struggling for 'liberation' everywhere

Wellclose Square
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Sep 18 2009 19:10

I vaguely remember an issue of Workers' Playtime having a critique of the concept of internationalism (presumably its implicit acceptance of the legitimacy of separate nations) - the phrase 'internazis' was even used in one 'post-situ' pamphlet. There was also a Scandinavian-based Situationist Antinational.

kan
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Sep 21 2009 06:56

Hi,

Just a very quick comment from Kernow Action Now! to clarify our position.

We are an anarchist group in Cornwall (Kernow) rather than 'Cornish Anarchists'. We have been involved in the wider anarchist struggles across the country and the world and just want to see more work from an anarchist perspective where we live.

Currently, none of our group are even 'proper-Cornish', we are all in-comers.

Where we see groups that have broadly libertarian aims we will work with them but will continue to critique/debate.

Thanks

http://kernowaction.wordpress.com

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orthodoxyproxy
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Sep 21 2011 13:20

Hey,

I'm from Cornwall and can sympathise with what the original post was trying to iterate.
Cornubian, the whole Cornish autonomous / anarchist argument is one I think, quite compelling. Reading the history of Spain during the civil war period backs a lot of what you say. The most North-Eastern provinces of Catalonia during 1936-39 indicates that anarchism is most successfully utlised when the populace is inspired by regional unity and a common enemy - in Catalonia's case: the fascist blue shirts under Franco.

The History of Cornwall through the ages enamates a certain class struggle that the subscribers of libcom write about with such appraisal and conviction. Indeed, the Cornish rebellion of 1497 could be viewed by the modern historian as a primitive attempt to wage class war against the ruling class of London. However, I do understand the point of the opposing clique who view Cornish nationalism, the over-admiration of a misty celtic past as inherently opposed to the ideology of anarchism in that the words "parliament", "government" and "country" are not abolished but simply devolved to allow grassroot growth of culture, sense of identity and celtic revival to play out within the peninsula of Cornwall. Which isn't, according to the anarcho-communists 'real' anarchism - in fact perhaps quite the opposite!

From my readings of the history to the contemporary practice of anarchism, one thing remains uniform within its diverse interwoven fabric. That is anarchism has seldom if ever originated as a mass movement preaching centralisation with a focus on territory and political subordination - with the possible omission of anarcho-communism which seeks centralisation of peoples within a class scope. This is, to me at least which illustrates the historic divide between the two ideologies of Communism and Anarchism in that communism seeks unity amongst the working class first to overthrow the ruling class thereby liberating themselves from their chains and claiming ownership of production while anarchism addresses the philosophic notions of government absolutely, often resulting in the conclusion that only individuals themselves are capable of assaying out what they feel is justifiable and what is to be accepted or ignored.

Returning to the concept embodied within the OP, Cornish-ness, like English-ness, British-ness and so on must be understood as an identity in that an individual or group identify with the said label and seek aknowledgement as such. I much admire Aristotle (I believe) who when asked what his nationality was replied "I am a citizen of the world". It is admirable, but sadly perhaps even now is rooted within a euphoric sense of idealism in that on this earth there are many languages, many geographical locations and many peoples - it would simply be erroneous to claim kinship with all.

The 21st century (to me at least) signals an interesting time. For now, difference is orthodoxly celebrated on an international level. Institutions such the United Nations indicate a real move and desire toward viewing the world on a macro and universal level - no matter if you be black, white, Russian or Korean we are closer to Aristotle's proclamation of being 'citizens of the world' now then perhaps ever before. Within this understanding we should not place such great emphasis on identity as these labels present itself within day to day social interaction regardless. It is to my understanding that we should celebrate the sheer brilliance and potential of being human above all other sub-divides.

Humanity is finding its feet.

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KriegPhilosophy
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Oct 5 2011 11:28
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Says the spotty teenager who, when he grows up will, like most anarchists I've ever met, follow his dad into the business. Sheash I think I'm probably the only one here from a working class family.

What's wrong with working in a family business if you convert it to a workers co-op?

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Oct 5 2011 13:39
Tacks wrote:
cornubian wrote:
What a sad almost fascist contempt you show for non English cultures that share this Island with you.

can you explain it though? can you actually tell me why you have adopted the (european?) alphabet only to turn any purpose of doing so on its head by putting all the consonants together?

this is how you spell hello in arabic, an actual language with its own alphabet:

Salaam Alekum

you know how it sounds?

its sounds like

Salaam Alekum

cos they spell it phonetically when using this alphabet. European languages do too, with some slight regional variance. So whats so specail about you?

You utter bell end wall English spelling is not anywhere near phonetic, so there's no reason why any other language should be... apart from the fact that... it'd make life a lot easier.

Anyway, how do you know that Cornish is less phonetically spelled than non-phonetic English? What you should be arguing is Cornish speakers should use this:

and so should English speakers, if you're not a nationalist wink

Also, basic English is not easier to learn than Esperanto. Basic English lacks necessary complexity and flexibility for complex discourse, whereas with Esperanto, you can be as complex and flexible as you like.

So learn Esperanto, if you're not a nationalist twisted

Oh yeah, salaam aleykum would be closer.

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Oct 5 2011 14:03
Tacks wrote:
this is how you spell hello in arabic, an actual language with its own alphabet:

Salaam Alekum

you know how it sounds?

its sounds like

Salaam Alekum

It is written السلام عليكم, and is generally transliterated as 'As-Salamu Alaykum'.

Serge Forward wrote:
You utter bell end English spelling is not anywhere near phonetic, so there's no reason why any other language should be... apart from the fact that... it'd make life a lot easier.

Modern Turkish is completely phonetic, which is due to the fact that it was 'invented' in the 1920s. In some ways making English phonetic would be an improvement. However, it would cause other problems. The most obvious of which is that the English past tense suffix '-ed' has three different pronunciations, and would therefore have three different spellings.

Devrim

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Oct 5 2011 15:21
Devrim wrote:
Tacks wrote:
this is how you spell hello in arabic, an actual language with its own alphabet:

Salaam Alekum

you know how it sounds?

its sounds like

Salaam Alekum

It is written السلام عليكم, and is generally transliterated as 'As-Salamu Alaykum'.

Serge Forward wrote:
You utter bell end English spelling is not anywhere near phonetic, so there's no reason why any other language should be... apart from the fact that... it'd make life a lot easier.

Modern Turkish is completely phonetic, which is due to the fact that it was 'invented' in the 1920s. In some ways making English phonetic would be an improvement. However, it would cause other problems. The most obvious of which is that the English past tense suffix '-ed' has three different pronunciations, and would therefore have three different spellings.

Devrim

why not switching to another writing system and abandon the Latin alphabet? smile ... in principal, you can apply every language to every writing system sometimes, the traditional one is not the most suitable, e.g. the linguist Harald Haarmann suggested, that the Cyrillic alphabet is far more suitable for Portuguese than the Latin alphabet

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Devrim
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Oct 5 2011 18:21
Entdinglichung wrote:
why not switching to another writing system and abandon the Latin alphabet? smile ... in principal, you can apply every language to every writing system sometimes, the traditional one is not the most suitable, e.g. the linguist Harald Haarmann suggested, that the Cyrillic alphabet is far more suitable for Portuguese than the Latin alphabet

This is what Turkish did. One of the reasons that was given was that the Ottoman, Arabic based, script didn't have enough vowels (it had only three), whereas modern Turkish has eight vowel sounds, which the new, Latin based, script accommodates.

Of course it was probably made a lot easier by the fact that the change took place before mass literacy.

I believe Azeri has changed changed script three times since the 1920s the most recent being the switch back to Latin after the break up of the USSR.

Devrim

wojtek
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Oct 6 2011 01:37

lol at Cornish nationalism, I thought that was just a myth!

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Arbeiten
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Oct 6 2011 01:57

Nice one on picking up on that Serge, only three years too late mind wink. And extra kudos to Devrim. I wish European languages were phonetic. Then I would have learnt one. French was my bug bear when I was younger*, oui is about as far away from phonetic as you can get (the same for a plethora of french words and names etc,...Gilles.....GILLES! for instance).

Quote:
lol at Cornish nationalism, I thought that was just a myth!

Oh yeah, they fly a friggin' black flag too! roll eyes

The Cornish National Liberation Army have given Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver some hassle too

*that said, in my old age I realize it has nothing to do with the language and everything to do with my ignorance

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Oct 6 2011 02:22
Arbeiten wrote:
oui is about as far away from phonetic as you can get

Not really, if you remember that almost every language that isn't english pronounces I as eee*. Oh-oo-ee. Weee.

*And U as oo. While oo is oh...

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Arbeiten
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Oct 6 2011 02:24

Pikel, I was sort of hoping to have a little sarcastic riff on the relativity of phonetics there, but, thanks wink.

bastarx
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Oct 6 2011 06:02
Arbeiten wrote:
Nice one on picking up on that Serge, only three years too late mind wink. And extra kudos to Devrim. I wish European languages were phonetic. Then I would have learnt one. French was my bug bear when I was younger*, oui is about as far away from phonetic as you can get (the same for a plethora of french words and names etc,...Gilles.....GILLES! for instance).

Serbo-Croatian is phonetic. I'm pretty sure all the other Slavic languages are too and Italian as well.

Serbian was standardised in the early 1800s by a guy called Vuk Karadzic. It was easy for him to make changes because in those days pretty much the only literate Serbs were priests and monks and they used Old Church Slavonic.

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Oct 6 2011 09:54

Kinnell, I didn't realise how old this thread was!

Watch this space. Discussion will be concluded in 2015, probably.

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Oct 6 2011 10:06
Arbeiten wrote:
Pikel, I was sort of hoping to have a little sarcastic riff on the relativity of phonetics there, but, thanks wink.

wall you're too sophisticated for me.

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Entdinglichung
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Oct 6 2011 10:16
Devrim wrote:
Entdinglichung wrote:
why not switching to another writing system and abandon the Latin alphabet? smile ... in principal, you can apply every language to every writing system sometimes, the traditional one is not the most suitable, e.g. the linguist Harald Haarmann suggested, that the Cyrillic alphabet is far more suitable for Portuguese than the Latin alphabet

This is what Turkish did. One of the reasons that was given was that the Ottoman, Arabic based, script didn't have enough vowels (it had only three), whereas modern Turkish has eight vowel sounds, which the new, Latin based, script accommodates.

Of course it was probably made a lot easier by the fact that the change took place before mass literacy.

I believe Azeri has changed changed script three times since the 1920s the most recent being the switch back to Latin after the break up of the USSR.

Devrim

I know ... the Volga Tatar language changed its writing system several times between 1920 and today which did not help its speakers, literacy among Volga Tatars around 1917 was higher than e.g. among Russian speakers but administrative changes first inside the arabic writing system and than first to latin and than to Cyrillic caused much confusion