This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
A Libertarian Approach to Natural Languages Summer School- Insubria University – July 2007 School of Law Dr. Paolo L. Bernardini firstname.lastname@example.org Boston University – University of Insubria (Italy) Abstract This paper offers a comparative view upon two natural or quasi-natural languages. The first is “Lingua franca”, a pidgin used by sailors, merchants, and pirates, from the late Middle Ages until the mid of the 19th century. The second is “Spanglish”, the combination of English and Spanish which is now so popular in the USA. I will argue that those languages are spontaneous creations of human in order to foster, in a state-free situation, their intercultural communication. They serve as an example of how peoples can interact, linguistically, with each other, without being channeled by national languages. I argue that this sort of communication is not only freer, but more “human” and straight goal-oriented that the usual communication by State-driven, State-constructed, languages.
… For legislation may also deliberately or accidentally disrupt homogeneity by destroying established rules and by nullifying existing conventions and agreements that have hitherto been voluntarily accepted and kept. Even more disruptive is the fact that the very possibility of nullifying agreements and conventions through supervening legislation tends in the long run to induce people to fail to rely on any existing conventions or to keep any accepted agreements. On the other hand, the continual change of rules brought about by inflated legislation prevents it from replacing successfully and enduringly the set of nonlegislative rules (usages, conventions, agreements) that happen to be destroyed in the process. Bruno Leoni, Freedom and the Law (Princeton, 1961). Online at www.libertyfund.org On the night of September 27, 1760, a large ship was wrecked on the rocks at Penzance in Cornwall. When dawn came the local citizens found on the beach a group of strangelooking men wearing turbans. The ship was an Algerian xebecque or corsair, and had carried 220 men. The Algerians feared that they landed in Spain, where slavery would have been their lot; they were overjoyed to learn that this was not the case, and exclaimed: "Inglaterra! Inglaterra! bona Inglaterra!" Someone remembered that there was in town a certain Mr. Mitchell who had been in the Levant trade and might be able to talk to the Algerians. He was accordingly fetched; and as he did indeed have some knowledge of the Lingua Franca, he was able to serve as interpreter […] it is an indication of the importance of the Lingua Franca at that time that there should be, in a provincial town such as Penzance, someone able to speak it. This was probably the only occasion when the Lingua Franca was spoken in Cornwall, and one of the few times it was ever spoken outside the Mediterranean area. But in the ports along eastern and southern coasts of the Mediterranean the Lingua Franca was for centuries the principal language used for communication between Europeans and the local populations.
Coates quoted by Zago, see 22.214.171.124. below
0. This paper has been presented and discussed in Como, Italy, at the 2007 Summer School in Comparative Law, July 16-20, devoted to “Multiculturalism”. I wish to thank Prof. Barbara Pozzo (Insubria University, Como) and Prof. John Valery White (Dean, School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas) for having invited me to deliver a lecture and for their most helpful criticism during a very challenging Summer School on the beautiful shores of Lake Como.
1. This paper is entitled From “Lingua Franca” to “Spanglish”. A Libertarian Approach to Natural Languages. As a matter of fact, some of the terms used in the title may not be familiar, or at least not be familiar to everyone, so I will proceed here below to a brief clarification of them. 1.1. Lingua franca is pidgin, or jargon, used in the Mediterranean from the late Middle Ages until the first decades of the 19th century. For the definition of “pidgin” and/or jargon, in relation to the “Lingua Franca”, see the opening paragraphs of Alan Corré, “A Glossary of Lingua Franca”, in http://www.uwm.edu/~corre/franca/edition2/lingua.2.html 1.1.1. While the origins of the term “franca” are not clear – nor relevant to my discourse – it must be said beforehand that there are very few written documents of this language, so that for a linguist its reconstruction is very difficult. The lack of written documents almost always doom entire languages, often spoken by entire civilizations, to disappear. 1.1.2. “Lingua franca” was used among the mercantile communities of the Mediterranean, mainly for purposes of trade. 1.1.3. Its grammar is very simple. There are several dictionaries of “Lingua Franca” printed after its death, as well as one dated 1830, which was compiled while “Lingua Franca” was still in use (also called petit Mauresque). 1.1.4. In the “Lingua Franca” several languages, as to include Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish, Venetian, Dalmatian, as well as other mainly Mediterranean languages, provide words, occasionally used in couples (one Latin and one Arabic to mean the same concept). 1.1.5. Among its other features, “Lingua Franca” has a very simplified structure, both in the grammar and in the syntax, for instance, verbs are normally used in the infinitive form. 1.1.6. It is worth nothing that the use of verbs in infinitive forms is constantly referred, by the common usage and mentality, to foreigners and/or babies, who are for different reasons “beginners” in the use of the language. For instance, as for Italian”, “io volere mangiare”; “tu andare a dormire”: “I – to want- to eat” “You – to go – to sleep”.
1.2. “Spanglish” is a word (language) created by combining “Spanish” and “English” (Stavans also created the synonym: espanglés), as to indicate a language now commonly used in the USA, dating back, in its origins, to twenty years ago. Contrary to “Lingua Franca”, it is a living language, i.e., people and groups speak commonly Spanglish. There also are few literary examples of “Spanglish”, such as poems, short novels, and other forms of writing. 1.2.1. There are several works and dictionary devoted to “Spanglish”, the most important and among the most recent, being Ilan Stavans, Spanglish. The Making of a New American Language, New York: Harper and Collins, 2003. 1.2.2. Also in Spanglish grammar is very simplified, and its a combination of Spanish and English grammar. The same applies to syntax. 1.3. “Libertarian approach” means that I will follow my school of thought while “approaching” (i.e., giving the first hints and tracks for a more complete and detailed research to come). My school of thought, or point of ideological reference, or background, is the “libertarian” or “classical-liberal”. 1.3.1. This is the school of thought whose founding fathers are Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, whose contemporary harbingers are H. H. Hoppe, Pascal Salin, Anthony De Jasay, and several other economists, philosophers, political thinkers, historians. 1.3.2. Think tanks whose credo can be defined as “classical-liberal” (as to distinguish itself from simply “liberal”, which in fact means the contrary as “libertarian”) are the Ludwig von Mises Institute (www.mises.org) in the USA and in Italy the Istituto Bruno Leoni (www.brunoleoni.com). There are quite a few libertarian think tanks all over the world. 1.3.3. In Italy, the main thinkers belonging to the school and still active are Carlo Lottieri, Alberto Mingardi, Carlo Stagnaro, Marco Bassani, Nicola Iannello, Sergio Ricossa, and several others, including myself (Paolo Bernardini). 1.3.4. While it is difficult to summarize the libertarian credo in few paragraphs, it must be said that it is against the State as political entity, in favor of the individuals, free-market, absolute freedom, and communities out of free choice, and the rule of law. 1.3.5. As such, libertarian thought provides good instruments to approach the “natural languages” as spontaneous, not State-driven or authoritarian formations. 1.4. “Natural languages” is used here in a slightly peculiar, technical meaning, as not “State-driven”, authoritarian languages, imposed somewhat ex alto. Examples of “State-driven” languages are Armenian, for instance, as it was
created in vitro, to serve the purpose of a Nation-State in the antiquity; also, partially, modern Hebrew, re-created in vitro to serve the purpose of the first Jewish settlements in Palestine 19th-20th century and then being made the official language of the State of Israel (1948-). 1.4.1. “State-driven” languages include also Italian. It was not created in vitro to serve the purpose of a State by Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio, in the 13th century, but was forcibly adopted and imposed upon a different (linguistically speaking) population, when the modern Italian State was created in 1859. Six centuries after its innocent creation. 1.4.2. “Natural languages” properly speaking are those which use gestures, the language of animals and kids, and other languages properly belonging to nature, such as the rather complicated language of the whales. On “natural languages” there is a huge amount of literature, still being useful that related to the Herder-Mondobbo controversy in the 18th century. 1.4.3. That said, a more accurate analysis – performed by a linguist and not by a political theorist – to the “Lingua Franca” and to “Spanglish”, might bear as a consequence the findings of some structural and/or more subtle resemblance between those languages and the “natural languages” properly speaking. This goes however beyond my limits as a scholar, as well as the limits of this paper. 2. “Lingua franca” can be considered as a “free language”, or else as a “language bearing strong traits of freedom”, or else as “language pointing at freedom/based upon freedom”, or finally as a “language of free choice”. 2.1. For the sake of this paper, we stipulate that “freedom” is “a situation of absolute absence of State constrains and restrains, and relative absence of States”. 2.1.1. As to clarify, in the case of the “Lingua franca”, States do not impose their control on the language, in all its aspects. 126.96.36.199.Aspects of a language, or element, in abstracto, of a language, are in general its origins, its codification, its development, the creation of a canon of its writers (the writers who, by using it, develop/mold it); the control over its use, and others. 2.1.2. An example of State-control of the use of a language: sanctions against those who at school, in writings, somewhere else, infringe upon the rules (complex, from dictionary to grammar and syntax). 2.1.3. Sanctions can take several forms: failing an exam is the most commonly used and identified as such (as a sanction). 2.1.4. Also social disrespect, and other more or less subtle sanctions, imposed directly or indirectly by the State, are prescribed against whom violates in the way or another the rules of languages.
188.8.131.52.In order to better clarify the 2.1.4. A sanction, or penalty, can be directly inflicted upon the violator by the State: teachers do that while sanctioning the incorrect use of a language. 184.108.40.206. The common mentality and customs react promptly when the language is violated by a speaker. Why does this happen? We just take for granted, without developing further on this point, that the common mentality and the relevant social and personal reactions are basically state-driven. Why should I naturally react with despise, mockery, irritation, to someone making grammar-syntaxand/or dictionary errors, mistakes, misspells, in the use of a (normally his/her native) language? It is not an act of violence against myself (such as hitting, spitting, stealing a property, shooting etc.), so why do I react with irritation? I take an unnatural act as a natural linguistic act, so I (who is reacting to linguistic errors), has naturalized the State imposition of a language to a degree that s/he perceives the correct use of grammar and in general of a language as a natural thing, something taught but almost in-bred. To such degree we have been “statalized”. 220.127.116.11. To further develop on the above point (18.104.22.168.). By way of speaking, we identify our interlocutor. If s/he does not speak the language properly: s/he is a foreigner (of another State/nation); s/he is ignorant (s/he did not attend the proper schools, or, while at school, was sleeping); s/he is disabled; s/he is making fun of the national language. In all this case, our interlocutor is an enemy/potential enemy, of alien/potential alien, to the State. 22.214.171.124. In case of misuse of the national language, we tend to forgive only kids and toddlers. This is why they have still “to learn how to speak properly”. We also tend to forgive very old people: “their health is decaying so that they cannot properly speak any longer”. 126.96.36.199. This explains why immigrants, at least some of them, tend to learn at the best the new language, as to be better accepted within the new community. But once again this is a State-driven reaction to a State-driven action: they want to be accepted a “citizens”, for, to be accepted simply as “human beings” does not imply at all the command of the language of the State where they migrated to. 188.8.131.52. The identification, complete as it can be, of “human being” with “citizen”, is potentially and indeed extremely dangerous, especially for the (moral) identification of a human being in what s/he implies. 2.2. “Lingua franca” bears all the “freedom elements” we hint to in the above points, albeit randomly we did. 2.2.1. It has not been created in vitro, nor it has been based on the works of great authors (told otherwise: it never had its Dantes, Petrarcas, Boccaccios). 184.108.40.206. It has been created piecemeal by the combination of the need to communicate (perform business, find a truce, exchange sea information, play
jokes maybe while in the hardships of navigation and wars); together with the basis provided to each one of the several national actors who gave birth to it, by their own native languages (Italian, Portuguese, Arabic etc.). 220.127.116.11.1. A further reflection is that, insofar “Lingua Franca” contained Latin and classical Arabic words, they were purely literary languages, or close to become purely literary and “dead languages” during the last centuries of “Lingua Franca” – 17th to early 19th – while they were rarely “commonly” spoken as such outside of State administration and academe, from the late 14th century onwards. 18.104.22.168.1.1. According to historians, the first documents in “Lingua Franca” are of 1353, but it is highly probable that the “Lingua Franca” was used also before. 2.2.2. It was freely used: nobody, no State, no international conventions, no treaty, no other law enforcement obliged sailors and merchants and other people to use “Lingua franca”, apart from the natural need to trade, i.e. to make a living and prosper. 2.2.3. No great writers, or “creator” of language and/or alphabet (Saint Cyril) stood behind “Lingua franca”. There are probably very few literary works (poems etc.) in “Lingua franca”, or at least they did not widely survive. 2.2.4. It was not taught in State schools. Peoples learned “Lingua franca” onboard, by using it, adapting it to the several circumstances. 2.2.5. There was not sanction for possible misuses/errors/deficiencies in the use of “Lingua Franca”, first and foremost for it appears as a very flexible language, secondly for its purpose, for s/he who spoke it, was to make himself/herself properly understood, not to please any teacher, or any community of learned speakers, or to pay homage to the “God of the Modern Nations”, its poets and writers. 22.214.171.124.Sanctions for bad/incompetent use of “Lingua Franca” might be harsher, though, while at sea: failing to conclude a business; to give correct information about routes, to come to term with pirates (who knew and used “Lingua franca”); to understand proper vital information about: routes, weather, safety of every sort. This is a sort of sanction much harsher than a bad grade and slightly harsher than the mockery/rejection and/or diffidence from a given community of “people-properly-speakinga-National-language”. 2.2.6. Only at a late stage we find written documents in “Lingua Franca”, only at a later stage we find dictionaries of it. 126.96.36.199.This fact must be regarded, or may be regarded, as natural reluctance of a language to codification. 188.8.131.52. A language however has not free will nor capacity of actions, for both reside only and exclusively in human beings (in God too).
184.108.40.206.So probably for the sake of its adaptability and flexibility, the “Lingua Franca” speakers held it for more convenient (considered also the costs of printing in the Old Regime) not to print – i.e. to codify – the “Lingua Franca” beyond a certain limited extent. It worked as it was. 2.2.7. “Lingua franca” developed mainly offshore. As such, it is the language of sea, and seas only at a later stage (exactly when Lingua Franca disappeared) where subject to extensive State-Imperial control (from Napoleon I onwards). 2.2.8. The “territorial limits” of the State Control upon the sea where already a matter of concern, i.e., of Paolo Sarpi and Venice in the early 17th century, but only in the early 18th a Dutch jurist, Cornelius Bynkershoek, following Grotius, set out the limits of the “territorial waters”, within the range of a cannonball: “ibi finitur dominium maris, ubi finitur armorum vis”. 220.127.116.11.Hence it must be clear that “Lingua Franca” was spoken on a free territory, the sea. 18.104.22.168.Not a sea in general, but the Mediterranean sea. “Mare nostrum” during the Western Roman Empire, “free Sea” after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire (476-) and especially so after the weakening of the Eastern Roman Empire (1204-). 22.214.171.124.1. G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) called the Mediterranean the cradle as well as the center of civilization. It is not true what commonly attributed to him, that this role (center, obviously, not cradle!) was conferred by him to Prussia. 2.2.9. Nobody if not natural necessity forced sailors, tradesmen, military men, to speak “Lingua Franca”. No State aimed at controlling it (as far the present state of research indicates). 2.2.10. “Lingua Franca” was in fact a free, quasi-natural language, spoken for centuries (at least 14th to mid-19th) in the free space of the Mediterranean, at sea and in the ports. 126.96.36.199. “Quasi-natural” is a more appropriate definition, at this point, for it combined elements (nouns, verbs) from national languages, or, more precisely, from languages, such as Italian, who at a later stage became National, State languages. 2.3. If the language was free, what about the speakers? 2.3.1. Its speakers obviously came from different backgrounds, nations, states and even empires, so for the them “Lingua Franca” was not their native language. Nor it could have been anybody’s native language. 2.3.2. Its speakers where citizens of free republic, Genoa and Venice for instance, and there are Genoese and Venetian linguistic elements in the “Lingua Franca”. But they were also citizens or denizens of the Ottoman
Empire, quite far away, as a form of Empire of Super-State, from the maritime republics, and also from another Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, which lasted until 1453. 2.3.3. While class and (relatively less) gender differences were common among the speakers, the use of the same pidgin, of “Lingua Franca”, democratically leveled them. So while there were living in a form of territory which was not a State nor a democracy, the Mediterranean, and while they belonged to several social layers, but mostly were military men and/or merchants of different fortune, they shared a common language. 188.8.131.52.This common language, the “Lingua Franca”, in its simplicity, had no higher or lower level, nor “lingua culta” and “lingua populi”, nor dialects within it, if not possibly some geographical difference. 184.108.40.206. A further, maybe marginal, element of freedom lies in the same term “Lingua Franca”, which, contrary to the main European languages (with some exceptions: Italian was also know as “vulgare” for certain period of time, as to differentiate it from Latin and from dialects), had different synonims (maybe they also indicated varieties of the “Lingua Franca” with slight differences, or were some Arabic, some Western denominations of the same): they are for instance: Petit Mauresque, Ferenghi, Sabir, 'Ajnabi, Aljamia. 2.3.4. The “Lingua Franca” was thus not a creator of absolute democracy and/or a vehicle to spread a State doctrine and a State power, but created a democratic (“free”) linguistic space among them who spoke them at least when they spoke it. 220.127.116.11.We might therefore infer, with a certain degree of certainty, that no rhetoric was implied in nor constructed from the “Lingua Franca”, apart from that implicit in any business and or human transition. 18.104.22.168. As an example of the ways in which “Lingua Franca” tended not only to simplify communications as directed to non-linguistic transactions and actions (trade, war), we might note that several noun were democratically, i.e. respectfully, constructed as to be a linguistic couple, with a neo-Latin term together with an Arabic term to identify linguistically the same object. On all these aspects of “Lingua Franca”, Renata Zago, Una dissertazione sulla lingua franca, http://www.homolaicus.com/linguaggi/lingua_franca/lingua6.html 2.3.5. While the “Lingua Franca” declined, States were more and more active in the process of creating-codifying, by linguistic ways in most of the cases, their set of rules: in the realm of Law, Politics (Public Law) and Language. 22.214.171.124.It is easy to stipulate therefore that “Lingua Franca” was a potential enemy in this process of State consolidation and not surprisingly, with no action
(probably) directly taken for that, disappeared within the first half of the 19th century. 126.96.36.199.Its dictionary was published in 1830 in Algiers. The French invasion of Algeria took place in 1828, the war lasted until 1842, Algeria was a French colony until 1962. 188.8.131.52.As a set of rules – linguistic rules – the “Lingua Franca” has one of its possible parallels in the – juridical – rules regulating the life of the Mediterranean, and known as international law(s) of the sea. 184.108.40.206.1. While the rules pertaining to a language, if we take the language as a code, are set (codified) also by single individuals, by common usage, and so on, while this might happen also for the Law, in this former case a more solid State tradition is needed, at least as much as we talk about international law as a compound of laws coming from different sources, the sources being the current Law of every single State. 220.127.116.11.2. That said, it is possible to conceive of a set of laws, or “code”, with some elements of “freedom” as those to be found in the “Lingua Franca”, on the natural law assumption that moral (juridical) laws serve the same goal of the linguistic laws, told otherwise, we need moral (juridical laws) and linguistic laws (languages) to communicate and survive. 18.104.22.168.3. Furthermore: the give substance to the Law a language, not necessary a written language, is needed. Only maybe in the purest state of nature laws (natural laws, such as “do not kill”, “do not steal”) do not need a written not even a verbal codification. 22.214.171.124.3.1.As a corollary: the Ten Commandments belong to the real of spoken (bespoken) Law, only at a later stage written. But also to that of positive Law inasmuch the imply Revelation, which is a disruption (interruption/alteration) with respect to the purest State of Nature. 2.3.6. Is there a juridical parallel to the “Lingua Franca”, is there, put otherwise, a strictly juridical set of rules which reflect the “freedom of the Seas” as much as it is reflected in the “Lingua Franca”? 126.96.36.199.One might wonder whether the point 2.3.6. cannot fall in the contradiction that if we speak of “freedom of/in/on the Seas” a set of rules (a code?) was not a contradiction. 188.8.131.52.1. It is not, insofar we speak of freedom always as relative freedom, freedom with certain laws, and not as absolute freedom, which is at the end the contrary of freedom, but a state of constant threat for the individuals.
184.108.40.206.If the consider international law of the seas in the Late Middle Ages and in the Early Modern Era (1300-1800), we might refer to a text which has structural similarities with the “Lingua Franca”. 220.127.116.11.1. This text (code) is the “Consolato del Mare”. I already drew a parallel between the “Lingua Franca” and the “Consolato del Mare” in a previous paper, in Italian: P. Bernardini, “Lingua franca e Consolato del mare: Ipotesi per una ricerca tra linguistica e diritto”, in Francesco Sberlati, ed., Il Mare Adriatico e l’Europa orientale/Adriatic Sea and Eastern Europe, Bologna: Clueb, 2006, 2534. 18.104.22.168.What is the “Consolato del Mare”? It is a collection of laws, uses, customs, in a form of code, regulating the life in the Mediterranean basin, especially as it refers to trade and rules of mutual respects, as well as insurance and rules onboard, first codified (collected) and printed in Barcelona, in 1484, in the Catalan language. 22.214.171.124.1. Among the vast literature on the “Consolato del Mare”, the most complete work to date is Salvatore Corrieri, Il Consolato del mare. La tradizione giuridico-marittima del Mediterraneo attraverso un’edizione italiana del 1584 del testo originale catalano del 1484, Roma: Associazione Nazionale del Consolato del Mare, 2005. 126.96.36.199.2. The most important author who in the Old Regime dealt with it, systematically, is Giuseppe Lorenzo Maria Casaregi (1670-1737), Il consolato del mare colla spiegazione di Giuseppe Maria Casaregi…in questa prima veneta impressione oltre tutto ciò che s’attrova nell’edizioni di Firenze e di Lucca aggiuntovi molte leggi della Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia attinenti alla materia. Con il Portolano del mare d’Alvise da Mosto nobile veneto, Venezia: Piacentini, 1737. 188.8.131.52.3. The “Consolato del Mare” was reprinted several times up until the mid of the 19th century, so it seems to disappear-go out of use, parallel with the “Lingua Franca”. 184.108.40.206.However, the parallel with “Lingua Franca” is not total. In fact, the “Consolato del Mare” would be comparable rather to a handbook (grammar-syntax-dictionary) of the “Lingua Franca”, had it been written ever. 220.127.116.11. Furthermore: the first codification attempt of it came out in 1484, in recently unified Spain (Castile and Cataluna), prototype of the modern State, in that the newly unified Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella a was strongly centralized organism, against religious and ethnic minorities (Jews, Muslims, Protestants) and firmly bound to colonialism.
18.104.22.168.1. Under this respect, we might even see the “Consolato del Mare” has an attempt to codify – by initiative of a State – rules and customs hitherto more “free” as not written, in that it can be seen as going in an opposite direction as that taken by the “Lingua Franca”. 22.214.171.124.2. We will not take this road, for the “Consolato del Mare” will be considered in a way as a collection of free and constantly evolving laws of trade in the Mediterranean. 126.96.36.199.3. It was an example of international law in that tribunals of all the Mediterranean ports, i.e. of ports of different States and Empires, were to different degree, or had ideally, as an auspice, to be bound to this code, or at least to take it into a certain account while judging upon certain cases (trade, maritime law, etc.). 188.8.131.52.4. Under this point of view, this was a code of customs and uses (or “usages”), different from the State-codified international law of sea as we know it today. 2.3.7. Both “Lingua Franca” and “Consolato del Mare”, or better, the customary laws collected in it, disappeared in 19th century, and cease to be effective. They were replaced by national languages with different “international” languages used as pidgin (French, English), with less respect therefore for other Mediterranean languages (Arabic and Italian first of all), in a century (the 19th century) where the Ottoman Empire proved to be more and more an “empire of sand”, and the Italian powers had disappeared (Venice, Genoa), while Spain no longer had great power in the Mediterranean. Other users of “Lingua Franca”, as the Berberian pirates, disappeared as well in the 19th century. 2.3.8. “Lingua Franca” and “Consolato del Mare” both sank in that ocean of misery, of hyperpowerful States and Empires, of neglect for the individual and complete secularization, called "Nineteenth Century". 2.3.9. National Codes, International Codes (based on treatises among the powers), and later on International Law codes replaced the customs assembled in the Consolato del Mare as to rule over the life of the Mediterranean basin. 184.108.40.206. As philosopher of Law Bruno Leoni (1914-1967) wrote in 1961: “Legislation appears today to be a quick, rational, and far-reaching remedy against every kind of evil or inconvenience, as compared with, say, judicial decisions, the settlement of disputes by private arbiters, conventions, customs, and similar kinds of spontaneous adjustments on the part of individuals.” 2.3.10. This proved to be an illusion. The Mediterranean became a sea of dispute in the 19th and 20th century, of wars and bloodshed.
2.3.11. Certainly, “Lingua Franca” and “Consolato del Mare” were a pidgin and a “code” for peaceful transactions. 220.127.116.11. We might easily assume that at the battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571) “Lingua Franca” was not spoken, each of the parts spoke their own national languages, nor the “Consolato del Mare”, a commercial code, applied. Instead, arms ruled. 3. What about “Spanglish”? 3.1. In order to approach “Spanglish”, albeit briefly as we are going to do, we had to mention several other “natural” or “quasi-natural”, non-national language. However, we will give just an example, of a language of this kind still spoken. 3.1.1. This language is called “papamientu” and is spoken in the island of Aruba, in the Dutch Antilles. 3.1.2. “Papamientu” is a combination, quite grammatically and syntax easy, of several languages, a “criollo” language, which includes Dutch, English, Spanish, local languages spoken by the original population of Aruba before the Spanish, and, later on, Dutch conquest. 18.104.22.168.“Papamientu” is still spoken in Aruba and understood in that area of South Caribbean. 22.214.171.124. Should anyone be interested: see The Story of Papamientu: A Study in Slavery and Language di Gary C. Fouse; as for grammars: E. R. Goilo, Papamientu Textbook; there is also available an English-Papamientu dictionary edited by Betty Ratzlaff. 3.1.3. “Papamientu” is spoken in Aruba not exclusively, but together with Dutch, English, Spanish, in one of the most multi-linguistic islands of the Caribbean, and probably of the world. 3.1.4. It is spoken in an island with very many ethnic groups, peacefully living together. 3.2. “Spanglish” is a new jargon-pidgin, or “quasi-natural” language spoken in contemporary USA. 3.2.1. As such, even the term “Spanglish” is rather new: my word (.doc) dictionary underlines it with the red waves, as to say that it “does not recognize” this word [today, June 28th, 2007]. 126.96.36.199.Microsoft, albeit more powerful that many States in the world (!), will have to come to terms with this term, and accept it eventually. Certainly cannot stop, nor has any interest in doing that, the spreading of “Spanglish”. 3.2.2. “Spanglish” being a new quasi-natural language, arises some questions, such as: 188.8.131.52.How many people speak it?
184.108.40.206.How many people understand it? 220.127.116.11.How many people contribute to it by writing, etc.? 18.104.22.168.How many people speak only “Spanglish”? 22.214.171.124.How many people speak only Spanish and “Spanglish”? 126.96.36.199.How many people speak only English and “Spanglish”? 188.8.131.52.How many people speak both English and Spanish, and “Spanglish”? 3.2.3. These are only examples of possible questions, relevant to our perspective. 184.108.40.206.From another perspective, such as the purely linguistic one, there are other questions, such as: 220.127.116.11.1. How is “Spanglish” formed? 18.104.22.168.2. What is its dictionary and how large is it? 22.214.171.124.3. Its grammar? 126.96.36.199.4. Its syntax? 3.2.4. “Spanglish” is a language often spoken within of a community of ca. 40,000,000 Spanish-speaking immigrants in the USA as of 2007. 188.8.131.52.If this figure is correct, this is about 13% of the American population. 3.2.5. “Spanglish” is known also with other names, such as casteyanqui, inglañol, argot saión, español bastardo, papamiento gringo, caló pachuco, but it was also historically known as Chicano Spanish; other names include cubonics, dominicanish, Tex-Mex, pachuco. 3.2.6. We might say that “Spanglish” is a facilitator in the communication in the lower middles classes and as such is commonly used in presence of major Latin-American communities, for instance in Florida and in New York City. 3.2.7. English is the official language of the USA while Spanish is currently spoken by large sections of the population. Colleges, however, and the major newspapers and television channels use English as the common and/or exclusive language (as in the cases of colleges, apart from the Foreign Language Departments, where some of the scholars normally know the language they teach). 3.2.8. Stavans, a major scholar at Amherst College, Mass., compares “Spanglish” to jazz as a form of mixed language bound to help human understanding and exchanges among the various components of the American population. As with jazz, according to Stavans “Spanglish” will overcome the initial diffidence, mostly from scholars, writers, WASP, and become accepted as well as produce literature. 3.2.9. “Spanglish” will probably become an example of a new language – with a much bigger dictionary than “Lingua Franca” – born/created spontaneously in multi-ethnic, multi-cultural environment. Maybe
something similar will happen in Italy with Italian and Arabic, for instance, or maybe it is already appening. 3.3. An example of “Spanglish” in literary/scholarly context is the introduction Stavans has put in his book Spanglish. 4. As for the conclusions of this paper, we might reflect on the importance of “natural” or “quasi-natural” languages in the history of mankind. 4.1. A sad remark: the creation of a splendid language, full of life, and of literary products, such as Yiddish (Hebrew-German) did not prevent the Holocaust. It was spoken in the shtetl, and immensely favored German-Jews relations over centuries. 4.1.1. Unfortunate moves by German-Jewish intellectuals such as Moses Mendelssohn in the 18th century and several others in the 19th century – the bias/refusal of Yiddish as a “lower-class”, low-refinement language – did not bring any luck to the Jews. In Auschwitz the perpetrators spoke the same or almost the same pure German of Mendelssohn or Hermann Cohen, unsympathetic to popular culture, and friends of the State-élite culture, which brought them to destruction. 4.1.2. Yiddish was one of the languages of the victims and at least was of some comfort to some of them to be able to communicate in a way, too few spoke Hebrew, the élites probably French, in the concentration camps. 4.2. There are some common elements in the two language we spoke about above, as well as in those we mentioned (Yiddish, papamientu). 4.2.1. They all come spontaneously to be. 4.2.2. They all share the lack of major authors, canons, literary traditions, fixed grammars, “academies for the languages” such as the Accademia della Crusca in Italy and the Real Academia Espaňola de La Lengua, in Spain. 4.2.3. They are not compulsory taught in State and private Schools. 4.2.4. They all facilitate the exchanges of different groups of people, each one of them having its own background, linguistically, ethnically, and State-wise. 4.2.5. They are not “national” languages, i.e. languages that some authority, academic and of the State, has decided they were the “language of the Nation” and as such had to preserved, defended, dictionarized, taught, imposed, cherished, often at the expenses of other languages. 4.2.6. They refer to normal, basic situations where some linguistic exchange is needed in order to smooth/facilitate extra-linguistic exchanges (trade, conflict, love, etc.). 5. As such, all these languages are expression of the basic human freedom, i.e. the aspiration of freedom inasmuch as it can be realized.
5.1. No doubt then that they are seen, were seen, will be seen as a threat by the State authority in all its branches, from State schools to universities, from official papers to offices, etc. 6. We might easily envisage a multiplication of these languages in the global world.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.