Wednesday, April 23, 2008

8. Advantages & Disadvantages of Bilingualism

The prejudices Greg encountered were primarily religion based. Since he was a Sikh he looked different. He remembers his dad wearing a turban until he got an important job. Greg had long hair down to his waist until four years ago when he made an important decision about work. He explained that in his religion your hair is connected to your soul and any cutting of it must be carefully considered.

Greg did not express any issues with knowing multiple languages. Punjabi was spoken at home and outside of the public eye. English became a major language in his life and the other language he knows are beneficial for traveling. Greg traveled back and forth between the UK and Western Europe as he was going through school.

The accent that he displays now is either British or "flamboyant". He is teased very little. Most people look at him with interest because he's different than what they are used to.

Greg's opportunities with his multilingualism are limited. He has only used them to communicate one on one with people and hasn't used them much since he came to California.

Greg's lifestyle shows an indifference to the monolingualism here. He views multilingualism as an embodiment of culture and excitement. I believe that given the choices of being multilingual and monolingual he would find more excitement in the former.

7. Language Play and Acquisition

Pig Latin
Play Language
Take first sound or consonant cluster
Add to end of word
Add -ay
Ex: cat => atscray

None known of

In English we commonly play with Pig Latin (rules stated above). Greg was unaware of any Punjabi play languages so we devised one of our own. We decided to adapt Pig Latin to Punjabi. Take the first syllable or sound group, place it on the end of the word, and add "Jabi".

Brother- bhai => hai-b-jabi

The problems with creating your own play language is you're not sure if it will work, if it will be easy to use, and if it will be fun to use.

6. Language Relations

Punjabi and English share no common ancestor. They are practically on different sides of the Indo-European Language Tree. English is in the West Germanic family which resides in the larger Germanic family. Punjabi is in the Middle Indie family which is in Viedic Sanscrit which is in Indic which lies in the Indo-Iranian macrofamily.
Possible Pidgin
If both languages were to meet in an even circumstances and a mutually beneficial trade system were established and both parties had the language experiences that both Greg and I have. I could see a multilingual blending occur. I presume that either English would incorporate nonstandard sounds found in Punjabi or Punjabi would become sloppier and incorporate English sounds. It is likely that a combination would occur. If we look back to the consonant chart (Entry 3).
I could see some sounds moving locations just slightly (Dental to Alvobar etc). I also believe it would become more phonetic.
Ex. PH=>F
I also think consonant clusters would be reduced, "th" would be replaced with theta. This could also lead to the dropping of silent letters similar to the dropping of "g" in "-ing".

Since this is a trading system I can also imagine that speed and efficiency would become important in writing. The shortening of words and creation of abbreviations and slang would come into effect. Similar to online chat speak today. Ex: LOL for Laugh Out Loud. In my own personal note taking I have come up with tricks that I could see beneficial in an actual standardized writing system.

/ comma, or (more than 2)
|| or
+ and, more, pluss
@ at (location)
# number
* importance
- less
! not (opposite)
w/ with
W? what
$ money
c cheap