Feeds

How languages can live together without killing each other

Why Castilian didn't smother Galician

Build a business case: developing custom apps

It's not just about status

Of course, subjecting language interaction to a mathematical model can't tell the whole story. In their paper, the researchers note: "Firstly, the model does not consider possible alterations of the relative proportions of the linguistic groups due to immigration, emigration or differential birth and/or death rates.

"Secondly, partially related to this is the consideration that the relative status of the two languages may well vary in time."

Regarding this second point, we asked Pérez if Galician was given an artificial "boost" following the death of Franco, in that a renewed sense of Galician identity actively promoted the use of a language which had been supressed under the dictator's regime.

He said: "Yes, sure. Take into account that during Franco's regime only the use of Castilian was permitted; the other three languages of Spain (Galician, Catalan and Basque) were completely forbidden. Nowadays the situation is very different: Galician, Catalan and Basque are co-official with Castillian, there are TV channels, newspapers, etc in these languages."

While Basque has indeed enjoyed a renaissance, the researchers' mathematical model would probably have doomed it to die. Pérez concluded: "Basque is completely different, not only from Castilian, but from any other European language (English is far closer to Castilian than Basque is, for example). From my point of view, it is only the political support of Basque which has allowed its survival." ®

Bootnotes

Those of you with a mathematical bent might enjoy this video abstract of the team's findings, presented in mighty English:

* Galician is either a language in its own right, or a dialect of Portuguese, depending on your viewpoint. Suffice it to say, it has plenty in common with both Portuguese and Castilian.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.