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.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.