Feeds

How languages can live together without killing each other

Why Castilian didn't smother Galician

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.