mandag, november 17, 2008

Otto Jespersen citat

Faldt over dette citat af den kendte danske lingvist, Otto Jespersen, fra 1905 i Steven Pinkers The Blank Slate. Det er fra indledningen til Jespersens værk Growth and Structure of the English Language:

There is one expression that continually comes to my mind whenever I think of the English language and compare it with others.: it seems to be positively and expressly masculine, it is the language of a grown-up man and has very little childish or feminine about it...
To bring out one of these points I select at random, by the way of contrast, a passage from the language of Hawaii: "I kona hiki ana aku ilailaua hookipa ia mai la oiame ke aloha pumehana loa." Thus it goes on, no single word ends in a consonant, and a group of two or more consonants is never found. Can anyone be in doubt that even if such a language sounds pleasantly and be full of music and harmony the total impression is childlike and effeminate? You do not expect much vigor or energy in a people speaking such a language; it seems adapted only to inhabitants of sunny regions where the soil requires scarcely any labour on the part of man to yield him everything he wants, and where life therefore does not bear the stamp of a hard struggle against nature and fellow-creatures. In a lesser degree we find the same phonetic structure in such languages as Italian and Spanish; but how different are our Northern tongues.
Det er imponerende så meget politisk ukorrekthed han formår at få fyret af på så lidt plads. Det interessante er at han går ud fra at alle er enige med ham. Det siger nærmest sig selv, at de der dovendidrikker i de varme lande er barnlige og kvindagtige, fordi de er produkt af at have det for godt. Et sjovt billede på hvordan man tænkte for 100 år siden.

1 kommentar:

  1. Hans-Hermann Hoppe ville nok nikke anerkendende.