Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2013 January 27

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January 27[edit]

Language evolution after disaster[edit]

Have there ever been historical instances in which the language of a community/country completely evolved after disasters such as disease, famine, political collapse, warfare, etc., and the implications that followed? Thanks! (talk) 02:11, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

See Middle English in relation to the Norman Conquest. μηδείς (talk) 02:30, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
The French, Spanish., Potuguese and Romanian languages are products of Roman occupation. Old English entirely displaced the Brythonic languages which were spoken in England before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. A lot of Native American languages were lost following European colonisation. I'm struggling to think how a language could be affected by a natural disaster though. Alansplodge (talk) 11:32, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
A natural disaster that eliminates most speakers of one or more regional variants or dialects of a language is practically certain to have an effect on the evolution of the language. Examples - Vesuvius eliminated the Pompeiian accent or Conquest related diseases wiped out entire tribes of native Americans. Roger (talk) 11:53, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

On a smaller scale, there are some interesting studies by sociolinguist Daniel Schreier about what happened to the language of the small English-speaking community of Tristan da Cunha after they were evacuated from the island (due to danger from a volcano) and came back only after some years. Fut.Perf. 14:11, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Pronunciation of "online": a or an before "online"?[edit]

Why do we have 194 search results for "a online" here in Wikipedia and about 213,000,000 results for "is a online" in Google? Is there any variation in which it is pronounced similar to one (won)? (Just curious. I came to this when I saw google has dropped to 2nd position, checked Alexa ranking to know what is in first position, then goint to our article on facebook (read by 100,000 each day) which begins with "is a online") ···Vanischenu「m/Talk」 11:44, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

'A online' is definitely non-standard. In the Facebook article, which currently comes top of the search list, it seems to have come about by someone carelessly adding the word 'online' in '.. a social networking service (where it's probably redundant anyway, as the linked article defines social networking as being online), and I suspect this may have happened with other examples too. The second hit is generally very badly written, so "a online" is one of the least of its problems. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 12:09, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Non-standard but definitely the lingua franca among a certain cohort of speakers. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 18:52, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Many of the WIkipedia results aren't mistakes but are places where a url ending in a comes before the word online, like this one. (talk) Russian Constituent Assembly References : org/archive/lenin/works/1917/dec/11a.htm online . See V. I. Lenin. Speech At A Meeting Of The Central Committee Of The R.S.D.L.P ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:32, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

What is this accent?[edit]

In this video (starting at 28:45 if direct link does not work) the woman in the brown embroidered dress and the two men in rainbow shirts are in disguise. As well as changing their clothes they have changed the way they talk... it's slower and the intonations and vowels are a different. (1) what accent are they using? (2) how is this accent perceived in India, is it like the Hindi version of Australian or Texan or something? (3) is their portrayal of this tribe/accent respectful, neutral or mean? thank you. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:24, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

The depiction of tribals in the video not authentic. Both the accent and the dressing have been cooked up by the creators of the video. The accent is mostly South Indian fused with Bhojpuri and Parsi intonation in places. Since the accent is imaginary I can't really comment on how its perceived in India. However, such accents are usually deployed on tv for humour. Correct Knowledge«৳alk» 17:59, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
The scene is from Om Namah Shivay featuring story of Mallikarjuna Swamy.
As CK said, there's no specific accent. The TV series was created by north Indians (from Mumbai) and perhaps have had no clue of culture of Deccan tribes.
Misrepresentation of Southern Indian adivasis, which is expected as show is in Hindi. — Bill william comptonTalk 19:06, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you everyone for the answers. I appreciate it. I was afraid it was mocking; I'm really sorry to hear that. Correct Knowledge, I'm sorry about the five minutes of your life. (talk) 21:22, 30 January 2013 (UTC)