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6471: Re: 6464: Re: 6453: Re: 6444: Re: 6425: Henrius (fwd)

From: C&C Henrius <carolineislands@hotmail.com>

>From: caineve@idt.net
>Well, it takes one to be out of the linguistic laboratory

The only kinds of linguistic laboratories I've ever been in are places like 
outdoor kitchens in Pewoden or scrubbing clothes in a plastic tub in the 
mountains between Mayisad and Ench.  I learned the Haitian language first in 
a college classroom, then from children, and now from my husband and 
friends.  The only Haitians I still can't understand are the ones from Okap, 
and I'm told I have the accent of my husband's people in the Artibonite. I 
am not a linguist but I do believe the final say on what is Haitian and what 
is not should be defined by the spoken language in Haiti.  And, although I 
don't know what the linguistic argument is, it just makes sense to me so use 
Haitian (from Haiti in English), Ayisyen (from Ayiti in Haitian) and so on.  
My question was mainly to find out who does make these decisions and how can 
we know what is "correct" and what is not?

What concerns me most about these arguments is that they are arguments in 
the first place.  Now, I will argue for the respect and use of the Haitian 
language till the cows come home, especially in schools where it counts.  
And I will argue against the use of the French language as a tool to keep 
the common people uninformed and exploited for the purpose of maintaining 
status quo for that 10% or so of the people who hold all the wealth in 
Haiti.  But I hate to see the people who really do have respect for the 
Haitian people bickering back and forth about what is and what is not 
"Haitian."  Shouldn't we let the people decide?  And if so, how could we do 
that?  Who *are* the linguists who make the final decisions?  Are there 
native speakers in that group?  Are they French speaking "boujwa" or are 
they common folk?  Are studies done on the ground?

Those are the things I'd like to know.

Caroline Henrius

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