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6477: Re: 6471: Dorce to Henrius (fwd)

From: LAKAT47@aol.com

In a message dated 12/27/2000 6:31:13 AM Pacific Standard Time,  C&C Henrius 

<< My question was mainly to find out who does make these decisions and how 
 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. >>
Howdy Carol (that is not Kreyòl!),

I, of course, am not a linguist.  But it seems to me that when a language 
evolves from a spoken patois to a legitimate language, standardization must 
take place.  And someone (or a group of someones) has to make the decisions 
on spelling and rules of grammar.  Pronunciation will vary according to 
region, no matter what anyone says, but the other things have to be set.  Ten 
people in Haiti will spell a word ten ways.  If a language is to be respected 
and written, there HAS to be one way to spell a word and I am sure the 
linguists will chime in on what criterea they use to decide these things.  To 
me it doesn't matter much how they decide as long as it is standard.  The 
important thing is that a writer is able to be understood by other Kreyòl 
speakers, no matter what region they are from.  This will enable school 
subjects to be taught in Kreyòl, as well as business and governmant 

I agree with you that it is respectful to Haitians that French be phased out 
and Kreyòl phased in so that language may no longer be used to divide and 
isolate the majority of people from the day to day matters that effect Haiti 
and Haitians.  I do not agree with Poincy that individuals should decide how 
to spell and use words in Kreyòl.   This is counterproductive to making 
Kreyòl a language.  You will never get everyone to agree to how this 
standardization should be done but I don't see why it's a problem.  Decide 
and tell us and then we will all know.  What's the controversy?  That's what 
I want to know. 

As to who are the linguists working on this, I hope Michel DeGraff has time 
to write to the list, because he is a great one to explain this.  And Poincy 
has thown out the baited hook to him...let's see if he bites...;).

Kathy Dorce~