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#3957: Poincy continues the language/pronunciation/spelling issue (fwd)
From: Jean Poincy <email@example.com>
Finally someone is making sound argument using sound logic to question
one's rationale. That's what I call debating an issue. Florence Délimon
why have you been silent? More of your style is needed to refresh
At any rate, in post # 3741: "On linguistic absence of creativity" I
made reference to two distinct forms of Ayitian currently in use in
"1) "Kreyòl rèk" (raw Ayitian spoken mainly by the illiterate masses. 2)
"Kreyòl fransize" (the French like spoken Ayitian with the constant use
of French words pronounced as are in French and are used only by
educated ones). "
In any analysis of the Ayitian language to be conducted that distinction
should be kept in mind. Being able to speak the latter requires some
formal education. The former is the mother tongue of all Ayitians, and
would be spoken by all the same way, if any education is excluded.
These are facts linguists must live with in studying how Ayitian people
use the language.
The closed "e" sound is absent in the "Kreyòl rèk", but present in the
"Kreyòl fransize". Since "Kreyòl fransize" is to be learned, necessarily
the "e" sound is to be learned as well. I am sure we all agree that
there is no formal learning (for sounds) in "Kreyòl rèk" as they all
come easy from being a native speaker. Having anyone producing a sound
that is absent in his/her native language, it will be deformed; hence,
the accent of non native speakers when learning a foreign language. A
fact that validates Délimon's point with her analogy with the Japanese's
trouble with "L" and "R".
In Ayiti's case, I would agree with her if all Ayitians educated and
uneducated had the difficulty to produce the "e" sound. For all Japanese
do have problem with "L" and "R" as they are learning a western
language. It would be the same for a French person in producing some
English sounds and vice-versa with an English person, you name it. The
case we have in Ayiti is that only the uneducated ones can't reproduce
the "e" sound as it is in French. Any Ayitian with a good level of
literary skill or formal education produce the closed "e" with
Further, those with an ill formal education can sometimes produce the
closed "e", other times totally mess it up. It is shaky for this group
because the sound being produced does not exist in "Kreyòl rèk" and if
not taught properly to them, it will never be produced correctly.
Considering that learning French or "Kreyòl fransize", if we wish, is
part of educating an Ayitian and no Ayitian can claim not to have to go
and learn it in school right at an early age, yes education comes before
the language they have to go and learn, only in that case.
Yes all Ayitians are taught properly since birth all the ins and outs of
Ayitian. It is rather the "Kreyòl rèk", their native language. Again it
all depends on one's family level of education for the "Kreyòl rèk" or
"Kreyòl fransize" to be taught before entering school. Nonetheless,
whatever variant of Ayitian, "Kreyòl rèk" or "Kreyòl fransize" that one
learns at home, it is to be polished as they enter in school by learning
French or sharpening the "Kreyòl fransize".
The striking difference between Ayitian and Japanese cases is in the
learning factor. All Japanese do have the "L" and "R" problem, despite
their level of education. In our case, those who are taught properly
since birth their "Kreyòl rèk" overcome the Japanese difficulty as they
enter school and are taught how to pronounce "e" and differentiate it
Délimon's argument would hold if only Ayitian monolinguals would speak
only one variant, the "Kreyòl rèk". As long as it is the case when they
slide into speaking the "Kreyòl fansize" through a learning process, the
argument remains that the non-existence of "e" in Ayitian is virtual. It
becomes clear that the ability to pronounce "e" depends on proper
teaching of the sound it, as it is in French that Ayitians come about to
learn as they enter school.
Now the question to ask is: how one segment of the population produces
the sound correctly and another one does not? The evidence, as shown
above, is that the former has some level of education and the latter
does not. Since the language trunk for all Ayitians is "Kreyòl rèk", it
is expected to observe the same effect on all Ayitians if there all
receive or don't receive a formal education. By which I mean, if all
Ayitians are educated or properly educated, they will be able to produce
the "e" with no fault, and unable to do so if they are not educated.
This is a "to become a reality" which differs totally from the current
where, linguists chose to promote the "Kreyòl rèk" as standard while
"Kreyòl fransize" is still prevalent among a significant group and most
people, the very same people whose form of speaking is being
standardized, want to speak the "Kreyòl fransize" or French (see post #
3741). I have never had any problem with whatever has become law and
what icon linguists have decided on. Linguists have a problem with me
questioning the rationale behind their choice as they were not supposed
to be asked such kind of questions.
Ayiti has lived, lives and will live