Otto otto at schienke.com
Tue Sep 10 11:58:18 PDT 2013

Afternoon Listers,

We humans have the ability to use sounds to communicate, a bag of mental patterns.
Sounds peculiar to local groups. 
The Volhynian settlement was too short a time period and of many mixed subgroups to have established an ethnocultural base.  Language, our familial communication sounds, are tumbling through generations to our mother and father's kitchen. Each marriage and geographical relocation, words are added and words are dropped as if a dance with many partners. How many of our computer-related terms existed fifty years ago?  People no longer live in a noble's village of five hundred years ago, developing a dialect peculiar to them.

Some basic facts.
-Language is a living organism, parts thereof constantly morphing, dying, while new sounds are being added in a speech community. Language change happens at all levels. It is natural and inevitable.

-Most, yes, most people are multilingual. Most languages exist in close contact with other languages. 

-There is no clear distinction between a language and a dialect. 

-No 'official' language existed in Germany until 1871 when Luther's 'hilly Saxon' was selected (many already owned his bible translation) for economic (nation building) reasons; High/Hoch-German/Deutsch, the dialects of the hill dwellers over the dialects of the lowland and the mountain peoples.  Several thousand 'local languages/dialects existed among the speakers of '1800's German' at the time. (low german was the economic language for almost a thousand years)  For those that think there is a standardized spoken German in use other than a written textbook umbrella. . . travel the country.

-Germanic languages: German in its various forms of local dialects plus English, Frisian, Low Saxon, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Swiss, Afrikaans and so on and on. . .   How many Sanskrit roots can we identify?  After all, it is Indo-Germanic. . . Whoops, excuse me, it is now the Indo-European family! Dagnabbit!  It morphed again.
So. . . 
We'll leave the defining and hair-pulling research to the philologists and linguists.  (what if a king spoke with a lisp?. . )
DNA research will serve as an adjunct to our dusty past.
We can ask ourselves, "Why do many of Germany's rivers have Celtic names?"

What of Mike's original question?
Our given names and surnames contain a historical past. Research them.  
Trace the past of persons in you pedigree.  These are all connections to their language sounds used.
DNA test (23andme) to establish your personal 'mixed bag' of genes.

Russian Poland has no unique spoken German, it was a mix of dialects spoken by a mixed bag of immigrants. . . Rozumiesz?
Neither does Germany, it only has an "official" written German. 
Most spoken German is a mixed bag of dialects.
Let's not get into the Germanic languages of English, American, Canadian and Australian. . . Oi vay!

Standardizing a language in a sense is destruction of history for economic or political reasons only. 
Those personal words. . . Bulldozes 'em over!

If you use words that seem peculiar to other speakers, be proud of them. Repeat them frequently!
You are bearers of historical symbols of the past. Cherish them. .  . while they last.

. . .   Otto
         " The Zen moment..." wk. of January 01, 2013-
                  "Answers out there . . .  Seeking us."

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