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Re: languages vs dialects

Poster: Dave Montuori <damont@wolfstar.com>

> I heard an interesting bit of trivia lately that was theorized by a
> linguist early in this century (I forget who).  According to this theory,
> a native, monolinguistic French speaker, could hike from Paris to Rome.
> If he walked a few miles a day, and every other day stopped in the area
> for a day of two to acclimate himself, then he could get from Paris to
> Rome and never notice when he stopped speaking French and started speaking
> Italian.  Interesting theory, although I don't know that it's ever been
> tried.  Anyone want to apply for a grant to do it?

Meee!!! >SMACK!< (that was Evan's dull but practical side trying to chill
out the impulsive side)

That actually sounds like an idea from the same school that tried to bring
us Esperanto. That language has a thriving community of speakers today,
but far short of the original aim of a "universal" (read pan-European)
language used by everyone.

Of course, the Parisian would notice that he stopped speaking French about
50 miles out of Paris. :-) Pass me the mice and cream... but I first heard
that remark out of the mouth of someone born and bred in Dijon -- who also
said that Parisians treat *them* worse than they treat Americans.

Seriously, I think our hypothetical hiker would notice... but he'd also
realize that he'd picked up quite a bit of Italian en route without really


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