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Duolingo will help with reform!!!!

by 1Guy1, May 31, 2015

Messages: 193

Language: English

johmue (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 11:32:40 AM

Chove:If you can add words for computing terms and whatnot why can't there be an extra gender option or two? It's all just things unthought of in the past that have become relevant and useful now.
It's basically because the Fundamento forbids adding new pronouns. The interesting question is, will the Fundamento as authority be strong enough to prevent the speaker community from simply using new pronouns?

Personally I see good chances for "ri" in to reach some kind of wider use in the language community during the next decades. I don't teach it and when a student asks me, if there's a gender neuter pronoun, I tell them about "ri" with the clear recommendation not to use it. Interesting question is, what I will teach in ten years.

When talking about computing terms, it should be noted, that many of them actually don't introduce new roots.

Kirilo81 (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 1:42:47 PM

@leporinjo

OK, I think we understand each other better now.

In Russian and Polish there is no article ("Zaimki osobiste" = (the) personal pronouns), so they are not decisive in this question.
So these "true believers" turn around and claim that the members of the Academy who disagree with them are wrong, and they're right. But isn't that just a bit arrogant and pretentious? If members of the Academy can't even agree among themselves, then who is some random person on Lernu to say "these are the facts, period"?
Your point is totally valid. One has to consider the special case of a language without a home country and (virtually) without native speakers: There mus be a consensus of the norms independent of that, and since at least 1905 we have the Fundamento just for that reason*, and it is IMHO the most important factor for the stability and relative success of E-o.
The role of the Akademio is to mediate between the Fundamento and the speakers, using it in order to solve problems on the one hand and adding new terms to it on the other hand. But it has its authority only as long as it's working in accordance with the rules of the Fundamento as they are described in its introduction.
And I think the rules are quite clear, and Esperantujo would avoid many useless discussions like "when I can add smartfono, why can't I add ri?", as not every new word has the same status. The user bernadox once put it in the nice metaphor of the "Fundamento traffic lights":

GREEN: new international roots according to FG rule 15 - always OK (like smartfono)
YELLOW: new non-international roots according to the 7th paragraph of the Antaŭparolo as replacement for a compound of Fundamento root (e.g. inflamo instead of brulumo) - OK in the literature, to be officialized if successful
RED: new roots replacing Fundamento roots - not allowed if there is no officialization or declaration of tolerabilty by the Akademio (e.g. far instead of de with the passive)

The same holds true for new rules (Antaŭparolo, 8th paragraph), and in my opinion the use of ri would be a such a new rule which needs approval by the Akademio.

In general, I can't see why ĝi shouldn't simply do the job: It means just "3rd person singular" and is perfect to express everything unless you have the special cases "3rd person singular man" or "3rd person singular woman", for which there are li and ŝi. I think it'll be easier to get the wrong association of ĝi with things out of people's head than to convince them to use a new pronoun.

*From the introduction to the Fundamento:
"Por ke ia regno estu forta kaj glora kaj povu sane disvolviĝadi, estas necese, ke ĉiu regnano sciu, ke li neniam dependos de la kapricoj de tiu aŭ alia persono, sed devas obei ĉiam nur klarajn, tute difinitajn fundamentajn leĝojn de sia lando, kiuj estas egale devigaj por la regantoj kaj regatoj kaj en kiuj neniu havas la rajton fari arbitre laŭ persona bontrovo ian ŝanĝon aŭ aldonon. Tiel same por ke nia afero bone progresadu, estas necese, ke ĉiu esperantisto havu la plenan certecon, ke leĝodonanto por li ĉiam estos ne ia persono, sed ia klare difinita verko. Tial, por meti finon al ĉiuj malkompreniĝoj kaj disputoj, kaj por ke ĉiu esperantisto sciu tute klare, per kio li devas en ĉio sin gvidi, la aŭtoro de Esperanto decidis nun eldoni en formo de unu libro tiujn tri verkojn, kiuj laŭ silenta interkonsento de ĉiuj esperantistoj jam de longe fariĝis fundamento por Esperanto, kaj li petas, ke la okuloj de ĉiuj esperantistoj estu ĉiam turnataj ne al li, sed al tiu ĉi libro. Ĝis la tempo, kiam ia por ĉiuj aŭtoritata kaj nedisputebla institucio decidos alie, ĉio, kio troviĝas en tiu ĉi libro, devas esti rigardata kiel deviga por ĉiuj; ĉio, kio estas kontraŭ tiu ĉi libro, devas esti rigardata kiel malbona, se ĝi eĉ apartenus al la plumo de la aŭtoro de Esperanto mem."

orthohawk (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 2:28:56 PM

Tempodivalse:FWIW, I don't care if people use ri, even though I don't use it myself. I will notice it, of course, but I wouldn't react negatively, especially if you demonstrate a strong grasp of the language.
Would that everyone had this attitude!

Tempodivalse:I am, however, opposed to ri being taught in beginning courses, say on Duolingo. The purpose of such courses is to present the language as it is commonly, standardly used - otherwise they will mislead the student, who doesn't know any better. The student can decide whether to adopt those terms later, once he has the proper grasp of the language.
I'm opposed to such teaching if it is not accompanied by a notation saying it isn't official and not everyone will understand if the learner uses it To not teach it when there are people out there who DO use it, is almost as bad, IMO

leporinjo (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 2:31:37 PM

Kirilo81:@leporinjo

OK, I think we understand each other better now.

In Russian and Polish there is no article ("Zaimki osobiste" = (the) personal pronouns), so they are not decisive in this question.
So I guess there is no clear way to say "These are the only personal pronouns possible" in Russian and Polish? Hell, if Zamenhof had said what I just said in English, it would have been indisputable. Why did he say it so vaguely? The answer is that he obviously didn't say it at all. The Russian and Polish run contrary to your point, so they're "not decisive." Same with ci- it runs contrary to your point, so it doesn't say anything about the Fundamento. You're ignoring a pretty large part of the Fundamento for someone who claims that the Fundamento is the sole authority.

Looch_m1 (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 2:43:01 PM

I cannot read the whole thread because it is too long but as a person participating in that discussion I want to add some points

1. Some people here think that new pronouns are taught on duolingo which is not true. Completely fundamental and normal esperanto is taught on duolingo and there is nothing to worry about.

2. The thing about new pronouns was discussed in a forum and it is not related to the language course at all! Don't blame duolingo for that discussion, with the same success it could be discussed here.

3. Ri/zi/ŝli and other gender-neutral pronouns in Esperanto was suggested long ago, even before the duolingo course started. And again, it is NOT taught in the course, it is just discussed in the forum and not everyone even supports it.

4. Yes, I probably was wrong writing that I would like to convince more people to use ri on duolingo, it was too hasty message and I already regret it because I didn't thought that it will go that far that on lernu.net people will discuss duolingo in a bad way, so I apologize for that. But I still support riistojn and I don't think that it is harm to tell people about the fact that there were already people inventing gender-neutral pronouns for Esperanto. In the end everyone can choose on which side to go. The fact that this problem is discussed in the duolingo-forum has nothing to do with the course again, but I believe that it is good to give people seeking an information this information

Tempodivalse (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 2:46:32 PM

Fundamento, Russian version:5. Мѣстоименія личныя: mi (я), vi (вы, ты), li (онъ), ŝi (она), ĝi (оно; о вещи или о животномъ), si (себя), ni (мы), ili (они, онѣ), oni (безличное множественнаго числа); ...
Presumably Zamenhof wanted to convey the same meaning he did in the French/English texts, whatever that may be - but it's not quite evident from the Russian or Polish versions.

In any case, I really don't think the definite article in Rule 5 establishes the kind of strong exclusivity Kirilo is talking about. Note that it does not say, The only pronouns, or Единственныя местоименiя, which would have been completely unambiguous.

orthohawk (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 2:53:15 PM

Kirilo81:The user bernadox once put it in the nice metaphor of the "Fundamento traffic lights":

GREEN: new international roots according to FG rule 15 - always OK (like smartfono)
YELLOW: new non-international roots according to the 7th paragraph of the Antaŭparolo as replacement for a compound of Fundamento root (e.g. inflamo instead of brulumo) - OK in the literature, to be officialized if successful
RED: new roots replacing Fundamento roots - not allowed if there is no officialization or declaration of tolerabilty by the Akademio (e.g. far instead of de with the passive)
Well, I must be quite the dolt, because I do not see how the addition of "ri" or "ci" or "mojosa" and co. violates any of the above "color-based" guidelines. None of these are (meant to be) replacements of any Fundamental roots: despite the existence of "ri", "li" and "sxi" are still out there and still being used. Same with "ci" vs "vi". As for "mojosa" I fail to see what it's seen as replacing.

Kirilo81:The same holds true for new rules (Antaŭparolo, 8th paragraph), and in my opinion the use of ri would be a such a new rule which needs approval by the Akademio.

In general, I can't see why ĝi shouldn't simply do the job: It means just "3rd person singular" and is perfect to express everything unless you have the special cases "3rd person singular man" or "3rd person singular woman", for which there are li and ŝi. I think it'll be easier to get the wrong association of ĝi with things out of people's head than to convince them to use a new pronoun.
One could say the same about connotations of familiarity and offense that Zamenhof himself said were from outside influence and not inherent to "ci" itself.

Tempodivalse (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 2:56:46 PM

orthohawk:I'm opposed to such teaching if it is not accompanied by a notation saying it isn't official and not everyone will understand if the learner uses it To not teach it when there are people out there who DO use it, is almost as bad, IMO
The percentage of people who use ri is very small. Introductory courses shouldn't have to go out of their way to bombard new learners with every single nonstandard usage that someone might see. The job is to teach typical, bonstila Esperanto - the kind you see in the mainstream, e.g. Tekstaro, Wikipedia, news services, etc.

Again, I don't see ri as being kontraufundamenta. Rule 5, on my interpretation, is not explicit in prohibiting new pronouns. But I find it superfluous. Ĝi is a good alternative (as Kirilo et al. indicated), and even tiu for certain contexts.

leporinjo (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 2:59:56 PM

Tempodivalse:In any case, I really don't think the definite article in Rule 5 establishes the kind of strong exclusivity Kirilo is talking about. Note that it does not say, The only pronouns, or Единственныя местоименiя, which would have been completely unambiguous.
Exactly. Zamenhof understood the concept of "only" and used it when he needed to. From the French and English:
L’Esperanto n’a qu’un article défini
There is no indefinite, and only one definite, article
So, why would "only" be lacking in every single version of the 5th rule? Pure absentmindedness? Zamenhof was eccentric but not stupid.

orthohawk (User's profile) June 1, 2015, 3:00:51 PM

Tempodivalse:
orthohawk:I'm opposed to such teaching if it is not accompanied by a notation saying it isn't official and not everyone will understand if the learner uses it To not teach it when there are people out there who DO use it, is almost as bad, IMO
The percentage of people who use ri is very small. Introductory courses shouldn't have to go out of their way to bombard new learners with every single nonstandard usage that someone might see. The job is to teach typical, bonstila Esperanto - the kind you see in the mainstream, e.g. Tekstaro, Wikipedia, news services, etc.

Again, I don't see ri as being kontraufundamenta. Rule 5, on my interpretation, is not explicit in prohibiting new pronouns. But I find it superfluous. Ĝi is a good alternative (as Kirilo et al. indicated), and even tiu for certain contexts.
The way I handle things is to not teach it, per se. I usually just make a side note when discussing the personal pronouns (same with "ci" ). I say "there are people that use this form for such-and-such a purpose. It is not "standard" nor will everyone understand it or the real intent behind its use, so be aware that if thee chooses to use it, thee* will be questioned about it so be prepared to explain thyself*."

*with proper use of "you" and "yourself" when teaching more than one (only had this happen one time, haha)

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