《A Thousand Plateaus》的笔记-第102页
- 章节名：NOVEMBER 20, 1923: POSTULATES OF LINGUISTICS
- 页码：第102页 2013-02-16 13:11:31
Must a distinction then be made between two kinds of languages, "high" and "low," major and minor? The first would be defined precisely by the power (pouvoir) of constants, the second by the power (puissance) of variation. We do not simply wish to make an opposition between the unity of a major language and the multiplicity of dialects. Rather, each dialect has a zone of transition and variation; or better, each minor language has a properly dialectical zone of variation. According to Malmberg, it is rare to find clear boundaries on dialect maps; instead, there are transitional and limitrophe zones, zones of indiscernibility. It is also said that "the Quebecois language is so rich in modulations and variations of regional accents and in games with tonic accents that it sometimes seems, with no exaggeration, that it would be better preserved by musical notation than by any system of spelling." The very notion of dialect is quite questionable. Moreover, it is relative because one needs to know in relation to what major language it exercises its function: for example, the Quebecois language must be evaluated not only in relation to standard French but also in relation to major English, from which it borrows all kinds of phonetic and syntactical elements, in order to set them in variation. The Bantu dialects must be evaluated not only in relation to the mother tongue but also in relation to Afrikaans as a major language, and English as a counter-major language preferred by blacks. In short, the notion of dialect does not elucidate that of minor language, but the other way around; it is the minor language that defines dialects through its own possibilities for variation. Should we identify major and minor languages on the basis of regional situations of bilingualism or multilingualism including at least one dominant language and one dominated language, or a world situation giving certain languages an imperialist power over others (for example, the role of American English today)?
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