LINGUIST List 16.790

Tue Mar 15 2005

Media: BBC: Searching for the Welsh-Hindi link

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        1.    Antony Green, BBC: Searching for the Welsh-Hindi link


Message 1: BBC: Searching for the Welsh-Hindi link

Date: 15-Mar-2005
From: Antony Green <toniogreenweb.de>
Subject: BBC: Searching for the Welsh-Hindi link


At http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4328733.stm there's a story
about a BBC journalist from India, now living in Wales, who has noticed
'peculiar similarites' between the Indian accent and the Welsh accent of
English, and calling on professional linguists to help her figure out why.

In my opinion, her speculations are unlikely to yield any useful results. I
can predict what the results of any serious linguistic comparison will be:
Welsh and Hindi are both pitch-accent languages, resulting in superficial
intonational similarities in the respective accents of English. The fact
that Welsh and Hindi are both pitch-accent languages is probably
coincidental, as Welsh at least does not preserve the Proto-Indo-European
pitch accent (Proto-Celtic almost certainly had a stress accent). And
calling Indo-European 'the mother of all languages' is just absurd, and
really shoddy journalism.

==========================================
Antony D. Green
Quitzowstr. 114
10559 Berlin
Germany

toniogreenweb.de
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
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