language

Word Without End

Cesar Ruiz Aquino

 

East, the horizons and all the learning

Lost. Sick for Siquijor or Avalon

O I could for the sheer sight of her throw

Verses away! Let the Virgins carry

 

Virgule widdershins upon the fairy

Earth, the same that on the world’s first morning

Left her traces, her face an eidolon

Of whiteness for the chilled blood to know

 

Or for one word and one word only go

Void as days all misspent for the starry

Echo of a night come without warning

Like a thousand thieves stealing on and on

 

Love, tongue-tied, is my Tetragrammaton

Opening no door, giving leave to no

Vendaval that, priceless, she might tarry

Even as the sands and there’s no turning

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And What Are Words?

by: Gemino Abad

What keeps us together? – Words.

And what are words? Initials of my soul

 

Transmitted through our inhuman air,

But driving root again in your speech,

 

As finding there hospitable dwelling,

Or ample illusion, since in your voice

 

I am again transformed and again,

Even as in the words I speak

 

I come again upon you and again,

In utricles of the innermost ear,

 

Singing silences, those pauses that 

For itself the imagination requires.

 

That you and I, again identified,

May continue to send rarest signals

 

Across our in human air,

Continue to conjecture in that void,

 

And conjure images of ourselves

To inhabit that inhabitable air,

 

Or images of the world,

Swinging comet-like through fiery speech,

 

Or notions of the sun, once worshipped

When his orbit strayed through the heart,

 

Or ideas of the moon, cold, august,

Lying hid in our youthful loves,

 

Toward that possibility of the imagination,

Casting fictive nest for mind’s heraldry.

How to Address a Student

I noticed that all my old professors address students by their first names. Some would even resort to nicknames. As for my relatively young teachers, the yuppies and the fresh graduates, they address their students by their last names: Mr. So-and-so or Ms. So-and-so.

I wonder if there are sociolinguistic implications here, that my old professors call students by their first names to endear themselves to the younger generation, and that my younger teachers address students more formally with their family names, to assert their authority because the age gap is too close.

 

(?) Hmm.

Waking a Sleeping Language

An instructor once told our class that it was possible to resurrect a dead language, or rather, to awaken a sleeping language. He used Latin as an example (some say it is a sleeping language because of its lack or scarcity of native speakers, and some say it really isn’t because there’s the Vatican). Nevertheless, Latin was used only as an example.

Now that instructor told us that in order to revitalize Latin (or to grant Latin some native speakers), you ought to:

1. Learn Latin (from phonology to syntax to grammar, etc.)

2. Bear a child.

3. Expose said child to your variety of Latin.

4. Latin becomes the child’s L1 or native language.

5. Thus, you have the first native speaker of Latin.

I actually thought that was a good idea at first…and why not? Here’s a way to revive a dead sleeping language.

But I don’t know about you. Do you have any brighter ideas how we can revive sleeping languages? That is, of course, assuming that we have the structure of that language documented thoroughly.

Oh and should Latin be considered a sleeping language?