Friday, September 18, 2009

Yves Cortez

This chap is an amateur who tried to turn Romance lingüístics on its head and didn't understand why the experts ignored him. For those of you who read Spanish, here is the blog post that made me think about him, and below is the comment I posted there (The blog is mostly about Palaeoanthropology and I 've only just discovered it, but it looks interesting).

"No es dogma, sino una teoría avalada y respaldada por gran número de estudios a lo largo de décadas. Es muy poco probable que haya errores tan fundamentales como pretende Cortez. Aunque Yves Cortez hizo bien sus deberes y pretendió presentar un argumento creíble, hay mucho que no comprende o no sabe valorar. Las lenguas romances no descienden del latín clásico (literario) y mucho menos del latín de tiempos de Julio Cesar, sino del latín popular del fin del imperio occidental. Este tampoco es un idioma oculto, sino que está bien atestiguado en muchos escritos, de tipo popular además de culto u oficial.

Decir que el vocabulario de las lenguas romances no es latino es muy extraño, y el ejemplo que pone para demostrar lo contrario es, francamente, absurdo.

Las lenguas tienden a simplificarse en cuanto a su gramática, fenómeno bien documentado en muchos casos, y con la pérdida de desinencias llegan cambios en el orden de palabras y una mayor rigidez de la misma. El latin vulgar del siglo I ya había perdido ciertas formas verbales que usaba la lengua clásica, y tenía un perfecto y un futuro con auxiliares, como el español y el francés de hoy. En cambio, las terminaciones del pasado imperfecto en español sí corresponden a las del latín, así como las terminaciones de los superlativos, p.e. (los primeros ejemplos que se me vienen).

El latín sí tenía artículos. Como todos (probablemente) los idiomas, tenía artículos demostrativos. Los artículos indefinidos de las lenguas romances vienen del número unum, y los definidos de los demostrativos 'ille' etc (ya los usaba el latín vulgar para este propósito).

Los juramentos de Estrasburgo están escritos en romance común, una especie de latín sin casi sin desinencias y vuelto muy analítico. Naturalmente un hispano-parlante lo lee con relativa facilidad.

Conozco el libro por comentarios, reseñas, extractos publicados por el propio Yves Cortex, etc; por eso me limito a responder a los puntos concretos citados en este post. Pero lo he hecho sin consultar ningún texto, gramática o estudio. No ha hecho falta.

Por la misma razón los expertos (no lo soy) le han hecho poco caso, porque les es obvio de entrada que su tesis es errónea.

Disculpa el comentario tan largo, pero acabo de descubrir este blog (a través de y veo que tienes mucho que decir. Sería una pena que perdieras más tiempo con este asunto."


Martín Rabezzana said...

The chap was a professional; he learned on his own but he was not an "amateur".

In the first page of his blog he shows a text written by a detractor of his who writes a text in Castilian and after each word a word in Latin and there are many similarities which supposedly shows that Castilian (coloquially referred to as "Spanish"; yes coloquially) comes from Latin, but he wrote a text in English and after each word another in French and there are a lot of similar words and we could come to the conclusion that French comes from English, and it's not so; French absorbed many English words but its main structure does not come from English; Romance languages absorbed many Latin words but their root is not in Latin.

No language evolved into another in centuries but in milleniums; according to the official version, Latin evolved in about 4 to 6 centuries not into 1 language, but into many; in one, it would be little likely, in many, totally impossible.

I wonder if the person who accusses him of not being a professional speaks Castilian or French since as far as I know, in English just a brief text about his theory was published, which would mean that the person is just reapeting somebody else's conclusions without even having read his concepts; me I've read what is in Castilian and also in French and in that language his texts are more complete.

Romance languages according to him come from an "old Italian", that's the theory, if they did not come from there, then their origin is unknown since it's not in Latin which several linguists had doubted for a long time, he was not the first to doubt about it.

About his concepts you only wrote a couple of words and you copied the rest; lol, you are the amateur, not mister Cortez.

This place is America, all of you please stop with that "Latin" Bu..., don't exchange for others as ridiculous as that one such as "Hispanic" (which means born in Spain), "iberian", even saying "southamerica" makes no sense since you don't say "southeurope"; if you are not on the side of Yankees, start admitting that America is a continent, from Canada to Argentina.

P.S. 0. Professionals will pay attention to his concepts sooner or later, but take into account that his book it's still new; no "professonal" like concepts that he has believed in for years to be questioned, that's why they paid no attention to what he said.

P.S. No animosity from me; I am willing to discuss in good terms about this or anything else which is always positive but pryor to that, his main concepts (contained in many pages) should be translated to English in case the English speaking person who discusses them does not speak Castilian or French.


The Hickory Wind said...

Hi Martín. Thanks for dropping by. I'll answer you in English as it's the normal language of the blog and you obviously read and write it without difficulty.

I'm sorry, but Yves Cortez was an amateur, of a kind that is common in many fields. He had an idea, which became a passion, but he didn't take the trouble, or he didn't have the competence, to review the enormous body of work already done on the subject, and which would have shown that he was wasting his time.

You seem to have misunderstood the point of the post, by the way. I didn't copy anything, the comment is one I wrote myself and left on the blog I linked to. All the words are mine. I am an amateur, though, you're quite right, I just read the research of other people out of interest.

You mention where Cortez produces a text in English with parallel French words. I know it, I referred to it and linked to in the original post. Unless it's intended as some kind of joke it is simply nonsense. The relation of the Spanish words to the Latin (in the text he parodies) is very well understood, and the changes in form are well documented in great detail over many centuries. Many of the words in his French/English version are not even related, and are well known not to be related, again because of the way they can be traced in texts over hundreds of years. Those that are related aer nearly all from the Norman French or the Enlightenment, when thousands of words were coined directly from Latin and Greek into the literary languages of Europe. All this is well known and demonstrable.

I have his book, by the way, although I haven't read it all and do not intend to. I have seen enough to know that it isn't worth it.

Also, in British English, Castilian is a meaningless term. The language is known as Spanish. In Spain both castellano and español are used, roughly equally I would say. But the Real Academia de la Lengua Española uses that term, and many official and cultural organizations prefer it too. In Spain it isn't something people worry about.

Also, in English, 'America' as a place-name refers to the USA. I see you are Argentinian, so I can understand why you don't like that usage, especially when it's copied in Spanish, but it is a fact of the English language. We tend to speak of 'the Americas' when we mean the entire region of North and South America.

Martín Rabezzana said...

Maybe you will also consider an amateur another chap whose name is Ribero-Meneses who is saying that romance languages derive from Basque and not from Latin, and that the church attributed to Latin their origin since they did the same thing the Romans did when they claimed to have built cities and bridges that were created by others; they attributed to themselves a credit that belonged to others; by saying that romance languages derive from Latin, the language used by the church continued to exist in the form of their descending tongues; the subject is not as clear as many claim that it is, and it's not a bad thing to doubt about any concept that is accepted since only disagreement leads to evolution.

And of course,I know that the world would never call this continent America, and it's not that I'm bothered by that, it's that it gets me full of anger... that's another example of something silly that is accepted by most; for example, you said "north and South America"; you don't have to be an expert for knowing that what is in the middle is not up nor down, it's the center, however, "experts" in geography have decided that America was not a continent therefore, geography changed in a silly manner; "the Americas" are 2 continents for some "experts"; AMERICA it's formed of 3 parts that form part of one continent, however experts (especially in English speaking countries) divided it into 2 parts and most people accept what they decide; "experts" are regarded by many as if they were the owners of an absolute truth even when they said things that can not be verified, and one's knoweledge is not questioned when one agrees with them, however owhen one dares to do such a thing, one is an amateur, this is clearly shown by geographic concepts that make no sense that are accepted and it also happens in linguistic.

Sad. Bye.

Martín Rabezzana said...

One more thing and I leave: according to Basques, the oldest ethnic group from "that" continent was Basque; DNA tests of 2003 have proven that a large part of the population of "that" continent arrived from the Iberian peninsula (a fact opposed to what "experts" were saying), in 2006, DNA tests have proven that the indigenous populations from the Englands arrived from the north of what is now Spain and spoke a language related to Basque... DNA tests confirm the concepts from Basques according to which their ethnic group is the oldest of that continent; ¿what language did they speak? Basque (Euskera); euskera is probably the oldest language of that continent and according to Jorge María Ribero-Meneses, the oldest language of the world, which means that indoeuropean comes from Euskera and so does Latin, Greek, romance languages, etcetera, and he is also saying that the homo sapiens race started in Cantabria, Spain; the oldest human remains of that continent were found in 2007 in Atapuerca, now experts are not sure about the African origin of humanity... a DNA test, and centuries of studies from "experts" are useless... The prehistorian and philologist already mentioned, is also saying that the Atlantis is in the coast of Cantabria; it sounds too much, but, his theories promoted in the 80's started to being taken seriously in the late 90's since evidences started to prove them right.

Believe whatever you want, but if you are objective, you have to base your opinions on evidences and be willing to accept the possibility that new evidences discredit EVERYTHING you have always thought that the truth was.

There is a blog called "Iberia, cuna de la humanidad" in which writings from Ribero-Meneses are presented; if more concepts of his are confirmed by evidences, he will be considered the greatest historian ever.

The Hickory Wind said...

Most of what you just said doesn't even make sense, which makes it rather hard to answer.

DNA analysis can't tell you what language people spoke. Neither Romance languages nor English derive from Basque. That is as certain as that the sun will rise tomorrow.

I have no idea what the rest of your comments is supposed to mean. Sorry.

I had a look at Jorge Ribero-Meneses. If you can't see at a glance that he's a nut, then there isn't much point continuing those converstaion.