Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 15:05:30 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: FOR English Only Natalie and Tom: I am glad I asked the question about "viable communication," because I realize now that you both did not assume the same thing, at least based on the answers I just read. In concession to Tom, I should have asked the question in terms of "scale of communication," not "level of communication." Natalie, as you answer the question in terms of <> should I assume that mutilingual nations would have identity problems? But I'll go back to Tom's reply, very briefly, the need for having a common language for communication at the level of a few individuals does not translate empirically into the need for one single nationwide language for communication. There are a host of sociohistorical factors to take into account in this case. Besides, there are problems of communication (mutual intelligibility) in monolingual countries. Even here in the United States, I have witnessed native speakers of English failing to communicate successful in their own native English! You may as well follow some incidents on this list too, but the experiences I referred to involve nonlinguists. Sali. *********************************************************************** Salikoko S. Mufwene University of Chicago Dept. of Linguistics 1010 East 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531; fax: 312-702-9861