Thread: On Linguistics
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Old October 17th, 2011, 7:27 pm
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Melaszka  Female.gif Melaszka is offline
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Join Date: 22nd May 2006
Location: England
Age: 52
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Re: On Linguistics

I freely admit to being a complete ignoramus on Linguistics, so I'm probably just making myself look even more stupid here, but I vaguely remember being taught at college that, far from the stereotype of cavemen communicating in grunts and human beings gradually making language more sophisticated over time, actually language has a tendency to simplify over time (that's why English used to have case inflections but - apart from the possessive 's - doesn't any more). So I'm guessing that a primitive language today would be a very complicated one with about 32 cases, and a non-primitive language would be one with very few grammatical rules!

Seriously, I'm assuming that at the dawn of humanity language was very simplistic, then it got more sophisticated, and it's now simplifying again. Or it was simple then, but in a different way. But I never totally got my head around that one.

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