Re: Future of English (was Re: Degrees of volition in active languages (was Re: Chevraqis: asketch)
|From:||H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>|
|Date:||Monday, August 14, 2000, 3:53|
On Mon, Aug 14, 2000 at 07:33:15PM -0700, Jim Grossmann wrote:
> Hi, all,
> AFAIK, the idea that languages consistently evolve in the direction of
> greater overall simplicity is a myth.
> Languages do get simpler in certain ways, but these simplifications can give
> rise to new complexities.
[... lots of good stuff snipped]
> d) It's conceivable that a language could lose cases, whose functions
> would be delegated to adpositions, which in turn could be contracted to make
> them and their objects into single phonological words, which could then
> constitute nouns in a brand new set of cases.
Cool idea! So I guess you're saying that languages are in some way cycling
between being more inflected and more analytic. I like that concept...
it's like the language is constantly "renewing" itself -- case endings
drop when common usage "wears off" the more obsolete forms, but after a
while, patterns such as common phrases start getting used so much they
become treated like a unit, and hence become a new set of inflections.
I think this is what I'll do with my conlang, which is supposed to be an
ancestor conlang. I've sketched out a long history for the universe of the
conlang, with vastly different eras. I think it'll be neat to have the
language and its various dialects mutate in similar ways: each era has a
different cultural focus; so the language should mold accordingly. Cool.