Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: The Future Language

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, January 20, 2000, 20:34
Artem Kouzminykh wrote:
> AFAIK natlangs generally become simplier > with time, not more complex, as you demonstrated...
They don't become simpler or more complex *overall*. Both tendencies exist in languages, and have a tendency to more-or-less balance out. A language may lose case, becoming morphologically less complex, and therefore develop more rigid word order. Therefore, more complex syntax may be required for things like questions and focus. And, of course, case can be acquired, as happened in the Finno-Ugric languages. Any statement that languages tend to develop in a single linear direction should be taken with suspicion. Language has existed for so long that any linear tendency would've been completed by now. If languages tended to become more regular with time, there'd be no such thing as irregularity by now, or if they tended to become less regular, there'd be no patterns by now. Sometimes there's a circular tendency, like isolating -> agglutinating -> fusional -> isolating -- 4 Wakalláf watyánivaf plal 273 "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - anonymous ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor