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R: Re: Age of langs (was Tempus)

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Friday, March 9, 2001, 20:38
Andreas wrote:

> Nik Taylor wrote: > >Andreas Johansson wrote: > > > How could that be, when Italian is descended from Latin? > > > >In the same sense that I as a 22-year old am older than I was when I was > >15. > > > > > To get back to the earlier question, whether it's possible to say that > >one > > > natlang is older than another, I think the answer is yes, under
> > > conditions. Obviously a language must be younger than its ancestors
> > > older than its daughter langs. > > > >"Old" is a bit ambiguous. One could just as easily say that a language > >is older than its ancestors, and younger than its descendants, in that > >the whole continuum of that language, traced back to the first speech, > >is longer than that of its ancestors. > > OK, I see your point. I cannot, however, resist to point out that by your > logic I can claim to be older than my great-grandfather, who before I was > born! I'm afterall separated from the beginning of mankind by a few more > years ... (And in a sense all humanity during the ages is little more than > mere recombinations of the initial gene-pool). >
hehe! It reminds me the way Descartes used to face Aristotelics: you can't claim Greeks were wiser than we are, after all, indeed, he held, we are 2000 years older : ) Luca