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Re: Language Change

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 5, 2000, 4:10
Patrick Dunn wrote:
> I was unaware that languages could gain cases; I was always under the > impression that languages tended to simplify, but now I see that "simple" > is subjective, isn't it? Hmm.
Of course - if languages couldn't, there'd be no such thing as cases by now.
> What sorts of things cause a language to gain cases?
Adpositions becoming affixes, I don't know what would *cause* that, but that's how they'd originate. For instance, suppose that /t(@)/ became a dative marker in English. In Spanish, the preposition _a_ indicates accusative, it's reasonable to suppose that at some future date it might become a prefix.
> This, paradoxically, can de-emphasize the importance of rhyme
I don't see why that would be a paradox - poetry involves things that aren't part of prose. If rhymes occur all the time, it would lose its significance. -- "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - anonymous ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor