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Re: Language Change

From:Daniel A. Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 5, 2000, 21:50
>From: John Cowan <jcowan@...>
>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. > >Sure. The Finno-Ugric langs, with their 12-20 cases, descend from >languages >with postpositions and far fewer cases. Sometimes the line between a >case marker and a pre/postposition is hard to draw.
A now-extinct Indo-European language, Tocharian, had nine or ten cases, with possible influence from Altaic or Uralic languages. Vlach Romany has eight cases, but not the way Sanskrit does; it uses postpositions like Hungarian would. Also, some recent IE-ists say that the eight-case system of Sanskrit isn't an originality, but an innovation, citing pauciticy of cases in Hittite, Celtic, Armenian etc. Danny ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at