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Re: Language sketch -- Lassaptakl

From:Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>
Date:Monday, March 6, 2000, 18:39
Danny Wier wrote:

>Independent words becoming bound morphemes. Could explain the origin of >languages in general! My studies on Nostratic and other things lead me to >believe that, if you believe in linguistic monogenesis from Babel, >inflecting languages evolved from agglutinating languages.
This is pretty speculative, I think. There is evidence to suggest that morphological change is unidirectional (changes from agglutinating to inflectional, from inflectional to isolating, and from isolating to agglutinating are all well-attested; while changes from agglutinating to isolating, isolating to inflectional, and inflectional to agglutinating are extremely rare). But I don't think there's sufficient data to determine which (if any) of these types, isolating, agglutinating, or inflectional, was the 'original' type for all languages. The question is almost certainly unanswerable, as is the question of monogenesis versus oligogenesis. Matt.