The Massive Linguistic Ignorance

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by kmguru, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. TheVisitor The Journey is the Reward Registered Senior Member

    The Tower of Babel was a real event.
    The "Tower" was a temple with it's "top" Nimrod claimed to "reach" into heaven.
    The dimension of heaven, or realm where God exists..
    "The Tower" was not claimed in the Bible to be a building, or impossible structure with it's top in outer space.

    History states he became the "interpreter" for the gods to all mankind.
    He split up mankind's belief in the one true God, handed down from Noah's descendants into many false gods, to use men's belief in those different gods as a motivating force for war.
    That's why and when God confounded their language and scattered them abroad.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2006
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Unlikely. The Turkic and Finno-Ugric peoples are Ural-Altaic, colloquially of Mongol descent. The Mongoloid gene pool split off from the Caucasoid about thirty thousand years ago, if I remember correctly. The Semites and Indo-Europeans are Caucasoids and separated more recently.

    Of course the proto-Mongols were a prolific lot who intermarried with everyone they met during their migrations, so the Turks, Magyars, Finns, etc., who are the progeny of the Mongolic tribes who migrated westward, have a lot of Indo-European and Semitic blood. To that extent they share a Caucasoid ancestor with the Arabs, Jews, Greeks and Celts.

    However, ethnic groups are popularly classified by language rather than DNA. That's why everyone calls the Bulgarians a Slavic people--even the Bulgarians--yet the original Bulgars were most emphatically not Slavs. By this convention the Finns, Hungarians and Turks are Mongoloid, not Caucasoid.

    BTW if you question the legitimacy of the Ural-Altaic language family, which also includes Japanese, Manchu and Korean, analysis done by massively parallel computing has already grouped this superfamily into an even larger superfamily that includes Sino-Tibetan, Indo-European and Semitic-Hamitic. The ancestral language goes back before the separation into Caucasoid and Mongoloid tribes and may well go all the way back to our original stock in Africa. Language may be the technology that got us out of Africa successfully.
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Not true. Well maybe technically true because linguists have not done it, but computers have. The analysis was completed about a year ago and they have indeed found adequate evidence that Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic, Sino-Tibetan, Ural-Altaic, Malayo-Polynesian, etc. comprise one superfamily, tentatively named Eurasiatic.

    The roots of Navajo go way beyond "proto-Navajo." It is an Athabascan language, one of the three aboriginal families in the Western Hemisphere, from the second of the three waves of migration.

    I haven't seen the details but I'm sure all the Western Hemisphere languages must be Eurasiatic, given the timing of the migrations that brought them here. The only other superfamily is African, and premilinary research suggests that there may actually only be one family, indicating that we developed language before leaving Africa.

    My clipping on this topic from the Washington Post hasn't been seen since I moved and it hasn't been easy to google. "Eurasiatic" is not as obscure a term as one would think. If anyone else can find the story please do.
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  7. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

    Fraggle Rocker:

    Do you have any specific references to the dates for the Indo-European, SEmitic, Turkic branch offs? I am having a hard time finding them at the moment. - Consider this website on some new findings that suggest that the majority of Finns are of European extraction, but of Finnish langauge.

    Might you provide your sources on this? I'd be fascinated to read them, as I have not heard of thi sstudy.

    In regards to your Eurasiatic considerations, apparently they remain very controversial, but yes, of course I was simplifying when speaking of "proto-Navajo".

    But in essence: Whereas the languages may be connected in the distant past, it is quite proper to note that any strong connetion was lost then, tens of thousands of years ago. This is was also a natural process based on the spreading of the peoples. This is in direct and utter contrast with the nonsense proposed by IceAgeCivilizations and his Babel theory.
  8. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    Your theological considerations are sorely lacking, both theologically and historically.
  9. TheVisitor The Journey is the Reward Registered Senior Member

    Your constant refute and denial of my theological considerations are sorely lacking, both theologically and historically.

    In other words, put up or shut up.

    The Tower of Babel was a real event.
    The "Tower" was a temple with it's "top" Nimrod claimed to "reach" into heaven.
    The dimension of heaven, or realm where God exists..
    "The Tower" was not claimed in the Bible to be a building, or impossible structure with it's top in outer space.

    History states he became the "interpreter" for the gods to all mankind.
    He split up mankind's belief in the one true God, handed down from Noah's descendants into many false gods, to use men's belief in those different gods as a motivating force for war.
    That's why and when God confounded their language and scattered them abroad.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2006
  10. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    Yes, yes, yes it most certainly was claimed to be a tower.

    Genesis 11:

    "3And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

    4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

    5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

    And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."

    God comes down from the sky to see the city first hand, and punishes them for making such a tower.

    There is no mention of infidelic beliefs in the text. Moreover, the reality of the Gods of the Semites are far more likely than the reality of the highly changing Hebrew God.
  11. TheVisitor The Journey is the Reward Registered Senior Member


    You're implying that it is a building of some impossible height, it is not.
    This is your own private interpretation.

    "Top in heaven" refers to it's use as a religious temple to be Nimrod's new center for interpreting the wishes of the "gods" he had just created.

    You intentionally mis-interpret without the slightest understanding of the context in order to disprove.

    I will not accept any such nonsense, neither is anyone else.

    Read My posts linked above.
    This shows undeniable proof, for anyone to see.

    If you do this pathetic deny, mis-interpret and refute song and dance routine one more time, you will be put on my ignore list permanently.....

    Should have had you there long ago, you are a philosophical "lost in space" case.
    I guess the spiritually challanged are "fun to watch"....especially when they beleive they are being some kind of serious threat.

    Beleive me Sir, you are not.
    I only straighten out your ridiculous lies here so others won't be confused.

    "You do know"........ a good lie would contain at least some truth, the more truth the better lie.

    You could at least try to be convincing.
  12. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    My good man, it says -right in the text-. "Let's build a really high tower. Whoaaa, I'm God, and I am pissed, let me go down and beat them up! I have gone down and ha ha ha, they are all over the world without one languag enow!"

    This interpretation has no foundation in the text. The story is clear and the wording is also. You do realize that "heaven" litterally means "the vault of the sky" here, yes?

    There is no irrefutable proof present, as you are -completely pulling it out of your ass-. You aren't even using the text of the Bible now. You are ignoring it for your own interpretation. Give me the texts that say explicitly it is as you are claiming, and I will concede. Until then, it is magnificiently clear that it is as is written: A story about people building up to Heaven, God being pissed, and God punishing people for him being pissed.
  13. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

    You also have a pathetically low comprehension of Indo-European, Egyptian, and Semitic religion. For one, Hermes was a Greek deity - NOT Egyptian. The Egyptians had no conception of Hermes until Greek influence made the syncretic deity of Hermes Trimestigus, Hermes and Thoth combined, who is used in alchemy.

    But you don't even have a conception of how polytheism emerged. First off, Indo-European polytheism comes from the proto-Indo-Europeans who lived about 10,000-6,000 years ago. This is why their Gods have a common conception throughout their cultures, from India to Ireland. Secondly, polytheism as a whole is simply a progression of the conception of God. It generally comes once a higher level of civilization is reached, after usually an animistic stage earlier in the progression.

    If you're going to make elaborate claims on world religions, please -know what they say- to begin with.
  14. TheVisitor The Journey is the Reward Registered Senior Member

    You don't learn about God in a school or from a textbook.
    Didn't they say to Jesus; "What school did you ever attend?"
    And; "Who gave you this authority?"
    He said "neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
    That's what I'm saying to you also.......don't worry about my having to prove to you my claims.
    I don't want you to "get it"
    Believe what you will.
    You've already been struck with spiritual blindness and don't even know it.
    To even pray for you would be fighting the will of God.


    But to anyone else reading your false claims is a brief explanation of history.

    True history...not the lies they teach you in man's institutions, religious or secular.

    The promise of a Messiah to come to Earth had been all peoples belief from before the flood.
    Even after the flood of Noah, all men were of one language and believed in Jehovah as the one true God, until Nimrod of Babylon started the gods by falsely saying he was their interpreter.
    'Man was split up, but took many of these beliefs in the prophecy of the sacrifice that Abel saw in the garden...the Lamb.... and blended them into false gods as they went, spreading out upon the face of the Earth.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
  15. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    Spiritual ignorance is a code word you use for "you don't believe my rubbish".

    How conveinent that you can use "spiritual blindness" as such a versatile trump card!

    You're also quite wrong. Few religions have beliefs in saviours of such a way.

    And no, there was neither a flood, nor Nimrod, nor a Tower of Babel.
  16. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    This is a history forum and, as such, we might expect positive claims (like "the Tower of Babel was a real event") to have some supporting documentation or veracity behind them that goes beyond superstition. Lets keep the supernatural out of this thread and forum and keep it on topic, please.

    If you want to discuss spirituality, there are more appropriate places to do so.
  17. TheVisitor The Journey is the Reward Registered Senior Member

    The bible is a historical document that has been proven to be accurate.

    If you refuse to accept anything in the bible as proof, and call any reference from it fiction or fantasy, it is you then that have weaved a fantasy to live in apart from reality.

    But SkinWalker, despite our different beliefs in some strange way I do have respect for your veiws....

    There is a difference between religion and the spiritual.
    Many things can be explained no other way.

    Einstein said...without faith you can not comprehend reality.

    If you limit the discussion to what you can relate with the five senses you are not living in reality but a fantasy land.
    A blindman's prison made with bars of logic and reason.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2006
  18. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    Yeah, yeah. I hear you.

    I don't mind using biblical mythology as points of reference for Sryo-Palestinian history any more than I mind using Homer's Iliad and Odyssey to explore the Greek history and the site of Troy. There's much that can be learned. But I won't say that Odysseus actually got a cyclops drunk and slew him is fact. That simply isn't a statement that's tenable.

    In this forum, lets avoid making wild claims and speculations that cannot possibly be verified. Or at least ensure that we're not calling them "facts."
  19. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member


    This has never been proven to be so at all.
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Hardly. The whole astonishing "two language families" revelation only came in 2005. I wonder if they'll ever be able to trace the divisions into subfamilies back beyond the 12,000-year barrier, which they surely predate. Considering that they have only found something like a hundred words in common to date, the evidence is probably too slim to analyze in further detail.
    That would not be so remarkable. As I've pointed out, the Bulgars were not a Slavic people but they adopted the Old Slavonic language. The Jews are not an Indo-European people but Yiddish is a Germanic language. People are not always quite so fiercely bound to the language of their ancestry as we like to believe.
    I have not forgotten your question. As I said the newspaper clipping is buried in the turmoil from my last house move. From my parochial perspective I guess I assumed that such an earth-shattering discovery would be on the late-night talk shows by now. I hope I did a better job filing the more recent clipping on the discovery of the fig as the earliest known cultivated crop, pushing the Dawn of Agriculture back 500 years.
  21. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

    Fraggle Rocker:

    If you come upon more regarding this, do tell me.

    Very true.

    If you ever find it, do tell me. But do not worry about searching through it endlessly, though. I'd not subject you to that.
  22. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

    Looking at recent history to project probable ancient history seems like a good strategy to me. Here: you can find Shakespeare as written in 1600. If I multiplied the differences between that English and current American English times about 5 I might have a language as different from modern American English as current Dutch is from American English. This gives me some idea of the speed at which language changes. Of course I could just trust some experts opinion at the speed at which languages change.

    The experts say the the Languages of the Native Americans were much more diverse from each other than Indo-European languages are from each other. Native American languages are from many language groups, where as Indo-European is one language group. The Native American languages tended to change more quickly over small geographic areas than languages in Eurasia do.

    My explanation for this is that the Native Americans probably had less people traveling over long distances for trading purposes.

    Now, when a Bengali man wants to speak to a Marathi man, what language do they use? Probably English; Maybe Hindi. If a Chinese man wants to speak to an Italian what language do they use? If they can't both speak English they will probably have to use grunts and gestures. Trade can spread languages.

    Jesus spoke Aramaic, not because the Assyrians conquered the Jews but rather because Aramaic had been the regional language of trade and was replacing smaller languages as populations that spoke different languages mixed.

    The grand children of immigrants to America generally can not speak the first language of their grand parents.

    Will Malayalam still be the native language of Kerala 150 years from now or will Hinglish replace Malayalam as the native language of Kerala?

    "Hinglish' -- a mixture of Hindi and English widely spoken in India -- may soon become the most common form of the Queen's language, according to a British expert.

    Professor David Crystal, author of more than 50 books on English, says 350 million Indians speak Hinglish as a second language, exceeding the number of native English speakers in Britain and the US.

    Prof Crystal argues that the growing popularity of Indian culture around the world, including Bollywood movies, means that Hinglish will soon become more widely spoken outside the continent."

    What about Thailand? If globalization keeps mixing the world's peoples and If English keeps spreading the way it is will English or Hinglish replace the Thai language without English speakers ever having conquered Thailand?

    In my opinion there is no need to presume that some ancient Indo-European people ethnically cleansed or even conquered all the places that now speak indo-European languages.

    I think it is more reasonable suppose that livestock herding peoples became the global traders in a world of micro languages and the admixed languages of these livestock herding peoples became the basis of Indo-European with each of the micro-languages giving way to the larger regional admixed language just as all of the Indian languages may give way to Hinglish. It is reasonable assume that the Eurasian people of 5000 years ago who were living lifestyles the native Americans of 400 years ago would have been divided up into micro-languages as the native Americans were. As population densities rose and trade a rose and politics and war required military alliances and governments on a larger scale, the micro languages would have to be replaced by regional languages.

    If I was guessing where the Indo-European language group started, then My guess would be Pakistan. I have heard the Tamil, Basque, Berber, Canary Islands, linked language theory. Perhaps there may have been a coastal sea peoples global language long before the other language groups formed.

    this will took better at:

    Proto-Afro-Asiatic Afro-Asiatic *mlg 'suck, breast, udder'
    Arabic Afro-Asiatic m-l-j 'suck the breast'
    Old Egyptian Afro-Asiatic mndy 'woman's breast, udder'
    Proto-Indo-European Indo-European *melg- 'to milk'
    English Indo-European milk 'to milk, milk'
    Latin Indo-European mulg-e:re 'to milk'
    Proto-Finno-Ugric Finno-Ugric *mälke 'breast'
    Saami Finno-Ugric mielga 'breast'
    Hungarian Finno-Ugric mell 'breast'
    Tamil Dravidian melku 'to chew'
    Malayalam Dravidian melluka 'to chew'
    Kurux Dravidian melkha: 'throat'
    Central Yupik Eskimo-Aleut melug- 'to suck'
    Proto-Amerind *maliq'a 'to swallow, throat'
    Halkomelem Almosan m@lqw 'throat'
    Kwakwala Almosan m'lXw-'id 'chew food for the baby'
    Kutenai Almosan u'mqolh 'to swallow'
    Chinook Penutian mlqw-tan 'cheek'
    Takelma Penutian mülk' 'to swallow'
    Tfaltik Penutian milq 'to swallow'
    Mixe Penutian amu'ul 'to suck'
    Mohave Hokan malyaqe' 'throat'
    Walapei Hokan malqi' 'throat, neck'
    Akwa'ala Hokan milqi 'neck'
    Cuna Chibchan murki- 'to swallow'
    Quechua Andean malq'a 'throat'
    Aymara Andean malyq'a 'throat'
    Iranshe Macro-Tucanoan moke'i 'neck'
    Guamo Equatorial mirko 'to drink'
    Surinam Macro-Carib e'mo:kï 'to swallow'
    Faai Macro-Carib mekeli 'nape of the neck'
    Kaliana Macro-Carib imukulali 'throat'


    Amazing Coincidences
    Arabic akh 'brother' Mongolian akh 'brother'
    Bikol aki 'child' Korean aki 'child'
    Blackfoot aki 'woman' Even akhi 'woman'
    Arabic ana 'I' Gondi ana 'I'
    Arabic anta 'thou' Japanese anta 'thou'
    Arabic ard 'earth' Dutch aard 'earth'
    Hebrew ari 'lion' Tamil ari 'lion'
    Hebrew awir 'air' Welsh awyr 'air'
    Kyrgyz ayal 'woman' Parji ayal 'woman'
    Ga ba 'come' Hebrew ba 'come'
    English bad Persian bad 'bad'
    Kazakh bala 'child' Sanskrit bala 'child'
    Arabic bay‘ 'sale' Japanese bai 'sale'
    Hungarian béka 'frog' Sanskrit bheka 'frog'
    Guro buri 'vulva' Sanskrit buri 'vulva'
    English chop Uzbek chop- 'chop'
    Etruscan clan 'son' Gaelic clann 'sons'
    Irish daoine 'people' Navajo dine 'people'
    English dog Mbabaram dog 'dog'
    Lau dori 'to wish for, desire' Romanian dori 'to wish for, desire'
    Japanese haha 'my mother' Onondaga haha 'my mother'
    Egyptian hati 'heart' Malay hati 'heart'
    Elamite hih 'fire' Japanese hi 'fire'
    English hole Yucatecan Maya hol 'hole'
    English I Brahui i 'I', Onondaga i 'I'
    Japanese i- 'go' Latin i- 'go'
    Japanese ii 'good' Turkish iyi 'good'
    Arabic kana 'to be' Santal kana 'to be'
    Hindustani kutya 'dog' Hungarian kutya 'dog'
    French lai 'song' Urdu lai 'song'
    French le 'the' Samoan le 'the'
    Burmese lu 'human person' Sumerian lu 'human person'
    Arabic ma 'what' Chinese ma 'what'
    Hawaiian mahina 'month' Urdu mahina 'month'
    English many Korean mani 'many'
    Chinese mei 'beauty' Tamil mey 'truth'
    (Cf. Keats, "Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty")
    Hungarian mell 'breast' Kota mel 'breast'
    Estonian mina 'I' Zulu mina 'I'
    Arabic muna 'wish' Quechua muna 'wish'
    Khmer ñam 'eat' Wolof ñam 'eat'
    German nass 'wet' Zuñi nas 'wet'
    German nehme- 'take' Manchu neme- 'take'
    Chinese ni 'thou' Tamil ni 'thou'
    Basque ni-k 'I' Berber nik 'I'
    Cantonese nöi 'female' Hungarian nöi 'female'
    Urdu nosh 'eating' Yiddish nosh 'eating'
    Greek paid- 'child' Telugu paida 'child'
    Greek palai- 'old' Tamil palai- 'old'
    English pay Chinese pei 'pay'
    Mordvin pey 'head' Nahali pey 'head'
    English post Turkish post 'post'
    Georgian puri 'bread' Hindustani puri a type of bread
    Egyptian ra 'sun' Maori ra 'sun'
    Italian sala 'hall' Sanskrit Sala 'hall'
    Malay se- 'one' Nahuatl se 'one'
    Korean se- 'three' Persian seh 'three'
    Italian sette 'seven' Sakha (Yakut) sette 'seven'
    English show Pashto Show- 'to show'
    English sign Hindi sain 'sign'
    English slick Uyghur s'liq 'slick'
    English so Japanese sô 'so'
    English soup Hindi sûp 'soup'
    Finnish tippa 'drop' Hebrew tippa 'drop'
    Toda tal 'head' Welsh tal 'forehead'
    English two Ainu tu 'two' — Korean tu- 'two'
    Hebrew ur 'town, village' Tamil ur 'village'
    Sumerian uru 'town, village' Telugu uru 'village'
    English well Nahuatl huel 'well'
    Czech já 'I' Old Tamil yâ 'I'
    Hebrew yam 'sea' Samoyed yam 'sea'

    Near Misses
    Hebrew avir 'air' Tamil avi 'breath'
    English better Persian behtar 'better'
    Turkish bir 'one' Tarahumara biré 'one'
    French ça y est 'that's right!' Urdu sahih hai 'that's right!'
    English curl Tamil kuruL 'curl'
    Greek, Latin duo 'two', Pushto dwa 'two' Malay dua 'two'
    Amharic gara 'mountain' Georgian gora 'hill'
    Konda goro 'hill, mountain' Russian gora 'mountain, hill'
    English haunt Malay hantu 'ghost'
    Arabic kalafa 'to be reddish-brown' Sanskrit kapila 'reddish-brown'
    Tamil karu 'black' Turkish kara 'black'
    Finnish maa 'earth' Tamil maN 'earth'
    Arabic malad 'youth' Czech mlada 'young'
    Arabic mata 'to die' Malay mati 'to die'
    Scottish mickle 'much' Tamil mika 'much'
    Cree mot(w) 'moose' Evenki (Tungus) moti 'moose'
    English occur Japanese okoru 'occur'
    Finnish pää 'head' — Lakota pa 'head' Hawaiian po‘o 'head'
    Tamil pillai, Kannada pille 'child' Nahuatl pilli 'child'
    Greek pneu- 'to breathe, blow' Klamath pniw- 'to blow'
    Hawaiian pua 'flower' Tamil pu 'flower'
    Eskimo qayaq 'small boat' Turkish qayiq 'small boat'
    English receipt Persian resid 'receipt'
    Lithuanian rumai 'house' Malay rumah 'house'
    Etruscan sek 'daughter' Tlingit sik 'daughter'
    Arabic shakala 'to shackle' English shackle
    Urdu shadi 'wedding' Zulu -shado 'wedding'
    English sun Manchu shun 'sun'
    Arabic suwar 'walls' Tamil cuvar 'wall'
    Nahuatl tepec 'hill' Turkish tepe 'hill'
    Greek theos 'god' Nahuatl teo 'god'
    Irish tine 'fire' Lenape (Delaware) tindey 'fire'
    English tone Tamil toni 'tone'
    English whole Greek holos 'whole'
    Old English ure 'our' Korean uri 'our'
    English woman Old Japanese womina 'woman'
    Japanese yabanjin 'person from the wilderness' Turkish yabanci 'person from the wilderness'

    Yin/Yang reversals
    Catalan alt 'high' Turkish alt 'low'
    Dutch beter 'better' Turkish beter 'worse'
    English black Old Chinese bhlak 'white'
    Mongolian bog 'demon' Russian bog 'god'
    Kashmiri ded 'grandmother' Russian ded 'grandfather'
    English he Hebrew hi 'she'
    Coptic i 'come' Japanese i-, Latin i- 'go'
    Mongolian ir- 'come' Spanish ir 'go'
    Hebrew ish 'man' Jacaltec Mayan ish 'woman'
    English lumbar (back) Pashto lumbaR 'front'
    English mama 'mother' Georgian mama 'father'
    English nay 'no' Greek nai 'yes', Korean ne 'yes'
    Basque ni 'I' Chinese ni, Tamil ni 'thou'
    English no Hawaiian no affirmative
    English papa 'father' Old Japanese papa 'mother'
    Arabic dialect rah 'go' Hindustani rah 'stay'
    Hindustani rog 'disease' Pashto rogh 'healthy'
    English sad Turkish sad 'happy'
    English server 'one who serves' Ottoman Turkish server 'one who rules'
    Italian si 'yes' Swahili si negative
    Arabic su’ 'evil' Sanskrit su- 'good'
    Basque su 'fire' Turkish su 'water'
    Malay tak 'no' Polish tak 'yes'
    French toi 'thee' Vietnamese tôi 'me'
    Mordvin tol 'fire' Nivkh tol 'water'
    Mayan yum 'father' Tibetan yum 'mother'
    Italian va 'go!' Tamil va 'come!'
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The rate of change of language varies dramatically. Most of the change between Shakespearean English and today's English occurred within the last century. The very grammar of our language is changing, something that does not occur often. The Paradigm Shift makes it necessary to describe new types of relationships, and the old Stone Age list of prepositions and conjunctions is inadequate. So we've suddenly begun coining new compounds like "user-friendly," "cable-ready," and "computer-literate." Chinese freed itself from the "parts of speech" paradigm thousands of years ago and is way ahead of us. Basically there are only nouns and verbs in Chinese so it's very easy for them to talk about new ideas.

    The biggest change in English was during the early years of the last millennium after the Norman invasion. Thousands of new words were absorbed from French, including everyday words like "very," "use," and "question." That is the reason for the big difference between Modern English and Modern Dutch. Dutch is much closer to German than it is to English, because neither language has been as perturbed by foreign influences as English has.

    A Greek with a university education can almost puzzle his way through a page of ancient Greek. An Italian with a university education cannot read Latin although he can make out large bits of it. We can barely recognize Anglo-Saxon as the ancestor of our own language.
    Umm... The languages of the Native Americans have had 15,000 years to diverge, if you're talking about the main Amerind group that was the first one to come over and is the ancestor of most of the New World peoples. The Indo-European diaspora only goes back five or six thousand years. That's closer to the second wave of Native American immigration, now represented by the people west of the Rockies and south of the Arctic. I'm sure you'll find that the relationships between their languages are much easier to identify.
    All of this is behind the information curve. Even in the 1990s the New World languages had been classified into only three families: Amerind, Na-Dene and Eskimo-Aleut.

    But more interestingly, massively parallel computing has found relationships among the world's languages that were once thought impossible to determine. All of Europe and Asia is one family now, based on about a hundred common words whose phonetic changes were possible to trace once we had the computer technology that can beat the world's chess champion.

    It's very likely that there is only one language family. This suggests that language may be the key technology that made possible the migration out of Africa in the first place.
    Actually, the language of people who stay in one place tends to change more slowly than that of people who move around. Also the language of expats changes more slowly than that of the people who stayed home. When relations with the Iron Curtain warmed and America's huge Czech community began traveling to their ancestral homland, the Czech they spoke was humorously archaic to the people of Prague.

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