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G-CPTN
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Language

#1 Post by G-CPTN » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:59 pm

How did communication evolve to a spoken language with vocabulary and grammar?
I have searched on language development but only got articles about how children learn, but my query is about the development of a language by ancient tribes.
Obviously it evolved spontaneously - by which I mean without apparent external cause or stimulus, as there are many independent languages - some have a common 'source' but there are languages with no commonality such as Khoisan, Chinese, Arabic and, no doubt many minority languages in remote 'undiscovered' lands.

I will be grateful if anyone can recommend sources.

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Re: Language

#2 Post by Ex-Ascot » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:05 pm

No idea CPTN but you should hear the San talking with their clicks that has to be one of the most bizzare languages: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khoisan_languages

I do not know of any westerner who can speak this. Indeed we are probably incapable of making the sounds. Spent a morning with a group of them in the bush. Just forget it. We had an interpreter of course. Must say really nice people and it is criminal the way that they have been treated here: https://www.momoafrica.com/the-san-peop ... e-bushmen/ It is possible that they were the start of the human race just a one hour drive from here.
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Re: Language

#3 Post by Alisoncc » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:41 am

The main island of Papua New Guinea has a central mountainous spine running it's length, with lots of deep gorges running outwards. Individual indigenous tribes developing within their gorge, totally isolated from all other tribes, evolved their own languages, such that the country had hundreds of different languages. The only common language to develop when colonised was pigeon English. Which is now their official language.

With no external influences, languages develop to meet the needs of the people. Their needs to communicate on a daily basis every aspect of their lives.
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Re: Language

#4 Post by Pontius Navigator » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:46 am

The Welsh language is quite distinct but instead of trying to recreate a modern English word, say Television, into Welsh they just lift it complete.

The French OTOH try and resist importing foreign words just Video and Video Recorder were reinvent in French. le magnétoscope. When it comes to DVD they appear to have given up.

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Re: Language

#5 Post by Capetonian » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:17 am

Welsh is a Celtic language and there are similar words in different linguistic groups along the western fringes of Europe, where migrations have taken place.
For example a church in Welsh Gaelic is Eglywys or Ygleis
Portuguese : Igreja
Spanish : Iglesia
Galician : Igrexa
Irish and Scots Gaelic : Eaglais
Catalan : Esglesia
and has moved as far east as Hungary where it is : egyhaz.

Similarly the word for 'church' clearly has the same derivation in Scandic, Germanic, and Saxon languages, and even in Finnish which is, like Basque and Hungarian, unrelated to any other language (except Estonian)

Interesting example is the word for a 'platform' as in railway platform, which is 'peron' in Polish, Latvian, and Lithuanian. That word exists in Afrikaans, having been taken down by the traders (smouse) from the Baltic states, mainly Lithuania.

And so on .........
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Re: Language

#6 Post by llondel » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:38 pm

That's one of the tricks for dealing with spelling in English - if you can guess where the word came from then you've got a reasonable chance at guessing the spelling correctly.

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Re: Language

#7 Post by G-CPTN » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:46 pm

As an immigrant to Denmark, I was interested in common words across the North Sea - presumably spread by fishermen, however there is an anomaly regarding 'sky' - in English it refers to the blue bit whilst in Danish it is 'cloud' with the blue bit (roughly) assessed as 'heaven' (himmel).

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