Study of the origin and development of languages.

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2answers
130 views

Is language scientific? [closed]

Is language itself scientific? Is language, grammar, standardized, and prescriptive, made by scientific methods? Are rules, standards, repetitions and patterns of how we speak and right so well ...
4
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1answer
77 views

Boustrophedonism effects

From the looks of it Boustrophedon texts should be more efficient to read. However, I can't find any modern day research regarding its effects and reasons why it would have fallen out of use in ...
6
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4answers
281 views

Did a “cave man-style” language ever exist?

I recently had a discussion with a friend about whether a "cave man-style" language was likely to have ever existed. You know, the stereotypical "Fire bad! Need hunt, go tree-place now!" sort of ...
2
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0answers
55 views

Considering languages evolved over time, what could be the initial dataset?

If I assume evolution of language took place over time, I am curious as to what can be the initial population of words or syllable or anything. Lets say I am about to write a algorithm to evolve ...
0
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1answer
91 views

What are the counterpart of Genotype and phenotype in a language?

Considering that languages evolved just as species did complying with Darwin Natural Selection, what are the Genotype and phenotype when it comes to languages?
2
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2answers
111 views

Is the evolution & development of language better described by Deleuze concept of the rhizome than the traditional tree?

I originally asked this question on philosophy.stackexchange, but the consensus was that this was better asked here Deleuze & Guattari introduce the idea of the rhizome in their text A thousand ...
6
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2answers
447 views

Are “txt-speak” and “emoticons” examples of normal language evolution?

"txt-speak" appeared because of the need to fit a communication into 160 characters. "Emoticons" appeared due to the need to convey an emotional context with your message so that it is read correctly ...
8
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2answers
488 views

Do atonal languages have a tonal ancestor?

One of the distinctions among languages is the tonal/atonal distinction. Dediu & Ladd (2007) suggest that this split between tonal and atonal languages is related to a recent mutation in the ASPM ...
7
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2answers
395 views

What is the “first language”?

I vaguely remember reading an article about a book that talked about what the "first language" would have consisted of, but I can't seem to recall what the book was or what the language was called. ...
5
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2answers
203 views

Why are spoken languages more common than signed languages?

As I understand, there is no essential difference between spoken and signed languages. Both have the same kinds of phonetic, morphological, syntactical and semantic complexities, both are prone to ...
4
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2answers
134 views

When some people spoke proto-XX, what did other people speak?

Tracing back in time through the language hierarchy, I imagine that geographical areas where ancestors of existing "alive" languages were spoken will narrow in, leaving lots of gaps (Since for ...
4
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1answer
413 views

Did Hebrew writing evolve from Egyptian hieroglyphs?

I read somewhere that the Hebrew writing system evolved from Egyptian pictographs. If that's the case, have anyone read about records that trace exact evolution from a pictograph to a Hebrew letter, ...
12
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4answers
4k views

Monogenesis vs. Polygenesis

By following the comments to another question about the evolution of Khoisan languages, I learned that there is a heated debate in Evolutionary Linguistics about the origin of language. Some quick ...