The question points in the future and so I see the problem of having evidence but an educated guess or quotations of linguists would do, I guess.

It is no secret any longer, though some nationalist Turks I know, passionate advocates of the Sun Language Theory, see it differently, languages have changed through time. Not quiet randomly, but by rules which historical linguists have discovered.

However, times are different know : We ve have Jackie Chan, Star Wars, oppressive governments, prescriptive language advocates, the Kings James Bible, constitutions, TV series and all the things which urges us to speak their way either for entertainment to understand what Yoda said in plain English, for our constitutional rights to know how to read the laws and thus to know how to sit on a leather chair sponsored by welfare money instead the electrical one and all other modern reasons which keep our language in a specific shape like dinosaurs eyewitnessing mosquitoes in amber.

So, what is the opinion on this the scientists came up with?

1 Answer 1


Nothing, really nothing, can stop language change. It is best seen on the word level: Neologisms enter the language all the time, and other words become obsolete, archaic, and even completely unused.

Also, on the level of grammar language change is working, e.g., for the English language there is a tendency to use the present continuous in more and more contexts, while other grammatical constructions (to name one: the passive) fall out of favour.

Even sound shifts still occur, despite IPA in dictionaries and sound recordings and mass media. Formerly dialectal or sub-standard pronunciations become accepted or even a new standard. All this happens every day around us, the younger generation speaks a different language than their ancestors.

  • What do you think about the idea , that the modern circumstances don't prevent languages from changing, but the change is rather an oscillating one, changing but tending to come back to a given standard only to change again and come back Mar 17, 2017 at 17:32
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    I have not yet encountered a language to enter an oscillating state and I don't expect to see one in my lifetime. Language purism and conscious revival of archaic words does not restore the previous state of a language (when it is successful at all). Mar 17, 2017 at 17:43
  • And what if it is not a choice like with the revivals you mentioned, but urged upon people like the Chinese government who is desperately trying to impose a standard throughout a big territory even to the point of planning to eradicate Chinese dialects like Cantonese, though dialect is a misnomer since they are mutually unintelligible. Mar 17, 2017 at 17:48
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    This is a different question. The Chinese government may be able to roll out Mandarin all over China (and even beyond, e.g., to Singapore), eventually eradicating some other Chinese dialects/languages, but this will not keep Mandarin from changing over time. Mar 17, 2017 at 17:58
  • Good point, it is about language Nazism and not language conserving in this case Mar 17, 2017 at 18:01

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