I’m studying mandarin and know a little spanish. One of the things that stuck out to me in particular is that both languages sometimes draw semantic lines in very similar ways. In particular:
A) Both languages have a verb to be indicating some level of permanence (是/ser) and a verb to be indicating transience, location, and which can also be used to create the progressive aspect (在/estar)
B) Both languages differentiate between knowing a person (認識/conocer) and knowing information (知道/saber)
I know these languages are extremely unlikely to have influenced each other with words for such elementary concepts. But my question is: is this sort of very similar semantic slicing coincidence, or is it the result of human languages only having very limited ways to divide the concepts of “to be” and “to know”?