Questions tagged [origin-of-language]

How and when human languages came into being.

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22
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3answers
10k views

Is Sanskrit really the mother of all languages?

Hindus believe that "Sanskrit is the mother of all Languages". It is a fact that Sanskrit has enriched most Indian Languages including the Dravidian Languages such as Telugu, as Latin enriched some ...
4
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0answers
111 views

Onomatopoeia origin of language?

Are there any "modern scholars" that support the onomatopoeia origin of language hypothesis?
4
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1answer
1k views

Origin of “boor”

The Talmud frequently calls an individual a "boor". Two examples: It has been reported: If one has learned Tanach and Mishnah but not Talmud, Rabbi Eleazar says he is an ignoramus [am ha-aretz]; ...
-1
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1answer
190 views

What is the origins of this language from the Circassian family? [closed]

I was watching this video of a woman speaking Circassian on Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiexAvps44Q i'm not a linguist but to me, it sounded like Sumerian or a very old semitic ...
8
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2answers
449 views

Was language invented only once or several times?

We have over 5000 language on Earth as of now, some extant and others not. These all came from what we now call proto languages, but do scientists believe that all proto languages came from one "mono-...
3
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2answers
164 views

Could you point out some theories on how the names for numbers developed?

At this point I don't want to explain my personal crackpot theories on how names for numbers emerged and I assume that anything remotely connected with the origin of language is highly speculative and ...
2
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0answers
207 views

What exactly states the Müller's ding-dong theory?

After long googling, I'm still not sure what does this theory think about the origin of language. Does it really state just: "There IS some kind of mysterious connection but we don't know what's ...
1
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2answers
250 views

Could the proto-human language still play a role in the interlingual communication?

I've read several studies about sound symbolism and I'm still not sure whether I got an insight into the topic. I know that today's view of most of the linguists is skeptical towards sound symbolism ...
2
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1answer
549 views

What is motivatedness?

I've just encountered this term in the context of a study about sound symbolism, I suppose it is a factor that might play role in how are the new words being formed. What is meant by this factor?
3
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1answer
142 views

Difference between languages related a long time ago and unrelated ones

Would there be a theoretical way to distinguish between two related languages which diverged a long time ago, like tens of thousands years, and two totally unrelated languages, say, created ...
10
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6answers
1k views

How would someone begin translating an unknown language?

Excuse my ignorance. I'm writing a work of fiction wherein an archeologist finds a tomb that contains not only the bodies of an unknown/unstudied society, but also samples of writing in that society's ...
11
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3answers
385 views

What is the essence of the dispute between Wolfe and Chomsky?

I read the report in Sunday's Observer concerning the dispute between Tom Wolfe (author Kingdom of Speech) and Noam Chomsky (professor emeritus Massachusetts Institute of Technology) over their ...
1
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2answers
181 views

Is it possible to detect onomatopoeic basis in indigenous languages?

I'm about to study the ding dong vs the pooh pooh theories of the origin of language. I would like to make a poll with questions like "What emotions do you associate with the word "ka:men"?" and ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Is there any language which doesn't have “hello”, “thank you” or “please”? [closed]

If so, is there seen some relation (origin in the Proto-Human language), or did these phrases arose independently?
6
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3answers
528 views

Language origin of english words by usage

This neat diagram was brought up on english.SE from wikipedia, based on research by Finkenstaedt, Thomas and Joseph M. Williams describing where words come from. On the wikipedia page it also states ...
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2answers
311 views

Is Chechen language close to Chinese?

If the both originate from Proto-Sino-Caucasian, then Chechen language should be close to Chinese. Is there any indication for this?
8
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6answers
4k views

Are some languages more advanced than others?

I have read about animal communication, particularly in mammals and historical evidence in early hominoids. Naturally, I am always amazed how much information species like dolphins and orcas can ...
4
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4answers
131 views

Origin of Language as Commands? [closed]

I'm not sure if this type of thread is allowed, but I've been pondering the possibility that language began as commands rather than expression of arbitrary thoughts. This is based on the observation ...
4
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2answers
315 views

Is music a language?

I am a musician. I read an article in the NY Times that suggested both words and musical melodies follow Zipf's Law. I had never really thought about it before, but I started wondering do linguists ...
5
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3answers
197 views

Has anyone attempted to simulate the creation/development of a language?

I suspect this is a dream confined to sci-fi for at least a few decades, but, I'd like to know if anyone has ever tried to create a computer model for the creation of a language, or at least ...
0
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1answer
70 views

What is the word “spirituality” derived from? [closed]

What is the word spirtuality or spirit derived from? Is it's origin based on the Christian idea of the Holy Ghost, or perhaps something earlier, like how the Greeks and Romans believed in spirits? ...
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0answers
94 views

Grice's cooperative principless

Based on Pragmatics Approach, there is one of the principle that involves in communication. It is cooperative principle. This principle consists of 4 maxims. There are maxim of quality (Truthful), ...
2
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0answers
84 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 ...
4
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2answers
269 views

Did language originate and evolve just as organisms did? As in Evolution by Natural Selection?

This is a follow up and linked to the question What evolution framework best describes the change between languages over time? I am interested in knowing how did language originate and how does it ...
1
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0answers
49 views

Why is the word for the color orange always the same as the fruit orange? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The relationship between “orange” the colour and “orange” the fruit It's like that in Spanish, French, English, and I'm starting to wonder how many others. It's not like "...
7
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5answers
2k views

How did the first words arise?

As far as I know linguists consider language arbitrary. If so, how does etymology work? We have a word and we trace it back to its origins. Then, we find that it either comes from a different language ...
16
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4answers
12k 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 ...