70

No, it is not. First and foremost, there are many languages recorded long before the advent of Sanskrit, and many religions recorded long before the advent of Hinduism. The oldest surviving texts in Ancient Egyptian are from c. 3000 BCE, while the majority of the Rigveda (the oldest known Sanskrit text) was probably composed between 1500 and 1200 BCE. So ...


28

Sanskrit is not the mother of all languages. Sanskrit is not even the mother of the modern Indo-Aryan languages of the Northern India. Neither it is their father or grandfather. In fact, no language is a direct descendant of Sanskrit. Saying that Sanskrit to the modern Indo-Aryan languages is the same as Latin to the modern Romance languages is absolutely ...


24

The idea of a language being "more advanced" is rejected by linguists. The problem is that there is no objectively justified standard against which languages can be compared -- there's no goal that languages should be striving towards. Languages are indistinguishable in terms of what ideas that allow you to convey, and even though Saami might seem to be more ...


12

This is not a question which can be answered with a yes/no answer. Music is like a natural language in some respects and very much unlike one in others. Here are some suggested similarities and dissimilarities. Music is like (a) language in that: It can be described through a system of rules that operate on a limited vocabulary It combines small building ...


12

The only language that has "hello", "please" and "thank you" is English. Other languages might have other words that they use in somewhat similar circumstances, but I don't think any language has an expression that is used in all of the places that we use "thank you". Indeed, Americans and Brits don't use "thank you" in exactly the same way (they say "Cheers"...


10

The following theories that try to explain the origin of Proto-Indo-European numerals are mentioned in J. P. Mallory, D. Q. Adams, The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World: 1 *h₁oi-no-s: from the anaphoric pronoun *h₁ei- (i.e. English one) 1 *sem-s: originally "one united together" 2 *dweh₃(u), *dwoh₃(u): originally a ...


10

The question raises three terminological issues: what is "language", what is "invented" and what is "once"? It does presuppose that there was a prior state without language, and a later state with it (no controversy about that). To answer the question, we need to understand exactly what is being asked. Language is one aspect of a more general set of ...


10

Not at all. Sanskrit, Latin and a few other languages had a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-European, which was prevalent around 2500 BC on the southern steppes of Russia. It is a fact that Sanskrit has enriched most Indian Languages including the Dravidian Languages such as Telugu as Latin enriched some languages like English Yes, this is true. ...


9

Take a look at John Chadwick's The Decipherment of Linear B. It does include some relevant theory -- I've used it as a text in an elementary linguistics course.


8

It's complex at first but there's very little controversy to be found. Noam Chomsky is a linguist and political activist famous for revolutionizing the study of all areas of linguistics via structuralist methods. He also has a second life as a political critic, bringing scientific methods to journalism, measuring coverage of topics to show the bias of news ...


8

I think the prior question should be, who gets to vote? The difference between agnosticism and dogmatic nihilism, as I interpret the concepts, is that the agnostician simply says "I don't know", and the dogmatic nihilist would say things like "The question doesn't even make sense / the entire foundations of the enterprise are corrupt....". I have spent most ...


7

Chomsky's argument for the Universal Grammar: Children pick up language quickly because of a Language Acquisition Device (LAD). While the LAD is hypothetical, Chomsky believes it to be innate and a part of the human brain. There are journal articles about evidence for the LAD, such as this article in Language. If there were an LAD, then one would expect to ...


5

My answer is just an addition to Greg Lee's answer here. John Chadwick popularized how Michael Ventris and he deciphered Linear B, but the first right steps to the decipherment were made by Alice Kober, an American classicist. She was the one that classified the little characters that were found in the tablets and she first proved that the language was ...


5

Your question is closely related to Bootstrapping, a process in which children initiate the language acquisition. Therefore, in addition to knowledge how scientists decipher the unknown language, please also consider checking researches about how children do it. Also, Ted Chiang's novel „Story of Your Life“ may be relevant. It's a science fiction novel ...


5

This would be a fascinating project if it were feasible, but unfortunately it's well beyond the current state of knowledge about linguistic change; and even if we knew much more than we do, it's still possible that language would turn out to be too complex and ill-bounded a system to model at all adequately. We don't know enough about how, and especially ...


5

The answer is no. For two reasons: Just because a language might belong to the same family as another language, they may not be outwardly similar at all. Just compare German, Russian and Persian. It takes a very close historical study to link them. Or even just German and French. Many of these proto-X families are extremely hypothetical and the evidence for ...


4

It's very plausible that human languages are more complex than non-human animal languages. Human languages have grammars which are sufficiently complex that we don't yet understand them very well, while other animal languages don't really seem to have grammatical systems. But you meant comparing complexity within the human species, rather than across ...


4

Thank you for digging up the article. I am afraid I find it really feeble. “Zipf’s law” (named after the American Nazi Zipf) is an application to word frequency of a very common statistical relationship known in mathematics as the power law. It had been observed, long before Zipf, by the economist Pareto with regard to income distribution, and by the ...


4

There are three possible explanations: Turkish has borrowed many words from other languages, just as has Albanian. I have been told courant d'air is actually a Turkish word (probably spelled the Turkish way). It is possible that your word, or a morpheme in it, was borrowed from an Indo-European language long ago. It may have happened in early praehistoric ...


3

In the context of sound-symbolism and indeed the semiotic theories that are discussed in the article, a sign (linguistic or otherwise) is said to be motivated or iconic if its signifier has something in common with what the sign references. For example, a picture of a yellow circle with lines around it is typically used to depict the sun. Because it has ...


3

Hopefully you can revise your question: Are there clues as to how old the language is? Does the language use a known alphabet (or have any hints of parentage)? Are their contextual samples (signs or labels on identifiable objects)? If the writing is phonetic (like English) then word length and embedded morphemes are clues to function, and so is position ...


3

If you mean full-blown natural languages, the answer is negative unless you introduce a notion of advanceness which will handicap some languages with respect to others (e.g. by setting (the length of) a written language tradition as a criterion) If you mean natural languages as such, the answer is affirmative. Pidgins are by definition less advanced than ...


3

Despite the sceptical comments, what you say is main-stream linguistic thinking. In Indo-European, Semitic, and most other families the second-person singular imperative is identical with the present stem of the verb.


3

Well, it happens even nowadays that languages are created anew from fragments of other languages. There are creoles like Papiamento or Tok Pisin that are created from fragments of different and unrelated languages and have no clear antecessor. There are also constructed languages like Loglan or Lojban that did not evolve from any natural language. I also ...


2

a fairly good source to answer questions on English etymology: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=spiritual&searchmode=none


2

Since this question was recently resurrected, I'd like to provide a broader perspective. The problem is that the question of the evolution of language is often confused between three quite independent (although related) issues. What is the evolutionary selective advantage of language? Or what evolutionary purpose does language serve? What is the origin of ...


2

Nobody, has modeled the whole of language development (to many moving parts, although a kind of a SIMS game with language would probably not be out of the realm of possibility). But there have been models of certain parts. Some people working on the newly opened area of language evolution/origins have conducted experiments that they used to model the ...


2

I'm not sure where you got the idea that imperatives are generally the 'root' form. See WALS for the distribution of the morphological imperative: http://wals.info/feature/70A#2/19.3/148.2. The vast majority of the language covered have a morphological imperative expressing person. English is the only language in Europe that does not. However, the idea that ...


2

Here is my summary (drawn from reviews of Wolfe's book -- I didn't read it). A correct view of this question about the nature of language would have to emerge from exposure to facts in the field. When you go out into the field, you get a good tan. This guy Everett is tanned and healthy, while Chomsky and those who follow him are pale and unhealthy looking....


2

Some languages make it more difficult (impractical, though maybe not impossible) to express some concepts. For example, most European languages have a wide range of tenses for verbs, including conditional tenses, while some other languages are missing these (Mandarin Chinese is the biggest example) - in some languages the workaround for a missing future ...


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