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How this phenomenon appeared and why and stayed are two different problems. The former cannot be fully answered to sattisfaction I guess. The latter is a matter of inertia. Once it's there and not too much of an obstacle, it will be dragged along. One might argue that it needed an evolutionary advantage to persist, and then wonder why it went lost anyway. It'...


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The systems employed in Germanic and Slavic result in part from inheritance from Proto-Indo-European, with changes (such as the loss of agreement in Norwegian, massive reduction in English, and the additional of gender in Russian via the past being formed with a nominal construction). We don't know for sure where verb agreement came from in the proto-...


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More theory than history for you, but one take on it: Language evolution is an eternal tug-of-war between ease of articulation and information density. We want to say things quickly and learn how to say them easily, but we also want to be able to communicate with nuance. English is a fairly extreme case. For regular verbs, we have only two forms across all ...


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