Are most ancient languages (at least from europe) grammatical case based? Why the shift to no declension in romance languages?
Are most ancient languages (at least from europe) grammatical case based?
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>Are most ancient languages (at least from europe) grammatical case based?
If you mean the Indo-European ones, then yes.
>Why the shift to no declension in romance languages?
It's an areal feature of Western Europe; the Germanic and Celtic languages also lost some or all of their cases.
IIRC there's a universal tendency for languages to lose grammatical complexity over time.
But languages didn’t start out as very complex
they start out simple, get more complex and then go back to being simple.
The complexity of things like inflections probably emerges by combining words.
Take a phrase like "I will eat". If we put the subject "I" and the auxiliary "will" after of the verb instead
> eat I will
You could imagine the auxiliary verb and the verb blending together into one word.
And over time, eatill would become the future tense of eat.
That's probably how it happens in most languages.
It depends on how common a language is and how conservative
If this were true then all languages would have evolved to have extremely simple grammar. However, there are still languages with very complex grammar, such as Navajo. Languages can develop new suffixes (or prefixes, etc.) fairly easily; for example, the old Latin future conjugation was lost in Vulgar Latin (and, subsequently in all Romance languages), but they evolved a new future conjugation by suffixing conjugations of the verb "habio" to the infinitive of the main verb; thus, in Spanish, "I eat" is "como," while "I will eat" is "comeré."
With my mind of my money and my money on my mind
Comeré is a much simpler form of I will eat, in spanish you don't need the superfluous will particle because it is naturally incorporated into the verb, which comes from "comer he" as in, I will eat
Or I have to eat, but it's basically the same since it has the meaning of I will eat indeed, but a spaniard now would tell you that means I must eat
>Comeré is a much simpler form of I will eat
Ok, you can look at it that way, but my point is that there's no universal tendency for "complex" languages to become "simple."
I agree, I think the theory of SL speakers is good, actually you are right about I will eat, since it doesn't require conjugation, although the pronoun does change, but that's the same for every phrase and you don't get different types of verbs (-ar -er -ir) or irregular verbs (except for past but it's very simple)
i will eat is simpler
Why the shift to no declension in romance languages?
This mainly only happens to languages that spread far through colonization like English and Latin. Declensions are hard for SL speakers if you aren't used to them. You have to imagine all the slaves, merchants, and indigenous people who learn those languages that can't learn the grammar and are not afforded schooling. They are also mostly intermingling with other second language learners who can't properly use the grammar or correct eachother. This is why blacks in the US speak so backwards. That's what happens when you tell people for 400 years that they can't go to school and aren't allowed to read, but you want them to know enough of the language to follow instructions. This is also why Koine Greek, the language of the Bible and Alexander the Great is more simple than Classical Ancient Greek. It was a lingua franca and lingua francas become simple because SL speakers butcher the language.
No cap fr fr
of interest here is that the Rasna (Etruscan) language had declinations. They weren't quite the IndoEuropean Italo-Celtic declensions because, Rasna was not Italo-Celtic nor even Indo-European; but proto-Gaulish and proto-Italic may have been an influence.
Proto-Indo-European had heavy case morphology, so its early descendants mostly did too.
I've heard the "languages grow to be simpler" before but weird shit happens with languages all the time so it might be just random a lot of the time. Like what was the reason for the great vowel shift in English? I watched a video of how French grew to become how it is now too and it's just a series of coincidences in people abbreviating things and such.
Morphology is cringe. The more declension, cases and general inflection your language has, the more it is tribal ooga booga grunting. The simple answer is that Romans, Greeks, etc. were primitive simpletons, barely more than cavemen scratching their anus and sniffing their fingers. Civilized societies leave all of that nonsense behind with their loin cloths.
No morphology is for bugmen like the Chinese.
A highly elevated society without peer, churning out man portable repeating crossbows and perfecting industrial steel output as well as economic and agricultural planning while Occidentals traded sea shells from shanty rafts in their little lake.
The only people who have ever come close to matching the celestials in glorious achievements are the Anglos and their immediate subjects, who revolutionized industry once in Britain and again in the United States of America, and a third time again in the USA with the silicon revolution. It just so happens that these people speak the least morphologically complex language in the Indo-European family? No, this is not coincidence.
Continental bush-languages like Spanish only seeded extremely poor societies focused on primary industry for resource extraction and ancient (outdated) agricultural methodologies. The same goes for Portuguese colonies, and Italian colonies, and French colonies. Slavic colonies couldn't even seed themselved.Truly befitting a people stuck speaking that simian hooting and hollering one could barely consider a language. These chimpers are all too similar to the kinds of things you hear the savage aboriginals speak in. Languages with less than 1000 words and affixes. This is the "caliber" of thought offered by morphologically complex languages.
Both of you need to learn a bit of actual linguistics.
Morphology is suitable when you're not into multicultural stuffs, but will not work very well in multicultural environment, because each nations will have different types of morphology which lead to conflict in usage. That's why Chinese gradually evolved and lost their morphology but they're multicultural as fuck. I bet if Roman Empire still was being existed for a long time as China, they would lose morphology too. Hell, it's already happen with English.
An example of downside of morphology, is when I read russian scanlations of manga. Many japanese boy names end with suffix "-a", but that is usually a feminine suffix in russian and western languages. It's quite jarring, really. And even more jarring, is seeing japanese names in russian declension forms. We east asians always keep the name intact in every situation, so seeing morphology here is fucking jarring. Seeing Bлaдимиpy (dative Vladimir) is normal, but seeing Дзюнy (dative Jun) is so... strange...
This is a very thoughtful reply anon. Now I feel bad for shitposting.
Morphological complexity is lost with pidgins, so you're somewhat correct it has to do with intersection of cultures. The true cause of this is currently unknown however. I don't think it's so much about incompatibility as it is how language works in the brain. Haven't figured out how to put it in words.
Pidgins tend to pop up in areas where many cultures need to interact, usually for business purposes. Pidgins are usually simplistic combinations of the languages of those needing to interact because they need to be learned quickly and only really need to be able to communicate what is necessary for the reason they're being used.
The languages simplifying over time thing might have some truth to it but they don't simplify usually to the point of turning into a different kind of languages (like one that uses cases to one that doesn't) from what I've seen. It's an interesting case going from Latin to the Romance languages (or with English) because this did happen. But then complexity was added by definite articles (words for "the") being introduced, since those weren't in Latin. Other languages like Russian (not as old as I was thinking but still likely about 1000 years old from what I'm finding) have been around for a long time but still have a case system and a language like Basque (around for ~2000 years at least) has also been around for a while but has maintained its morphology, which is pretty out of place for the area it's in. The simple statement "languages tend to get less complex over time" is pretty easily disproved by looking at the languages that exist today, but it doesn't mean it's completely wrong if you were to add in other aspects.