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[Xmca-l] Re: no primitive language?



Well, of course Carol's really right, Andy. We need to say what we mean by
primitive. Does it mean that the language is historically young? In that
case, the most primitive language is probably modern Hebrew. Does it mean
that the language is grammatically simple? Which aspect of the grammar?

Let's take case, since this is Vygotsky's model for linguistic complexity
in the Lectures. Annaluisa will tell you about Sanskrit's eight cases;
modern Tamil has seven; Greek and Latin had about six. Tsez, in the
mountains of the Caucasus, has 64 cases (mostly locatives).

English is probably the most primitive languages in the world from this
point of view; it has a distinction between "I" and "me" and "he" and "him"
but that's about it.

David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies







On 27 December 2014 at 19:14, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> Thanks, Carol. :)
> I am OK from here then.
> Much appreciated.
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>
>
> Carol Macdonald wrote:
>
>> Syntax, semantics. pragmatics, phonology, discourse orientation: they
>> just give their own version of these aspects.
>>
>> On 27 December 2014 at 12:10, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:
>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>
>>     Thanks, Carol.
>>     Can those "key characteristics" be given in a few lines?
>>     Andy
>>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>> ------------
>>     *Andy Blunden*
>>     http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>     <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>
>>
>>     Carol Macdonald wrote:
>>
>>         Andy
>>
>>         It's true.  Languages all share key characteristics.
>>
>>         Carol
>>
>>         On 27 December 2014 at 12:02, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net> <mailto:ablunden@mira.net
>>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:
>>
>>             I have heard, and I believe it to be the case, that there
>>         is no
>>             such thing as a "primitive language."
>>             I am not talking about the "language" of children raised in
>>             isolation, or the "home sign" of deaf children, I mean
>>         among the
>>             languages of actual historical peoples.
>>             I would just appreciate that if this is wrong, could
>>         someone on
>>             this list who knows about this kind of thing disabuse me.
>>             Otherwise I will assume this to be factual.
>>
>>             Thanks
>>             Andy
>>             --            ------------------------------
>> ------------------------------------------
>>             *Andy Blunden*
>>             http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>         <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>             <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>
>>
>>
>>         --         Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
>>         Developmental psycholinguist
>>         Academic, Researcher,  and Editor Honorary Research Fellow:
>>         Department of Linguistics, Unisa
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
>> Developmental psycholinguist
>> Academic, Researcher,  and Editor Honorary Research Fellow: Department of
>> Linguistics, Unisa
>>
>>
>>
>>
>