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[Xmca-l] Re: no primitive language?



David, I know you know more about this than I know....  but the debate today centers on the Pirahã, no? Do they have color terms? Do they have number terms? Do they have recursion?

Martin

On Dec 27, 2014, at 5:35 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>