Future of language?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by nnikolov30, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. nnikolov30 New Member

    Bulgarian
    So, as we all know, all Indo-European languages emerged from Proto-Indo-European. Indo-Europeans were people who migrated from the Pontic-Caspian steppes region throughout Europe and South Asia. Likely, modern Indo-European languages emerged from the dialects that different parts of those people spoke and for example, between different modern Indo-European languages different words by etymology are used to express the same thing, this is because Proto-Indo-European was rich in synonyms (e.g. stai-, from which came English "stone" and h2ekmo, from which came Russian "kamenj", both meaning stone). Back then, wars for territory were just beginning to emerge and it was normal that people secede from their group tribe and form subtribes, based on family relationships, interests, etc. All that has continued 6000 years until the end of the Middle Ages, when as if languages stopped mixing and distancing from each other and the first language norms were created.
    And in modern times, we see a totally different picture. Different peoples are creating unions, there is constant migration from and to almost every point on Earth and more and more children are born bilingual or even trilingual. So I thought about it, like Pangea was once one supercontinent, then started dividing itself, forming modern continents and as scientists tell, in the future will bond together again, aren't we observing today a phenomenon of Indo-European languages bonding together once again? For example, mixture of Anglo-Saxon and French created English, there are thousands and thousands of latinisms and hellenisms in the daily speech not only in English and/or Romance languages, but in Slavic and Iranian languages there are many words that come from either Latin or Greek origin (I myself am a native speaker of Bulgarian, so I can certify that). So, if Proto-Indo-European language was spoken 5000 years ago and from my thoughts, the opposite process is starting, what is your opinion, do you think that in the year 6000 our successors will be speaking Proto-Indo-European, or in that time - just Indo-European?
     
  2. ancalimon Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    I guess that over time Indo-European languages will become more like Proto Indo-European. More specifically agglutinative.
     
  3. JuanEscritor

    JuanEscritor Senior Member

    Minnesota
    English - AE
    Where on Earth did you ever hear of this idea?

    I think it is pure and utter nonsense. There is absolutely nothing taking place in the development of the current IE languages to even hint at the possibility of them coalescing, let alone coalescing into PIE, which we couldn't even identify as PIE if we saw it because in all honesty we don't know exactly what PIE looked like.

    JE
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  4. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    In the year 6000, I doubt that our successors will trouble themselves with making air vibrate in order to activate sensors in other people who happen to be nearby. They will have better ways to communicate, which will not depend on (a) the condition of those sensors in a particular individual and (b) that individual having been trained to understand the specific pattern of vibrations that the speaker has chosen to create.
     
  5. JuanEscritor

    JuanEscritor Senior Member

    Minnesota
    English - AE
    Then you are seriously overestimating the rapidity of biological evolution. In 6000 years our successors will be as human as we are. It is difficult to imagine them finding methods of communication more efficient than our current speech-based one; heck, it is difficult to imagine that such methods even exist.

    (Unless by successors you mean an invading, extraterrestrial life-form, in which case your hypothesis is even more bizarre and science-fictional than I otherwise assumed.)

    JE
     
  6. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    I disagree. I'm not thinking about biological evolution, but about electronic devices. Even today, rudimentary thought control of prostheses is practical: the amputee thinks of closing his or her hand, and the hand closes. It is easy to imagine the same degree of control over a telecommunications device in a decade, let alone 390 of them. Add universal radio connectivity, which is almost here today with the cellular telephone network, or something well beyond it, and it doesn't take much more to get the electronic equivalent of what we think of as telepathy.

    Imagine describing the Internet and the Web, with mobile e-commerce, scanning QR codes to go immediately to Web sites, the whole bit, to the typical educated person from Edwardian London. Then multiply that amount of progress in well under a century by 40, and consider that the rate of progress is accelerating. Our means of communication will seem as primitive in 4,000 years as chimpanzee grunts do to us today. I doubt the distinction we make today between what we are born with and devices implanted in us will even be meaningful.
     
  7. JuanEscritor

    JuanEscritor Senior Member

    Minnesota
    English - AE
    That's easier than saying "Hello"?
     
  8. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Or maybe national languages will disappear, and all over the world we'll all be speaking English.
     
  9. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    Русский
    ... and its national dialects will be as different as French and Russian today are... :) History goes in circles!
     
  10. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    they will keep on prevailing.
     
  11. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes, I agree. History, and any kind of progress go in cycles, to a certain extent at least -- two steps forward and one step backward, and then the same again (at least this has been the case up till now), so it may really take a long time for any signifiant changes to happen, and first of all, at least the potential for them would have to exist in our DNA. Let's hope we don't blow up the Earth by the year 6,000. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  12. ancalimon Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    I found an article while searching this topic and would like to give a quote.

    http://mek.oszk.hu/05500/05523/05523.pdf

    Of course, in my opinion this and the opposite of this idea are all assumptions. Because we can never know the true evolution of languages.

    For example, the way people speak could have been altered in one way or another (for example After Ottoman Empire changed into Turkey, there was a revision in language even if that revision mostly consisted of removing foreign sentence forms and deriving new words from Turkic roots instead of using foreign words. Actually deriving Turkic words from Turkic roots is not unnatural since it's what Turkic is all about). Maybe different languages were altered in a much larger scale in the past backed by powers for political, religious, economical or even social reasons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

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