Analytic languages and their function. (5)

Salinas17 at Salinas17 at
Sat May 27 22:24:29 UTC 2006

In a message dated 5/27/06 9:22:51 AM, amnfn at writes:
<< This is in sharp contrast to a pidgin, where morphologically simplex words 
are phonologically isolated, so that each morpheme is uttered separately.

It's time to stop assuming that early human language resembled the speech of 
Tarzan, Tonto and Frankenstein's Monster in American movies and certain SNL 
sketches. >>

On the other hand, I should point out that Tarzan's and Tonto's pidgins are 
very easy to understand, compared to Cicero or chimps or other synthetic 
speakers.  Perhaps elite early humans spoke a synthetic language and the rest of us 
spoke a pidgin.  Perhaps that explains the Grand Cycle -- two different 
starting points.

<<Meaning abides in contrast. The idea that we could have amassed a language 
out of individual monomorphemic words, one word at a time, is unworkable.>>

Come on.  Day and night is a contrast.  You don't need affixes or even 
compounds to discriminate in plain words between two things.   

Steve Long

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