A. Katz amnfn at
Fri Mar 18 14:40:34 UTC 2011


I don't think that language has as yet been shown to become either 
increasingly complex or increasingly versatile.

It seems to me that there is a principle of conservation of complexity, 
under which any rise in complexity in one system in the language results 
in a decrease of complexity elsewhere. This is why there are continuing 
cycles in language change, and language does not improve in efficiency 
over time.

If it were otherwise, then some languages would be demonstrably better for 
communication purposes than others, and no one has ever been able to show 


On Fri, 18 Mar 2011, Tahir Wood wrote:

> In the wake of all this discussion about increasing complexity, I wonder if anyone here has thoughts on versatility. Does language become increasingly versatile?
> Tahir

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