En réponse à Christopher B Wright <[log in to unmask]>: > For the ease : what would make the learning of 10 affixes harder than > the learning of 10 prepositions? > --- > Previous lingual experience. Not many languages (Eurolangs, at least) > still have case systems. > Wrong vision due to the small life span of human beings and the current state of European languages. If you take all language in the world, you will soon find out that the affixing strategy (i.e. cases) is used much more often than the prepositional strategy. Even among languages that use adpositions it's quite frequent to have cases too. Language evolution is cyclic, not one-directional. There are lots of reasons to think that the current state of Eurolangs is only temporary. Already spoken French is showing signs that prepositions are not considered words by themselves, not even clitics, but prefixes to the noun, leading slowly but surely to a case system (just like the case system of some languages like Finnish, or even PIE, is thought to have origined from postpositions that became cliticized and finally lost all independence). Ancient Chinese was probably heavily inflected, and Modern Chinese already shows signs that it's heading back towards an inflected language. The evolution from pidgins to creoles often show the creation of inflections and case systems from a system that didn't possess them. That wouldn't happen if this direction was not "natural". The whole point of that is that everything proves that there is no difference in "easiness" of learning 10 affixes or 10 prepositions. A native speaker of a language with cases will have difficulties to learn a language that only uses prepositions, and vice versa. But that difficulty is relative, not absolute. Christophe. http://rainbow.conlang.free.fr Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.