Print

Print


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.