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Perhaps people learned how to open an egg long before learning how to
close one back up.  One might also be interested in opening a
shellfish with no intention of ever closing it again. In general, it
seems like opening things could well have come long before closing
things, since many natural things can be opened, but usually only
man-made open-able things are closeable. --gary

On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM, Njenfalgar <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I have a question for the list which may be of interest to all diachronic
> conlangers here. As I'm now learning my fourth Romance language
> (Portuguese) I am starting to notice that certain words are cognate in all
> Romance languages I know (as "to open": French "ouvrir", Catalan "obrir",
> Spanish "abrir", Portuguese "abrir") while others never are (as "to close":
> French "fermer" < Lat. firmare, Catalan "tancar" < some Pre-Roman language,
> Spanish "cerrar" < Lat. serare, Portuguese "fechar" < Lat. factus). Now we
> all know that words for concepts invented *after* a language split will not
> be cognate, but I had always thought closing things would have been
> invented quite early... Does anyone know whether this observation of mine
> is just due to random chance or whether there just are certain words that
> are more likely to be replaced during language evolution?
>
> Greets,
> David
>
> --
> Dos ony t„snonnop, kotŠk ony t„snonnop.
>
> http://njenfalgar.conlang.org/