On the Evolution of Language

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Ngôn Ngữ Nội Dung Sách
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2006
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 ON THE EVOLUTION OF LANGUAGE,

 AS EXHIBITED IN

 THE SPECIALIZATION OF THE GRAMMATIC PROCESSES, THE DIFFERENTIATION OF THE PARTS OF SPEECH, AND THE INTEGRATION OF THE SENTENCE; FROM A STUDY OF INDIAN LANGUAGES.

 BY

 J. W. POWELL.

     
 ON THE EVOLUTION OF LANGUAGE,

 AS EXHIBITED IN THE SPECIALIZATION OF THE GRAMMATIC PROCESSES, THE DIFFERENTIATION OF THE PARTS OF SPEECH, AND THE INTEGRATION OF THE SENTENCE; FROM A STUDY OF INDIAN LANGUAGES.

 By J. W. Powell.

     Possible ideas and thoughts are vast in number. A distinct word for every distinct idea and thought would require a vast vocabulary. The problem in language is to express many ideas and thoughts with comparatively few words.
     Again, in the evolution of any language, progress is from a condition where few ideas are expressed by a few words to a higher, where many ideas are expressed by the use of many words; but the number of all possible ideas or thoughts expressed is increased greatly out of proportion with the increase of the number of words.
     And still again, in all of those languages which have been most thoroughly studied, and by inference in all languages, it appears that the few original words used in any language remain as the elements for the greater number finally used. In the evolution of a language the introduction of absolutely new material is a comparatively rare phenomenon. The old material is combined and modified in many ways to form the new.
     How has the small stock of words found as the basis of a language been thus combined and modified?
     The way in which the old materials have been used gives rise to what will here be denominated THE GRAMMATIC PROCESSES.

 

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