Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Babel, Language and Archaeology Related on Quora

How can I show that the story of the Babel Tower is just a myth? How do different languages really evolve?

Answer requested by
Edvaldo Almeida

Hans-Georg Lundahl
amateur linguist
Answered 21h ago
I'll break up your question into two:

"How can I show that the story of the Babel Tower is just a myth?" "

By JUST a myth, I suppose you mean untrue? You can't. Because, the following is too unrelated to decide the one you just asked about, your goal.

"How do different languages really evolve?"

First of all, languages as observed now do evolve differences over time.

Second, this need not lead to a language split. French dialects are converging, not splitting away from each other. In order for two dialects to really diverge, they need not only to change, but to do so without much contact for each other.

Third, not only could an original language have remained fairly unified despite such developments, but it is also to this day impossible to outline a proto-human language and the steps by which this could have led to all the known language groups, or rather to each of these.

For Latin to Romance : possible, since Latin is known, and known to have happened.

For Proto-Indo-European to its nine branches : possible but less than for each branch or for Romance which is a subbranch of a branch, and it is not known to have happened.

For Proto-Human to branches like Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Afro-Asiatic, Proto-Austronesian, Proto-Sino-Tibetan and so on : not even possible to reconstruct and the process is also not known to have happened. There are evolutionists who think man acquired speech independently in different places (after already acquiring toolmaking and lots more in Africa).

I don't believe there ever were men who "had not yet developed speech" but I agree with that scenario that English and Chinese don't descend from a common proto-language like English and Dutch do.

So, I believe the "myth" if that is what you called it, and also I believe the Bible where it is told as history as being God's word.

Is Akkadian still spoken?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
amateur linguist
Answered 21h ago
No, it died out 1st C AD or sth (Sumerian 1st C BC, I think).

By then, both had for a millennium been spoken by learned men, not by the people.

Did the Latin speakers of the Late Republic already use most of the typical prepositions found in Romance languages as an alternative to the synthetic forms using noun cases? Or was it still extremely rare?

Answer requested by
Ygor Coelho

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered 22h ago
I think you might want to get to 300 AD before you get confusion of case forms, perhaps even later 500.

Cicero in the very late Republic would have said "Romam" when meaning "to Rome" or possibly he would have preferred "urbem". A generation earlier comedy writers like Terence and Plautus say "Romae, Romam, Roma" and not "in Roma, ad Romam, de Roma".

Why did humans develop different languages?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
amateur linguist
Answered Fri
I was asked Why did humans end up with different languages?

This is different from “how do languages diversify now” which is another question. I here answer the question of original cause:

Creation vs. Evolution : How is Babel across non-Hebrew cultures?

What is the difference between the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic sites of history?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered Jan 15
Type of Stone Tools and Life.

Palaeolithic = rougher stone tools of flint with many indentures, and a lifestyle with traces of hunting and gathering.

Mesolithic - not sure, but I think it’s like tools of neolithic with life style of palaeolithic.

Neolithic = polished stone tools (not sure if it can be done with flint) and agriculture.

Last part of Palaeolithic, from carbon dated 40 000 BP to end, when no more Neanderthals are left (except perhaps Gorham cave) has carbon dates earlier than Mesolithic and Neolithic. While these carbon dates cannot be reconciled with Biblical chronology if taken as normally presented, I use a reduced calibration, in which I use the last part of Neolithic for the remaining lifespan of Noah after the Flood, and the Neolithic starting with Babel = Göbekli Tepe. Mesolithic probably the very last years of Noah.

Obviously, this is somewhat depending on where, I am here talking of where Neolithic emerged, in other parts, Palaeolithic lasted longer.

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