[LMB] OT: Language changes

brazee howard at brazee.net
Thu Sep 23 20:00:21 BST 2021



> On Sep 23, 2021, at 12:28 PM, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Having arbitrary gender seems to have persisted because it significantly
> increases the chances that multiple entities referred to with pronouns will
> use different forms, making it easier to distinguish what's being
> discussed.  Otherwise there's not much point to it - English eliminated
> gender for anything but living beings* even though the languages it
> developed from had extensive gender and case systems.

I expect *most* language changes don’t have much sense in them.   We don’t really need verbs to have senses, in fact tourists are sometimes given the advice to say “going to” instead of using future tense. (Or “did” instead of past tense).   But somehow they get in.   

We don’t need genders.  We don’t need plurals.  Nouns could be modified by adjectives instead of changing the nouns.   

It would take a strong authority to stop these changes.    In SF terms, that could be an implant that keeps an official pidgin language up-to-date and consistent.


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