Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 85 (8950 total)
93 online now:
PaulK, Thugpreacha (AdminPhat) (2 members, 91 visitors)
Newest Member: Mikee
Post Volume: Total: 867,006 Year: 22,042/19,786 Month: 605/1,834 Week: 105/500 Day: 2/61 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Creation of the English Language
akhenaten
Junior Member (Idle past 4240 days)
Posts: 26
Joined: 11-06-2007


Message 1 of 205 (432445)
11-06-2007 3:36 AM


I don’t think I’ve seen this question in the forums. There are posts related to the Tower of Babel and language, but I’m interested in English specifically.

I support evolution and I’m looking for feedback for an idea I have to debate the issue. Instead of arguing endlessly, I want to play Devil’s advocate and concede the point (ie. Creation/ID/whatever is wonderful, explains everything, etc.) and then ask about the Creation of the English Language
English, the third most spoken language in the world; the most prevalent language of the Internet; the lingua franca of international politics, commerce, science, entertainment; the language with more Bible translations than any other; and the language we’re using in this forum: What about its creation?

Who, when, where, how and in what form was it created?

I’m interested mostly in responses from creationists or ID supporters, since I figure most evolutionists would do what I would do if faced with this question: pull down an anthropology or linguistics textbook and be satisfied with the answer there.

So anyway...
Was it created by God or human? If human, was it one human or lots? Was it all at once or over a period of time? When did it start? Is it still happening? If God, when? Did He come to Medieval England to give it to the English?
Was it at Babel? Were people speaking English in ancient Mesopotamia? Why no record of English back then? Was it like Old English, Modern English or something else?
Did it derive from a Germanic precursor? Was that by design? Whose design? Was it purposeful or unconscious design? Does language design happen today? Can you or I act to create language?


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminCoragyps, posted 11-06-2007 3:05 PM akhenaten has not yet responded
 Message 4 by kuresu, posted 11-06-2007 3:17 PM akhenaten has responded
 Message 10 by Jon, posted 11-08-2007 10:34 AM akhenaten has responded
 Message 11 by Taz, posted 11-08-2007 11:29 AM akhenaten has not yet responded
 Message 16 by Thor, posted 11-09-2007 1:34 AM akhenaten has responded

  
AdminCoragyps
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 205 (432538)
11-06-2007 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by akhenaten
11-06-2007 3:36 AM


I'm putting this in Human Origins and Evolution, and I'll be back with some relevant data after we see what it draws in the way of responses.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by akhenaten, posted 11-06-2007 3:36 AM akhenaten has not yet responded

  
AdminCoragyps
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 205 (432541)
11-06-2007 3:05 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
kuresu
Member (Idle past 852 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 4 of 205 (432544)
11-06-2007 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by akhenaten
11-06-2007 3:36 AM


Just a note of clarification. I've found that a lot of people think that Shakespeare writes in old english. You know, like "the olde tyme" signs you see.

Old English refers to the period of english language history that looks like this:
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon
Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum
monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah
egsode eorl. Syððan ærest wearð
feasceaft funden, he þæs frofre gebad
weox under wolcnum, weorðmyndum þah
oðþæt him æghwylc þara ymbsittendra
ofer hronrade hyran scolde
gomban gyldan. Þæt wæs god cyning!

A further question--why the change from runic characters to latin characters?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by akhenaten, posted 11-06-2007 3:36 AM akhenaten has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by dwise1, posted 11-06-2007 3:46 PM kuresu has not yet responded
 Message 6 by akhenaten, posted 11-06-2007 3:50 PM kuresu has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3868
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 5 of 205 (432546)
11-06-2007 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by kuresu
11-06-2007 3:17 PM


Yeah, thought that looked like Beowulf.

But, yes, we have a long historical record of languages changing drastically and increasing in complexity even as some parts of the languages simplified. How does that fit into the "creation model"?

Assuming, of course, that creationists have any understanding of linguistics.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by kuresu, posted 11-06-2007 3:17 PM kuresu has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by akhenaten, posted 11-08-2007 9:35 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
akhenaten
Junior Member (Idle past 4240 days)
Posts: 26
Joined: 11-06-2007


Message 6 of 205 (432547)
11-06-2007 3:50 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by kuresu
11-06-2007 3:17 PM


You're right. And in fact Shakespeare is not even Middle English, but Early Modern English. (Beowolf is Old English, and Chaucer is Middle English)

Thanks for the lovely passage; it may serve some use here in due time...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by kuresu, posted 11-06-2007 3:17 PM kuresu has not yet responded

  
akhenaten
Junior Member (Idle past 4240 days)
Posts: 26
Joined: 11-06-2007


Message 7 of 205 (432799)
11-08-2007 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
11-06-2007 3:46 PM


You'd be surprised...
I know of a few PhD linguists who are creationists (though not fully committed). I wouldn't mind asking one of them to see what they say.

Never underestimate (misunderestimate?) creationists. And if you think you're making a fool of one, he probably is looking like a Biblical hero to his followers.

Anyway since none of them are taking my bait, I hope it's all right if I refer to this example:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i1/towering_change.asp

Half of it is some standard introductory linguistics and the other half is very bizarre pseudoscience. This passage in particular really bothers me:

"In fact, I think it is misleading to talk about any ‘evolution of language.’ Changes in language come about mostly from humanity’s inventiveness, innate creativity, and flexibility, not from random genetic mutations filtered by selection."

Obviously evoking ID here. But my question is WHICH humans and when and where? Is there a big conference every ten years in England to determine what changes to make to the language? Can I make some changes now?

If they're honest, they have to admit the changes made are NOT consciously directed by the speakers (intelligent or not) And if that's true, then I think you might as well say that they ARE random changes -- and incidentally "mutation" is just another word for change. So if you can accept that the aggregate of many of these random mutations can transform one language to a completely different language (the average English speaker today cannot understand Old English), then it can account for any and all language change.

And then how different is that from biological evolution?!??!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by dwise1, posted 11-06-2007 3:46 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by kuresu, posted 11-08-2007 9:47 AM akhenaten has not yet responded
 Message 20 by bluegenes, posted 11-09-2007 4:48 PM akhenaten has not yet responded

  
kuresu
Member (Idle past 852 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 8 of 205 (432800)
11-08-2007 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by akhenaten
11-08-2007 9:35 AM


Re: You'd be surprised...
Well, I've never seen english and spanish hump.

There really is no (a)sexual reproduction in languages that I'm aware. I know there are cases where languages somewhat combined--such as Norman French + Old English = Middle English, but I'm not sure if these would count.

Also, is there a selection field with which to remove unsuccseful words? What makes a word succesful--the number of people who use it? Are adverse words actively removed?

Long live the cyning!
Long live the king!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by akhenaten, posted 11-08-2007 9:35 AM akhenaten has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Chiroptera, posted 11-08-2007 10:07 AM kuresu has not yet responded

  
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6833
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 7.0


Message 9 of 205 (432804)
11-08-2007 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by kuresu
11-08-2007 9:47 AM


Re: You'd be surprised...
There really is no (a)sexual reproduction in languages that I'm aware.

No, but relevant to the idea of "macroevolution", the language spoken by a population does change through the accumulation of small changes, and when populations become separated for a long length of time the languages will evolve in different ways. This allows one to develop principles that allow one to develop phylogenic trees, and, in fact, the general histories of the Indo-European languages are pretty much uncontroversial (although that can't be said for some ideas about the details), and similarly for the Afro-Asiatic Family, the Niger-Congo Family, and so forth.

As far as I know, the division of the world's languages into several large families aren't disputed by creationists -- perhaps they believe that Proto-Indoeuropean and Proto-Sino-Tibetan and the others were the original languages "created" after the Babel fiasco. But what is interesting is that the very same techniques that allow us to group the languages into a phylogenic tree showing the genetic relationships (and also used in Textual Criticism to group extant copies of pre-printing press manuscripts into similar genetic relationships) also end up grouping the biological species into a very similar, and, in fact, more detailed hierarchical classification. To me, the implications are obvious....


Computers have cut-and-paste functions. So does right-wing historical memory. -- Rick Perlstein

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by kuresu, posted 11-08-2007 9:47 AM kuresu has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 205 (432806)
11-08-2007 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by akhenaten
11-06-2007 3:36 AM


Languages w/in their Kind
Hi Akhenaten!

English has undoubtedly changed over time. However, much like post-Flood biological evolution, post-Babel linguistic evolution has only occurred within the divided kinds created there (Gen. 11:9).

English is a good example, in fact. Only 2.4% of world languages make use of the interdental fricatives (the 'th' sound). In the OE text shown in the post above, we see the same sound (represented by þ,ð), which demonstrates that English has always possessed the key characteristics that define its kind, even if there has been slight changes within.

Languages can add words, such as English did during the Middle English period from French, but only words that posses the characteristics of that language's kind. Imagine if you saw a dog that had all the characteristics of a human. It would not be improbable to assume that that 'creature' would be accepted into the human kind because of the similarities that it shared. Speaking of biological creatures, however, can be a bad example, since there would never be any cross-kind similarities because we know they were all created from separate kinds (Gen. 1–2), and have remained separate throughout history. But with languages, we know that they were all created from one language (Gen. 11:6), and we see that reflected in that some of them share similar features. So, when words mimicking English features are found in French, it's not unlikely that they could be assimilated into the language, provided there was some sort of physical contact between the two languages (such as in the French invasion of English).

Imagine that the Animal kinds all look like this:


|1| |2| |3| |4| |5| |6|
|1| |2| |3| |4| |5| |6|
|1| |2| |3| |4| |5| |6|
|1| |2| |3| |4| |5| |6|

(where cross-kind mixing is then impossible due to separate origins).

And Language kinds all look like this:


|1|1:2|2|2:3|3|3:4|4|4:5|5|5:5|5|5:6|6|
| | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | |
| | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | |
| | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | |
| | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | | : | |
|1|1:2|2|2:3|3|3:4|4|4:5|5|5:5|5|5:6|6|

(where each language kind has a strict column of features, but also 'shades over' a little into the other kinds, due to having the same origin).

I hope this answers your questions, and Good Luck in your debate!

Jon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by akhenaten, posted 11-06-2007 3:36 AM akhenaten has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by akhenaten, posted 11-08-2007 9:58 PM Jon has responded
 Message 14 by akhenaten, posted 11-08-2007 10:08 PM Jon has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1631 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 11 of 205 (432812)
11-08-2007 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by akhenaten
11-06-2007 3:36 AM


I'm sorry for derailing this topic a little bit, but I can't help being reminded of what Hovind has to say about language.

"Probably, after the Flood, the Tower of Babel took place. God put them into different language groups. They spread out. Those that spoke French went one way. Those that spoke German went a different way. Those that spoke Spanish went a different way." - Hovind

Um, if you don't know, French and Spanish both evolved straight from Latin. That's why they are called Romance Languages.


Owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have occasionally used the academic jargon generator to produce phrases that even I don't fully understand. The jargons are not meant to offend anyone or to insult anyone's intelligence!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by akhenaten, posted 11-06-2007 3:36 AM akhenaten has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Jon, posted 11-08-2007 11:41 AM Taz has not yet responded
 Message 19 by Archer Opteryx, posted 11-09-2007 1:37 PM Taz has responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 205 (432813)
11-08-2007 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Taz
11-08-2007 11:29 AM


Wheel of (mis)Fortune
That's why they are called Romance Languages.

:laugh:

You can't use the definition that's been given to the languages by evilutionists to credit your position of supporting evilutionists. Talk about going in circles!

Edited by Jon, : Wrong prefix


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Taz, posted 11-08-2007 11:29 AM Taz has not yet responded

  
akhenaten
Junior Member (Idle past 4240 days)
Posts: 26
Joined: 11-06-2007


Message 13 of 205 (432890)
11-08-2007 9:58 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jon
11-08-2007 10:34 AM


Re: Languages w/in their Kind
Hi Jon, thanks for joining the discussion.

I'm more than a little astonished that you can call the changes from our Modern English and going back further to Old English and earlier "slight changes". As I said before a Modern English speaker wouldn't be able to make neither heads nor tails of OE.

I would really appreciate a bit more detail then, relating to my first post. It sounds like you believe that English ...metamorphosized? (I don't know what word you prefer) from a language that was created at Babel. What was that language? Was it Indo-European? German? Old English? I'm really interested in knowing what you think the progression was. When did we first see what we call Old English?

Incidentally, do you believe that post-Babel changes can be explained for the most part by natural processes (i.e. conscious agents rarely act to create changes?)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Jon, posted 11-08-2007 10:34 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Jon, posted 11-10-2007 7:00 AM akhenaten has responded

  
akhenaten
Junior Member (Idle past 4240 days)
Posts: 26
Joined: 11-06-2007


Message 14 of 205 (432892)
11-08-2007 10:08 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Jon
11-08-2007 10:34 AM


Re: Languages w/in their Kind
Sorry for breaking character, but I should add your response was really impressive. Is that by your own design, or did you get it somewhere?

Hmm.. there's that "design" word again.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Jon, posted 11-08-2007 10:34 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Jon, posted 11-08-2007 10:28 PM akhenaten has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 205 (432895)
11-08-2007 10:28 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by akhenaten
11-08-2007 10:08 PM


Re: Languages w/in their Kind
What was that language?

We simply cannot know, but it is unlikely to have been anything with which we are today familiar.

As I said before a Modern English speaker wouldn't be able to make neither heads nor tails of OE.

This is one of an interesting question, and I, of course, agree. The thing is, however, if a newborn child were placed into an OE setting, he could learn the language with no problems. We know that all humans are descendent from a single man. Interestingly enough, humans all share a common gene that allows for us to acquire language 'naturally'. But, just as the gene is one derived from the original man, so to must be the language a language derived from the original language. This, then, makes even more sense when we realise that all humans can learn any language if born in any part of the world. This is because all languages have the same base (Gen. 11:1), and all humans have the same genetic predisposition to that base (Gen. 9:1).

This information, of course, only makes sense if we recognise that all languages have a single common origin, that all humans have a single common origin, and that the split between the language lineages must have happened after the split in the human lineages. In other words, this information all makes sense in light of what the Bible tells us to be the truth.

Edited by Jon, : Added some meat to the bones


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by akhenaten, posted 11-08-2007 10:08 PM akhenaten has not yet responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019