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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Age of a language
Question: How is the age of a language, without any written evidence,
determined?

Reply: Pidgins and creoles (and Esperanto, and even Klingon) don't come from totally nowhere either. Pidgins and creoles don't invent their words, for example. So they also have a long history, probably going back to our origins in Africa.

These origins look increasingly complex and increasingly distant, by the way.

Anthea

Reply From: Anthea Fraser Gupta      click here to access email
 
Date: 27-Oct-2012
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Age of a language    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (24-Oct-2012)
  2. Re: Age of a language    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (24-Oct-2012)
  3. Re: Age of a language    James L Fidelholtz     (24-Oct-2012)
  4. Re: Age of a language    M J Hardman     (24-Oct-2012)

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