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Thread: Latin Greek or Anglo saxion

  1. #1 Latin Greek or Anglo saxion 
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    Who "exactly" knows which one of the followings are older than the other?
    And, in which language do you or The Pope pray?
    Latin
    Greek
    Anglo-saxion


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Greek is older than Latin, which is older than Anglo-Saxon (also called Old English). Greek exists in its modern form, and Latin and Anglo-Saxon are extinct.


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  4. #3  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Although, they are all just dialects of Indo-European.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    I believe the pope prays in Latin. He certainly conducts Masses in Latin.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman jgoti's Avatar
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    Languages evolve, so asking which is older just depends on where you want to break the continuum. The question seldom makes sense.

    I don't know what language the Pope prays in. Argentinian, maybe (chuckle).
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  7. #6  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    Languages evolve, so asking which is older just depends on where you want to break the continuum. The question seldom makes sense.
    I wish I had said that.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  8. #7  
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    Who knows more exactly answer?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    Languages evolve, so asking which is older just depends on where you want to break the continuum. The question seldom makes sense.
    I wish I had said that.

    Would you tell me what the following means?


    I wish I had said that.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nima_persian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    Languages evolve, so asking which is older just depends on where you want to break the continuum. The question seldom makes sense.
    I wish I had said that.
    Would you tell me what the following means?

    I wish I had said that.
    It means that, in my opinion, jgoti's answer is the best (the only) answer to your question.

    Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon did not start at a specific time. They all evolved from earlier languages. (Originally, from the same language.) As did Persian.

    So, in that sense, they are all equally old.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  11. #10  
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    [QUOTE=Strange;544630]
    Quote Originally Posted by nima_persian View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    Languages evolve, so asking which is older just depends on where you want to break the continuum. The question seldom makes sense.
    /QUOTE]

    Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon did not start at a specific time. They all evolved from earlier languages. (Originally, from the same language.) As did Persian.

    So, in that sense, they are all equally old.
    Come to think of it, it reminds me of the problem some people have with evolution; the discontinuous mind leads us to imagine that there was "a first chicken", "a first Crocodile", without realising the little steps in the continuum.

    I can't understand why creationists never attack the idea of languages evolving from one or several ancestors (Babel!!!).
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    the discontinuous mind leads us to
    this also applies to the concept of "race" with ridiculous labels like "white" and "black" (where and "when" do you arbitrarily choose to put the line?), and to the all or nothing labels of "inert(not alive)" vs "living" as opposed to a spectrum of molecular activity (that includes virus and proto-cellular structures).
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  13. #12  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    I can't understand why creationists never attack the idea of languages evolving from one or several ancestors (Babel!!!).
    They would say that God created several "kinds" of languages. Since then, these have have changed over time but no "new" languages have been created.
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  14. #13  
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    Linguistic anthropologists have been seeking "the mother tongue" for many years and thousands of publications.
    If i were to hazard a guess, I would place it back to at least the dawn of Heidelbergensis---(at-least 1.2 million years)

    I have read that the languages involving clicks are claimed to be the oldest extant languages.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Linguistic anthropologists have been seeking "the mother tongue" for many years and thousands of publications.
    If i were to hazard a guess, I would place it back to at least the dawn of Heidelbergensis---(at-least 1.2 million years)

    I have read that the languages involving clicks are claimed to be the oldest extant languages.
    I think mainstream linguistics places Proto-Indo-European at an extremely recent date (around the Bronze Age or even in the recent Calcholithic) because in such case there should still be related language families to be found in other parts of the world. Such a large population colonising Europe would leave behind a significant number of members in their "Urheimat". Agriculturalists were not just nomadic bands of 200 people.

    Mario Alinei*, brushed off as pseudoscience by much of the mainstream*, offers the interesting possibility of much earlier dates (Upper Paleolithic!!) regarding the branching off of PIE into Proto- Slavic, Celtic, Italid, etc.: we are the first to colonise Europe.

    I think that would explain why there are no African languages comparable to PIE; Paleolithic bands were small in number, hence an African migration of a few clans might have implied the migration of almost an entire language family (I find the idea of polygenesis quite acceptable). Whoever stayed behind faced cultural assimilation or worse.

    Archaeology does indicate that Neanderthals could probably speak. I don't know what they say about their predecessors the Heidelbergensis though.


    * His ideas are a bit far-fetched but I have not read any solid point-by-point refutations yet.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    I believe the pope prays in Latin. He certainly conducts Masses in Latin.
    Well, his mother tongue is (Argentinian) Spanish, but he will recite a lot of prayers in Latin during his ceremonial duties. Spanish is closer to Latin than most other Mediterranean languages, so I imagine he would find it relatively natural to pray in Latin as well as in his mother tongue.

    There is one fragment of Greek left in the Mass: kyrie eleison.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    I can't understand why creationists never attack the idea of languages evolving from one or several ancestors (Babel!!!).
    They would say that God created several "kinds" of languages. Since then, these have have changed over time but no "new" languages have been created.
    Or just deny anything you threw at them; books, facts, tennis balls...
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  18. #17  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    Languages evolve, so asking which is older just depends on where you want to break the continuum. The question seldom makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon did not start at a specific time. They all evolved from earlier languages. (Originally, from the same language.) As did Persian. So, in that sense, they are all equally old.
    Certainly, for example, English was not spoken 1,500 years ago, and Anglo-Saxon is not spoken today.

    I have no problem paralleling languages to species in the way that two different animal species cannot produce offspring. As a speaker of Modern English, I cannot have a "fruitful" conversation with someone speaking Anglo-Saxon, French or Latin, even though Modern English is approximately Anglo--Saxon, French and Latin.

    There are various reasons why a language becomes somewhat stable geographically (as with English spoken on an island), nationalistically (the way France insists on keeping its language "pure"), etc.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Certainly, for example, English was not spoken 1,500 years ago, and Anglo-Saxon is not spoken today.
    While that may be true (if we ignore the fact that Anglo-Saxon is also called Old English) it isn't very helpful. It doesn't tell us when "English" was first spoken (or written, which is something we have more evidence of).

    If we agree that Old English is not "English", what about Middle English? Late Middle English can be understood with some effort and looking up a few words. But is it "English"? Some people find Shakespeare's language pretty incomprehensible, but few would argue that it isn't English.

    Similarly, we have evidence of languages related to (ancestral to) classical Greek and Latin that go back long before what we think of as their heyday, so can we really say when they started and which is older?

    (As an aside, I have always liked the fact that the Italian name for 's is the Saxon Genitive.)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  20. #19  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    languages in use are living evolving things
    just try and read Chaucer(7-800 yrs) or Beowulf(900-1200yrs)

    reading out loud helps a bit, but still leaves most puzzled
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    Languages evolve, so asking which is older just depends on where you want to break the continuum. The question seldom makes sense.

    I don't know what language the Pope prays in. Argentinian, maybe (chuckle).
    How does the question not make sense? Clearly they all derive from Indo-European but this doesn't seem relevant, as there is a distinction between them that allows us to classify them as seperate languages (otherwise we'd just say English is Indo-European but it isn't, it's a language derived from it). Feel free to call me out if i'm wrong but isn't this just pedantry since we could all come to the agreement that Greek precedes Latin and Latin precedes Old English?
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    How does the question not make sense? Clearly they all derive from Indo-European but this doesn't seem relevant, as there is clearly a distinction between them that allows us to classify them as seperate languages.
    But there is no clear line where you can say a given language starts.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    How does the question not make sense? Clearly they all derive from Indo-European but this doesn't seem relevant, as there is clearly a distinction between them that allows us to classify them as seperate languages.
    But there is no clear line where you can say a given language starts.
    Then how can we classify anything at all? I get what you're saying, but it seems to me we could all agree that based on evidence, it would be reasonable to say Greek comes before Latin (since we have evidence to suggest it was used before Latin), or rather the question should be be: 'Which language is the first that we have evidence for?' Which is what the OP means no?

    edit: pardon my 'thats' i have no idea why I used so many and on reflection it made my sentences incredibly obscure.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    How does the question not make sense? Clearly they all derive from Indo-European but this doesn't seem relevant, as there is clearly a distinction between them that allows us to classify them as seperate languages.
    But there is no clear line where you can say a given language starts.
    Then how can we classify anything at all? I get what you're saying, but it seems to me we could all agree that based on evidence, it would be reasonable to say Greek comes before Latin (since we have evidence to suggest it was used before Latin), or rather the question should be be: 'Which language is the first that we have evidence for?' Which is what the OP means no?

    edit: pardon my 'thats' i have no idea why I used so many and on reflection it made my sentences incredibly obscure.
    The original question was simply which language is older (Who "exactly" knows which one of the followings are older than the other?").* That's what doesn't make sense; they both branched off in prehistory and became what we eventually found in writting but the fact that one was written down before the other doesn't make it older.

    To claim one was older you'd have to make up an arbitrary criterion (speakers dropping a certain dipthong or verb ending or something = Greek) and that would be absurd.

    * Edit: maybe he/she phrased it wrong but that would be another question.
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  25. #24  
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    Will we ever know the language(s?) of the neandertals?

    Could we parse it together by removing everything from sub Saharan africa from current european, asian, australian, and american indian languages?
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgoti View Post
    The original question was simply which language is older (Who "exactly" knows which one of the followings are older than the other?").* That's what doesn't make sense; they both branched off in prehistory and became what we eventually found in writing but the fact that one was written down before the other doesn't make it older.

    To claim one was older you'd have to make up an arbitrary criterion (speakers dropping a certain diphthong or verb ending or something = Greek) and that would be absurd.

    * Edit: maybe he/she phrased it wrong but that would be another question.
    You brought out an important point history, that is the written record. They all branched off (or began or differentiated) in prehistory. I suppose someone will eventually be able to use computer analysis to show with more accuracy which had done so earlier.

    For me, to say that two speakers of two languages are almost always mutually unintelligible is like saying that crossing two different species can produce offspring but that they're almost always sterile, meaning that they're not really of the same species. They are mutually incompatible.

    We can even say we see this in so-called Modern English, between, say, a Geordie and anyone else who speaks English that Geordie talk may use some English words and grammar, but it simply isn't English . I've experienced this to some degree between natives of India for whom English was not their first language and Americans. They can speak "English" to each other, but not really with anyone else and this is mostly because of accent!
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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