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What if written language dissapeared?

asked 2016-12-03 16:06:54 -0500

Rayet gravatar image

Hi... Taking an imaginary giant step...what do you suppose would happen if all written language disapeared, all of a sudden? Thanks

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answered 2018-06-16 13:13:48 -0500

Gerard Cheshire gravatar image

The first part of the answer is that one doesn't need to take 'an imaginary giant step' as this has already happened historically.

In the Mediterranean, following the collapse of the Roman Empire, spoken Latin became simplified and mixed with words from other languages precisely because it wasn't regulated by being written down. Thus, it evolved into proto-Romance, whilst Classical Latin remained the language of scholars and the church because it was written down. Proto-Romance thus became the foundation for the Romance languages following the Medieval.

So, the answer is; that language evolves more rapidly when it is not written down, because there is no regulating mechanism in place. Thus, the memes are free to adapt and the language is free to speciate.

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Asked: 2016-12-03 16:06:54 -0500

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Last updated: Jun 16 '18