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20th April 2013

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Languages simply change

Languages do not develop, progess, decay, evolve, or act according to any of the metaphors which imply a specific endpoint and level of excellence. They simply change, as society changes. If a language dies out, it does so because its status alters in society, as other cultures and languages take over its role: it does not die because it has ‘got too old’, or ‘become too complicated’, as is sometimes maintained. Nor, when languages change, do they move in a predetermined direction.

David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language

Tagged: languagelinguisticsDavid Crystallanguage changebookslanguage death

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    - David Crystal
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