Friday, March 12, 2010

Language Evolution

Since man has been man, he has had the need to seek for ways to communicate: cave paintings, grunts… until he consolidated a sound system that is known as language. It is assumed that the language facilitated the communication because until today we still require its use.


The problem came when two different linguistic systems emerged, creating the second contradiction of the system. Because this system created for communication, creates isolation, not only between different languages, but also in one itself.

The languages, besides facing each other, also influence each other when they are in contact. This change or evolution is something inherent in the history of a language. A human being is only able to notice this evolution in his short life because of small semantic developments (which do not even have a major impact on the evolution of that language).

The individual, therefore, only thinks that the language is a tool that is only used to communicate with other beings. And what happens in the worst case? In the worst case, that same individual would use the language as a weapon for other purposes entirely outside those of communication, such as a political weapon or as a nationalist identification.

It is then when a tool that the man merely created to communicate serves as more than one purpose as it can also generate conflict. This way, it seems that languages sometimes take on their own personality that is identified with the personality of a nation. If this nation has an imperialist mentality, it will want that the rest of languages around it extinct in favour of its own expansion. If the nation has a low self-esteem, it will see the others as invasive languages and will avoid any kind of coexistence with them.

There are also scared languages (afraid of extinction). These languages live unconsciously to their natural course, which is evolving. They want to stay as they are unable to assess their impact and influence – that they will receive as something positive, or inherent in its own vital process. These are languages that are struggling and trying to impose laws and social incentives.

No one can say if this is a losing battle or not… The struggles against destiny are not bad as an idea and there is nothing wrong with fighting for something you want to preserve, provided of course, that you do not lose the prospect.

In Barcelona, for example, there are two official languages, Catalan and Spanish. That produces ideological conflicts, but it also adds richness and variety to the languages of the city. If you want to live the enrichment of the two languages and at the same time, the contradictions that they generate by living together, rent Apartments in Barcelona and try to make yourself understood in the language you prefer.

Posted via web from barcedona's posterous

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