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Relationship between Tai-Kradai, Austro-asiatic, and Austronesian


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#46 aocitizen

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:48 PM

That means "Austric" should be expanded to include Sino-Tibetan.

The connection to Caucasian is strange, and as far as I know it's without genetic and archaeological support.
And Vajda, who found Dene-Yeniseian connection, also didn't really find support to connect this family to Caucasian and/or Sino-Tibetan.

Yet, the strangest thing is that Altaic+Japanese+Korean, which people would expect to be closer Chinese to than Caucasians are, are not included.

1. I don't think this "Estonia" is reliable at all.
2. There's something similar but more recent: in the areas of Pamir mountains, now lives the Tajiks (speaking an Iranian branch of Indo-European). http://you.video.sin...1589251397.html (in Chinese)
According to them it's 5000m above sea level... and some people have come all the way from around Iran to there?

Then how would you explain the existence of Eskimo people?

This is to forget about population replacement; we knew it happened in Southeast China (originally lands of Baiyue, now dominated by Sinitic peoples).

Hi Qrasy, Aocitizen here. You have raised some very interesting points. Oh man, this is going to be complicated, so hang on to your hat! The connection between Sino-Tibetan and Dene-Caucasian is longstanding and pretty much proved. Understandably many Asian people balk at this connection, thinking that Caucasic equals Caucasoid. But this is not necessarily the case; the Yeniseians and Navajos certainly aren't Caucasoid. Although the original eastward wave of Dene-Caucasian migration may have started out as somewhat Caucasian, they were thoroughly Asianized through intermarriage by the time they reached Central Asia (and America!). Sino-Tibetan may be a hybrid between Austric and Dene-Caucasian, which would make the linguistic situation very complicated indeed. Now for Tocharian. The extinct Tocharian A and B languages found in Sinkiang are definitely CENTUM Indo-European languages, and show similarites to the Celtic and Italic branches. This would show a western European origin. There has been much heated debate about who exactly the Tocharians were. The general consensus these days is that they were originally the Venedi, a now-extinct branch of Centum that lived on the Baltic coast between the Somme and the Vistula in prehistoric times. When the Theudi (proto-Germans) drove them out of northern Germany, they settled in northwestern Russia (sorry I said Estonia) and became the Battle-Axe Culture. When the Slavs drove them out, they migrated to western China, becoming the Tocharians, the Yue-chi (or Kushans), and some of the Rong people in Kansu (the Zhou probably had some Tocharian blood). The Venedi were dispersed to various corners of Europe, where they became the ancestors of peoples who exist today. Venedians and Slavs combined to form the Baltic peoples (including Lithuanians); and the Venedi and the semi-Slavic Illyrians combined to form the Albanians. In Asia, the Venedi combined with Indo-Iranians to form the Tajikis, the Nuristanis, and the Dardic peoples, and with the Turks to form the Uighurs. So you see, it is very complex. The Luorowetlans(Chukchi-Koryak-Kamchadal) and the Eskimo-Aleuts are part of the Eurasiatic language family, which means they are distant relatives of the Altaics.

#47 qrasy

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:58 PM

Based on the analysis of the Ainu language, the Jomon spoke an Austroasiatic language. But the equally mysterious Kumaso and Hayata peoples of Kyushu may have been Austronesians from Taiwan, and the Ryukyans have a Taiwanese admixture also. In addition, Tungusics from Korea had probably been colonizing the western Japanese coast before the arrival of the Yayoi. And, most astonishingly of all, Japanese seems to be related to Tamil. I don't have a clue how they got there, but apparently there was a Dravidian wave as well.

Well, without a solid sound change rules, one can't say that the languages are related.

http://www.sino-plat...old_chinese.pdf <- look at this paper, it just asserts that Old Chinese is Indo-European.
But when you see the Old Chinese reconstructions, you find that it's very different from most of the modern reconstructions.
Apparently some Superficial similarities can cause them to group Old Chinese with Indo-European - so people linking Japanese with Dravidian is nothing surprising. Afterall humans can find patterns in random things.

The connection between Sino-Tibetan and Dene-Caucasian is longstanding and pretty much proved.

What do you mean by "proven" here? Dene (Amerind) and the Asian Mongoloids are genetically quite close, and it's not a main problem with this proposal.
However, the "Caucasian" part is problematic.

I would agree with whoever wrote wikipedia article, that Dene-Yeniseian is "proposed language family, which is widely disputed; although links with other families have been proposed, none of these has received mainstream acceptance"

Understandably many Asian people balk at this connection, thinking that Caucasic equals Caucasoid. But this is not necessarily the case; the Yeniseians and Navajos certainly aren't Caucasoid.

As mentioned before, Vajda couldn't connect Dene-Yeniseian with Caucasian.
Navajos are classified within Na-Dene, and Yeniseians within Yeniseian languages.
None of them are classified into North Caucasian.

Although the original eastward wave of Dene-Caucasian migration may have started out as somewhat Caucasian, they were thoroughly Asianized through intermarriage by the time they reached Central Asia (and America!).

One can even propose that the group begin in Central/East Asia, then the ones going to the West mixes with "Caucasoid".
This happened with the Turkish people (the Altaic languages were originally spoken by East Asians).

Sino-Tibetan may be a hybrid between Austric and Dene-Caucasian, which would make the linguistic situation very complicated indeed.

But then, the sound rules as proposed by Sagart is simpler and more consistent than Starostin's. And Sagart is now trying to prove that these cognates were not simply "borrowed at later age".

The extinct Tocharian A and B languages found in Sinkiang are definitely CENTUM Indo-European languages, and show similarites to the Celtic and Italic branches. This would show a western European origin.

It does not necessarily imply mass-migration.
Influences can spread in a Central-vs-Peripheral way: http://en.wikipedia....ersus_periphery (the example quoted in Wikipedia is about Japanese, where new words replace old words, but spreading from the center. Actually here is even 4-way opposition, more complicated than 2!)

Applying the idea to Indo-European, I suppose that Indo-European started as all-Centum.
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCC (simplified scheme, 1D instead of 2D)
One language in the center becomes Satem
CCCCCCCCSCCCCCC
Then Satem-effect keeps on spreading to their neighbors
CCCCCCSSSSSCCCC
Finally we get
CCCCCSSSSSSSSSC

When the rightmost C (in this case, Tocharians) becomes extinct, we would get this:
CCCCCSSSSSSSSS
Therefore the illusion that Centum was "Western" (instead of "Peripheral") and Satem was "Eastern" (instead of "Central").

[And when the Tocharian languages were rediscovered, of course it causes controversies. One has to either throw away the old model, or live with numerous anomalies!]

The Luorowetlans(Chukchi-Koryak-Kamchadal) and the Eskimo-Aleuts are part of the Eurasiatic language family, which means they are distant relatives of the Altaics.

All these are disputed. Sometimes even Altaic itself is disputed.

Edited by qrasy, 26 January 2011 - 11:13 PM.

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#48 baybal

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:39 AM

>I had no idea Sakha was so ancient. Some people think the Asian race originated in the Lena valley, so maybe these are the original Asians.
>But I don't think they originated there, I think the Lena was under glaciers when the Asian race emerged.

Yes, they are not native to that area. They have words for camel, panther and lots of other animals that were never present in Asian far east, or at least prior to modern times. Toponyms used in Sakha folklore are identified to areas near Caspian sea and further South up to Ladakh and this suggest that Sakha formed as a nation somewehere in that area.


>I tend to think it must have been Lake Baikal, further south. You mean to tell me Sakha has negligable borrowings from other languages?
>Not even Yukaghir?

Certainly not Yukaghir, Yukhagir is a strongly Austric language. Yukaghirs are also sugested to not to be a truely native to the region. It's said that Sakha weren't able to comprehensively comminicate with Yukaghirs up untill 17th century.


>This would indicate they came a bit later, I would think, since Mongolian is the only source of borrowings. There should be Paleo-Siberian words,
> certainly some Tungusic words. No? They must have come originally from Tuvinia, that's my guess. How can it be so old and yet have so little
>borrowing?

That's a strange thing. Borrowing is the main way how new words are created in relatively big and self sufficient languages. Probably, it was due to efficient isolation, differend lifestyles and low interoperability of Sakha and languages of surrounding tribes that prevented vocabulary exchange. Sakha is spoken by 107-110-115% of the region's polulation, and it's common for Altaic first language speakers to adopt Sakha as a second language. However, it's uncommon for most other non-Altaic tribes there to speak it. I'm as an ethnic Chinese Sakha make a notable exception.


>It is Turkish of a sort, right? So it must have diverged from Old Turanian, not proto-Altaic. Although the examples you cited look very little
>like Turkic. Could it be its own branch, perhaps? No, I never heard that. Why do you think they borrowed so little from their neighbors, like the
>Yukaghir, Luorowetlans, and, most logically, Tungusics?

Yes, to some degree it's similiar to Oghuz dialects, but very very distantly. However, linguo-genetical researches stated that it precedes Oghuz. The core of the language is close to Turkic, but the remaining half gramatically and lexically distincts from it. In my opinion, Sakha language feels like a small shard of a bigger entity that was present in the past, but now disappeared due to unknown reason.

How could they be so culturally isolated with all those neighbors living in their midst? Some years ago, when I first learned that the Yakuts called themselves the Sakha, I got an eerie feeling. Remember our friends the Scythians on the Ukrainian steppes? Well, it develops that the Chukchi, thats the CHUKCHI!, do fine gold artwork in ancient Scythian style (Chukotka is lousy with gold)! As unlikely as it seems, this would indicate a Scythian penetration of the utmost reaches of eastern Sibera. And guess what the Scythians called themselves ... the Saka! Do you think there could be a connection? Do you think that when the ur-Yakuts lived in or near Tuvinia that they may have had a Scythian strain which has since disappeared under a flood of northern genes? It seems more than a coincidence, the names.

I wouldn't risk going that far in my suggestions =D

#49 Chanpuru

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:50 AM

Who were the mysterious Jomon people exactly? Genetic studies have shown that the Japanese people are amongst the closest relatives of the Amerinds (yes, the "Indians"), I once saw a picture of a Shinto shaman dancing, and uncannily he had the same eagle-feather bonnet that the Amerinds use. I think it likely that the original Jomon, the ones who invented pottery, were relatives of the Amerinds who were incorporated into subsequent invading peoples. I think they first amalgamated with a Melanesian wave (as I have outlined above), and finally with an archaic Caucasian wave from the mouth of the Amur who were originally not Ainoid (the Melanesians were the real Ainoids, confusingly). Based on the analysis of the Ainu language, the Jomon spoke an Austroasiatic language. But the equally mysterious Kumaso and Hayata peoples of Kyushu may have been Austronesians from Taiwan, and the Ryukyans have a Taiwanese admixture also. In addition, Tungusics from Korea had probably been colonizing the western Japanese coast before the arrival of the Yayoi. And, most astonishingly of all, Japanese seems to be related to Tamil. I don't have a clue how they got there, but apparently there was a Dravidian wave as well.


sounds completely fabricated. There's virtually no records of the Jomon language. While the Ainu share genetic descent from the Jomon, we cannot assume that the language they speak is necessarily the same one the Jomon spoke. Secondly Ainu is not Austroasiatic either. Perhaps you need to take a look at the Ainu language yourself, there's quite a bit of internet resources on it. Most Austroasiatic languages are SVO. Ainu is SVO. Many Austroasiatic languages wit a few exceptions, are tonal. Ainu is not tonal. Then the vocabulary itself, you can compare words in Vietnamese, Khmer, etc with Ainu, they are not similar at all. Secondly, I've posted alot on Ryukyuan history since I specialize on that. There is a ton of journal articles out there, in which despite proximity to Taiwan, there's very little genetic relations, and I've already explained (in a thread which you replied in) that it was impossible for the Taiwanese to move up to Okinawa because of the gap between Miyakojima and Okinawa. There was however, a cultural influence from Taiwanese tribes that was limited to the southern islands, that occurred much later. This is evident in the pottery. As I mentioned earlier, there's a tendency to over simplify genetic relations simply by using "closest geography".. yet as Dr. Serafin has pointed out, even within Japonic relations, the Ryukyuan language is much more closer to central Japanese than Kyushu Japanese (to which it is closer to!). You've been making strange claims all over this forum.

Edited by Chanpuru, 27 January 2011 - 12:52 AM.


#50 xng

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:10 AM

sounds completely fabricated.


Let's not feed a troll. Most of his theories are fabricated.

I would like him to prove himself by walking barefoot (without any modern invention including preserved food) from Yunnan to Yellow river just like 4000 BC ago and see whether he will survive. :rolleyes:

#51 Karakhan

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 12:05 PM

Looks like its getting quite heated and also a bit off topic.

This thread should focus on the relationship between Tai-Kradai, Austro-Asiatic, and Austronesian, not on Altaic languages, Japonic languages, etc.
Secondly, it would help your arguments a lot if you can post some sources to back up claims, especially some of those that seem very unorthodox.
Finally, as this is a language thread, it should be noted as Chanpuru said, language does not equal ethnicity. Take many posters here who are typing in English but are not of English descent. History has shown that large scale langauge and culture replacement can happen, and quite often too

#52 qrasy

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:48 AM

Certainly not Yukaghir, Yukhagir is a strongly Austric language.

Not sure what you mean by "Strongly Austric".

That's a strange thing. Borrowing is the main way how new words are created in relatively big and self sufficient languages.

Again, I'm not sure what you are stating here.
For borrowing, one has to have another language, so "self-sufficient" implies no other languages were needed.

TMost Austroasiatic languages are SVO. Ainu is SVO.

Ainu is SOV: http://books.google....epage&q&f=false
(see "bear-S horse-O kill-V")

Many Austroasiatic languages wit a few exceptions, are tonal. Ainu is not tonal.

Most Austroasiatic languages are non-tonal (but has registers), with rather few exceptions.

As I mentioned earlier, there's a tendency to over simplify genetic relations simply by using "closest geography".. yet as Dr. Serafin has pointed out, even within Japonic relations, the Ryukyuan language is much more closer to central Japanese than Kyushu Japanese (to which it is closer to!).

I think Kyūshū and central Japanese are closer to each other than any of them to the Ryukyuans.

I would like him to prove himself by walking barefoot (without any modern invention including preserved food) from Yunnan to Yellow river just like 4000 BC ago and see whether he will survive.

You make it sound like people moved such a great distance within one single generation.

Earliest footwears were probably already invented back in 10000 BC.
Harvest of Salt, 6000 BC (salt can be used to make preserved food).

it should be noted as Chanpuru said, language does not equal ethnicity. Take many posters here who are typing in English but are not of English descent. History has shown that large scale langauge and culture replacement can happen, and quite often too

The replacements happened in some "frequent contact" situations. We would assume that it's much rarer in such distant past.

Edited by qrasy, 28 January 2011 - 01:48 AM.

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#53 Chanpuru

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:13 PM

(see "bear-S horse-O kill-V")

Yes Ainu is SOV, it was a typo on my mistake, but ultimately it is different in grammar form to Austro-Asiatic langauges

I think Kyūshū and central Japanese are closer to each other than any of them to the Ryukyuans.

that is obvious and beyond the point. Same could be said about the Amami languages is closer to Miyako language despite being close to Kyushu. The point is that closest distance is not always the correct explanation for things. and as such, compared to closer Kyushu, and the bit more distant Kansai dialects, Ryukyuan languages are actually more closer to the latter.

#54 qrasy

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 10:41 PM

Yes Ainu is SOV, it was a typo on my mistake, but ultimately it is different in grammar form to Austro-Asiatic langauges

I see.
But assuming that word order is consistent within language family is also often incorrect.
English is usually SVO, but Latin is usually SOV. They are still both classified as Indo-European languages.
Things like "SOV" is considered "typological" feature, and often not considered "genetic classification".

that is obvious and beyond the point. Same could be said about the Amami languages is closer to Miyako language despite being close to Kyushu. The point is that closest distance is not always the correct explanation for things. and as such, compared to closer Kyushu, and the bit more distant Kansai dialects, Ryukyuan languages are actually more closer to the latter.

I see that as some "conservativeness" of the Central Japanese dialects, e.g. Kyushu simply have more weird changes that are not found in others.
That is, if a model of "branching" is taken, as Kyushu and Central Japanese split later than with Ryukyuan.
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#55 Karakhan

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 12:17 PM

in regards to mass adoption of culture and language. Culture happens far more often than language, we simply need to look in Asia for many examples.
Language has happened in the past as well, but not as often. some examples. The adoption of Turkic language by those who were primarily Indo-European speakers and closer in ethnicity to Indo-Europeans (Anatolian Turks, Azeris, etc). Turko-Mongol Hazaras adopting an Indo-European language. many non-Sinitic speaking groups in Chinese history who have adopted Chinese as their native tongue, etc.

Btw, more importantly, when I meant remain on topic, I really meant it. We have many threads in this forum on languages spoken in Japan, Russia, etc. Any new posts on those will be removed.

#56 baybal

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:46 PM

>Not sure what you mean by "Strongly Austric".

I mean with strong Austronesian component


>>That's a strange thing. Borrowing is the main way how new words are created in relatively big and self sufficient languages.
>Again, I'm not sure what you are stating here.
>For borrowing, one has to have another language, so "self-sufficient" implies no other languages were needed.

I think that was a bad word for this. Here I mean self-sufficient as just big.

#57 qrasy

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:23 PM

I mean with strong Austronesian component

I guess you mean something as mentioned in this article? http://jdbengt.net/a...les/Austric.pdf
After seeing the case of Sino vs Indo-European, I would be much more careful. Unless they can show regular correspondences, surface similarities can be said to be coincidences.

The word "blood" for example, appears to be reconstructed with a -k- just to suit Ainu. One could argue that it should be reconstructed with -h- just to suit Greek haemo-.

I think that was a bad word for this. Here I mean self-sufficient as just big.

Well, usually the lesser languages borrow more from the bigger ones.
The "bigger" languages can just express new concepts using combination of previous words.
(not very on topic but shows good example: Even most of the modern medical terms in English were created from combination of Latin (and/or Greek), showing that Latin (and/or Greek) concepts are good enough to create many new words.)

Of course, some of the words can become substratum when people learn of the "bigger" languages (like French contains words from (non-Romance) Old Frankish.), but that's the usual mode of borrowing.
So when people see unfamiliar words in South Chinese, they are often claimed to be Austroasiatic or Daic or whatever, but that doesn't mean that Chinese were not good enough to invent new concepts.
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#58 baybal

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:27 PM

Well, usually the lesser languages borrow more from the bigger ones.
The "bigger" languages can just express new concepts using combination of previous words.
(not very on topic but shows good example: Even most of the modern medical terms in English were created from combination of Latin (and/or Greek), showing that Latin (and/or Greek) concepts are good enough to create many new words.)

Of course, some of the words can become substratum when people learn of the "bigger" languages (like French contains words from (non-Romance) Old Frankish.), but that's the usual mode of borrowing.
So when people see unfamiliar words in South Chinese, they are often claimed to be Austroasiatic or Daic or whatever, but that doesn't mean that Chinese were not good enough to invent new concepts.
[/quote]

Yes, you are right here.

#59 minhvuvn

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:16 PM

In recent years, a definite relationship has been found between Tai-Kradai and Austronesian. Apparently the two were once one language, spoken in Fukien. Then some of the speakers migrated to Taiwan, where they mixed with Papuans. These became the Austronesians, while those who remained on the mainland became the Tai-Kradai. Similarly, Austroasiatic is more distantly related to these two; when Hmong-Mien is included as a separate branch, all of these comprise the Austric superfamily. Interestingly, the Ainu language of Japan is now also thought of as an Austric language. I think the Austric language family probably had an ancient point of origin near Lake Baikal. In a wave of migrations, the Austric peoples became the main populations of eastern and southeast Asia, before the arrival of the Sino-Tibetans from the southwest.The Austric languages penetrated all the way to India, where Munda is still spoken. Hmong-Mien was the first branch to diverge in the north. Tai-Kradai, Austronesian, and Austroasiatic diverged away from each other in southern China. Today speakers of these languages are mostly found in Southeast Asia. The two branches of Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman and Sinitic, are significantly different from each other. Sinitic must have arisen in Yunnan, when Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic peoples amalgamated to form the nucleus of the Old Chinese people, the Huaxia. The only other Sinitic language, Bai, is still found in Yunnan. Before 2000 BCE, the Huaxia made a monumental migration north to the Huang He river valley, where they conquered and blended with the indigenous Dongyi people. Some Dongyi fled south to escape the invaders and became the Hmong-Mien. Other Dongyi remained independent in Shandong until they were finally conquered by the Zhou Dynasty around 500 BCE. The preceding Shang Dynasty is said by many to have been founded by Dongyi nobles, while the still earlier Xia Dynasty were obviously the original rulers of the Huaxia. The Zhou themselves came from the far west of China, and may have arisen from the Rong people, who had Altaic and Tocharian blood. When Shandong was conquered, many Dongyi fled across the "clear water" (what the Hmong call the sea in their legends) to Korea, where they provided an Austric substrate to that otherwise Altaic language. Shortly thereafter, some mixed Tungusic-Austrics from southernmost Korea, who today are called the Yayoi, invaded the Japanese archipelago. They united themselves with the Austronesian Kumaso, the Austroasiatic Yezo (Jomon), and the paleo-Caucasian Ainu to form the present-day Japanese nationality. We can therefore see that Austric has also had a profound influence on other language families; they are the reason why Korean and Japanese are not fully Altaic languages, and why Chinese is so different from Tibetan. The language families spread far to the east and west until they became the dominant languages of Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.


Thanks aocitizen. Though I'm no expert in any anthropology or linguistic fields, your post certainly shed light on some of the matters without holding any radical incoherences:

- The split of the Tibeto-Burman and Sinitic branches
- The AA substratum in Sinitic
- The Austric substratums in Korean and Japanese


On a note of physical anthropology, might I suggest some points that the your theory could provide explanation :

- The presence of Southern traits in northernmost population (Northern Han, Korean, Japanese..) due to early Austric admixture. I have seen quite a few Korean and Japanese with "southern" features and two of my schoolmates are Han from Tianjin who don't look much different from the people in Northern Vietnam where I'm from.

- The Northern features of Hmong people due to migration from the far north. In Vietnam, they are well-known to possess predominately fair skin and single eye-lids.

#60 mariusj

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 11:05 PM

(not very on topic but shows good example: Even most of the modern medical terms in English were created from combination of Latin (and/or Greek), showing that Latin (and/or Greek) concepts are good enough to create many new words.)

It has nothing to do with whether or not its good enough to create new words, but rather how much change will these words go through in the following years.

The reason why Latin was used is because Latin is stagnant, thus using a word from latin will retain YOUR meaning and YOUR intention, while a word in English can and WILL change its meaning.

So it has NOTHING to do with what you are saying, but everything to do with how dead the language is.




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