Chomsky, linguistics, and justice: No “pure” language

Loving Language

You can't keep language pure. They always adapt. You can’t keep languages pure. They always adapt.

This post concludes the 4 points I learned about people from the linguistic theories of Prof. Noam Chomsky. Please refer to “Chomsky, linguistics, and justice: Background” for a full introduction to this idea, and to the first in this series, “Chomsky, linguistics, and justice: Grammar is in every brain” and the second/”””, “Chomsky, linguistics, and justice: Describe, don’t prescribe,” and the third, Chomsky, linguistics, and justice: Anything can translate.”

4. Borrowing words from other languages is par for the course.
This is a corollary to point 2, “Describe, don’t prescribe.” Many speakers of certain languages work hard to keep their language “pure,” that is, not to utter words from other languages while speaking their language. No language ever existed in a vacuum, however, as far as we can tell. When the first Europeans came to what…

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