神秘内容 Loading...
Some of the oldest words in Englishhave been identified, scientists say。

  科学家们相信,他们找到了英文中最古老的文字。 (来源:老牌的英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

  Reading University researchers claim "I", "we", "two" and"three" are among the most ancient, dating back tens of thousandsof years。


  Their computer model analyses the rate of change of words in Englishand the languages that share a common heritage。


  The team says it can predict which words are likely to becomeextinct--citing "squeeze", "guts", "stick" and"bad" as probable first casualties。


  "We use a computer to fit a range of models that tell us howrapidly these words evolve," said MarkPagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University ofReading。


  At the root of the Reading University effort is a lexicon of 200 words that is not specific toculture or technology, and is therefore likely to represent

  concepts that have not changed acrossnations or millennia。


  "We have lists of words that linguists have produced for us thattell us if two words in related languages actually derive from acommon ancestral word," said ProfessorPagel.


  "We have descriptionsof the ways we think words change and their ability to change intoother words, and those descriptions can be turned into amathematical language," he added。


  What the researchers foundwas that the frequency with which a word is used relates to howslowly it changes through time, so that the most common words tendto be the oldest ones。


  For example, the words "I" and "who" are among the oldest, alongwith the words "two", "three", and "five". The word "one" is onlyslightly younger。


  The word "four" experienced a linguistic evolutionary leap that makes itsignificantly younger in English and different from otherIndo-European languages。


  Meanwhile, the fastest-changing words are projected to die outand be replaced by other words much sooner。


  For example, "dirty" is a rapidly changing word; currently thereare 46 different ways of saying it in the Indo-European languages,all words that are unrelated to each other. As a result, it islikely to die out soon in English, along with "stick" and"guts"。


  "If you've ever played 'Chinese whispers', what comes out theend is usually gibberish. Yetour language can somehow retain its fidelity," Professor Pagelsaid。


神秘内容 Loading...


·Alumna, Alumnus, Alumni 的区别以及单复数形式
·Memento - 引起回忆的东西
·财会术语表(Accounting Glossary of Accounting T

[返回顶部] [打印本页] [关闭窗口]