Eli5 why are there so many languages if we all came Crome the same place why didn’t we just keep using the same language?


Eli5 why are there so many languages if we all came Crome the same place why didn’t we just keep using the same language?

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We spread out over the world before we developed language. Also, different groups of people who lived 50 miles apart probably never saw each other in their entire lives when language started developing because they didn’t exactly have cars and wifi 🙂

First, we didn’t all start using the same language, groups started spreading out all over the world before language developed.

Second, language never stops developing. Yknow how 20 years ago if someone said “yolo” or “bussin” you’d have no idea what that meant because they’re new words/phrases? That happens constantly meaning language changes constantly meaning take the same language and look at it after a couple hundred years and it can be totally different. Like old English vs Middle English vs modern English.

Imagine playing the game telephone over millenia and thousands of miles.. things just change. Look how slang has been adopted into English in just the last 50 years or so.

Think about the names of inventions from the past couple of centuries, and how we had to have new words invented for them. Things like the telephone or automobile. These words are created by mashing two descriptive words together. But people are lazy, and change what they say when talking about the same thing.
Telephone became phone. Phone became a verb. Cell phones replaced telephones, and now people are just as likely to call their phone a cell. So the verb “phone” couldn’t exist in the same way before telephones came into use. And a cell was something completely different in the 80s.

Imagine that evolution over thousands of years, with huge distances separating people. Mix in slang and different groups coming up with different names for the same thing.

People spread out before language was developed.

All the neighborhood cavemen said ooga booga and binky dinky. But then some of them moved across the river and never came back. Over time they began developing their own words for all the different things they encountered or observed. The words they came up with were completely different than the words being developed by the cavemen back in their old hood.

As they spread out more and more and lost touch with each other, each group was developing their own unique sounds or words to describe the same thing. As time went on, each language developed more and more.