Why did languages develop irregularities?


It seems to me that for each existing in a language there is at least one exception. Not to mention words or verbs that simply do not follow rules. Why is that?

In: 6

Language isn’t planned. It evolves constantly, and both meanings and how words sound shift all the time. It’s pretty much impossible to prevent something odd from happening.

Add on top that often words are transferred between languages and it’s kinda random if the old or the new languages rules are applied to it. And it can change after a century too, when people forgot the word was stolen from another language.

Languages are always evolving. What is irregular today was regular yesterday and will be again tomorrow.

Irregular words are often the most common words. This is because the most common words tend to evolve individually. When it comes to other words, grammatical patters are what evolve rather than individual words.

Because they weren’t planned out. Nobody sat down and figured out the rules.

When thousands of people are winging it and the results are based only on collective agreement of course we get irregularities.

Trying to get people to speak in a certain way hardly ever works. The French academie tries to encourage using only French words and not foreign loan words. It doesn’t work, people still use the loan words.

Grammarians used to complain about people using singular “you” instead of thee and thou. Obviously that didn’t work and people continued to speak “wrong” until that became the new correct way to speak.

You’re thinking it the wrong way. Languages standardized in the last centuries from the massification of the printing press and public efforts in education. But while most of the language can be standardize, certain parts cannot, because they’re the most commonly used bits of the language. Also, some irregularities have also regularities in them because it’s more complicated than “it’s regular” vs. “it’s irregular” (I’m thinking in the conjugation of certain Spanish verbs, for instance c**o**ntar -> c**ue**nto, s**o**ltar -> s**ue**lto, d**o**rmir -> d**ue**rmo; this is because Spanish vowel pronunciation tend to favor diphthongs).