Lerer's 4 Myths of Language

1. Myth of Universality - there is, as far as we can tell, no universal language. Maybe at some point of the distant past there was, but today it's almost impossible.

e.g. - Republic of Georgia, mama means father and deda means mother. The ultimate nail in the coffin of the myth of universality.

2. Myth of simplicity - No language is harder or easier for its own speech community to learn. A six-year-old in any culture has the same relative ability to master their language as any other.

3. Myth of teleology - language does not move towards a goal, nor evolve, nor change at a steady rate.

4. Myth of gradualism - language changes in fits and starts. See the Great Vowel Shift.
Written on December 28, 2010