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文化:科学家揭秘哪些是英语中最古老的词汇  

2009-09-16 23:12:15|  分类: 阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Some of the oldest words in English have been identified, scientists say.

科学家相信,他找到了英文中最古老的文字。

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

雷丁大学的研究人员认为是英文中最古老的词汇,它史可以追溯到四万年前。


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

科研人员们一个算机模型,英文词汇变化和消失的几率行了分析算,并展言的普遍程。

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

研究预测胆量木棍将很可能成最先被弃和迹的词汇

"We use a computer to fit a range of models that tell us how rapidly these words evolve," said MarkPagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading.

雷丁大学化生物学家·佩格尔说利用算机模型算出展速率。


At the root of the Reading University effort is a lexicon of 200 words that is not specific to culture or technology, and is therefore likely to represent concepts that have not changed across nations or
millennia.

雷丁大学的研究行的基是一个包含200词汇词汇库中的词汇大多是一些表达人类对事物共同感知、不易因俗和科技而改,而非那些随着科技和进步应运而生的新

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

佩格教授们开发这词汇库首先需要让语言学家来告,不同系的两个词汇是否会存在一个共同的出

"We have descriptions of the ways we think words change and their ability to change into other words, and those descriptions can be turned into a mathematical language," he added.

佩格教授道:掌握了词汇以及它们转变成其它词汇的信息,之后我些信息转变成数学言。


What the researchers found was that the frequency with which a word is used relates to how slowly it changes through time, so that the most common words tend to be the oldest ones.

研究人员还发现词汇的使用率和其生命力密相,越是普通的词汇,存在的时间也越久。


For example, the words "I" and "who" are among the oldest, along with the words "two", "three", and "five". The word "one" is only slightly younger.

比如,史就非常久,而略微年一点。


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

英文数字由于经历过一次言上的程,所以更一些,它和其它欧印语种音也大不同。

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

与之相比,化速度越快的词汇,消亡以及被其它词汇取代的速度也越快。


For example, "dirty" is a rapidly changing word; currently there are 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".

例如,就是一个化迅速的词汇,欧印系中表达的方式共有46,而且每种听上去都很不相同。所以,木棍胆量,很可能很快就在英文中消失。


"If you've ever played 'Chinese whispers', what comes out the end is usually gib berish. Yet our language can somehow retain its fidelity," Professor Pagelsaid.

佩格教授传话的人都知道,同的一句从第一个人到最后一个人通常已面目全非了。由此看来,们还是很忠的。

 

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