Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Stupid Expert

I've always been interested in languages. I took lots of electives in college just for fun and have several shelves of books about languages.

But the stupidest thing I've ever read was in a book by a supposed expert in Linguistics.

I read it so long ago I can't even remember the title or author's name, but I've never been able to forget one stupid thing that supposed expert wrote in his book.

He (and, yes, I do remember it was a man) gave an explanation for the variety of Native American languages.

Here's the explanation:

Thousands and thousands of years ago early humans came across the land bridge that existed between northern Europe and the North American continent and traveled southward, then across the continent.

As they traveled they dropped off babies and toddlers who hadn't yet learned to talk at multiple points along the way. Each group of tiny children developed their own language.

In the first place, what are the chances of kids that young being able to survive without adults to care for them?

And why would any people simply drop off their babies and leave them, probably to die?

Even if the toddlers survived to adulthood, could they really invent complex languages?

The whole concept is so impossible I don't know how whoever wrote that book even got it published.

I wish I could find out the title or author. He ought to have won an award for the worst academic book ever written.

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