Swiss researchers found out that often brain has to cope with difficult constructions of sentences as the grammar evolves. It simplifies them over time. They also found out that Grammar continues to reorganize itself in major world languages. To hammer home the point, the Swiss researchers have used the removal of case endings as Latin transforms to Italian as a prime example.
Languages are always in the state of dynamic flux and constantly evolving. And grammar is also not an exception if you consider the history of the grammar of any language. The method by which the brain processes the language leads to adjustments.
If the brain is stressed during difficult sentence constructions, over time it simplifies the constructions as linguists from the University of Zurich found in a study of languages all over the world.
As Sanskrit metamorphosed into Hindi, the case rules got a complete makeover leading to the development of completely new grammatical cases.
The team from the University Of Zurich did a statistical analysis of the case systems across 600 languages and studied the changes that occurred as time passed. Next they checked the participants adaptation to the changes by measuring the activity in a part of the brain that is known to come into use for language interpretation.
The team found that the brain was more active when it interpreted complex case constructions as compared to easier ones.
Balthasar Bickel, who is a professor of general linguistics at the University of Zurich, felt that complex case constructions are omitted from most languages around the world because they tax the brain more. The study highlights how Biology plays a major role in the evolution of the grammar of any language.
Bickel whose study was featured in the Journal PLOS says that it will encourage further studies into the evolution of languages and a better understanding of speech disorders.
Last year, a Dutch linguistic researcher studied and identified sentences in 20 translations of the classic Alice in Wonderland, which gave strength to grammatical transitions as Bickel’s team studied.