Causality seems to be intrinsic to human thought and by extension, language.


This would follow directly from chronology, the ordering of events by order of their appearance. The ‘mentalese’ language that underlies all formal language that Chomsky and his disciples are looking for is probably mathematical, as in logic, inference, the basic assumption that if one event precedes another directly and seamlessly, then it is likely the cause. While this may not be language in the strict sense, nor even always accurate, it may nevertheless underlie it at any level beyond the simple naming of objects. S-V-O word order may derive from this at the earliest stages of consciousness, empty minds hungry to be fed, form looking for content beyond the mother’s breast. But I doubt it. That ‘s merely our arrogance, assuming we’ve always been the rational animal, full of logic and reckoning. To assume that an object was acted upon by unknown actors with unclear antecedents for unknown causes would be to live in a world of magic and superstition, religion and showmanship. Bingo. Welcome to America, bastion of science and modern technology. Even more so the rest of the world, where the passive reflexivity heretofore described is intrinsic to much spoken language, especially in the Spanish of Latin America. Go figure. When combined with subjunctive moods and conditional aspects, you might even forget your own primacy in the equation, which is what a sentence is. In many countries the subject of a sentence can even be understood or assumed, not indicated or reiterated, and therefore weakened, a verb and object sufficing for comprehension.

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