Though derived from the same script, we tend to opt for much easier Hindi language than Sanskrit, and scientists now explain why.
The new study, where researchers conducted statistical analyses of the case systems in more than 600 languages and recorded the changes over time, suggests that the human brain eventually chooses easier grammar routes over difficult ones.
They tested these adaptations experimentally in test subjects, measuring the brain flows that become active during language comprehension, and were hence able to demonstrate that the brain activity was stronger for complex case constructions than for simple ones.
Balthasar Bicke of the University of Zurich said that certain case constructions tax the brain more, which was why they were eventually omitted from languages all over the world – independently of the structural properties of the languages or socio-historical factors.
He added that their findings paved the way for further studies on the origin and development of human language and a better understanding of speech disorders.
The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.