Essay on the origins of languages

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Hudson In communities where the people speak more than one language, they use different languages in different situations.

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Languages are varied according to situation. There is the difference between the language used in home and the language that is used in other places for various purposes. Switching refers overlapping between two or more than two languages. It is the interchanging between two languages or more than two languages. Code-switching refers to single word interference while switching refers to constant use of such language by a bilingual speaker. According to Di pietro code-switching is when the communicants converse in more than one language in the implementation of speech act. Falhis in refers that the code-switching is the interchanging of more than one language.

Another definition that is proposed by Scotton and Ury n. But according to Weinreich definition, the people exchange a language to other because they want to change the situation of speech. When we observe the above definitions, it is very obvious that nobody can define the code-switching terminology. We have found divergence among the sociologists and linguists because the writers admit that there is uncertainty in this term. Code-Switching have been classified by the scholars in diverse types.

They have given different names to these types after observing the various cases. Poplack demonstrate these types as: Tag-switching, inter-sentential and intra-sentential. Tag switching: Tag switching means to connect one language into the other language and to switch a mark of a language into the other language. It can be at word or phrase level or both.

Inter-Sentential switching: Its means the occurrence of switching outside the boundaries at clause or sentence level. This type of switching can also take place between the conversations of the speakers Romaine, ; Myer-Scotton, ; Hoffman, Intra-Sentential switching: This type of code switching includes the various types of switching that take place within the phrase, sentence or clause.

There are different styles of the language so we cannot say that code-switching only occurs in the speaking of bilinguals. It can also occur among the monolinguals because of the styles of the language. Bilingualism refers to a person who can speak two different languages. In defining the term of bilingualism we have found the disagreement among linguists.

Some linguists emphasizes that a person who is bilingual must have the command on two different languages. A bilingual person has a feature to develop the knowledge of second language and the ability to speak it. Monocultural-Co-ordinate Bilingual is type of bilingual learns the other language or second language to fulfill his requirements and to access the information related to his needs, to research the academic subject matter.

He becomes bilingual but not bi-culture because he develops his language within a culture. Bicultural-Co-ordinate Bilingual is a bilingual person learns the second language within the speech community of second language for many reasons such as studied literature of their culture, history and tourism purposes. Bicultural-compound Bilingual is type of bilingual learns two cultures and two languages. One at home and the other of the society in which he is living. The only way to tackle with these various definitions is to know that bilingualism is an individual feature and one can learn more than one language if he is competent enough, he can get the complete mastery of two languages.

Pidgins languages developed from the distinguish language varieties. They are created by the efforts of different people who speak varieties of languages.

Where and when did language begin? A remarkable new study may have the answer

We cannot say that pidgin is the native language of some person. It is learned when people get in touch with the people who speak their language in their own context. The people who do not have the common language to exchange their ideas, pidgins develop as a source of communication between them. Holmes states that when two groups having different languages communicate with each other in such situation where a third language has dominant position, this may called pidgins.

When the people from various language contexts come in contact with each other pidgins languages are needed for their survival. Language changes with the time and there are a lot of features that causes that change. As a person grows a lot of factors like family, region and culture can influence the language development of a person. A culture can introduce different words which gradually become part of the language. Human beings can express thoughts and communicate with each other through language.

Simply the word that is uttered by a person carrying some meaning is known as language, whereas, the culture may be referred to the activities and doings of people. Every culture has its own identity. Culture includes religion, dress, art, games, music, rituals and law. Pakistan is a country with multilingual speaker. It was because people chose to teach the idea that…. Is it possible for the origin of life to predate the origin of the Earth?

Recently, a thought-provoking paper was published on March 28, that suggested the possibility of the origin of life to predate the origin of the Earth. The highly arguable paper was written by Alexei Sharov who is a staff scientist at the U. To prove their argument, Sharov and Gordon included…. This revived interest differs entirely from attitudes a century ago, where the linguistic societies of both Paris and London banned discussion of the subject in and , respectively. In recent years, many papers have been published on the topic, with many of them drawing…. The Origin of Man is one of the most difficult statements or question that we have face as humans to answer.

There are too many variables that goes into understanding the true meaning of the Origin of Man. Some of the variables that would question the Origin of Man would be Religion and Scientific knowledge or researched. Through Science and researched we are…. Login Join. Home Page Essay on Origin of Language. Essay on Origin of Language Submitted By visionyong. How impoverished and strange, though, would have to be the representations which this mutilated person associates with such sounds! What a classroom of ideas and language! Bring no Mercury or Apollo down from the clouds as operatic dei ex machina; all of many-sounded, divine nature is language mistress and Muse!

There she leads all creatures past him; each bears its name on its tongue, and names itself to this enshrouded, visible god! It delivers unto him its characteristic word into the book of his governance like a tribute, that he may remember it by this name, call it in future, and enjoy it. And however he would name them, thus were they to be called! And that is what I prove.

Structure and layout, yes, even the first foundation stone of this palace, betrays humanity! In what language are heavenly, spiritual concepts the first ones? Those concepts which would also have to be the first according to the order of our thinking spirit — subjects, notiones communes, the seeds of our cognition, the points about which everything turns and [to which] every thing leads back — are these living points not elements of language? After all, the subjects would naturally have to have come before the predicate, and the simplest subjects before the compound ones, that which does and acts before what it does, the essential and certain before the uncertain contingent Yes, what all could one not infer, and — in our original languages the clear opposite happens throughout.

A hearing, listening creature is recognizable but no heavenly spirit, for resounding verbs are the first ruling elements. Resounding verbs? Actions, and still nothing which acts there? Predicates, and still no subject, The heavenly genius may need to be ashamed of that, but not the sensuous, human creature, for what moved the latter — as we have seen — more deeply than these resounding actions? The divine origin explains nothing and lets nothing be explained from it, it is, as Bacon says of another subject, a holy Vestal Virgin -consecrated to God but barren, pious but useless!

The first vocabulary was therefore collected from the sounds of the whole world. From each resounding being its name rang out, the human soul impressed its image on them, thought of them as characteristic signs, How could it be otherwise than that these resounding interjections became the first? And so it is that, for example, the Eastern languages are full of verbs as basic roots of language. The thought of the thing itself still hovered between the agent and the action.

The sound had to designate the thing, just as the thing gave the sound. Hence from the verbs arose nouns, and not from the nouns verbs. The child names the sheep not as a sheep but as a bleating creature, and hence makes the interjection into a verb. This matter becomes explicable in the context of the steps of development of human sensuality, but not in the context of the logic of the higher spirit.

I doubt it! Since the whole of nature resounds, there is nothing more natural for a sensuous human being than that it lives, it speaks, it acts. That savage saw the high tree with its splendid crown and admired. The crown rustled! That is the work of divinity! The savage falls down and prays to it! Behold there the history of the sensuous human being, the obscure link, how nouns arise from the verbs — and the easiest step to abstraction! With the savages of North America, for example, everything is still alive: each thing has its genius, its spirit.

And that it was just the same with the Greeks and the Easterners is shown by their oldest vocabulary and grammar they are, as the whole of nature was to the inventor, a pantheon! But because the human being related everything to himself, because everything seemed to speak with him, and really acted for or against him, because he consequently took sides with or against it, loved or hated it, and imagined everything to be human, all these traces of humanity impressed themselves into the first names as well! They too expressed love or hate, curse or blessing, softness or opposition, and especially there arose from this feeling in so many languages the articles!

Here everything became human, personified into woman or man — everywhere gods; goddesses; acting, wicked or good, beings! Here the language of those ancient savages is a study in the strayings of human imagination and passions , like their mythology.

Origin of language

Each family of words is an overgrown bush around a sensuous main idea, around a holy, oak on which there are Still traces of the impression that the inventor had of this Dryad The feelings are woven together for him; what moves lives; what resounds speaks — and since it resounds for You or against you, it is friend or enemy; god or goddess; it acts from passions, like You! A human, sensuous creature is what I love when I reflect on this manner of thought: I see everywhere the weak and timid sensitive person who must love or hate, trust or fear, and would like to spread these sensations from his own breast over all beings.

I see everywhere the weak and yet mighty creature which needs the whole universe and entangles everything into war or peace with itself, which depends on everything and yet rules over everything. But now, if a higher genius brought language down out of the stars, how is this? Did he see and feel as a human being sees, so that the nouns had to pair off into genders and articles for him, so that he put the verbs together in the active and the passive, accorded them so many legitimate and illegitimate children — in short, so that he constructed the whole language on the basis of the feeling of human weaknesses?

Did he see and feel in this way? In the remains of the language which is accepted as being most ancient the roots are all verbs of two syllables, which fact, now, I can explain very well from what I said above, whereas the opposite hypothesis finds no support. These verbs, namely, are immediately built on the sounds and interjections of resounding nature — which often still resound in them, and are here and there even still preserved in them as interjections; but for the most part, as semi-unarticulated sounds, they were inevitably lost when the language developed.

Hence in the Eastern languages these first attempts of the stammering tongue are absent; but the fact that they.

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Imitation of resounding, acting, stirring nature! Taken from the interjections of all beings and enlivened by the interjection of human sensation! The natural language of all creatures poetized by the understanding into sounds, into images of action, of passion, and of living effect! A vocabulary of the soul which is simultaneously a mythology and a wonderful epic of the actions and speakings of all beings!

Hence a constant poetic creation of fable with passion and interest! What else is poetry? In addition. The tradition of antiquity says: the first language of the human species was song. And many good, musical people have believed that human beings could well have learned this song from the birds.

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  6. That is, it must be admitted, a lot to swallow! A great, heavy clock with all its sharp wheels and newly stretched springs and hundredweight weights can to be sure produce a carillon of tones. But to set forth the newly created human being, with his driving motives, with his needs, with his strong sensations, with his almost blindly preoccupied attention, and finally with his primitive throat, so that he might ape the nightingale, and from the nightingale sing himself a language, is — however many histories of music and poetry it may be asserted in — unintelligible to me.

    To be sure, a language through musical tones would be possible however Leibniz arrived at this idea! But for the first natural human beings this language was not possible, so artificial and fine is it. In the chain of beings each thing has its voice and a language in accordance with its voice.

    Hence as little as the nightingale sings in order to sing as an example for human beings, the way people imagine, just as little will the human being ever want to invent language for himself by trilling in imitation of the nightingale. And then really, what sort of monster is this: a human nightingale in a cave or in the game forest. Condillac, Rousseau, and others were half on the right track here in that they derive the meter and song of the oldest languages from the cry of sensation -and without doubt sensation did indeed enliven the first sounds and elevate them.

    But since from the mere sounds of sensation human language could never have arisen, though this song certainly was such a language, something more is still needed in order to produce this song — and that was precisely the naming of each creature in accordance with its own language. Even when language later became more regular, monotonous, and regimented [ gereiht ] , it still remained a species of song, as the accents of so many savages bear witness; and that the oldest poetry and music arose from this song, subsequently made nobler and finer, has now already been proved by more than one person.

    The philosophical Englishman who in our century tackled this origin of poetry and music could have got furthest if he had not excluded the spirit of language from his investigation and had aimed less at his system of confining poetry and music to a single point of unification — in which neither of them can show itself in its true light — than at the origination of both from the whole nature of the human being. In general, because the best pieces of ancient poetry are remains from these language-singing times, the misconceptions, misappropriations, and misguided errors of taste that have been spelled forth from the course of the most ancient poems, of the Greek tragedies, and of the Greek orations are quite countless.

    How much could still be said here by a philosopher who had learned among the savages, where this age still lives, the tone in which to read these pieces! Otherwise, and usually, people only ever see the weave of the back of the carpet! But I would lose myself in an immeasurable field if I were to go into individual observations about language — so back to the first path of the invention of language! How words arose from sounds minted into characteristic marks by the understanding was very intelligible, but not all objects make sounds.

    Clearly, that is the way he wanted it! All philosophy about the art of inventing language thus hovers arbitrarily-voluntarily in the clouds, and for us each word is a qualitas occulta, something arbitrarily willed! Moreover, in the case of a primitive, sensuous natural human being whose forces are not yet fine enough to play aiming at what is useless, who, in his lack of practice and his strength, does nothing without a pressing cause, and wants to do nothing in vain, the invention of a language out of insipid, empty arbitrary volition is opposed to the whole analogy of his nature.

    And in general, it is opposed to the whole analogy of all human forces of soul, a language thought out from pure arbitrary volition.

    So, to the matter. How was the human being, left to his own forces, also able even to invent for himself. How are sight and hearing, color and word, scent and sound, connected Not among themselves in the objects. But what, then, are these properties in the objects? They are merely sensuous sensations in us, and as such do they not all flow into one, We are a single thinking sensorium commune, only touched from various sides. There lies the explanation. Feeling forms the basis of all the senses, and this already gives to the most diverse sensations such an inward, strong, inexpressible bond that the strangest phenomena arise from this connection.

    We are full of such connections of the most different senses, only we do not notice them except in onsets which make us beside ourselves, in sicknesses of the imagination, or on occasions when they become unusually noticeable. The normal course of our thoughts proceeds so quickly, the waves of our sensations rush so obscurely into each other, there is so much in our soul at once, that in regard to most ideas we are as though asleep by a spring where to be sure we still hear the rush of each wave, but so obscurely that in the end sleep takes away from us all noticeable feeling.

    If it were possible for us to arrest the chain of our thoughts and look at each link for its connection, what strange phenomena! In the eyes of a merely rational being, we would all be similar to that type of madmen who think cleverly but combine very unintelligibly and foolishly! In the case of sensuous creatures who have sensation through many different senses simultaneously this collecting together of ideas is unavoidable, for what are all the senses but mere modes of representation of a single positive force of the soul?

    We distinguish them, but once again only through senses; hence modes of representation through modes of representation. With much effort we learn to separate them in use — but in a certain basis they still function together. Now, the more obscure the senses are, the more they flow into each other; and the more untrained they are, the less a person has yet learned to use one without the other, to use it with skill and distinctness, then the more obscure they are!

    The Origin of Language in Human Evolution Essay - Words | Bartleby

    The childhood and inexperience of the human species made language easier! The human being stepped into the world. What an ocean immediately fell upon him! With what difficulty did he learn to distinguish! Vision is the coldest sense , and if it had always been as cold, as remote, as distinct as it has become for us through an effort and training lasting many years, then indeed I would not see how one can make audible what one sees.

    But nature has taken care of this and has shortened the path, for even this vision was, as children and formerly blind people testify, to begin with only feeling. Most visible things move, many make a sound when they move, and where not, then they, so to speak, lie closer to the eve in its initial condition, immediately upon it, and can hence be felt. Feeling lies so close to hearing; I its descriptive terms, for example, hart, rauh, weich, wollig, sammt, haarig, starr, glatt, schlicht, borstig, etc.

    The soul, which stood in the throng of such a confluence of sensations, and in need of forming a word, reached out and got hold perhaps of the word of a neighboring sense whose feeling flowed together with this one. In this way words arose for all the senses, and even for the coldest of them. Lightning does not make a noise, but if it is to be expressed, this messenger of midnight! The words Duft, Ton, suss, bitter, sauer, etc. But how feeling can express itself in sound — this we have already in the first section accepted as an immediate natural law of the sensing machine which we may explain no further!

    And hence all the difficulties lead back to the following two proven, distinct propositions: 1 Since all the senses are nothing but modes of representation belonging to the soul, let the soul only have distinct representation, and consequently a characteristic mark, and with the characteristic mark it has inner language.

    Feeling senses everything only in itself and in its organ; vision throws us far outside ourselves; hearing stands in its degree of communicativity in the middle. What does that do for language. Suppose a creature, even a rational creature, for whom feeling were the main sense if this is possible!

    How small its world is! And since it does not sense this through hearing, it will no doubt perhaps like the insect construct a web for itself, but it will not construct for itself a language through sounds! Again, a creature that is all eye. How inexhaustible the world of its visual observations is! How immeasurably far it is thrown outside itself! Dispersed into what infinite manifoldness!

    Its spoken language we have no idea of it! We creatures who hear stand in the middle: we see, we feel, but seen, felt nature resounds! It becomes a teacher of language through sounds! We become, so to speak, hearing through all our senses! Let us feel the comfortableness of our position — through it each sense becomes capable of language. To be sure, only hearing actually gives sounds, and the human being cannot invent but only find, only imitate.

    But on the one side feeling lies next door, and on the other side vision is the neighboring sense. The sensations unite together and hence all approach the region where characteristic marks turn into sounds. In this way, what one sees, what one feels, becomes soundable as well. The sense for language has become our middle and unifying sense; we are linguistic creatures. How obscure is feeling! It senses everything mixed up. There it is difficult to separate off a characteristic mark for acknowledgment; it proves inexpressible! Hearing is in the middle.

    But does a sound tear itself free there from the felt, observed object? Into this sound the characteristic marks of those two senses gather themselves — this becomes a characteristic word! So hearing reaches out on both sides; it makes clear what was too obscure, it makes pleasanter what was too bright, it introduces more unity into the obscure manifold of feeling, and also into the excessively bright manifold of vision; and since this acknowledgment of the manifold through one, through a characteristic mark, becomes language, hearing is language.

    The former penetrates too deeply into us to be able to become language; the latter remains too much at rest before us. That is the sense for language. How brief, tiring, and unbearable the language of any cruder sense would be for us! How confusing and mind-emptying the language of excessively fine vision! Who can always taste, feel, and smell without soon, as Pope says, dying an aromatic death? And who always attentively gape at a color-piano without soon going blind?

    But we can for longer and almost for ever hear, think words with hearing, so to speak; hearing is for the soul what green, the middle color, is for sight. The human being is formed to be a linguistic creature. Feeling casts everything into us at once, it stirs our strings strongly but briefly and in jumps. Vision presents everything to us at once, and hence intimidates the pupil through the immeasurable canvas of its side-by-side.

    Behold how [nature] the teacher of language spares us through hearing! She counts sounds into our souls only one after another, gives and never tires, gives and always has more to give. She thus practices the whole knack of method: she teaches progressiively! Who in these circumstances could not grasp language, invent language for himself? Feeling operates too obscurely to be expressed; but so much the less may it be expressed — it concerns our self so much!

    Vision is inexpressible for the inventor of language; but why does it need to be expressed immediately? The objects remain! They can be shown by means of gestures! But the objects of hearing are bound up with movement; they proceed past; but precisely thereby they also resound.

    They become expressible because they must be expressed, and through the fact that they must be expressed, through their movement, do they become expressible. What an ability for language! The human being is feeling through and through: the embryo in its first moment of life feels as does the infant; that is the natural stem out of which the more delicate branches of sensuality grow , and the tangled ball out of which all finer forces of the soul unfold.

    How do these unfold? As we have seen, through hearing, since nature awakens the soul to its first distinct sensation through sounds. Hence, so to speak, awakens it out of the obscure sleep of feeling and ripens it to still finer sensuality. If, for example, vision was already there unfolded before hearing, or if it were possible that it should be awakened out of feeling otherwise than through the middle sense of hearing -what wise poverty!

    How difficult it would become for such a creature — all eye! However, the very governing assumption [ Instanz ] turns out to be self-contradictory; the way to the unfolding of human nature — is better and single! And so when the human being comes to the most subtle characterization of visual phenomena — what a store of language and linguistic similarities already lies ready! He took the path from feeling into the sense of his visual images [ Phantasmen ] no otherwise than via the sense of language, and has hence learned to sound forth what he sees as much as what he felt. If I could now bring all the ends together here and make visible simultaneously that web called human nature: through and through a web for language.

    For this, we saw, were space and sphere granted to this positive force of thought; for this were its content and matter measured out; for this were shape and form created; finally, for this were the senses organized and ordered — for language! This is why the human being does not think more clearly or more obscurely; this is why he does not see and feel more sharply, at greater length, more vividly; this is why he has these senses, not more and not different ones — everything counterbalances!

    Although in later languages we characterize anger in its roots as a phenomenon of the visible face or as an abstraction — for example, through the flashing of the eyes, the glowing of the cheeks, etc. He hears it snort! That became the stem"? If for us life expresses itself through the pulse, through undulation and fine characteristic marks, in language too, it revealed itself to the Easterner respiring aloud — the human being lived when he breathed, died when he breathed out his last, and one hears the root of the word breathe like the first living Adam.

    This is the central idea around which his images revolve! Let one open any available Eastern dictionary and one will see the impetus of the desire to achieve self-expression! How the inventor tore ideas out of one type of feeling and borrowed them for another! Hence the strong, bold metaphors in the roots of the words! Hence the metaphorical transferences from one type of feeling to another, so that the meanings of a stem-word, and still more those of its derivatives, set in contrast with one another, turn into the most motley picture.

    The genetic cause lies in the poverty, of the human soul and in the confluence of the sensations of a primitive human being. One sees his need to express himself so distinctly; one sees it to an ever greater extent the further away in sensation the idea lay from feeling and sound — so that one may no longer doubt the human character of the origin of language. For how do the champions of another origination claim to explain this interweaving of ideas in the roots of words?

    Or was he such a lover of hyperboles, of outlandish metaphors, that he imprinted this spirit into the very basic-roots of his language? The so-called divine language, the Hebrew language, is entirely imprinted with these examples of daring, so that the Orient even has the honor of designating them with its name. A people which did not distinguish its feelings much and did not distinguish them sharply, a people which did not have enough heart to express itself and to steal expressions mightily, will also be less at a loss because of nuances in feeling, or will make do with slothful semi-expressions.

    A fiery nation reveals its courage in such metaphors, whether it lives in the Orient or in North America. But the nation which in its deepest ground reveals the most such transplantations has the language which was the poorest, the oldest, the most original ahead of others, and this nation was certainly in the Orient. The so very diverse meanings of a root which are supposed to be deduced and traced back to their origin in a genealogical chart are only related through such obscure feelings, through fleeting side ideas, through coinciding sensations [ Mitempfindungen ] , which rise up from the bottom of the soul and can be but little grasped in rules!

    Moreover, their relationships are so national, so much according to the peculiar manner of thinking and seeing of that people, of that inventor, in that land, in that time, in those circumstances, that they are infinitely difficult for a Northerner and Westerner to get right, and must suffer infinitely in long, cold paraphrases.

    Moreover, since they were forced into existence by necessity, and were invented in affect, in feeling, in the need for expression — what a stroke of fortune is necessary to hit on the same feeling! And finally, since in a dictionary of this kind the words and the meanings of a word are supposed to be gathered together from such diverse times, occasions, and manners of thinking, and these momentary determinations hence increase in number ad infinitum, how the labor multiplies here!

    And every new observation would be the fullest proof of the human character of the origin of language. Schultens has earned himself renown in the development of several such origins of the Hebrew language. Each of these developments is a proof of my rule. But for many reasons I do not believe that the origins of the first human language, even if it were the Hebrew language, can ever be developed fully. I infer a further remark which is too universal and important to be omitted.

    The basis of the bold verbal metaphors lay in the first invention. But what is going on when late afterwards, when all need has already disappeared, such species of words and images remain out of mere addiction to imitation or love for antiquity? And even get extended and elevated further, Then, oh then, it turns into the sublime nonsense, the turgid wordplay which in the beginning it actually was not. In the beginning it was bold, manly wit which perhaps meant to play least at the times when it seemed to play most!

    It was primitive sublimity of imagination that worked out such a feeling in such a word. But now in the hands of insipid imitators, without such a feeling, without such an occasion But the Easterners? The Greeks? The English? And we Germans? From this it follows that the older a language is, the more such bits of boldness there are in its roots, if it has lived for a long time, has developed for a long time, then so much the less must one automatically head for every original bit of boldness as though every one of these intersecting concepts had also on every occasion in every late use been thought of as a component.

    The original metaphor was [a result of] the impulse to speak. If later, in every case when the word had already gained currency and had worn down its sharpness, it is taken to be fruitfulness and energy to combine all such peculiarities — what miserable examples abound before us in whole schools of the Eastern languages! One more thing, If, pushing things further, certain fine concepts of a dogma, of a system, adhere to, or get fixed to, or are supposed to be investigated from, such bold word struggles, such transpositions of feelings into an expression, such intersections of ideas without rule or plumb-line heaven!

    But such remarks would go on for ever. I proceed to a new canon:. The language is rich in synonyms; for all its essential poverty it has the greatest unnecessary excess. The defenders of the divine origin, who know how to find divine order in everything, can hardly find it here, and deny the synonyms. Deny them? Fine then, let it be the case that among the 50 words that the Arab has for the lion, among the that he has for the snake, among the So that he has for honey, and among the more than 1, that he has for the sword fine distinctions are present, or would have been present but have been lost.

    Why were they there if they were bound to be lost?