For teaching purposes only; do not review, quote or abstract.
[References for this review may be found at <Nyland>]
INVENTED VERSUS CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGES
There are repeated references to languages having been invented by linguists over the millennia and by Roman Catholic clergy since the 6th Century. It might be better to refer to most of these as “Constructed”, “Modified,” or "Developed." It is doubtful that linguists could have eliminated many aboriginal words from the ancient languages.
In the case of modern Basque, virtually all words starting with “Vowel-Consonant-Vowel” (VCV) are invented, not modified or developed. They form almost exactly half of the Basque vocabulary. The other half was probably inherited from the languages spoken in Neolithic and Paleolithic times. Originally the VCV half was in the tightly controlled domain of the clergy, that's why it did not change in 5,000 years. Then a time came that the VCV half was released by the clergy and mixed with the Neolithic language to become modern Basque, not very long ago, probably 500 years at most (Edo Nyland, pers. commun.). This probably happened because it had been the Basque grammarians, working for the Benedictines, who created the Indo-European languages. By that time, the average Benedictine monks could no longer speak the native Saharan language. The Neolithic half was always in the domain of the people and subject to change or modification. However, this change was kept at a minimum because the pre-literate peoples had professional storytellers going from tribe to tribe, who insisted on maintaining the original language and word order. The Dravidian languages must be the product of modification of Neolithic Saharan over time. These do not have the VCV vocabulary.