Hi folks,

I am doing some research for a novel and am wondering if I could get some help on creating realistic depictions of linguistic drift. I understand the basics of what linguistic drift is, but would like some ideas on what influences it, and how major it should be.

In the case of the fictional setting, a large plot point revolves around characters finding and reading books that are many thousands of years old. Now, the language in question has been reasonably static, it is widely spoken and written, and doesn't have many foreign languages competing to add words. I suspect things like sentence structure and character set can be expected to remain constant, but spelling, punctuation, and grammer have probably changed substantially.

Would anyone be able to offer some insights for me?

Thank you!

I don't see how this can be utilized in a novel. Characters finding and reading books that are thousands of years old is fine - a lot can be done starting from this. But linguistic drift? This is a highly technical field that few are interested in. You'd have readers falling asleep if you try to develop the novel around this.

...its not a novel "developed around" that, it's just a minor side plot-point that I am attempting to depict in a realistic way.