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I came across a very hard to translate sentence in a text written in Portuguese and I need some help with the semantics:

that suggested that subjective consciousness was developed in relation to the linguistic development on human beings

or

that suggested that subjective consciousness was developed in relation to the linguistic development of human beings

In which case it is the linguistic of human beings getting more complex and not the development of human beings by linguistic?

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  • You can have the linguistic development of human beings, or you can have the linguistic development in human beings. But a linguistic development on human beings is not a thing. It's hilariously wrong. As to the other meaning you are trying to avoid, you're reading too much into it. Nobody would misread that sentence that way. I had to try really hard to at all see what you mean, even after you explained it. So you shouldn't worry about that. (As a bonus fact, "by linguistic" is not English, either. The noun is "linguistics", with an S. "Linguistic" is only an adjective.)
    – RegDwigнt
    May 28 '18 at 9:50
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It's case two. If somebody was improving humans, or developing them, then it would be on human beings, but it seems that you are talking about the development of human beings, and not development on them.

Example of on:

we have begun development on a new flavour of ketchup

i.e. we are making a new flavor of ketchup

Example of of:

we are researching the development of ketchup flavours over time

i.e. we are looking at how ketchup flavours have changed

Hope this helps!

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