It did?(For the record, 2e had at least one or two copy spells, as per the Complete Wizards Handbook.)
I own those books but have never read through them cover to cover - that's a lot of spells! Now I'm curious...
The only copy-like spell I can think of quickly is Sacred Link, if used on two pieces of paper; but that only makes one copy and it's at the mercy of what happens to the other copy.
That's kind of like saying bricks are different from a brick house. You can't have the finished product wihtout the building blocks.You're talking about vocabulary here, but that's different from a full language.
I've found it relevant on various occasions in play. An example might be encountering a creature of a species not known for literacy, yet somehow it can read and write; and astute players/PCs realizing this as a clue that things might not be as they seem.That's true, but also fairly unimportant in a fantasy setting.