Nostratic (was Re: Etymology of English 'black'), Tech, and Albic
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, June 9, 2004, 19:49|
On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 18:14:36 -0500,
Danny Wier <dawiertx@...> wrote:
> From: "Jörg Rhiemeier" <joerg_rhiemeier@,,,>
> > [reasons to be skeptical about Nostratic]
> I used to be on the Nostratic list, which is/was the sister list of
> Cybalist, I think. I'm not an expert in comparative linguistics as I never
> took a class on it in college;
Nor did I; I worked through two or three textbooks on that matter,
> my interest in this area is subordinate to my
> conlang work.
Quite the same to me; it was my conlanging that prompted my interest
in historical linguistics. I like to play around with sound changes
and all that, evolving languages from other languages.
> Tech is actually more of an experiment than anything; I just
> attached a conculture to it to give it a sense of 'reality'. My work on this
> project has led me to study of things like linguistic universals, the
> philosophy of language, and some idea of what language might've been like
> tens of thousands of years ago.
> I doubt the existence of any macrofamily (much less something like Sino- or
> Dene-Caucasian, Austric or Amerind) is even possible to prove, at least
> right now. Unless we magically discover languages older than Hittite, or
> decipher Linear A or Indus script.
Or make some major methodological breakthroughs, which, however,
are unforseeable right now. The comparative method doesn't allow
one to look much deeper than perhaps 5000 years, starting from
the oldest available written records. We know so much about
Proto-Indo-European because we have old written records which
bridge half of the time. It is easy to see that Sanskrit and Latin
are related; it is much more difficult with Hindi and French.
> I have Bomhard's reconstruction of
> Nostratic roots in book form, and it seems that the standards of comparison
> are higher than Ilich-Svitych's and Dolgopolsky's, and his consideration of
> the Glottalic Theory makes a lot more sense.
Yes. I think Bomhard's reconstructions are more likely than I-S's
> Another likely scenario is that
> IE, AA, Karvelian, Uralic, Dravidian, Altaic, Sumerian etc. had extensive
> contact with each other ten thousand years ago, back when Jericho wasn't so
> old, so much they shared a lot of vocabulary.
> (I still haven't figured out the whole mythology of the Techs and their
> interaction with the human community of the Near East back then. They
> apparently were a big problem, being half-demon and -human, maybe something
> like the Nephilim.)
> > Some other authors (such as Miguel Carrasquer) use the method
> > of system comparison which I also consider the best approach
> > to long-range relationships, in which morphological paradigms
> > are compared, applying the comparative method to pronouns,
> > case suffixes and the like; however, it doesn't seem to me that
> > much more than an IE-Uralic-Eskimo relationship can be established
> > that way.
> Has he published anything?
I haven't found anything but his posts to the various incarnations
of the Nostratic mailing list and a few other lists (including
Cybalist), and a few web pages on pre-PIE and pre-Basque.
He posted a sketch of his own version of Nostratic (mostly based
on system comparison) on July 2, 2003 to Nostratica (the subject
line is "Tour (and 9)", as it was the concluding post of a series
of articles on the various branches of Nostratic. Carrasquer also
considers Sumerian, Etruscan and even Basque to be Nostratic.
> And someone here on the list said that Inuktitut
> had a lot in common with Uralic.
Yes. This was discussed on the Nostratic list in May 2001,
with references to a paper by someone named Uwe Seefloth.
What it amounted to was a comparison of the person-number paradigms
of Uralic and Inukitut verbs, which apparently are very similar.
> I do at least believe in Eurasiatic, which
> includes at minimum Indo-European, Uralic-Yukaghir, Altaic and probably
I'd group Inuit-Aleut with Uralic, and relate that to Indo-European.
Albic would be a coordinate branch to Indo-European:
| +--- Uralic-Yukaghir
| +--- Indo-European
What comes next? I don't know, perhaps Altaic, perhaps Kartvelian.
> > At any rate, though, it is perfectly valid to assume that in
> > a particular conworld, Nostratic is real, and to construct
> > a Nostratic conlang.
> > For Albic (my conlang family), I don't assume that Nostratic is real
> > (nor do I assume the opposite), but Albic is a sister group of
> > Indo-European, whatever else the latter is related to.
> > (This of course means that if Nostratic is real, Albic is also a part
> > of Nostratic.)
> The story of Tech and how it's related to all these protolanguages:
> When this spiritual/extraterrestrial race decided to come to Earth sometime
> between 13,000 and 10,000 BCE, they had no physical forms, but they decided
> to take the form of these tall, thin, and cunning pointy-eared man-types
> (think Elves and Vulcans), and adopted the speech of the peoples of the
> Fertile Crescent,
...which might at that time have been Proto-Nostratic...
> where they settled. They tweaked with the language and
> gave it its own character and identity, and also made it a lot more concise
> and complex.
...thus turning Nostratic into Tech.
> They ran afoul of humans and ended up flocking to the Caucasus or the
> Himalayas. The rest is a mythological blur.
> Is Albic taken from Latin _albus_ 'white' by chance, and is there any
> connection to 'elf' (its Germanic cognate)?
The name `Albic' is derived from the word the speakers of Albic use
for themselves, which is _alba_ in the singular. It *might* be related
to IE *albh-; my assumption is that it was borrowed into Germanic
as *albhaz ( > Engl. _elf_) and into Celtic as *albos, the genitive
plural of which is found in _Inis Albion_ `Island of the Elves'.
So there is indeed a connection to `Elf'.
The Elbi (that's the plural of _alba_) were no special race at all,
but mere humans, the bearers of an ancient civilization in the
British Isles that fell some time around 500 BC, leaving traces in
Celtic and Germanic mythology as "Elves". Their ancestors evidently
entered the British Isles from the east, some time between 1500
and 2000 BC. Their mythology tells of a lush, fertile homeland
on the shore of a large lake far in the east, which was destroyed
by a cataclysm. This might be a memory of the Black Sea Flood,
which sent refugees into a large area in central and eastern Europe,
who introduced farming into that area.