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Re: Old Japanese

From:Vasiliy Chernov <bc_@...>
Date:Monday, November 13, 2000, 20:08
On Fri, 10 Nov 2000 09:48:39 -0800, Marcus Smith <smithma@...> wrote:

>Lyle Campbell gave a lecture at UCLA on proposed language families. He >discussed various families including Na-Dene, Hokan, Altaic, Amerind, >Nostratic, and a small bit of the general African classification. I can't >find my notes from the lecture, but I remember two things that he said >about Altaic. The first was that it was originally proposed based on purely >typological grounds rather than lexical similarities.
To be exact, lexical comparisons by early Altaicists were based on what now is considered loans, far too often. The languages seem to have split long ago (earlier than I-E), but most of them were spoken in adjacent areas, and exchanged their lexis all the way. Similarly sounding words (quite abundant) are mostly borrowings, while true cognates display very untrivial sound correspondences.
>The other was >something along the lines of "Starostin is a really intelligent person and >has a good command of the data, but..." and he went on to criticize the >semantics of some of the proposals.
I can imagine this vividly ;) Basilius