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Re: Diachronic conlanging

From:BP Jonsson <bpjonsson@...>
Date:Thursday, November 23, 2006, 17:36
2006/11/22, Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>:
> Hallo! > > On Wed, 22 Nov 2006 08:40:24 +0000, R A Brown wrote: > > > Eric Christopherson wrote: > > [snip] > > > > > > Yes, that is correct. I think that what I asked was (accidentally) only > > > part of what I intended to ask. I was actually wondering if anyone had > > > attempted to construct a protolang for two languages which are not > > > known to be related, e.g. PIE and Proto-Semitic. I think that'd be > > > really tough, but the result could be very cool. > > > > Nostratic does that and much, much more :) > > > > See > > > > Ah, Nostratic! It's an interesting idea, but most of the evidence is not > very convincing. It tells a lot that the pro-Nostratic community is split > into several factions who use different sound correspondences and > reconstruct different sets of Proto-Nostratic roots (the reconstructions > given on the Wikipedia page are just one opinion). At most one of these > reconstructions can be right; clearly, a method that yields so many false > positives must be unreliable. > > Yet, I think that there is something to it. At least, it seems like > Indo-European, Uralo-Siberian (Uralic-Yukaghir, Chukotko-Kamchatkan and > Eskimo-Aleut) and Altaic are related to each other, perhaps also > Kartvelian, Etruscan and Sumerian. I have much more doubt about > Afro-Asiatic and Dravidian being related to these languages. > > ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf >
I think a case could be made for a grouping of Uralic with Altaic, and then for a grouping of Ural-Altaic and IE on the higher node. IMHO the fact that intra-Altaic sound correspondances are regular is an argument in favor of Turkic-Mongolic-Tungusic being in fact genetically related, whereas if there was only the result of to-and-fro borrowing through millennia you would get exactly a picture of 'irregular correspondances' -- i.e. different correspondances for different sets of words --, which is exactly what we find in 'Nostratic'. FWIW that is certainly the kind of image English might give future comparativists, with its different West Germanic, North Germanic, Latin and Romance layers of vocabulary. It'll drive them crazy! :-) Even the pronouns were invaded by Norse forms, and then there is the partly unaccountable form _she_! -- /BP