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Re: Paleoasiatic (was: Favourite Language Group?)

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Friday, September 6, 2002, 22:54
Wesley Parish writes:
 > On Fri, 06 Sep 2002 07:01, Pavel Iosad wrote:
 > >
 > > Paleoasiatic (or PaleoSiberian) languages are a conventional
 > > entity of several genetically unrelated languages and small
 > > language groups, united on geographical principles. The term
 > > belongs to L. I. Shrenk, who in mid-19th century offered the
 > > hypothesis that the Paleoasatic peoples, as a result of the
 > > expansion of the Altaic peoples (Turks, Mongols, Tungus-Manchu
 > > peoples), were partly assimilated by the newcomers and partly
 > > confined to the northern and northeastern fringes of Asia and
 > > into North America. [...] the following languages are usually
 > > classified as Paleoasiatic: Chukchi-Kamchatkan, Eskimo-Aleut,
 > > Yenissean, as well as the genetically isolated Yukaghir and Nivkh
 > > [...]
 > And the question always on the tip of my tongue is, where (and how)
 > can I get information on these - necessarily - fascinating
 > languages?  In English, since I don't know any Russian as yest.

Well, I can't help you much, but there is a Chukchi grammar here:
(The site seems to be down right now, but I'd guess it's temporary -
the whole domain's failed, and it still has an IP number, so check
back later)

It's rather dry, but fairly detailed (and judging by the author's
comments, it's as good as you're likely to find in English).

There's a sketch of Nivkh in Campbell's _Concise Compendium of the
World's Languages_.  It sounds very interesting.  Consonant
alternation series triggered by the preceding final, at least 26
numeral classes, various moods and voices.  Only 3-4000 speakers, I
don't know how it made it into the concise edition.  The 2 sources in
the bibliography are both in Russian.

Searching, I find a little information here:

and something on the people here:

but little on the structure of the language itself.  There's a book on
the language available for order here - I _think_ it's in English:

A bibliography here, overwhelmingly dominated by Russian (or at least,
by Cyrillic - some of them may be _in_ Nivkh):

Maybe I'll copy in the sketch from Campbell - it's only 3 pages, but
I'd have to keep referring to the X-SAMPA chart.  Right now I have to
catch up on 4 days worth of CONLANG posts...

(Incidentally, your Reply-To: header is set to your personal address,
rather than the list.)


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Tim May <butsuri@...>