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Re: Old European-contact conlang

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Thursday, October 9, 2008, 17:17
Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:

> quoting Benct Philip Jonsson: > >> I've never tried an a-posteriori histlang with such a >> long timeframe, mostly because I'm deeply sceptical >> about such 'deep' reconstructions -- essentially >> secondary reconstructions from already reconstructed >> languages -- and hence am concerned about realism. > > Yes: reconstructions are always shaky, thus a reconstruction > based on reconstructions is doubly shaky. Our model of PIE > probably contains elements that never existed at the same > time, and with internal reconstruction, this problem is > aggravated. As a conlanger, however, you can use such a > reconstruction, as long as it makes sense and looks like a > plausible language, to develop a conlang from it.
I'm sceptical, too. But nevertheless I am somewhat attracted to this kind of reconstructions. They won't ever be able to reconstruct any of the proto-languages they are aiming for with any degree of exactness, probably, but it seems to be possible to arrive at some kind of approximation, which can form a basis for further refinement. Anyway it's better than not making the attempt at all.
> Right. Krahe produced, among other valuable contributions > to IE historical linguistics, a widely used handbook of PIE, > but later jeopardized his reputation with his speculations > on "Old European". As I pointed out earlier in this thread, > while his etymologies seem to make sense, the names do not > show the expected sound correspondences (especially the > vowels are very odd) and must therefore be borrowed from > an unknown language rather than inherited from PIE (and > Krahe's conclusion that PIE was spoken in western Europe > is groundless). It is a similar story as with Greenberg, > who won a great reputation with his brilliant typological > work, and lost it again with his speculations on "Eurasiatic" > and "Amerind".
I like that. My kind of guys. Reputation is overrated. LEF