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Re: THEORY: A possible Proto-World phonology

From:BP Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Thursday, June 29, 2000, 14:42
At 17:15 28.6.2000 -0700, Vima Kadphises wrote:

>. "Laryngealism" in Semitic seems to be an Arabic innovation (which then >spread to Aramaic and some dialects of Hebrew); the vogue these days is to >reconstruct these consonants as ejectives, as they appear in Ethiopic and >(to the best of anyone's knowledge) in Akkadian and NorthWest Semitic.
And in Egyptian, which is outside Semitic but still inside Afroasiatic.
> The problem is that most Semitists reconstruct Proto-Semitic along > the lines of Arabic. To listen to some of us, you would think that > Arabic *is* Proto-Semitic.
I heard recently that some "minor" languages of Ethiopia may be the closest to PS. Is this widely held? IMO it's under suspicion to be a fallacious parallel to the probably correct view that some (all) Cushitic lgs are closer to the ancestor of the "Afro"(*) branch of Afroasiatic -- which means only that (Middle) Egyptian and the lgs of the Maghreb are more distant from the ancestor, which seems a non-controversial assumption. (*As I said yesterday I adhere to the view that the whole family originated in the Nile area, Semitic entering Asia from Ethiopia through Arabia. The sea-level in the Red Sea was lower in the Stone Age. I find it harder to believe that PS speakers passed through Egypt without leaving a trace before Egyptian established itself there, or that the family originated in the Near East and entered Africa through Egypt. AFAIK the recorded history of Mesopotamia and the archaeology of the Eastern Med seabord speak against that. /BP -- B.Philip Jonsson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__ A h-ammen pennuid i phith! \ \ __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / / \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / / / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / / / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /Melarocco\_ // /__/ // /__/ / /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine__ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\ Gwaedhvenn Angelmiel\ \_____/ / a/ /_adar Merthol naun ~~~~~~~~~Cuinondil~~~\_______/~~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~ || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda cuivie aiya! || "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)