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Re: THEORY: A possible Proto-World phonology

From:dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, June 30, 2000, 0:24
On Thu, 29 Jun 2000, Danny Wier wrote:

> >From: dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...> > > >Many accounts of North-West Caucasian (Abkhaz, Ubykh, > >Circassian, Kabardian, etc) posit a minimal vowel system (1 or 2 > >or 3) which balloons into 12-16 surface vowel qualities > >depending on the environment. What Lehmann proposes is something > >similar, IIRC. The contrast isn't among vowels of different > >qualities, but rather between a Vowel and Not a Vowel. Where > >there is a Vowel, its quality is determined solely according to > >context, just as you've said. Typological reconstructionists > >have used this feature (among others) to posit a link between > >PIE and Proto-NW-Caucasian. > > [snip] > > Any genetic connection between IE and North Caucasian is extremely unlikely, > and not a single proponent of Nostratic supports such a notion. But the > neutralization of vowels and the secondary featurization of consonants based > on the former vowel position occured in Indo-European, leading to k^/k/kw, > so I am more sure of a pre-IE system of ke/ka/ko than I am of common origin > with the other five language families considered offshoots of Nostratic.
This is not the impression received after reading Gamqrelidze and Ivanov, who pepper their discussion of PIE with comparisons to NWC (as well as to Kartvelian). Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga