Re: What features do P-I-E languages have in common?
|From:||JS Bangs <jaspax@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, July 17, 2003, 18:05|
Thomas R. Wier sikyal:
> > and as for its failure to become important in
> > Meso-America, I have always heard that attributed to the lack of large
> > pack animals to make carts/plows worthwhile.
> The point is that you don't have to have big wheels used for
> transportation to have a word for "wheel". Another wrinkle is
> that the word for "wheel", _kw(e)kwlos_ in PIE seems to be
> related to, indeed derived from, the verb _kwel-_for "roll, go
> around". There's a certain special pleading involved in saying
> this form *had* to be original in the language when it is probably
> a derivational form: how do you in fact *know* that?
> Anyways, IMO that in itself is not evidence one way or another
> for dating the breakup of PIE.
Thanks for the clarification. I also have no strong opinion on this
matter, but I agree with your argument.
> > Curious that that Incas never invented carts to hook up to their llamas,
> > though.
> This is because though the wheel had been invented in Meso-America,
> by the time of Columbus it had still not reached the Andes. An
> additional difficulty is that llamas are quite difficult to breed;
> they cannot be kept indoors, for example, or anywhere near humans.
> This impedes their use as beasts of burden, even after domestication.
> (Read _Guns, Germs and Steel_ by Jarod Diamond for great discussion
> of these issues.)
I have read that book, though I didn't recall the llama discussion. IMHO,
_Guns, Germs and Steel_ does for conculturing what _Describing
Morphosyntax_ does for conlanging--it's an indispensible source of
explanations and ideas.
Jesse S. Bangs firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?"
And they answered, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground
of our being, the kerygma in which we find the ultimate meaning of our
And Jesus said, "What?"