Pama-Nyungan, was Re: Indo-European family tree
|From:||Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>|
|Date:||Friday, September 30, 2005, 22:18|
In a message dated 9/30/2005 8:15:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time, andjo@FREE.FR
>When IE languages have replaced non-IE ones in historical times, eg Etruscanand
>many languages of the Americas, the process has been facilitated by imperial
>control by IE-speakers. Since there presumably weren't any empires around in
>pre-Roman West and Central Europe, some other mechanism is presumablyrequired
>to explain its initial spread.
That reminds me of a question about another language family: RMW Dixon says
that one reason to doubt that Pama-Nyungan (in Australia) is really a language
family is that it is hard to see how one language (proto-Pama-Nyungan) could
have replaced all the previously existing languages across a wide area (most
of Australia) in the absence of empires, agriculture, or anything else that
would have given the proto-Pama-Nyungans a decisive advantage over the
preexisting languages and cultures.
I'd be interested in the opinions of list members about that argument.