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Re: languages of pre-I.E. Europe and onwards

From:Roger Mills <romiltz@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 19:17
Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:

> Sure. I do remember that Tsimshian-IE proposal; I > wasn't convinced. > Yet, such hypotheses cannot be ruled out merely because the > two units > are too far away from each other. >
At one of the meetings of the Chicago Ling. Circle, back in the 70s, someone presented a paper asserting a relationship between Mayan and Uru, spoken by a relic group who live IIRC on reed islands in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. Quite a few convincing correspondences and cognates! Someone else proposed a relationship between Mayan and one of the languages of Chile (Tehuelche IIRC, but that may not be the modern name). Both those languages are polysyllabic and non-tonal; Mayan of course is tonal and (I think) monosyllabic. It would suggest an interesting pattern of migrations and wider distribution, with gaps caused by extinction/occupation by others in much of the intervening areas. With the Mayans as laggards who stayed behind and underwent distinct development??