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OT: Origin of names (WAS: Re: Proto-Uralic?)

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Friday, June 27, 2003, 15:17
Quoting Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>:

> Decsy also confuses the historical linguistics term "proto-language" > with the homonymous term in language origins studies, claims that > Proto-Uralic had no more than the 400-something words he > "reconstructed", and that the speakers of Proto-Uralic did not use > names (an anthropological impossibility; and that even though > he "reconstructs" a PU word for "name").
Which reminds me; what are the orthodox ideas on when and why people started to use names? About ten years ago, our teacher read a kid's book aloud in class, which was set in the stone age, and IIRC pretty good if you weren't to concerned with (pre-)historical plausibility*. The characters had names like "Mu" and "Ba", which brings me to what I found odd - in a little introductory note, it was explained that this was because scientists believe that the first human names were short, simple ones. If this really is the opinion of researchers into human origin, I'd very much like to know what reasoning underlies is. It may be noted that the society described in the book appeared to be Neolithic - presumably names must've been in use for a very long time by then? * I usually find myself unable to appreciate historical novels and movies, because I tend to react very badly at historical inaccuracies, and know enough history to notice things like 1400s armour in a film supposed to be set in the 1200s. Andreas PS For the record, I have no recollection of the book's title, nor of the name of the author. I paid very little attention to the names of the authors of the books I read in those days.


Joe <joe@...>