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Re: Hobbits spoke Indonesian!

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 2, 2004, 16:14
Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Quoting Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>: > > > Joe wrote: > > > J Y S Czhang wrote: > > > > > > >In a message dated 10/29/2004 1:10:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Joe > > > ><joe@...> writes: > > > > > > > >>Andreas Johansson wrote: > > > >> > > > >>>There does not seem to be any reason to totally exclude that > > > >>>possibility. > > > >>> > > > >>Except that the Austronesian languages seem to have originated from > > > >>Taiwan... > > > >> > > And are reconstructed only back to ~5000 B.C.E... > > I do not see how a Taiwanese origin is relevant.... (snip) Wherever AN > originated, speakers of it eventually turned up at > Flores.
True. My only point was the time differential.
> > As for the temporal aspect, yes, a rather daunting chasm of time separates > the > most recent evidence of H. floresiensis and the arrival of AN-speakers at > the > place. Near as I've heard, however, it cannot be stated with absolute > certainty > that floresiensis did not surive much longer,
My impression was that the most recent find dated only to 13,000 B.C.E., and that floresiensis _apparently_ died out when H.Sapiens reached Flores. (My impression is also that we're dealing with just a few finds; the excitement seems a bit premature.) But in -13,000, even those Sapiens would not have been AN speakers-- far more likely they were Pre-pre...-proto "Papuan" both physically and linguistically(1). ------------------------------- (1) The physical, essentially Negroid, traits-- kinky hair, darker skin, broad nose-- are still prominent in many AN speakers in the Lesser Sundas; and there are non-AN linguistic groups in peripheral areas-- Ternate/Tidore and Halmahera in the north, Alor, Pantar, eastern Timor in the south; a group was reportedly killed off in the Kei islands in the mid-1800s. I don't know where the "Negritos" of the Philippines fit in; the name suggests they might also show pre-AN "Papuan" traits. -------------------------------- Secondly, there must surely have been even earlier contact with Sapiens, since Papuoid/Australoid people must have passed thru the Lesser Sundas in -30/40,000 (or even earlier) on their way to Australia(2). ------------------------------ (2) One of two possible routes; the other is via the northern Moluccas. Even though Australia/NG was once a single land mass, the strange thing seems to be that there is little or no connection between "Papuan" languages and "Australian" languages. But, as in the American case, we have to assume there were multiple in-migrations. ------------------------------ long enough that they were around
> to meet AN-speakers coming paddling from Taiwan. That Indonesian languages > would have at some point have been influenced by whatever floresiensis may > have > spoken does thus as far as I can see still belong to the realm of the > possibly, > if more specifically to the province of highly unlikely.
Even assuming that Fl. survived into post-glacial times-- and it's a tempting hypothesis-- we know only too well what happens when a "superior" culture comes in contact with an "inferior" one. At best, some names for local flora and fauna, and geographical features, might survive.
> > There's also the possibility that some loans might have been conveyed from > "Floresian" to AN via whatever was spoken by pre-AN H. sapiens in > Indonesia.
That IMO is a quite likely scenario. Admittedly the prehistory of the entire Indonesian archipelago is poorly known, and interesting finds will probably keep turning up.