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Shady Austronesian Linguistics

From:Leo Caesius <leo_caesius@...>
Date:Friday, July 14, 2000, 3:21
Roger Mills <romilly@...> wrote:
"Chollie wrote (and my email program is having trouble with this format)"
    As you can see, I've unsubscribed from my yahoo account and resubscribed
using another vanity email provider ("Hotmail").  That should take care of
the format problem -- yahoo's text editor can be quite annoying.

"Mercy! Another breakthrough in Austronesian Linguistics!"
    Unfortunately, there's a large class of Egyptologists that continues to
follow rather suspect practices and theories (whether we're talking about
lexicostatistics or the 'invasion hypothesis').  Notice that he uses the
rather dated Egyptological phonetic system to transcribe both Phoenician and
Redjang; there's just no reason to do that.  It doesn't surprise me that his
reasoning is so flawed -- but then again, I've heard other people make
similar claims.
    As far as the Semitic arena goes, I showed some images from Jaspan's
book to an epigrapher, and she didn't believe that the script was Phoenician
or even Aramaic, unless it had evolved rather heavily.

"And if the Egyptians could sail to the Americas, as we know, surely they
could have gone coastwise to SE Asia, now couldn't they? It could
happen...... ;-)"
    Have you heard of the Parahyba text?  Every once and a while someone
digs up C.H. Gordon's "the Phoenician text from Brazil" and uses it as
filler material in one of the less reputable tabloids.  I don't know how
someone who wrote such a first-rate grammar of Ugaritic could also fall for
such a silly prank (these days, even he admits that it is probably a Masonic

"Agreed. Shall we form a committee? I'll contribute Austronesian/Polynesian
and rusty Latin....."
     I wonder if there would be others on this list would be up to the
challenge... specifically, I would like to know what people think about...

...the language that the Jews and Druids used aboard the Roman galley?  The
Jews of those days used Aramaic as a vernacular and Greek in their dealings
with the outside world, although there is apparently some evidence of a
broken "trading Latin" and/or a mixed Greek-Latin used in the ports of the
Roman Empire.  I don't know what language the Druids would have used in such
a situation.

...the significance of Polynesian element in the makeup of the original
language of Waponi Woo?  Would the Jews, Romans, and Druids abandon their
original tongues and/or contact jargons for the sake of the language of the
original inhabitants of the island?

...if so, have they left any remnants in the language? or, if the Jews,
Romans, and Druids were able to foist their languages upon the Polynesians,
what traces would the Polynesians leave in the language of the Waponis?

...what sort of script would the Waponis use?  Roman? Aramaic? Ogham?
Redjang??  Rongo-Rongo?? Something from each of these scripts (perhaps
without regard to their original values, like Sequoyah's syllabary)?

...what admixtures might contact with other peoples (Chinese, Malay pirates,
other Polynesians, Europeans such as French, Dutch, and British...)
introduce into this (already complicated) linguistic brew?

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