Re: Polynesian family (was Re: A new Indo-European subfamily in China)
|From:||Roger Mills <romilly@...>|
|Date:||Monday, December 4, 2000, 6:08|
Marcus Smith wrote:
>E-Ching Ng wrote:
>>Before I go - I know that Japanese and Malay both have a question-marker
>>"ka", though in Malay I think it can go anywhere in the sentence and in
>>Japanese it has to be at the end. I wonder if anyone's looked at Malay
>>when trying to trace the origins of Japanese?
>Yes. That is a very popular theory, but it is very tenuously supported. The
>idea is that Japan was occupied by speakers of an Austroneasian language,
>and that it was conquered by people speaking an Altaic language. Thus,
>modern Japanese is largely Altaic with an Austronesian substrate.
>I don't put much faith in the idea myself, because the evidence is so
>tenuous. Basically a couple affixes that seem to be common to both, all of
>them CV sequences. Given the small phonemic inventory involved, it would be
>incredibly simple to have many accidental similarities. Until something
>lexical comes around, the idea is no more than speculation, IMO.>
I agree. Even more remarkably, -ka is the question marker in Kash, spoken
lightyears away from here. What a coincidence.