Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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.