From: Glen Gordon
> I have trouble believing that any language is so mixed up that >thereMark O:
>are _equal_ connections between two groups. That scenario is >very
>The historical and geographical situation where such a thing could >occurI'm not familiar with Papuan languages but I am familiar with Caucasian ones
>would require linguistically stable islands or mountains. New >Guinea is
>such a place. The Caucasus are sometimes mentioned in this >regard, and as
>I recall, perhaps the paleo-Siberian languages. We are >speaking of time
>scales in the thousands of years.
>When you have two distinct languages, each from a different languageYes, and some pronominal/grammatical influence does seem to occur between
> >family, living cheek-to-jowl with each other over thousands of years >and
>otherwise maintaining their integrity, with high levels of >bilingualism,
>you first form a sprachbund, then lexical items flow >across languages, and
>finally, even grammatical features.
>We like to cite Lithuanian as the most spectacularly conservative of >IECase in point, we still can see that Lithuanian is largely an IE language.
>languages; in point of fact, it historically is also one of the >most
>innovative of IE languages, having borrowed grammatical features >from
>Uralic (noun cases).
>The necessary historical and geographic conditions for two languageThanx Mark O. for reaffirming my point which is that this "equal" blend of
>families to converge into one are very difficult to establish or maintain.
>Japan, New Guinea, and perhaps the Caucasus would seem to be the only
>possible, presently-known candidates.