Re: [tied] Latin versus *Proto-Romance

From: Juha Savolainen
Message: 18394
Date: 2003-02-03

Hi Steve,

Your analogy is misleading. An correct analogy would
state, say, that the Pre-Columbian Indians could not
have been conquistadors because former did not know
the horse´┐Ż

Cheers, Juha Savolainen

--- x99lynx@... wrote:
> <<The differences are quite revealing, but don't
> necessarily have much
> bearing for the actual/reconstructed PIE question,
> apart for the trivial
> observation that all comparative reconstruction is
> of necessity partial and
> very incomplete.>>
> Well, in a world where certain historical linguists
> (present company not
> included) are claiming to know quite a bit about
> what happened in pre-history
> based on such 'partial and incomplete data', the
> observation seems to lose
> its triviality. (One of my favorite positions is
> Witzel's statement that
> 'Harappan' could not be 'Vedic' because 'Harappan'
> did not have the horse --
> which seems like saying that 'cowboys' were not
> 'American' because 'cowboys'
> did not use automobiles.)
> <<Classical Latin is not the direct ancestor of
> Romance, so by comparing it
> with Proto-Romance we don't actually test the
> reconstruction.>>
> Piotr, do you mean Latin is not the 'immediate'
> ancestor of Romance? In all
> the descriptions I've seen of the development of
> Romance, it seems as if the
> analysis seems to be saying Classical Latin > Vulgar
> Latin > Romance. How
> would the nominative > accusative shift, for
> example, make any sense if
> Classical Latin were not being treated as ancestral?
> <<Instead, we learn more about Latin and its
> internal differentiation. The
> PIE counterpart of Classical Latin may have never
> existed, for all we know.>>
> Well, this seems important. If, just for the
> moment, we posit that the PIE
> counterpart of Classical Latin never existed, what
> would that say about what
> we are reconstructing or about what additional
> explantions we might need for
> the existence of the IE languages?
> Regards,
> Steve Long

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