Re: Nostratic language family

From: mwwalder
Message: 51883
Date: 2008-01-26

--- In, "Kishore patnaik"
<kishorepatnaik09@...> wrote:
> Hi all,
> what are this group's beliefs on existence of a super language family?
> This becomes particularly important, when the existence of PIE itself
> is yet to be conclusively established.
> kishore patnaik

'Existence of PIE is yet to be conclusively established' - I'm
sorry??? The existence of PIE and the fact that Latin, Greek, Sankrit,
Old High German, Gothic and Lithuanian (and of course the less
conservative languages as well) derive from a common ancestor has been
proven beyond reasonable doubt for maybe 150 years. Now that Hittite
has been accepted as Indo-European, I don't think there is even any
controversy over which languages are or are not Indo-European.

Higher-level groupings such as Nostratic (and which families should or
should not be included in such groupings) are of course controversial,
because of the diificulties in extending the comparative method while
eliminating 'chance similarities' between apparent cognates.

However to state that PIE hasn't been conclusively established is just
plain wrong. It's hard to think of a language family which is *less*
controversial actually, in part because it has been so well studied by
experts over the past 150 years.