----- Original Message -----
From: Patrick Ryan
Arnaud, I have the feeling that you may be too young to actually remember
(which is not quite the same thing as just reading about it) the storm of
opposition that was raised against the 'laryngeal' theory, which is
incidentally idiotically named (by, I wonder who?), when it first gained
Hermann Moeller is the first to have used the word "laryngeal" in 1911.
I shall very immodestly refer to my own article :
p11 et 12
I hope I can remain young as long as possible,
but you know, the odds are against me.
You would simply not believe the absolute foutaise (here it is quite
appropriate) that was written by supposedly intelligent men to justify the
specific characteristics of 'coloring'. Incroyable!
To a certain extent, this has been perpetuated to this day in sterile
discussions of what 'laryngeal' is or is not palatal or velar or laryngal or
pharyngal, stop or fricative or approximative, voiced or unvoiced - all
couched in gossamer speculation of the most improbable tapestry.
Like a spider on LSD!
This is why I believe in good old comparative work
with PAA "lots of" laryngeal stuff.
I'm very sceptical about "learned" reasoning,
although it's at least worth reading.
This is why I always try to check if PIE reconstructions
withstand external comparison.
If it does, then I buy it. Otherwise, I consider it dubious.
Typically, the case of *syw-H1.
All the more so, as it results in a rare 4-C root :
*s_z_b- Plus extra -H1- !!
As for your pessimism for the success of "truth" in science, it is part of
the duty of responsible experts to subject any change in the paradigm to the
severest scrutiny. And this is to be applauded!
If a new idea cannot overcome these hurdles, it is rightfully rejected until
emended or presented by a better spokesman for it.
My only fear is that I am personally inadequate to present the theory
compellingly enough for it to become accepted because I am sure that
someone, someday will be.
When you criticize my theory, I interpret that as a criticism of not so much
the theory as my explanation of it.
Not a plea for sympathy, just facts, ma'am, nothing but the facts.
I suppose my usually straighforward and terse expression
plus a couple of undiplomatically worded mails
may have led you to wrong conclusions about me.
I am not at all dogmatic nor narrow-minded.
I believe in a hyper-laryngeal phonology for PIE
and orthodox PIE falls too short for me.
Your theory is headed in the direction
I don't believe in.
So I don't consider it worth investigating too long.
And I blame you for writing it in such a system
that I get headache after one line.