From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 68868
Date: 2012-03-09

W dniu 2012-03-09 14:08, Tavi pisze:

> In short, I think the current PIE model is an over-simplification of
> reality,

All science simplifies reality to some extent, but there is a world of
difference between simplification and misrepresentation.

> collapsing several diachronic and diatopic linguistic
> varieties.

If what you are trying to say is that PIE was in fact a heterogeneous
sprachbund, such claims have been made before, discussed and refuted.

> It's inadequate to explain the deep linguistic prehistory
> (Mesolithic and beyond) and the relationships between IE and other
> families.

One cannot reconstruct ad infinitum. We can reconstruct PIE on
comparative grounds and we can (more speculatively) say something about
pre-PIE thanks to internal reconstruction. IE studies have no ambition
to reach a Mesolithic chronology (let alone going beyond it). If one day
someone manages to convince the world that there is a closer
relationship between IE and some other families, e.g. Uralic or
Eskimo-Aleut, further progress may be possible. But the comparative
method is applicable only as long as there is enough inherited stuff to
compare. While it has been estimated that *some* very common lexical
items may have expected "half-lives" of ten thousand years or more,
usable evidence sooner or later evaporates due to lexical replacement,
cross-linguistic diffusion, etc. I doubt if wild schemes like
Vasco-Caucasian, Dené–Caucasian etc. will ever be testable.