Richard Wordingham wrote:
> One of the advantages of the Austronesian languages for studying
> sound changes is that it is such a large group. A change t > k shows
> up in comparison with other languages, and if you had, say c~t~k
> collapsing to t~k~k, it should show up by comparison with a large
> number of unaffected languages. (I know, I ought to write t~k, but I
> let you call your bags - or were they sequences? - sets.)
> What are your accepted p>k>t and p>t>k examples?
The famous ones which occur accross Semitic, Turkic and IE are tVr, and
kVr having to
do with "rotation, turning, etc". And there is also evidence of it in
form pVr. I cannot tell
if it was p>t>k or p>k>t.
> > > You're thinking in terms of continual borrowing as the
> > > explanation of the Nostratic group, rather than common descent.
> > > Do you also
> > > see that as the explanation of the Indo-European group?
> > No, I am thinking more like mixing of two language families, and an
> > approximation of what
> > happened as two phases: the initial mixing phase (chaotic,
> > and the secondary phase,
> > (more laminar) in which a lot of the RSC took place, and enough
> > passed to produce
> > more regular things; a kind of a relaxation phase.
> Sounds more like the Melanesian Austronesian languages. Any
> Austronesianists on the list?
I think it happened all over especially Mideast and Anatolia and that
> > > > Turkic which stretches from the Pacific to the Adriatic.
> > > Reaching the Adriatic is fairly recent.
> > Large numbers of them must have existed for a long period of time
> > in order to have spread
> > out and not disappeared. Supernova-ing is a rare event. In any
> > they were in the Asian region for a long time.
> The impact of 'supernovas' is quite wide, and there have been quite a
> few in historical times:
> Big ones, in historical order:
> Latin, Arabic, Spanish, English
Latin spread over IE areas in Europe. And it only "converted" southwest
spread over areas where related languages were spoken. In areas in which
it was not
true, it fizzled out (Iran, Anatolia, Spain). Spanish had a huge
advantage e.g. firearms and
modern technology over a stone age population. Ditto for English.
> Moderate ones:
> Aramaic, Turkish, Russian
Turkic was probably also like Arabic and spread over an area in which there
were related languages. Only in Anatolia did it encounter special
In other areas it also mostly disappeared. Russian spread over Slavic
> I don't know how to count the Hellenistic expansion of Greek. I
> don't think the Greek and Phoenician coastal colonisations count as
We don't know what they spoke before they mixed with the Pelasgians so
we do not know
the effects of the substratum.
> On the edge of history, i.e. I think poorly documented:
> Chinese (the biggest of them all), Slavic, S.W. Tai (denied by the
Slavic is a good case; 1700 year expansion. Chinese might have acquired
characteristics because of constant influx of newcomers.
> And what happened to the Iranians of the steppes? Were they
> swallowed up in another Turkic expansion? (There are claims that
> some clans were absorbed by the Mongols).
This is still difficult to understand for me.
> Unrecorded, but clear:
> Austronesian, Bantu
> Eskimo-Aleut looks impressive on Mercator's projection!
> It's not surprising if people use this model for Afro-Asian, Indo-
> European (2 waves - agricultural and steppe, and should we count an
> Indian expansion as well?), Austro-Asiatic and a prehistoric Tai
Maybe different cities got bigger and took control over wider regions
became lingua franca and was learned by others in the neighborhood which
syntax and morphology of the neighboring languages. Over time, they
probably picked up
complex syntax and morphologies and some irregularity would be expected.
does not work for others. It probably does not work for IE either except
evidence to the contrary. I recently read a book on Semitic (which I
could not find
otherwise I would have given a reference) in which the author(s) say the
I think there was something like Sanches, Badillo or something.