Re: Metathesis - The armchair linguist's favourite tool

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 8025
Date: 2001-07-21

--- In cybalist@..., "Glen Gordon" <glengordon01@...> wrote:
> >1) What I have proposed is not that Austronesian was the ancestor
> >language of IndoEuropean and AfroAsiatic, in which case Glen's
> >criticism would apply without restriction, but that it provided a
> >good hundred loanwords to them.
> By proposing that there are uninherited loanwords between
Austronesian and
> IE, you might escape the charge of mass-comparison as applied to
> Joseph Greenberg. However, you still sin by using outdated
Versace again?

> The IE-Austronesian link was first proposed in the 19th century
(1860s?), if
> I recall. According to mainstream views, IE and Austronesian
>homelands are
> not side-by-side in the slightest. One
> would need to claim "cultural telepathy" or a million-and-one
> second-hand sources for the loans, assuming they are loans instead
> of coincidences. Either way, an IE-Austronesian link is so entirely
> indirect that any talk of it is completely trivial and doesn't add
> anything to what is already known.
You're partly right. I took a look at the Linguistic Library here and
I must admit the IE and Austronesian books are several meters apart
and everyone knows that glosses can survive only a very limited time
on linoleum, so have could Austronesian glosses have made it across
to the IE books?

> So, in all, if you claim that these are loans, you are using a
> combination of assumption and outdated/contraversial materials.
True, you should never make assumptions and use cntroversial material.

> this point, you might claim: "I lack enough data to make any
> of these lists I've created."... but I've heard this
> lame excuse before by others, those countless individuals on the
> internet that say this in order to make their own unsupportable
> whilst having a logical exit door lest others with current, up-to-
> information criticize.

I never claimed that.

> >2) Assuming that all these loans were adopted at the same time and
> >from the same Austronesian dialect, and that they were not bounced
> >around between IE and AA dialects, Glen's criticism would apply
> >I should find some correspondences and rules (eg. from Proto-
> >Astronesian). I might try that later, at the moment I am looking
> >Møller over for further correspondences.
> Exactly! "Assuming...". There is no reason to assume anything here
> because your overall claim has no basis in fact. You may make up any
> sort of rules, but if your grandiose theory itself makes no sense,
> you are wasting your valuable time.

> I would concentrate first on the answer to the following question
> doing anything else: "How do you support a linguistic link
> between the IE and Austronesian proto-languages when their homelands
> are so far apart geographically?".
> - gLeN
Boats, my Steppe friend, boats. It's a device we people at the sea
have been using for a long time.

IE stretches from Ireland to India. Austronesian stretches from
Madagascar to Hawai'i. That's pretty far apart, too.