Stop the insanity

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 8474
Date: 2001-08-13

Mark O:
>Well, somewhere after Sir William Jones and not quite before Jakob

Agreed, Nostratic has a looooong way to go. There's no doubt here.

>The Nostratic hypothesis is anything but unreasonable, and I'm the
>first to say looking for [m] in the me-word is a reasonable place to
>start building it (pronouns are the most extravagantly conservative
>items in any languge -- but then, explain English 'she').

Dissimilation-assimilation combined with dialectal convergeance?
Like maybe, he/heo > *he/*sho > he/she?

Again, I do think that pronominal systems are conservative (and note
how I said pronominal _systems_ as opposed to the singular pronoun
which may come and go at any time, kinda like IE's strange *eg'o:
which popped out of the blue to replace what must have been an
m-word like its accusative counterpart.)

>But. Jakob Grimm has not yet come along, much less Karl Verner. So,
>you Nostraticists sway in the wind, spinning language families out of
>nearly nothing.

Not out of nothing. That's a bit unfair. Nostraticists do build them
out of something... they're just not sure what that something is yet

No, seriously, folks. You can tell intuitively which families are
more closely related to each other than others. If we even casually
compare the pronominal systems, declension and verbal paradigms of
Uralic, Altaic and IndoEuropean, there are many similarities we
can observe. It is less so for a comparison between AfroAsiatic and
IndoEuropean, which suggest that they are more distantly related.

I fully agree that more work has to be done to figure out *how*
the Nostratic languages relate to each other with more than just
intuition. This requires a better understanding of intermediate
stages between Nostratic and any given Nostratic language group.
What, for instance, were the intermediate stages like between
Nostratic and Uralic? No one knows... no one seems to even ask this question
and yet it is an important one.

However, sound correspondances are being better worked out and I
think Bomhard is on to the more correct ones. It's just that he
apparently only has a fuzzy view as to why the sound correspondances
should be the way they are.

>Human language has to be understood as a system in the same sense
>doctors understand other anatomical systems.

Precisely! We obviously come from the same mother :P Sadly, no one
has been noticing my personal attempts at Nostratic "Grimm's laws"
nor commenting on them in a constructive way. Perhaps the
Nostratic's next big leap is listening, sharing and co-operation >:(

gLeNny gEe
...wEbDeVEr gOne bEsErK!

email: glengordon01@...

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