Re: The Obviousness of the Money Word

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 16327
Date: 2002-10-17

--- In cybalist@..., Robert B Wilson <han_solo55@...> wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Oct 2002 11:13:31 EDT x99lynx@... writes:
> > What is the probability of such random associations? No one
> > because we
> > can't verify the pre-literate. But in literate times we know
> > they are
> > very common. But no scientific probablities have been done to my
> > knowledge
> > -- a prerequisite I would think to any firm statements about how
> > likely these
> > "non-genetic" associations are.
> what about

That addresses a different problem, namely how likely spurious
cognates are. Swadesh word list comparisons have been estimated to
yield 5% false cognates (published or folklore?), which is quite
high, if only the words in the list are used to gauge the
correspondences between the languages. The connection of 'mind' on
one hand and 'mint' (and 'money') on the other is a different issue,
concerned with arbitrary leaps in meaning.