Dialect Continuums (was Real or Spurious Root Matches?)

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 16847
Date: 2002-11-22

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tgpedersen
> Sent: Friday, November 22, 2002 12:46 PM
> To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
> Old Subject: [tied] Re: Real or Spurious Root Matches? (was OE

> --- In cybalist@..., "Richard Wordingham"
> wrote:
> > --- In cybalist@..., "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
> > > That's why I imagined it must have loaned at a time
> > > when AfroAsiatic roamed a lush Sahara for there to have been a
> > > unbroken linguistic connection between coast and interior
(yuck -
> > is
> > > this English?).
> >
> > Drought refugees from a still lush Sahara?
> I imagined the temporal sequence something like this:
> 1. lush
> 2. drought
3. external contact
4. continuing internal contact?

> > Your notion of an 'unbroken linguistic connection' is one I'd
> > to see explored for early Indo-European. I'd asked what breaks
> a
> > dialect continuum, ...

> Here's my answer: War. It causes shibboleths to arise (or they may
> have formed in the process of polarisation leading up to war).
> >I
> > had wondered if there were some size limit beyond which a
> > would break up, like Roche's limit for satellites. I'm not sure
> >how
> > well words would diffuse within a continuum.

> Think of Northern India.

For break-up or diffusion? I've since done some modelling which
suggests that size alone is not a problem for maintaining a dialect

Northern India's had its wars. What have they done to break up the
dialect continuum?

Of course, if a war leads to large population movements, that might
break up a dialect continuum by removing the intervening dialects.
Has it ever done so other than by replacing them by a different
language? Also, I recall reading that a dialect continuum between
Spanish and Portuguese has formed in South America.

> >Think of Romance or
> > Scandinavian for hard evidence.
> >
> I have some Scandinavian data in
> http://www.angelfire.com/rant/tgpedersen/Shibbolethisation.html

I'm not so sure shibboleths break up dialect continuums. I have a
vague recollection that RUKI is slightly different in Baltic and
Slavonic, but that some Eastern Lithuanian dialects followed the
Slavonic pattern.

> BTW: For several hundred years the now North French coast from the
> present Belgian border to Boulogne and beyond was Germanic-
> That means from Hengist and Horsa on there was an unbroken
> AngloSaxon - North German dialect continuum.

So what broke it? The Danish invasions? The Scandinavian colonies
in the Faeroes and Iceland are not part of the Scandinavian
continuum, so I am not sure that the sea is not a barrier.


Up thread: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cybalist/message/16844