I, thou - AN, AfrAs, IE

From: tgpedersen
Message: 17214
Date: 2002-12-18

David Appleyard:
Afroasitic and the Nostratic hypothesis
Renfrew & Nettle (eds.):
Nosrtatic: Examining a Linguistic Macrofamily

where I find Blaz^ek's 1995 reconstroction of the AfrAs pronouns.
from which I quote:

Set A
+ sg. pl.
1 *?aku *muni (inclusive)
*h\ina/u (exclusive)
2mas *ta *tunwa
2fem *ti *tinwa

To return to AfroAsiatic, as a development of this proposed proto-
system, the following forms can be reconstructed for Proto-Semitic
essentially through (a) the addition of a prefixed *?an-
(topicalizer?) to the first and second persons of set A ...
Set A
+ sg. pl.
1 *?an?aku ...
2mas *?anta *?antumu/*?antunu
2fem *anti *?antin[n]a

Again I am struck by my uncanny capability for predicting what other
people write in their articles. Maybe I should have gone into

This one deserves to be quoted too:
Even here, though, chance coincidence cannot be ruled out - after all
for Proto-Austronesian Benedict (1975, 203) reconstructs a first-
person pronoun **[w]aku/[w]aqu, and even a 'form of restricted
occurrence' *[?]ya [as in the reconstructed AfrAs set B], and Bender
(1989, 13) suggests a Proto-Nilo-Saharan first-person singular *akWai!

In other words, the thought that Austronesian is the donor language
here is so absurd, that any connection even between AfrAs and IE
becomes dubious.
I am not so sure. Suppose the original language 'didn't care' about
pronouns, as Japanese, where the deictic references that would be
taken care of by pronouns in other languages are just left to the
listener to interpret. The first occurrence of pronouns in a pronoun-
less language would take the forms of ordinary nouns; only later will
they form their own category also grammatically.