Re: [tied] Limits of historical linguistics and the IE problem

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 17680
Date: 2003-01-16

----- Original Message -----
From: <kalyan97@...>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 7:35 AM
Subject: [tied] Limits of historical linguistics and the IE problem

> No other IE branch preserves so much of the PIE inheritance as the Vedic tradition; and a cursory glance in Baldi 1983 or any other similar study will demonstrate that the Vedic language itself suffered fewer losses (Kazanas 2000: 87-90). Retaining the dual to this day, conservative Lithuanian has, even so, lost the neuter gender and the ablative case, reshaped its verbal system and regularized the comparison forms of adjectives.

> From Kazanas, 2002, JIES, Vol. 30, Nos. 3 and 4, Fall/Winter 2002

Just pointing out an obvious logical error (there are more such fallacies in Kazanas's article): Kazanas compares MODERN Lithuanian with Vedic, the latter reflecting a language spoken more than 3000 yers ago. The ancestor of Lithuanian contemporaneous with Vedic was certainly FAR more archaic than Lithuanian is now -- and possibly more conservative than Vedic itself. To be fair, Kazanas should use Hindi or some other modern Indic language for comparison with Lithuanian. It's enough to compare Ancient Greek with Modern Greek or Latin with French to see how dramatically a language may change even over a shorter period.