Re: [tied] [Nostratic-L] Re: Why are Indo-Europeanist opposed to a

From: Patrick Ryan
Message: 43312
Date: 2006-02-08

----- Original Message -----
From: etherman23
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 8:54 PM
Subject: [tied] [Nostratic-L] Re: Why are Indo-Europeanist opposed to a "proto-language" for all

There are two major flaws with your reconstruction of Proto-World.
First, each of your monosyallables is given several meanings. The very
first one, *?a, can mean "forehead, brow, face, here, this (near
speaker), across, at, location, abut, be in contact with, (plant-)top
(foliage), nuclear family, straight, bird's beak, interrogative,
inanimate stative, 'be adjective';" With so many meanings for each
monosyllable I doubt speakers of such a language could even
understand each other!
This first "criticism" of the PROTO-LANGUAGE monosyllable
can easily be disproved to any even partially objective reviewer:
the underlying semantic theme of this monosyllable is
which is _easily_ and _naturally_ semantically relatable to 'forehead, brow'.
1) what is 'in front' is 'here', and is 'this' object as opposed to 'that';
2) what is 'in front of me' is 'across from me, in contact with me', i.e. 'near the speaker';
   a) what is 'in front of something' is 'at something'; and, with slight emphasis, 'abuts' it;
      1) where 'something is at' is its 'location';
3) the living human beings who will most often be 'in front of/contact with me' are 'my nuclear family';
   a) this monosyllable is also used for human beings who have 'gone in front of us, preceded us', i.e. 'ancestors'; 
4) a plant-analog to my 'forehead/brow' is a '(plant-)top/foliage';
5) an animal-analog to my 'forehead/brow' is 'bird's beak';
6) not having a proper word for '*where?', a question to elicit location is framed as:
'the man here?' (interrogative) = 'where is the man?';
7) the inanimate stative, 'be (adjective)', could be argued in a similar fashion but let us just consider it as an arbitrary assignment of meaning _temporarily_(!!!).
The proper word for 'face' is K?XE but ?A is semantically closely enough related to occasionally be extended to this meaning, or so it seems to me.
'straight' may be an improper inference; I will allow that as a possibility.
Does anyone really have any serious objections to these semantic connections? 
If so, let us read of them in detail.
Vacuous generalizations will not be taken seriously.
I could substitute 'in front' for any of these usages, and construct an English phrase which would be understandable if awkward.