>It's a pity that both you and the opponent have a _geographically_ >based
>preliminary classification of the Nostratic families ("Steppe >languages"
>and "East Nostratic" respectively).
I base my classifications on the shared grammatical features I outlined, not
geographical positions. You didn't read carefully enough if you missed my
points on grammatical commonalities between these languages.
My persona, gLeNny gEe, said:
>I believe this is why Dravidian appears at odds with the current
> >understanding of Nostratic rather than being a usefool tool. (I think
>Nostraticists have something to learn from Dravidian's >"oddness".)
Alexander returned with:
>Just a thought, perhaps a very naive one.
>Dravidian is odd;
>Altaic is very odd;
>Afroasiatic is rather odd too;
Everything is apparently odd to you. Interesting how you can critique me on
that erroneous perception that I'm basing my classification on geographical
positions alone, yet, you turn around and do something much worse by
describing languages in unexplained, impressionistic terms and using this as
a basis for further speculation.
>Perhaps we have first to invent _original_ "Dravidian philology", >"Altaic
>philology" etc. and only thereafter "Nostratic philology" >integrating the
>previous ones and explaining (almost) all the >oddities? Up to now
>Nostratics seem to be standing on 1 leg (instead >of 6 as a normal insect
>:-) Is there any sense here?
I agree that IndoEuropean is the most widely studied to the detriment of the
other families, but I still fail to understand what "odd" is supposed to
mean in your usage. Altaic and Dravidian philology have already been
"invented", but of course, in the hands of Starostin, every family he
reconstructs appears to be in an unsorted state of ignorance.
The "oddness" of Dravidian I had mentioned was specific. It was pointing to
the fact that Nostraticists have a hard time explaining the Dravidian
pronominal system which appears to differ from the readily observable
pattern of *m~*n/*t/*s for first, second and third person respectively. I
certainly did not mean that Dravidian looks any more odd than English.
BTW, I continue to hold the view that the Dravidian pronouns show the
absolutive set of Nostratic pronouns, that is, *u for 1ps and *nu for 2ps,
rather than the corresponding ergative *nu or *mu for 1ps and *tu for 2ps.
This is why Dravidian is of particular value. (While I may have laxened on
the possible existence of laryngeals in Dravidian, I'm not interested in
entertaining their existence in the pronouns since the unexplainable
laryngeal infixing that results from this point of view is too mathematical
to be taken seriously.)
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