Okay, Danny. I hear ya. It's time for some sanity on Sumerian.
Here goes...

>First, John Halloran's work on Sumerian, which is available online at
>www.sumerian.org. What is your opinion of this (and others' thoughts as

From what I can tell, John's glossary of Sumerian terms seems to
be faithfully correct. However, I certainly would ignore his ideas
on the "invention" of Sumerian. Obviously, John has some mental
issues to work out with a psychiatrist. If possible, it's best to
go to your local university for a good Sumerian dictionary just to
be on the safe side.

>I think I asked the question of Sumerian's possible relationship to
> >Nostratic a while back, and I might've mentioned Bomhard's belief that it
>was one branch of Eurasiatic. But I'm seeing people propose an
>Elamite-Dravidian link.

Bomhard mentions the ElamoDravidian link in "Indo-European and the
Nostratic Hypothesis". There, on page 22, he places Sumerian beside
Elamo-Dravidian and well outside his Eurasiatic branch. He feels
however that Sumerian is tough to place. I agree with his placement
of Sumerian next to ED but I feel that it should be part of the
Eurasiatic branch. Of course, all my ideas are on my site.

>Another website made a claim of a Sumerian-Cimmerian-Samarian
>phenomenon plus a list of Sumerian-Latvian cognates (I'm pretty much
>automatically skeptical of things like this, or Basque-Sumerian or

Ignore. There's no basis for these theories. The overall conservative
view is that Sumerian is an isolate. Sumerian is probably Nostratic
but it has its own strange features that make it tough to classify
within the family. Personally, I think Sumerian has been affected by
Caucasic (Hurro-Urartian/NEC) during the neolithic and is the real
reason why the language seems so grammatically odd.

>Finally, a non-Sumerian question: Starostin's online database includes a
>Proto-Dravidian reconstruction, but his phonology is a bit unusual as it
>claims voiceless-voiced stop pairs ("traditional" Dravidian indicates only

Exactly. I definitely do not trust Starostin on anything other than
SinoDene-related materials (and even then I'm highly skeptical of
his ability to properly reconstruct these protoforms). His database
of Semitic, Altaic and Dravidian are pretty much useless because he
goes off on his own direction, oblivious to mainstream approaches
to these reconstructions. To make matters worse, whether this is
intentional or not, he justifies none of his whims, nor does he
provide us with the outline of his phonologies, anything that would
indicate that his reconstructions are founded on logical order. The
fact is, his reconstructions are somewhat ad hoc and I've noticed
unexplained inconsistencies for his phonemes. Simply put, go to a
library if you can. The internet is still the wild, wild west when
it comes to information.

gLeNny gEe
...wEbDeVEr gOne bEsErK!

home: http://glen_gordon.tripod.com
email: glengordon01@...

>Finally, a non-Sumerian question: Starostin's online database includes a
>Proto-Dravidian reconstruction, but his phonology is a bit unusual as it
>voiceless-voiced stop pairs ("traditional" Dravidian indicates only
>as well as several alveolars instead of the one or two present in Tamil,
>I haven't really been able to keep up with the current debate: first of
>all, I'm
>getting way too many personal attacks here and that's an instant turn-off;
>wanted to let you know...
>truth alone prevails
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