I misread your questions and misanswered them. Sorry about the delay (been
tired and sick a lot lately).

Question 1 : "Cannot Afro-Asiatic and Eurasiatic combine to produce

Answer: If you're talking about an immediate parent of those two families, no.
The consensus is that Nostratic is made up of six main families: Afro-Asiatic,
Kartvelian, Dravidian, Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic. And Eurasiatic refers to
the immediate parent of the latter three. If you just combine Eurasiatic and
Afro-Asiatic, then you leave out two families that clearly belong in the

In fact, Afro-Asiatic is close to certainly the very first layer of my "onion"
to peel off. In other words, it split from Nostratic before all the other
branches. The next two are Kartvelian and Dravidian, but the order could be
debated. That leaves Eurasiatic.

Now as for an alternative name to the rather egocentric-sounding Nostratic
(which after all comes from the Latin word for "our"), Afroeurasiatic may not be
a bad choice, since the macrofamily is tricontinental.

Question 2: "Why is Sumerian in a category all by itself? Isn't it related to

Answer: Bomhard does group Sumerian and Elamo-Dravidian as a pair with a common
unnamed parent that split from Nostratic before Eurasiatic but after
Afro-Asiatic. Sumerian, however, is less attested than other ancient languages,
and the actual phonetics of the language may not reflect the rather piecemeal
syllabry. Final consonants may have been omitted from writing, for example
(like French final consonants are often omitted in speech but not writing). So
it's difficult to prove without reasonable doubt where Sumerian belongs in the
scheme of things. Most likely Sumerian is a Nostratic branch, with a possible
but not certain affinity to Elamite-Dravidian. So for now I'll group them
together, but not without the warning of a question mark.

A similar case can be made for Korean, Japanese and Nivkh and their possible
links with Altaic.


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