Hi Glennie,
----- Original Message -----
From: Glen Gordon
To: nostratic@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2002 10:43 PM
Subject: Re: [nostratic] Origins of I-E

>So we're determining language origins according to consensus vote?  Does
>this have anything to do with "how many scholars" stand behind a particular
>locale?  Well, by consensus vote, I'm not at all surprised that "north of
>the Black Sea (Russia) has the larger consensus.  Then Turkey?  That's fine
>by me also.  Actually what's looney-gaga is the nationalism attached to
>each and every origin!  J.P. Mallory calls for a
>BROAD swatch of an area for I-E origins.  I think I'll throw my support in
>his direction.
Glen writes:
>From your description, it would seem that Mallory's proposition is just
as politically motivated as the others. Shame on you. In this case, Mallory
would be the "peacemaking/globalist" proposal as opposed to the
"nationalistic" ones. Putting politics aside (cuz you can never win on that
front), this "broad swatch" idea doesn't make sense for the logical,
non-politically-motivated reasons I've already stated.

GRW:  You know, you COULD be "right on".  Mallory the peacemaking globalist just COULD have inspired (or clouded) his mapmaking ability with a political agenda.  Pin-pointing an area for I-E origins though is as politically motivated as is including a "broad swatch".  Whether one is "politically correct" or "politically incorrect", it all spells doom.  Whoever wrote "The End of History; the last man" (was it Fukuyama) had it "spot on".  We're at the end of the line.  Now what?

>Didn't mean for you to get THAT excited.
You're always a source of excitement :)
GRW:  :-)  At least I'm a source of something.
>   For linguistics to exist without archaeology is like words existing
>without speakers.  Now that's LOONEY TOONS!
I don't think this is hard to understand: Archaeology only involves PHYSICAL
remains. Can language be a physical remain in prehistory? No.
What do you find difficult about this concept?

GRW: SIMPLE.  Since language isn't found in the PHYSICAL remains, it's all speculative.
>Actually I think that both prehistoric and historic regions were
>multilingual from the start.  And I also think the physiology (morphology)
>of the skeletal evidence was also mixed.
Nothing radical there.
GRW:  Great!  Then if all humans were originally mixed and all languages were originally mixed, then what are you doing looking for where this homeland originated?  Now that's really foolish!  Plus you have a huge following of flag-waving irrationalists chomping at the bit.

>What demonstrates a language in the archaeological record?  Only the
>morphological identity of the people as determined by skeletal calculations
>(and now their DNA).
And you don't see the logical problem with this???
GRW:  No.  Please explain?  That is if you can.

>In other words, for the excavations in the Altai, one can assume that words
>exist for all the artificats uncovered as well as for the tales that the
>imagination can conjure up about the travels and daily lives of the

And...? There's still nothing direct to say that these Altaic remains are
from IndoEuropean speakers. Absolutely nothing. It is a matter of conjecture,
the very thing that disgusts you about comparative linguistics.
GRW:  No.  I was simply commenting on compiling a vocabulary for the folks from the Altai which would differ from beach combing folks along the Mediterranean.  Because the lifeways of both groups are different, so should be their vocabulary.
And if we
are to depend on linguistics at all to solve a linguistics problem, there's
nothing suggesting that your wonderful Altaic proposal is true either.
Quite the opposite.
What a bundle of twisted irony you are.
GRW:  All of us are bundles of twisted irony.  Rather than simply dwell on the physical evidence (archaeology) one needs to add conjecture to tell tales of the lifeways.  How's that for an about face?

>No language cohesion there.  Then expand this family of 10 to encompass a
>small city of 50,000.  Will that city have "language cohension"? 

What are you ranting about? Of course there is cohesion, otherwise they
wouldn't be able to understand each other! Plus, there is a commonality in
vocabulary within a family, a town, a city and a country. Again, what on
earth are you talking about now? You really have a strange concept of logic.
GRW:  "Language cohesion" has meaning only if one investigates it on a scale of similarity/differences.  First off, no two people share the same experiences thus no identical vocabulary. Yet, two people be they from within a family, a town, a city and a country
can understand each other.  Even two people from different countries who speak two totally different languages can still make themselves understood, one to the other.  What's strange about that?

>Actually Glennie, language evolution can never be determined.  I give up. 
> >Don't you?

Hmm, more arcane statements. Can you please translate your point in English?
GRW:  Isn't "rubbish" a favorite term of yours?  I shall borrow it an claim that comparative linguistics is "rubbish".  So is language evolution.  Now it's your turn to prove me wrong.

>Sounds like something Mallory presented when he drew a map of the pink guys
>and the blue guys.  [...] Major problem with Mallory's blue guys and pink
>guys is in assuming that each group was either all pink or all blue.  IMO,
>both pinks and blues were multi-colored to begin with.

Hmm, what it really sounds like is that you're one of those "individualist"
types who strives to be different and original, probably originating from
a need to have attention as a child. Just like me! Unfortunately, the idea
above that you've come up with is perfectly mainstream. Multilingualism then
could very well have been common. Still, that doesn't mean that there isn't
a region of highest concentration of a certain language. Hence, drawing maps
is still a valid exercise to do.
GRW:  Name me ONE area that today has speakers who only know ONE language and I'll kiss a frog.  Your maps that you love to draw keep changing on a monthly basis.  And the way activity has quickened during the past year, we might even claim that change occurs weekly.  Hey, if you've got unlimited funds, pursue your drawings of language maps.  Those with Independent Wealth can pursue whatever they wish.

In the end, I don't know what you're fighting here.
GRW:  Not really fighting anything.  If one needs to pursue language studies (i.e. comparative linguistics) to have a base line as a new World Language emerges, then that study needs to proceed.  Trying to retrace past languages and their origins is what is problematic (not to mention the intense nationalism that's attached to country (and thus language) boundaries.
Love and Kisses,

- love gLeN

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