----- Original Message -----
From: "H.M. Hubey" <hubeyh@...>
To: <Nostratica@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 2:31 AM
Subject: Re: [Nostratica] Re: Eating, Cattle and Elbow (was:

> Richard Wordingham wrote:
> >
> > Richard:
> > *bHeug 'flee' is evidenced by Latin fugio: 'flee' and Greek pheugo:
> > 'flee',
> > both real words. What's more, Old English bu:gan (whence English 'bow'
> > in 'bow down'), besides meaning 'bend', also occasionally meant 'flee',
> > Probably two homophones, but maybe our ancestors saw some connections
> > between the words.
> Shouldn't Latin keep the p?

No. *bH, not *p. Another example is Latin fra:ter 'brother', Greek
phra:te:r 'kinsman, brother', English 'brother'.

> >
> >
> >
> > Mark:
> > > What is wrong with Greek/Latin ul-, like English being related to
> > > Akkadian QATUM,
> > > Turkic kol (arm), all going back to *qathum? Much simpler. And this
> > is the
> >
> > Richard:
> > Well, it wouldn't relate to Turkish el 'hand' or Chuvash pelik 'five'
> > then,
> > would it?
> >
> > I'm leaving objections to those more knowledgeable in Nostratic matters.
> >
> It would if p>t>k occcured.

Unconditioned t > k is very rare. In the examples I can think of (all
Polynesian, some still in progress), k was missing (also unusual), e.g.
because of a shift k > h. It is associated with very small consonant

> > Incidentally, what's Greek ul-?
> I thought Greek also had words with ul-
> having to do with arm like Latin.

All the Greek words in the abridged Scott and Liddell starting ul- (or
rather hul-) are to do with wood (e.g. hyle:) or the barking of a dog.

> > Richard:
> > The reasons for a language undergoing one sound change rather than
> > are still a mystery.
> The basic point is that explicit rules should be given. Let's call them
> the Postulates of Historical
> Reconstruction.
> > It has been theorised that sound changes will tend to
> > make the phoneme systems more 'regular', but irregularities can happily
> > sustain themselves for centuries.
> Yes, whole languages can be irregular e.g. English irregular verbs,
> Arabic irregular regularity etc.
> > Isn't the asymmetry in the Turkish vowel
> > system an example? In principle vowels can be classified by three
> > features - [+/-]high, [+/-]back and [+/-] round, but [a] is lower than
> > the other vowels.
> It might have something to do with the nonlinearity of the vocal tract.

I think so to.

> What is naturalness? That is the reason we need explicit postulates.

Research in progress, I'm afraid.

> > How is you automation of theoretical physics progressing?
> I guess this is a joke.

An analogy.

> > Richard:
> > You start by assuming that sound changes are overwhelmingly regular.
> > If by
> > 'dh' you mean a voiced fricative you have precedent for dh > z, dh > d
> > Semitic, e.g Hebrew v. Aramaic, and possibly in Arabic dialects.
> > having both in one language is unusual.
> Turkic and Semitic languages might display something that IE apparently
> does not. The mixed with each
> other regularly apparently. IE probably did too.

The penny drops. You're thinking in terms of continual borrowing as the
explanation of the Nostratic group, rather than common descent. Do you also
see that as the explanation of the Indo-European group?

> I actually wanted to write something about that too. M. Witzel (and
> others) have been digging around
> for the source of some of the "substratum" words in Sanskrit and have
> gone as far as Ket but ignore
> Turkic which stretches from the Pacific to the Adriatic.

Reaching the Adriatic is fairly recent.

> But some of
> those words are Turkic. And this
> despite the existence of Mongoloids in Northern India circa 2400 BC,
> even if they did think that
> Turkic was originally spoken by Mongoloids. It is just a bad habit.

What sort of Mongoloids? Northern or Southern? If they're Southern
Mongoloid, they'll obvously think in terms of Austro-Asiatic first. Any
chance of Central Asian contacts?