**From:** H.M. Hubey

**Message:** 1140

**Date:** 2003-09-04

minimize something e.g. the number of sound changes required to go from the

presumed protolanguage to the daughter languages subject possibly to some

constraints.

etherman23 wrote:

--- In Nostratica@yahoogroups.com, "H.M. Hubey" <hubeyh@...> wrote:

> Then at worst you'd have two roots for every word, and there would

> be no patterns in the sound changes from the protolanguage to the

> daughter languages. If the change is a Markov process you'd expect

> to find patterns. And therein lies the answer. Ultimately

> the answer is in probability theory.

I don't think so. For every occurrance of X in language A that

corresponds to a Y in language B you'd have a phoneme Z (which is

chosen to be similar to both X and Y) in Proto-AB. In this way you'd

have completely consistent diachronic changes. I suppose probability

theory combined with typology is the ultimate answer.

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-- Mark Hubey hubeyh@... http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~hubey