I'll try one last time, Gerry.  The word "genesis" refers ONLY to origin or beginning, thus "monogenesis" means "one beginning" or "one origin", and "polygenesis" means multiple sources of origin.  It has absolutely NOTHING to do with an ongoing process of evolution, as in the case of language, and it especially has NOTHING to do with borrowing, which all languages do to some extent or other.  Whether Latin is "dead" or not says nothing about how it started.  Even Pidgins and their derivative Creoles can traced back to some real, discrete language.  Once again, "monogenesis" or "polygenesis" refer ONLY to human language or language (super)-families in general, not to specific languages, and both terms ONLY refer to how language started -- not to the process of development or evolution.  I don't know how to explain it any more clearly.  If you can't understand or accept this explanation, then please consider this my final comment on the matter.  I have no desire to debate this with you.
Andy Howey
-----Original Message-----
From: Geraldine Reinhardt [mailto:waluk@...]
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 12:12
To: Nostratica@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Nostratica] Monogenetic vs Polygenetic Language

Let's definitely not hair-split Andy.  Monogenesis and polygenesis, as well as referring to language can also refer to origins of species, as you also mention.  Yet, just because we have the same terminology applying to both doesn't necessarily mean we can view one as a replica (or even mirror image) of the other.
An individual language may be thought to have been monogenetic only if one views language as being "dead" like Latin is sometimes thought to be.  If language is "alive" then new words and meanings are constantly being added.  Take Creole or Pidgin for example.  These are spontaneous languages that are constantly in flux.  Yet so in American English.  That's why I say that language is both monogenetic and polygenetic as my first post so indicates.

From: Andy Howey
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 9:37 AM
Subject: RE: [Nostratica] Monogenetic vs Polygenetic Language

I don't wish to engage in a long, hair-splitting debate with you, Gerry, but could you perhaps be more precise with your terminology?  I believe that monogenesis and polygenesis refer to the origin of language in general.  Monogenesis is the concept that ALL languages (okay, ALL human languages, for sake of argument) are ultimately derived from a single root source.  Polygenesis, on the other hand, is the idea that didferent language families are derived from different root sources:  for example, under polygenesis, Nilo-Saharan would have a different ultimate ancestor than Sino-Tibetan, which would have a different ultimate ancestor than, say, Indo-European.  I may be off-base with this observation, but to me, language polygenesis almost seems like a reflection of racism in linguistics.  These next TWO sentences are NOT an expression of my personal beliefs but an observation to try to clarify my previous comment:  Negroid people and asian people look different than caucasian people, so they must have different ancestors.  Therefore, if the people are descended from different ancestors, then their languages can't possibly have the same common ancestor as the languages of caucasian people. Personally, I think that that is pure hogwash, but that's my opinion of polygenesis.  Based on what I've read of the "Out-of-Africa" theory, I think it covers the anthropological and linguistic bases pretty well.  An exodus of anatomically modern people from Africa into the Middle East about 100K years ago, and from there, dispersing to the rest of the world, taking their language(s) with them.  The languages would evolve grammar, syyntax and lexicon over time, and, as they were further and further isolated from the original point of dispersal, they would resemble the languages of other people going in different directions. 
An individual language (or dialect-group, to head off your quibble), by definition, is monogenetic.  Individual languages CANNOT be polygenetic.  With the possible exception of som pidgins, each language is descended from a single preceding language.  For example, Modern English is descended from MIddle English, which is descended from Old English, which is descended from Northwest Germanic, which is descended from Proto-Germanic, which is descended from Proto-Indo-European, which is hypothetically descended, possibly through one or more intermediate stages, from Proto-Nostratic.  At no point does another language family intrude into the fundamental evolution of English.  Even the massive French and Latin influence that came in the Middle English period cannot change the fact that English is essentially a Germanic language.  Even if the French/Latin influx had  fundamentally altered English, it still would not be an argument for polygenesis of English, since Latin, and French by derivation, are still Indo-European languages.
To summarize:  one can argue whether human spoken language has a monogenetic origin or a polygenetic origin.  One cannot argue whether individual languages are polygenetic in origin.  I personally believe in monogenesis.
Andy Howey
-----Original Message-----
From: nostradafemme [mailto:waluk@...]
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 08:13
To: Nostratica@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Nostratica] Monogenetic vs Polygenetic Language

A monogenetic language originates from a single source as opposed to
polygenetic language which originates from many different sources.
Identifying a protolanguage is actually constructing a manmade
monogenetic structure.