[Homestead] OT for Don, or anyone, really
erthnsky at bellsouth.net
Thu Aug 31 19:31:17 EDT 2006
It's not me that has studied linguistics, but it is a subject that I
have always been interested in. I took Spanish and German, but was
lucky enough to be taught by a linguist who knew and spoke so many
languages that I can't even recount them all. He was always making
comparisons between languages and language families, mixing migration
and cultural influences history with historical language change. (I
hope that makes sense). His way of teaching has kept my interest in
languages alive to this day, some 30 years later.
I find this stuff fascinating-maybe because I was adopted and had no
'roots' to speak of until I was an adult, but I personally think that
there are certain genetic qualities that separate peoples and makes each
of us unique, and at the same time, help us to understand others who are
genetically different. It promotes a different kind of understanding
and tolerance, more in the mind of "There but for a mutation go I..."
Thanks for your input, Bill.
Bill Jones wrote:
> Did I hear that you, or one of the kids, was studying linguistics?
> I've had enough courses to make a degree, but my little state-run
> diploma mill had hardly any courses in comparative or historical Lx.
> The new data on genetics makes me want to go back to college. In the
> old days, there was really no way to know whether Joseph Greenberg's
> Eurasiatic superfamily (encompassing Uralic, Turkic, Indo-European,
> Siberian, and Inuit) existed or not, but now we can see that all
> those languages are spoken by the descendants of one Central Asian
> "ice" people (actually, one particular man). Greenberg also believed
> Amerind to be the closest superfamily to Eurasiatic, and the genetic
> data show that he was exactly right on that point as well. I think
> he even subscribed to the POV that IE was creolized Uralic with a
> Caucasian substratum. If you look on the interactive map, north of
> the Black Sea around the Volga/Don divide, you can see where the men
> from Central Asia first meet up with the women streaming north from
> the Caucasus. So for millions of us, "Mother Russia" really existed.
> The IE language was born in these smoky bilingual yurts on the snowy
> Russian steppe, where children first imperfectly learned their
> fathers' agglutinative Uralic verb systems and created the impossibly
> illogical inflectional endings that we all came to know in school.
> We can probably guess why no male "Caucasian" DNA survives this far
> north. But you might wonder why very few women from haploid group X
> journeyed westward into Europe along this route. Remember, compared
> to lotus eaters recently arrived from southern latitudes, these were
> tough Ice Age women from Central Asia. It's not hard to stretch the
> imagination and visualize the missing Madame X as Scythian, or
> perhaps the Amazons of Herodotus. Certainly it's the right
> geographical area. And now that hypothesis is completely testable,
> thanks to the fact that they're even able to analyze archaeological
> remains for both sex-linked types of DNA, in some cases, and
> autosomal DNA as well.
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