[b-hebrew] Nostratic

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Wed Apr 18 18:02:39 EDT 2007

On 18/04/2007 20:37, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
> On 4/18/07, Peter Kirk wrote:
>> Yonah, you can't see this clearly in Latin because the fusion actually
>> took place much earlier. If you look back at reconstructed
>> Proto-Indo-European, see the examples I gave earlier, the
>> correspondences are much more clear. Despite what Uri wrote, that "this
>> is the realm of sheer speculation", this is in fact as clearly
>> demonstrated as anything can be from the remote past. This is how
>> language works, even if you have to look a bit beyond Latin 101 to see it.
> Saenz-Badillos has this to say on Nostratic:
Yitzhak, thank you for this. But note that in the post you are replying 
to I did not mention Nostratic, only Proto-Indo-European, whose 
reconstruction is much more solidly based. Indeed I mentioned Nostratic 
only in a PS to my earlier post. What I wrote did not at all depend on 
anyone's Nostratic theories, only on the correspondences between 
carefully reconstructed proto-forms of various language families.

> "Much more acceptable is the work of M.L. Mayer, who, without employing
> the image of a family tree, examined the zones of contact between the two
> language groups, drawing attention to Akkadian-Hittite and Ugaritic-Hittite
> isoglosses, Semitic loanwords in Greek, and so on.  We agree with his
> conclusion that it is becoming ever more likely that in prehistoric times
> groups of Indo-European and Semitic languages co-existed or at least
> existed in close proximity to one another, and that perhaps, after
> completion of the necessary investigations, it might be possible to speak
> not of a 'mother language' (in the sense intended by Ascoli, Moller,
> Pedersen, or Cuny), but of a range of isoglosses across the Indo-
> European and Semitic languages."
Such things are indeed possible. But, as I think is widely recognised, 
morphological suffixes of the kind I have been looking at are about the 
least likely language features to be borrowed between languages even in 
close contact.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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