First, congrats to Cedh and TzirTzi - it's great job, indeed!
(Also, Cedh, Tzirtzi, please check your PM boxes; if there's no recent message from me, please let me know - ZBB software might have swallowed it somehow, I'll resend it then.)
Anyway, I would welcome people's opinions and if anyone else is also interested in renewing work on this family, do let me know!
I am :)
However, for purposes of exploring the classification of languages and the history of migrations, much of stuff written in that thread can be safely forgotten, including the tentative label "Northern". In fact, I realize that I have no clear picture of the geography of the area or migrations involved, and it wasn't any better when I discussed the daughters with Qwynegold. In particular,
Another problem that occurred to me is that the Siixtaguna culture is an immigrant culture, in historical terms fairly new to the Siixtaguna coast and nearby islands (having migrated from some unspecified place in the east, presumably Tuysafa).
- this bit still sounds awesomely novel to me :)
On classification proper...
Also - and this is true regardless of whether we do some in-between langs like the above - it doesn't make much sense the family being called Nualis-Takuna when N and T are languages on just one branch, and there is a much higher branching subfamily.
There's no problem if all the features that unite N and T are conservative. That is, only shared innovations really count; do the two have many? is there anything non-trivial?
And, as for migrations and geography - the piece I'm interested in.
Basically, I'd like to have some space left for two (sets of) projects.
One is a bunch of related dialects based on various modifications of both my "third alternative" scenario for morphosyntax
and Qwynegold's latest version of SC's
. (The oldest sound changes shared by all dialects in this group are known.)
The other is about exploring my original scenario for morphosyntax
. (For this, there are no specific SC's yet, and in principle I can adopt a few early changes from either N or T.)
Neither of the two projects implies vast territory or huge cultural impact on neighbors; however, in principle there may happen to be some interest in exploring further outcomes of the rather bizarre scenarios involved. That is, it would be nice if the dialects in question weren't doomed to quick extinction.
As for time depth, I was thinking originally of something like 2,500 years.
Qwynegold had some ideas about adding more dialects, too; if he's game, it should be checked how his scenarios fit with the rest.
One possibility here would be to change the currently Northern subfamily into being the aforementioned Continental subfamily, which was the result of an earlier wave of migration and so might well be more different to N and T than they are to each other whilst occupying a similar area.
This is more than I dared to desire for the projects I'm involved in :) OTOH... an earlier wave of migration might result in more diverse daughterlangs, right? I think, the two groups of "Northern" scenarios I mentioned above don't have too much in common, in fact; in particular, they'll hardly share any early SC's at all. Yet both might turn out parts of "Continental", which seems to be roomy enough to comprise a few other projects :)
The Takuna are slightly farther from their original homeland than the Nualis, and so it would make sense that their language is more conservative (such is the typically observed pattern); but the proposed Northern grouping would probably be rather further from the homeland and yet linguistically is massively more innovative.
I don't think the relation between geography and innovation needs to be very straightforward (Icelandic or Lithuanian are indeed conservative, but Irish or Bengali aren't).
But I don't know how much planning Basilius and Qwynegold had done around the culture and history of their potential daughterlang?
I haven't done much. Only vague ideas; like, the area could not be uninhabited by the moment when the "Northern NT" speakers arrived, so there must be a factor for their culture to spread. I thought of specialization on fishery; it could make larger settlements possible, near particularly suitable fishing sites; and settlement size could be the decisive factor in terms of military advantage and (especially) linguistic assimilation, in interaction with less specialized autochthonous hunter-gatherers. OTOH, the diverse substrate influences implied by such a setting (i. e. prolonged co-existence of relatively large NT-speaking groups with diverse smaller groups of the autochthons, the latter being slowly assimilated) would help to explain the bizarre and diverse paths of language evolution.
This would imply spreading along river valleys, deep into the hinterland.