Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by alynnidalar »

How is Quechua, a family of languages currently spoken by over 8 million people, "ancient"? Are they actually speaking an old form of it?
I generally forget to say, so if it's relevant and I don't mention it--I'm from Southern Michigan and speak Inland North American English. Yes, I have the Northern Cities Vowel Shift; no, I don't have the cot-caught merger; and it is called pop.

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Frislander »

alynnidalar wrote:How is Quechua, a family of languages currently spoken by over 8 million people, "ancient"? Are they actually speaking an old form of it?
I asked that question myself.
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Aili Meilani »

alynnidalar wrote:How is Quechua, a family of languages currently spoken by over 8 million people, "ancient"?
It's obvious, all 8 million speakers are five thousand years old.

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by gmalivuk »

Well, it's without any mixture of Sanskrit, so of course it's ancient!

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by alynnidalar »

Aili Meilani wrote:
alynnidalar wrote:How is Quechua, a family of languages currently spoken by over 8 million people, "ancient"?
It's obvious, all 8 million speakers are five thousand years old.
"Doctors HATE this one weird trick for achieving immortality! Learn a Quechuan language today!"
I generally forget to say, so if it's relevant and I don't mention it--I'm from Southern Michigan and speak Inland North American English. Yes, I have the Northern Cities Vowel Shift; no, I don't have the cot-caught merger; and it is called pop.

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Vijay »

alynnidalar wrote:
Aili Meilani wrote:
alynnidalar wrote:How is Quechua, a family of languages currently spoken by over 8 million people, "ancient"?
It's obvious, all 8 million speakers are five thousand years old.
"Doctors HATE this one weird trick for achieving immortality! Learn a Quechuan language today!"
[insert bouncing image of outraged doctor here]

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by cenysor »

quechua.gif
quechua.gif (119.62 KiB) Viewed 3334 times

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Vijay »

That's priceless, cenysor! :D

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Frislander »

I'm almost tempted to put that on Facebook, but my friends wouldn't get it, so yeah. :mrgreen:
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by hwhatting »

Linear A is Kartvelian now.
(NB: I put this here on general principles, as decipherings of Linear A tend to be quackery. I only skimmed the article, maybe it's all solid, in that case apologies to the author.)

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Frislander »

hwhatting wrote:Linear A is Kartvelian now.
(NB: I put this here on general principles, as decipherings of Linear A tend to be quackery. I only skimmed the article, maybe it's all solid, in that case apologies to the author.)
Ah, Academia.edu, source of all kinds of quackery!
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by gach »

Frislander wrote:Ah, Academia.edu, source of all kinds of quackery!
Isn't that a bit unfair? When you browse it, Academia.edu is in fact full of solid refereed papers, just made available outside the usual paywalls.

The distribution media sure can be an indication of the poor quality of papers but such offprint servers as Academia.edu or arXiv.org don't have nearly enough quality problems to label them as questionably sources of information by default.

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by hwhatting »

gach wrote:Isn't that a bit unfair? When you browse it, Academia.edu is in fact full of solid refereed papers, just made available outside the usual paywalls.

The distribution media sure can be an indication of the poor quality of papers but such offprint servers as Academia.edu or arXiv.org don't have nearly enough quality problems to label them as questionably sources of information by default.
Yep, I totally agree. I've found many good and interesting papers there, and, as I said, I'm not even sure that the paper I linked to is quackery - I know too little of Kartvelian and Kartvelian diachronics to be able to judge. I linked it partly in the faint hope that someone more knowledgeable regarding Linear A and / or Kartvelian studies will show up and tell us whether this paper has merit.

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by WeepingElf »

hwhatting wrote:
gach wrote:Isn't that a bit unfair? When you browse it, Academia.edu is in fact full of solid refereed papers, just made available outside the usual paywalls.

The distribution media sure can be an indication of the poor quality of papers but such offprint servers as Academia.edu or arXiv.org don't have nearly enough quality problems to label them as questionably sources of information by default.
Yep, I totally agree. I've found many good and interesting papers there, and, as I said, I'm not even sure that the paper I linked to is quackery - I know too little of Kartvelian and Kartvelian diachronics to be able to judge. I linked it partly in the faint hope that someone more knowledgeable regarding Linear A and / or Kartvelian studies will show up and tell us whether this paper has merit.
Fair. That is precisely what I have to say on this. Academia.edu is a rather mixed bag - quite much speculative stuff out there, but not all quackery. Indeed, there is quite much interesting stuff on that platform. Also, I wouldn't equate speculation with quackery. There are a lot of ideas which are unproven but make sense. So far, we can't say that the language of Linear A can't be Kartvelian. One would rather not expect a Kartvelian language on Bronze Age Crete, but on the other hand, Crete is not so far from Georgia that such an idea seems ludicrous. Yet, I know too little about Kartvelian and Linear A to decide how much this particular paper is worth.
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Salmoneus »

Well, the paper only seems to say that the hypothesised sound values of two sequences of signs with certain guessed meanings are vaguely, vaguely, similar to the sounds of reconstructed proto-Kartvelian words with vaguely related meanings.

The implication that Linnear A must be Kartvelian on that basis seems like crackpottery. The actual substance of the paper, however, may well be respectable, I don't know.
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by jmcd »

Frislander wrote:I'm almost tempted to put that on Facebook, but my friends wouldn't get it, so yeah. :mrgreen:
By the way, I did put on the facebook but not on my wall; on the Silly Linguistics group.

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Xephyr »

Not quite linguistic quackery, but linguistic underperformance:

Been watching the new Netflix series "Frontier" about the trials and travails of the Hudson's Bay Company in 18th c. Canada. One episode is named "Mushkegowuk Esquewu", which I was able to surmise is somebody's attempt at spelling Cree omashkekok iskwēw. The spelling "mushkegowuk" apparently is a done thing and means "Swampy Cree" (iskwēw is "woman"), but I can't find any instance of "esquewu" online outside of references to the episode. Also, according to dhok (#isharia's resident Steward Algoboo keeping the seat warm for the once and future king Whimemsz) the phrase "omashkekok iskwēw" might not even be grammatical.

The second word is also uttered once in the episode by one of the actors (who from her pronunciation I think might know the language irl) in a bit of code-switching: "This is a decision for iskwewak." (-ak = plural suffix) I was curious how well the subtitler handled this line, and sure enough, he had no idea what to do with it-- the subs read <This is a decision for squaw.> :-)
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Frislander »

Xephyr wrote:Not quite linguistic quackery, but linguistic underperformance:

Been watching the new Netflix series "Frontier" about the trials and travails of the Hudson's Bay Company in 18th c. Canada. One episode is named "Mushkegowuk Esquewu", which I was able to surmise is somebody's attempt at spelling Cree omashkekok iskwēw. The spelling "mushkegowuk" apparently is a done thing and means "Swampy Cree" (iskwēw is "woman"), but I can't find any instance of "esquewu" online outside of references to the episode. Also, according to dhok (#isharia's resident Steward Algoboo keeping the seat warm for the once and future king Whimemsz) the phrase "omashkekok iskwēw" might not even be grammatical.
Well I'd say it does fit thematically with the whole colonial aspect of it, with all the inconsistent spelling that comes with that.
The second word is also uttered once in the episode by one of the actors (who from her pronunciation I think might know the language irl) in a bit of code-switching: "This is a decision for iskwewak." (-ak = plural suffix) I was curious how well the subtitler handled this line, and sure enough, he had no idea what to do with it-- the subs read <This is a decision for squaw.> :-)
Oh dear - the translator seems to have failed to realise that for many native people "squaw" is seen as a racist term of abuse. I myself might have been tempted to go for "womenfolk", which would fit with the plural marking.
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Xephyr »

The second word is also uttered once in the episode by one of the actors (who from her pronunciation I think might know the language irl) in a bit of code-switching: "This is a decision for iskwewak." (-ak = plural suffix) I was curious how well the subtitler handled this line, and sure enough, he had no idea what to do with it-- the subs read <This is a decision for squaw.> :-)
Oh dear - the translator seems to have failed to realise that for many native people "squaw" is seen as a racist term of abuse. I myself might have been tempted to go for "womenfolk", which would fit with the plural marking.
Well... if I may speak for that anonymous person's defense: you're assuming the subtitler knew what the actor said, and what it meant. It's a miracle that I was able to tell (I know exactly 3 morphemes in Cree: napew, iskwew, and the -ak suffix) and I'm a weirdo language geek like you-- it's pretty unlikely that some random schmo employed in a captioning company was going to have any idea whatsoever. Also, from what I've gathered noticing subtitling errors in other movies and tv shows, I'm guessing that these people don't have access to production scripts or researchers or anything. I'm not going to start holding random people to the fire for not knowing words like "iskwewak". Plus, it is a bit hard to make out what she says anyway-- for instance, I can't rule out the possibility that she actually said some dialectual variant instead (it sounds kinda like [əskwɐ:k] or something, to my really-sucks-at-phonetics ear). So.... They did the best they could?

Still though: lol.
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by dhok »

Frederik Kortlandt, otherwise respected Indo-Europeanist, writes article about...something.
The existence of non-constructible sets offers a solution for the problem of the philosopher’s stone. I think that the philosopher’s stone is a 4-dimensional object
and that it is crossing the 3-dimensional surface of a 4-dimensional pond called history. The universe is the slice of the stone which is at the level of the water.
The universe originated with a big bang when the stone hit the surface. It is finite and expands as the stone sinks into the water. Why did the stone hit the surface?
We shall never know because it is beyond human observation.

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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Frislander »

dhok wrote:Frederik Kortlandt, otherwise respected Indo-Europeanist, writes article about...something.
The existence of non-constructible sets offers a solution for the problem of the philosopher’s stone. I think that the philosopher’s stone is a 4-dimensional object
and that it is crossing the 3-dimensional surface of a 4-dimensional pond called history. The universe is the slice of the stone which is at the level of the water.
The universe originated with a big bang when the stone hit the surface. It is finite and expands as the stone sinks into the water. Why did the stone hit the surface?
We shall never know because it is beyond human observation.
Erm... OK.
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by jal »

To his defense, this was apparently written in 1983. We don't know what his current views are.


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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Soap »

This is either an interesting breakthrough or (I suspect) something that fits in quite well in this thread, but I cant read French very well, and it's PDF so I cant just Google-Translate it:

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/file/i ... basque.pdf

I can read it enough though to see that Hector Iglesias is trying to prove that Basque and Berber are related. What I dont know is if he's trying to prove that there's some special connection between Basque and Berber specifically, or just that Basque is distantly related to the Afro-Asiatic family as a whole, perhaps areally influenced by the Berber languages but related only more distantly.
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Re: Linguistic Quackery Thread, take 2

Post by Vijay »

OK, I didn't read it too carefully, but he's definitely claiming a relationship between Basque and Berber specifically, lol. It's so weird though because it seems like for most of the paper, he's just talking about Basque. Like he talks about this in soooo much detail (or so it seems), but basically he's just talking about Basque?

EDIT: Oh, and it also seems like at one point, he's like "in Basque, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. But blah blah blah blah blah! Wtf??? BERBER TO THE RESCUE!!!"

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