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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:41 am 
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Tropylium wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
- the Asian componant of na-dene isn't particularly closely related to the asian componant in Ket. The closest connection was to Koryak, then to Saqqaq, THEN to Ket. [the siberian admixture into Ket seems even more divergent from that into everything pacificky, so was probably later]. This may mean:
-- Dene-Yeneseian is wrong
-- The Ket have been genetically replaced by another siberian/asian mix in the same area but wih different ancestry, while keeping their language
-- The Na-Dene have been genetically replaced twice (first by a different asian group, and then by americans)
-- Not only are EA and CK related to DY, but they're actually internal to DY somehow
-- There was once a more widespread family comprising Dene-Yeneseian and the former languages of the Koryak and Saqqaq, but the latter groups adopted the languages of CK and EA groups later on.

I'm placing my bets on #2 (some degree of language shift in connection with the spread of Yeniseian) and #5 (CK and EA originally spreading to the north through language shift); they match well enough with what's known of the spread of other language groups in northern Eurasia. Samic first spreads to the north by language shift, Finnic first spreads to the north by language shift, Ob-Ugric spreads to the north (comes about as it is currently) by language shift, Samoyedic spreads to the north (comes about as it is currently) by language shift…

#3 is probably not ruled out either, but it doesn't seem to have much advantages compared to #5. #1 is obviously the wrong inference here (the lack of a strong unique genetic connection does jack shit to disprove Sami being related to Estonian or Turkish being related to Yakut), though it could be still wrong for other reasons; #4 is obviously wrong, period.


Mismatches between genes and languages are common enough - genes and languages often travel together but they often enough don't. Language shift is nothing out of the ordinary. I am currently involved in a discussion on this page where such matters play a major role.

What regards the wrongness of #1 and #4, I wouldn't say "obviously wrong", rather "probably wrong", as we are dealing with language relationships here (between Yeniseian and Na-Dene; and between Chuktoko-Kamchatkan and Eskimo-Aleut on one hand and IE and Uralic on the other) for which quite good evidence exists but which are nevertheless not agreed upon by relevant scholars yet. I'd go with #5 myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:23 am 
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Something somewhat related to all this that I've thought about at random times. Even if it's probably a coincidence, I still think it's pretty cool.

Inuktitut /inuk/ (human)
Ainu /ai̯nu/ (human)
Nivkh /ɲivx/ (human)

Based on the similarities, a common ancestor word could be reconstructed: something like [*ai̯ni̯əwk] or [*ai̯nyk].

Also,
Ket /kɛˀt/ (human)
Northern Yukaghir /køde/ (human)

Both could come from something like [*kʷʼete].

If the two reconstructions were combined at the end, the super ancient word for human could have been something like [*ai̯ni̯əwkʷʼete~ai̯nykʷʼete], but that's getting weird and kinda ridiculous.

Haida could easily be thrown into the mix, but I couldn't find anywhere what exactly the Haida word for human is; according to this pdf dictionary it's the same as their endonym, X̱aadas, but I'm not sure about its pronunciation. If Wikipedia's chart is correct, it should be /χaːd̥as/, but I don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:42 am 
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That's basically Starostin's method: combine the segments of the words from the compared languages into one long string, such that each language just has to delete some of them, and perhaps metathesize some of the remaining ones. That way, you can "prove" any relationship you want, but it has nothing to do with actual comparative linguistic work.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:29 pm 
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Don't forget to put in the tones!!

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:40 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
That's basically Starostin's method: combine the segments of the words from the compared languages into one long string, such that each language just has to delete some of them, and perhaps metathesize some of the remaining ones. That way, you can "prove" any relationship you want, but it has nothing to do with actual comparative linguistic work.

Well, at least I'm not trying to "prove" anything since I've realised that in 99% of cases reality is the polar opposite of anything that would be even remotely interesting. Only the first part of that post was in any way serious, with the "super ancient word" being just a joke.

As for it having nothing to do with "actual comparative linguistic work", it should go without saying that nothing I do is even in the same universe as anything that could have any chance of having anything to do with work; I'm probably the least educated person on this forum and couldn't get a job as a cashier even if I wanted, and since I don't want and am officially on something like disability retirement... well, you know, if I do something, it's not work. :P

...but if you mean that what Starostin does isn't "actual comparative linguistic work", I'll have you know that you may consider me one of his fanboys because I consider him an authoritative source on things and stuff. I don't think he's infallible or anything, nor do I know anything about what he has done besides the lumpy etymological stuff, but based on the lumpy etymological stuff I fucking love him. Like, even if some of that stuff is sometimes pretty ridiculous, it's still better than it not being there. Even if it turns out that 99.9% of it is wrong, that's still 0.1% that isn't, and even if that 0.1% was wrong too, it's still good fodder for conlanging and can be used as a memorisation device when learning languages.
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Don't forget to put in the tones!!

Wait, do the Inuit languages, Ainu, Nivkh and/or Yukaghir have tones...? :o Or did you mean Haida? Because in Ket, glottalisation is one of the tones.


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:34 pm 
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Starostin's work is not considered valid by most historical linguists.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:48 pm 
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Vlürch wrote:
Wait, do the Inuit languages, Ainu, Nivkh and/or Yukaghir have tones...? :o Or did you mean Haida? Because in Ket, glottalisation is one of the tones.

No Eskimo-Aleut language I'm familiar with has tones, and I'm not familiar enough with Ainu, Nivkh, or Yukaghir, but Haida does indeed have tones. However, these tones are minimally contrastive and not usually marked in the orthography.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:37 am 
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Xephyr wrote:
For example, I haven't read all that much on it, but I tend to hear from outsiders that Core Altaic "was disproven decades ago" or some dismissive thing like that, whereas I almost never see that same attitude from actual specialists in TM&T.


I think the problem with research into Altaic is that at this point it's largely synonymous with Starostin, and what Starostin has been doing is mostly grasping at straws. There are still a lot of shared features between all three Core Altaic features, and of course the 1s pronouns are tantalizing, but any sort of cognates remain in scarce supply. Part of the problem here is assuredly the difficulty of reconstructing the history of any of these three families very far back, especially Mongolic (whose last common ancestor language is probably at a time depth of not much more than a thousand years).

That said, an effort by somebody who isn't a Starostin to identify cognates and propose sound correspondences might yet prove fruitful. Sadly, I don't think anybody has been doing that sort of thing, and if they have, I am not aware of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Hallow XIII wrote:
Xephyr wrote:
For example, I haven't read all that much on it, but I tend to hear from outsiders that Core Altaic "was disproven decades ago" or some dismissive thing like that, whereas I almost never see that same attitude from actual specialists in TM&T.


I think the problem with research into Altaic is that at this point it's largely synonymous with Starostin, and what Starostin has been doing is mostly grasping at straws. There are still a lot of shared features between all three Core Altaic features, and of course the 1s pronouns are tantalizing, but any sort of cognates remain in scarce supply. Part of the problem here is assuredly the difficulty of reconstructing the history of any of these three families very far back, especially Mongolic (whose last common ancestor language is probably at a time depth of not much more than a thousand years).

That said, an effort by somebody who isn't a Starostin to identify cognates and propose sound correspondences might yet prove fruitful. Sadly, I don't think anybody has been doing that sort of thing, and if they have, I am not aware of it.


The same goes for Indo-Uralic, except that time depth is not as much of a problem there. The potential cognates are not in short supply once you look for them, and start understanding how the sound correspondences work. The biggest problem is that the level of criticism in long range comparison is so much higher. And that scares off the professional linguists.


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:55 am 
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Most of the lexical resemblances betwen IE and Uralic look like loanwords from PIE into Proto-Uralic. The sound correspondences are such that the Uralic words have those sounds that are closest to the IE sounds, i.e. the expected sound substitutions. This is particularly striking with the vowels, where such things as ablaut grades and laryngeal colourings are faithfully reflected in the Uralic word forms. And as ablaut and laryngeal colouring are innovations within PIE that do not predate Proto-Indo-Uralic, this hits the nail home: these words just cannot be inherited from Proto-Indo-Uralic!

Yet, the morphological resemblances are hard to explain by anything other than a common ancestor. And there are a few lexical resemblances that do not show the sound correspondences expected from loanwords, and these may be genuine cognates. However, the frequently cited 'name' word faces the difficulty that PIE *h3neh3mn almost certainly isn't a single root, rather a derivative from an (otherwise unknown) root *h3neh3-, perhaps 'to call', with the well-known suffix *-m(e)n, which makes comparison with PU nimi difficult. This may be a chance resemblance, like Japanese namae. (The initial laryngeal is uncertain; it is often reconstructed as *h1, but that is rather beside the point.)

This seems to be a bit like the Armenian case, where the large number of lexical resemblances to Iranian languages, on the ground of which Armenian was classified as Iranian by early Indo-Europeanists, turned out to be loanwords, but it also turned out that some other - fewer! - words that didn't fit Iranian, and especially the morphology, are cognate to those of other IE languages by a different set of sound correspondences, and Armenian is now classified as a separate branch of IE on the ground of this.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:50 pm 
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Well I mean what's to say with the sound subsitutions that they could be inherited from a Proto-Indo-Uralic, but that the system underwent extreme simplification à la Tocharian? (I'm not trying to say your ideas don't have weight, I'd just like some elaboration).

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Frislander wrote:
Well I mean what's to say with the sound subsitutions that they could be inherited from a Proto-Indo-Uralic, but that the system underwent extreme simplification à la Tocharian? (I'm not trying to say your ideas don't have weight, I'd just like some elaboration).


Whatever the Proto-Indo-Uralic phonology was like, at least one of the two must have undergone far-reaching changes - probably both did. But it is abundantly clear that the PIE ablaut system can't be of Proto-Indo-Uralic age, for otherwise there would be traces of it in Uralic, which are absent except in those "cognate" words which faithfully reflect PIE ablaut grades. And the vowel-colouring effects of the PIE laryngeals are yet younger. Thus, the vowel correspondences show that the words are borrowed rather than inherited.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:14 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Frislander wrote:
Well I mean what's to say with the sound subsitutions that they could be inherited from a Proto-Indo-Uralic, but that the system underwent extreme simplification à la Tocharian? (I'm not trying to say your ideas don't have weight, I'd just like some elaboration).


Whatever the Proto-Indo-Uralic phonology was like, at least one of the two must have undergone far-reaching changes - probably both did. But it is abundantly clear that the PIE ablaut system can't be of Proto-Indo-Uralic age, for otherwise there would be traces of it in Uralic

How many traces of the Ablaut system are still present in modern IE languages? Germanic probably has most of them with the strong verb.
And who is saying there are no traces in Uralic?

Compare the following potential cognates:
PIE *h₃negʰ - 'nail' [EDLI:unguis] [EDPG:nagl] ~ PU: *ńïxlï 'arrow' [HPUL]
PIE *h₃engʰ - 'ablaut grade of nail' ~ PFU: *künči 'nail' [HPUL]
(the semantic shift from finger/toe-nail to sharp object has also happened in Germanic)

And vowel changes happen a lot in Uralic (but this is not necessarily caused by a PIE-like ablaut).
Compare:
PU: *śilmä 'eye' [HPUL]
PU: *śala- 'to flash, to lighten' [Aikio2002]
? PIE: *skewh₁ 'to perceive, to observe, to show' [LIV2]

Or compare:
PFU: *koni 'armpit' [HPUL]
PFU: *künärä 'elbow' [HPUL]
PIE: *ǵonu 'knee, node' [EDPG:knewa] [EDLI:genu] [EDG:γόνυ]

[EDIT: much of what I wrote months ago was under the speculation that Indo-Uralic would be mostly Uralic/'Altaic'-like. Now that I have improved my own amateurish comparison, I am finding more and more evidence that Indo-Uralic must have been much more PIE-like]


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:11 pm 
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WeepingElf, you might find this paper interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:20 pm 
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KathTheDragon wrote:
WeepingElf, you might find this paper interesting.


Some of the nasal correspondences there can also be explained by nasal infixes.

Compare:
PU: lämpi 'warmth' [HPUL] ~ PIE: leh₂p 'to glow' [LIV2] -> Ancient Greek lámpō 'to shine' and lampás 'torch, light'.
PFU: päŋi 'head' [HPUL], ? PFU poŋï 'bosom' [HPUL] ~ PIE: peh₂ǵ 'to attach' [LIV2] -> Latin pangō 'to fasten, to fix'


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:51 pm 
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Vlürch wrote:
(…) Haida could easily be thrown into the mix, but I couldn't find anywhere what exactly the Haida word for human is; according to this pdf dictionary it's the same as their endonym, X̱aadas, but I'm not sure about its pronunciation. If Wikipedia's chart is correct, it should be /χaːd̥as/, but I don't know.

Clearly cognate to Kazakh, Khazar, Khanty, Hunzib, Hindi, and the second syllable of Abkhaz; perhaps also Hausa. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:32 pm 
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Howl wrote:
KathTheDragon wrote:
WeepingElf, you might find this paper interesting.


Some of the nasal correspondences there can also be explained by nasal infixes.

Compare:
PU: lämpi 'warmth' [HPUL] ~ PIE: leh₂p 'to glow' [LIV2] -> Ancient Greek lámpō 'to shine' and lampás 'torch, light'.
PFU: päŋi 'head' [HPUL], ? PFU poŋï 'bosom' [HPUL] ~ PIE: peh₂ǵ 'to attach' [LIV2] -> Latin pangō 'to fasten, to fix'

Sure, in principle yes (though your first example is irrelevant since it's MP ~ MP, and your second example is basically an alternative to what's already an uncertain etymology), but this is only possible for the root-final correspondences, and only remotely plausible for verbal roots. This still leaves us with quite a few rather compelling potential cognates (of which I consider PIE *deḱ- "perceive" ~ PU *näkə- "see" and *yeǵ- "ice" ~ *jäŋə- "ice" the two best examples)


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:01 am 
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Howl wrote:

Compare:
PU: lämpi 'warmth' [HPUL] ~ PIE: leh₂p 'to glow'
PFU: päŋi 'head' [HPUL], ? PFU poŋï 'bosom' [HPUL] ~ PIE: peh₂ǵ 'to attach'
but where did the laryngeals come from? If lämpi is cognate to leh2p, what protoform could have left an /m/ in Uralic and an /h2/ in pie? Likewise, what protoform could have linked Uralic /N/ with pie /h2ģ/?

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:42 am 
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Hallow XIII wrote:
That said, an effort by somebody who isn't a Starostin to identify cognates and propose sound correspondences might yet prove fruitful. Sadly, I don't think anybody has been doing that sort of thing, and if they have, I am not aware of it.

You will have to go back to the mid-1900s to find work that's entirely independent of Starostin (in the sense that pretty much everyone seriously working with the Altaic families' connections recognizes that some of his work is valid), but this stuff definitely is there. Try Poppe, Ramstead, or maybe Räsänen for starters.

Hallow XIII wrote:
There are still a lot of shared features between all three Core Altaic features, and of course the 1s pronouns are tantalizing, but any sort of cognates remain in scarce supply.

Nope; and that's my cue to suggest some reading: Georg, Michalove, Manaster Ramen & Sidwell (1998), "Telling general linguists about Altaic". A key quote:
Quote:
Vinogradov’s and Nichols’ work actually misrepresents the very substance of the Altaic debate as it has been framed since the mid-1950’s and actually earlier. Pace Vinogradov and Nichols, there is no dearth of good potential cognates. Rather, it is precisely the exuberant abundance of shared vocabulary (some obviously and universally recognized, some more subtle and hence controversial) that has led to the two fundamentally opposed points of view that are widely held: either that this vocabulary is inherited from a common ancestor, Proto-Altaic; or that it involves extensive borrowing in remote prehistory (cf. also the compromise possibilities suggested by Róna-Tas 1974, 1976, 1991 and passim). If putative cognates really were in short supply, or, for that matter, if most of the available resemblances were the sort of superficial similarities to which most linguists give little credence, it would be incomprehensible why the Altaic theory has enjoyed such a long life without sharing the fate of such linguistic seven-day wonders as ‘Maya-Altaic’, ‘Korean as Indo-European’, or ‘the Dravidian and Manding substratum in Tocharian’.
Even those well-known scholars who deny the validity of Altaic, notably Clauson (1956 and passim), Doerfer (1963 and passim) and Janhunen (1992, 1994a, b) or express some skepticism about it, notably Ro! na-Tas (e.g., 1974 and passim) and Sinor (e.g., 1962, 1988), do not maintain that there is a shortage of putative cognates. Rather what they claim is that most (or all) of these are not cognates but borrowings. It is usually held, both by the supporters and the opponents of the Altaic theory, that the Altaic languages (or at least Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic) are best studied together, precisely because specialists in the individual languages know that the abundance of shared vocabulary among the languages called Altaic are an important tool for the proper understanding of the (pre-)history of these languages, and of the peoples who spoke them. Regardless of whether one explains all (most, some, few) of these shared items as due to inheritance or to borrowing, the Altaic debate has never been about the existence of truly shared items, but about the proper interpretation of their very abundance.

(Or you could simply look at the EDAL. It's got crud in it, but so did e.g. any 1800s work on IE or Uralic etymology, and yet only a handful of kooks would think that therefore everything about those families is crud and safely ignorable.)

The big structural problem in Altaistics is IMO not the Starostins & co. (they're maybe more of a symptom), it is that old-timey Altaistics grew out of what was left of even old-timeier Uralo-Altaistics, after Uralistics went off as its own thing. As you may know, what we call "Ural-Altaic" today was even called just "Altaic" originally. I'm not sure if there has ever been a solid motive to suspect that either Micro- or Macro-Altaic is its own thing entirely. The idea seems to remain around basically as a convention out of inertia. I was reading one of the original "is Samoyedic related to Finno-Ugric" papers earlier this year (Halász, 1893), and it interestingly prefaces itself as a "partial investigation into Ural-Altaic" — taken already as established, not as a hypothesis to look into! The author takes himself to be merely looking into the possibility of reconstructing Ural-Altaic, starting from this one apparent sub-node, just as linguists today would do with any currently underworked family (say, Austroasiatic or Niger-Congo).

For that matter, about 10 years later in the early 1900s, you had people like Paasonen meanwhile considering Indo-Uralic to be instead basically established and just in need of a similar final bit of further comparative work. And, of course, then enter one H. Pedersen to tie up a few strings… at which point we'd perhaps expect the narrower and not quite established Altaic hypothesis to be put on hold, but for some reason it keeps instead dragging on.

This is not to slag on the people actually doing comparative Altaic work a few decades later (or today), but once we do weed out anything that's conceivably rather loanwords, the work is still really not qualitatively too different from what gets done with variations on Nostratic.

Hallow XIII wrote:
Part of the problem here is assuredly the difficulty of reconstructing the history of any of these three families very far back, especially Mongolic (whose last common ancestor language is probably at a time depth of not much more than a thousand years).

For Mongolic proper, most likely less than a thousand years (= younger than various "single languages" such as Danish, Latvian or Komi), but there are people plugging away at Khitan & stuff for more insights. (Here's one hot-off-the-press paper about the "& stuff": Andreas Höltz, New evidence on Para-Mongolic numerals.)

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:31 am 
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KathTheDragon wrote:
WeepingElf, you might find this paper interesting.


Yes, this surely is interesting! Thank you for the link!

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:45 pm 
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No problem. Indo-Uralic is really cool, and I think the implosive theory of the IE stop system is the best option I've seen, and seeing them supporting each other like this is awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:53 am 
Sanci
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Tropylium wrote:
Vlürch wrote:
(…) Haida could easily be thrown into the mix, but I couldn't find anywhere what exactly the Haida word for human is; according to this pdf dictionary it's the same as their endonym, X̱aadas, but I'm not sure about its pronunciation. If Wikipedia's chart is correct, it should be /χaːd̥as/, but I don't know.

Clearly cognate to Kazakh, Khazar, Khanty, Hunzib, Hindi, and the second syllable of Abkhaz; perhaps also Hausa. :P

Well, it's not 100% impossible... only 99.999999999%. :P

Anyway, I'm personally hoping that Indo-Uralic by itself is not true, but rather something like Indo-Ural-Altaic, and at least Indo-European and Uralic are not genetically related except if you go really, really far back in time... long enough for all the Palaeosiberian, Eskimo-Aleut, etc. languages to be related, too. I know it's more or less political, but honestly if Swedes and Russians got any kind of justification for calling Finnish the rape baby of their languages (no matter how much of a stretch would have to go behind it), that would be like the end of the world for me. With my luck that means pretty much by default that Finnish is in fact nothing more than a Swedish-Russian creole and will be confirmed as such within my lifetime, but I refuse to believe that. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:23 pm 
Smeric
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Vlürch wrote:
Anyway, I'm personally hoping that Indo-Uralic by itself is not true, but rather something like Indo-Ural-Altaic, and at least Indo-European and Uralic are not genetically related except if you go really, really far back in time... long enough for all the Palaeosiberian, Eskimo-Aleut, etc. languages to be related, too. I know it's more or less political, but honestly if Swedes and Russians got any kind of justification for calling Finnish the rape baby of their languages (no matter how much of a stretch would have to go behind it), that would be like the end of the world for me. With my luck that means pretty much by default that Finnish is in fact nothing more than a Swedish-Russian creole and will be confirmed as such within my lifetime, but I refuse to believe that. :roll:


What kind of mushrooms did you smoke when you wrote that? Where can I get a dose? But seriously, I see no reason to go on a nationalistic binge like that just because some linguists conjecture that IE and Uralic are related to each other. No serious linguist considers Finnish the "rape baby" of any IE language!

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:30 pm 
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It's funny because psilocybin mushrooms grow almost anywhere in the world. If you know how to recognise them, you'll see them everywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Haida and Na-Dene
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:46 pm 
Sanci
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Vlürch wrote:
I know it's more or less political, but honestly if Swedes and Russians got any kind of justification for calling Finnish the rape baby of their languages (no matter how much of a stretch would have to go behind it), that would be like the end of the world for me. With my luck that means pretty much by default that Finnish is in fact nothing more than a Swedish-Russian creole and will be confirmed as such within my lifetime, but I refuse to believe that. :roll:


If the Indo-Uralic hypothesis is true, Uralic would be the most ancient branch of a very large and important language family. If anything, Swedish and Russian would be the violently conceived ones.


Last edited by Howl on Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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