Re: poly: Archaeology of Language

From: Tim May <>
Date: Tue Dec 09 1997 - 08:14:52 PST

At 12:16 AM -0700 12/9/97, CurtAdams wrote:

>Indeed. I was *so* fascinated as a child when I discovered there
>were other families besides Indo-European. The idea of the linguistic
>connection between various human groups fascinated me. I was further
>entranced recently when they revealed that the trees of human language
>and human genes were in close accord.
>What's your opinion on higher-level groupings of languages such as
>Nostratic and Amerind?

A few probable cognates have been found...not clear when they entered the
American Indian languages. But we'll likely be able to tell before too long
by analyzing the geographic dispersal.

My suspicion is that the links are mostly accidental, from accidental
contacts, and not from some pre-Nostratic language that Asiatic hunters
spoke before the land bridge to North America was crossed. (Though they
surely spoke _something_, so there is some chance of an echo of a truly old
language shared between Asia and North America.)

--Tim May

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Received on Tue Dec 9 17:03:51 1997

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