Thursday, November 27, 2014

... on Linguistics - History and Prehistory, Modelling and Mismodelling

1) ... on Old and Middle English after PIE and among Germanic langs - featuring videos of Martin Hilpert, 2) ... on Linguistics - History and Prehistory, Modelling and Mismodelling

Mismodeling Indo-European Origins: The Assault On Historical Linguistics | GeoCurrents

Own reflection, not on comments:

  • i) Indo-European origins theories:

    • 1) "Nazi theory" (or theory disused by its association with Nazism, but possibly going back to Grimm brothers) they came from the Baltic and were originally Nordic race;

    • 2) Marija Gimbutas and her Kurgan theory, placing PIE in Ukraine

    • 3) Colin Renfrew's Anatolian theory, saying it originated with agriculture there

  • ij) Indo-European spread theories:

    • 1) violent spread by conquest and migration

    • 2) peaceful spread by imitation (along with imitation of agriculture, for instance)

    • 3) mingled spread ...

  • iij) Indo-European unity nature theories:

    • 1) all of above deal with PIE as one real language, which is indeed THE dominant theory, but look how disunited it is as to when adn where and how of this original language!

    • 2) unity could be by mutual adstrate (Balkan model)

    • 3) unity could be by prestigious superstrate (Latin as model for West European languages)

    • 4) both of above could be combined with IE originating as a Lingua Franca (has been proposed by others for Celtic)

You know that what you are dumping is a computerised model, right?

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Extreme Badness of Google Translate (Copy Pasted both texts)

48:28 Ah, was I saying somewhere that Creationism is getting an illdeserved bad reputation for either being dumped in itself, or its opposite evolutionism being touted in context after context where it is totally irrelevant?

Yes, I did!

Latter phenomenon?

Creation vs. Evolution : Just Ask Anyone ....

Former phenomenon (also by a linguist, see The Missing Spanish Creoles, chapter "Creationist at a Cocktail Party") was noted on top of this essay (continued in comment section, largely):

HGL's F.B. writings : Creationism and Geocentrism are sometimes used as metaphors for "outdated because disproven inexact science"

I have discussed Creationist models for IE unity in two series of blogposts. And this single one:

Creation vs. Evolution : Giving Tower of Babel a Fair Hearing

49:01 "assuming that languages get diffused like viruses" ...

Oh, no mindless and massive assumptions like those behind accepted models? Not that I defend Atkinson's modelling per se.

Sardinian or Roumanian - which diverged first? Well, in a way it depends on what you mean by "diverged". If you mean "diverged phonetically" so as to retain [ k ] pronunciation of < c > before palatal vowels or [ u ] where other languages (excepting Roumanian) get [ o ], sure, Sardinian diverged first. But such a divergence would not stop communication and mutual understanding.

On the other hand, getting isolated from the rest ... Roumanian got more thoroughly isolated from any Romance excepting Dalmatian than Sardinian from Italian and Occitan.

Use some of the insights from sociolinguistics!

Like Scanian is diverged from Stockholm dialect, since the spelling < rot > hides a divergence between [ ruwt ] in Stockholm and [ R(e)ouwwt ] (approx.!) in Malmö, with < r > in one case = r (Italian r) and in one case = R (French R). But this divergence does not separate the dialects from each other, vocabulary, phraseology etc flows pretty freely from one to the other (at least if we speak of Swedish as spoken in Scania rather than Scanian proper). That may have been similar to relations between Italian and Sardinian. Roumanian diverged much more thoroughly. You are treating it as evolutionists treat cladograms for supposed common ancestry - in fact Darwin partially plagiarised Grimm brothers.

Some mindless assumptions are also involved in Evolutionism. You said it was a mindless assumption not to allow for possibility of advection and rapid language spread making a difference. I heartily agree, perhaps more than you do. But it is also a massive and mindless assumption to, despite all flood myths (including but not limited to Biblical flood account) deny possibility of Flood having anything to do with Geology and with Geological facts.

I also reacted earlier on about the Wheel line. Two reasons.

1) Flood was approx 5000 years ago, but according to uniformitarian calibration gets carbon dates 20,000 to 50,000 years before present. So the wheel appearing in archaeology is probably much more recent than 3500 BC.

2) That said, wheels have been found at least as/on toys in the American pre-Columbian cultures. Wheels can have been invented well before Noah and the earliest speakers of IE langs (note I am not saying of PIE lang!) may well have had a word for wheels before getting to build any once again. Because they had cultural memory past the stone age after the Flood.

Just before 58:19

Still on Pereltsvaig - Anatolian theory might come in a slightly different shape in a YEC, post-Babel setting.

Anatolian and close by linkable to grandsons of Noah:

Iavan - from Japheth (ancestor of Greeks)

Lud - from Shem (ancestor of Lydians probably Lycians and Phrygians too)

Het - from Ham via Canaan (probably ancestral to Hatti people)

Madan - from Japheth (ancestor of Medes and Persians, the latter having admixture from Elam, of Shem, as I recall)

Magog - uncertain whether Anatolian or Scythian, uncertain whether today's relatives are more Turkish or Russian.

A problem 5 originally unrelated languages, which gives a communication problem.

A solution - probably used more than once - create a Lingua Franca, an Esperanto.

Results - probably PIE/Hittite (Nesili) possibly also PFU/Hattic (Hattili).

Variation models - sounds laws may work very rapidly if not working on inherited words but over cuneiform or syllabic writing. Which both Nesili and Hattili had, as I recall.

I forgot about Kaphthorim, from whom Philistines are/were a branch. Minoan Cretan Linear A has been possibly deciphered as an Indo-Iranian dialect. Mount Ida=Mount Indra. So, another people wo very early got its language Indo-Europeanised, involved in the Indo-European "stew" on my model.


Definition of cognates has to exclude borrowing.

With two languages borrowing from each other over a long time (not just Russian Polish with the oro/ro and the olo/lo lists) and bilingualism being very rampant, borrowings would tend to adapt to cognate like patterns. The last example with an oro in Polish might have become ro in areas where Russian was neither absent nor high status.

In Swedish we have pojke and pjexa from Finnish.

If Finnish had had a higher status, and been more present in Sweden, one might have seen even bojke/bjexa. Confer loan other way, bock > pukkuu (pukku?).

Failing this, early IE langs could only have mimicked cognate like behaviour of common words by mutual borrowing via writing, as most borrowing between diverse Swedish dialects of 18th C. or earlier 17th C. (Geatish and Sweonic being originally two diverse dialects of Nordic, while Yamtish and Gutnish - the possible two extra Swedish languages in the model - were clearly more marginal as to standard Swedish and its "constituent dialects" - and from time of Charles X Gustavus, the process includes Scania and Halland / Bohuslän as well).

1:09:28 They might not have known the borrowings were borrowings.

Pay in Swedish is betala and ask is fråga - like betalen, fragen in Dutch and Platt - because 50% of our vocabulary is from Hanseatic Low German. Indigenous words spörga for ask and gälda (=yield) for pay are not well known outside literary or historically linguistic circles.

Danish and Bokmål have an even higher percentage of Low German loans, making "South Scandinavian" (or East Nordic) langs a hybrid by relexicalisation between Nordic as originally spoken and Low German.


1) Assuming the peer review was bungled in this case, as per Asya Pereltsvaig - then this is a good debunking of the peer review superstition, precisely as the results of the model are of reconstruction, especially by computerised models.

Peer review can clearly be peer misreviewing, just as a model may be mismodelling.

2) But the response to the linguist may have been they wanted a linguist to respond to it in public - as you did. Even computer freaks with no historical linguistics would know some of the results predicted by the model are factually incorrect.

1:07:01 malfaisance?

An editor has possibly a moral obligation to be critical - but does it amount to a juridical obligation to agree in criticism with mainstream science pov?

If that were the case, no criticism of mainstream science pov, no science scoop could ever be possible!

1:05:26 The old guy might have done better as a commenter here than as a questioner back there (as long as internet exists)?

He does not get that Frisian is extant language of politically Netherlandish West Frisia and FORMER language of East Frisia in Germany.

However, Frisian may phonetically be closer cognate to English (cheese, tsise vs. kaas, presence of breaking), it has still had a longer history of bilingualism with Dutch and German. And that German on top of it a Platt, closer to Dutch than to Hochdeutsch.

Arguably Frisian where still extant has been relexicalised through Dutch as much as English through Anglo-Norman French after submitting to some Viking influence. Things a computer program could never deal with.

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