LINGUIST List 2.79

Monday, 18 Mar 1991

Disc: Language Families

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  1. , Language Families
  2. , Language Families

Message 1: Language Families

Date: Sat, 16 Mar 91 22:02:24 EST
From: <>
Subject: Language Families
I have just learned that the April issues (which may already
be available to those with subscriptions) of The Atlantic
and Scientific American have major stories on some of
the research on language families such as Nostratic, Sino-Caucasian,
but also (sigh!) Amerind and "World". I think even professional
linguists may find these informative (in the case of the Sc.
Am. story, I would vouch for its overall accuracy; the other
one I have not seen at all). There was also a very informative
story on this in USNews in November (into which certain, rather
unimportant, inaccuracies did creep in (for example, it attributes
to Sergei Starostin the claims that Sino-Caucasian is related to
Basque and to Na-Dene, neither of which have anything to do with
him)). I happen to like that story because it made the point
(which I am afraid I am responsible for) that, if major breakthroughs
like these in comparative linguistics turn out to be vindicated, then
that would have important implications for the way linguistics will
look into the 21st century.
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Message 2: Language Families

Date: Sun, 17 Mar 91 15:56:18 EST
From: <>
Subject: Language Families
For those interested in the work on North Caucasian (which in
turn is hypothesized to belong in a proposed Sino-Caucasian
family), I would recommend a look at: I. M. Diakonoff andf
S. A. Starostin, 1986, Hurro-Urartean as an Eastern Caucasian
Language, Munich: Kitzinger. At last, something in English
and in print!
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