LINGUIST List 5.1249

Mon 07 Nov 1994

Disc: Controversies in Historical Linguistics

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  1. , Re: 5.1200 Sum: Controversies in Historical Linguistics
  2. , Re: {karen chadbourne, liz wilson, michael fillippini, mike

Message 1: Re: 5.1200 Sum: Controversies in Historical Linguistics

Date: Mon, 31 Oct 94 09:38:02 ESRe: 5.1200 Sum: Controversies in Historical Linguistics
From: <amrzeus.cs.wayne.edu>
Subject: Re: 5.1200 Sum: Controversies in Historical Linguistics

We can add Nostratic. There is my review article in STudies in
Lg in 1993, there is a forthcoming collection Nostratic: Evidence
and Status, ed. Brian Joseph and Joe Salmons, John Benjamins (with
papers pro and con), there is a forthcoming paper in Diachronica
by D. Ringe (very strongly con and containing several attacks on
me, which the editors of Diachronica won't let me respond to),
and a paper by me in the next issues of Diachronica which is pro,
as well as a response by me in a forthcoming issue of the Jo. of
Indo-European Studies to an earlier attack on Nostratic by
Klimov. These are all references to Illich-Svitych's Nostratic
theory. There is also a book about to be published or already
published by A. Bomhard out of Mouton-de Gruyter, I think, dealing
with his (very different) version of the theory. And I keep hearing
that Greenberg's book on his version (which he calls Eurasiatic)
will be coming out soon.

Then there is North Caucasian, where the Starostin/Nikolaev
etymological dictionary has just appeared in Moscow, and this
is presumably going to start a controversy (if it ever gets
reviewed, a big 'if' knowing what happened to the Nostratic
etymological dictionary) about whether the North Caucasian
lgs are related to each other, and whether they not related
to South Caucasian.
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Message 2: Re: {karen chadbourne, liz wilson, michael fillippini, mike

Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 10:17 -05Re: {karen chadbourne, liz wilson, michael fillippini, mike
From: <Michael_Fillippinisil.org>
Subject: Re: {karen chadbourne, liz wilson, michael fillippini, mike

 Just a note concerning Alexander Vovin's response to Jacques Guy
 concerning basic vocabulary: (Sounds like the semantic primitives that
 Ana W. has been looking for :)

 In collecting word lists, a reoccuring area of neglect that I have
 seen is that the individual collecting the word list doesn't know the
 language from which they are eliciting. This means they don't know if
 they are receiving a metonym, or a partonym...or a word with any
 number of other relationships to the word which they are actually
 trying to elicit. This causes problems when comparing dialects,
 because in comparing wordlists the assumption is that the words being
 compared are the same in meaning, when in fact they might be in very
 different relationships to the primary semantic structure which was
 sought after. Therefore, the results of the comparison would be
 skewed and interpreted incorrectly.
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