LINGUIST List 6.483

Sat 01 Apr 1995

Sum: Mystery Languages

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  1. Alexis Manaster Ramer, Summary: Mystery Languages

Message 1: Summary: Mystery Languages

Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 10:42:10 Summary: Mystery Languages
From: Alexis Manaster Ramer <amrCS.Wayne.EDU>
Subject: Summary: Mystery Languages

The mystery language called "Curali" by Strahlenberg 1730 has now
been identified as Lezgian. The language Starostin and I originally
thought was Khinalug turns out to Kubachin (sometimes described as
a dialect of Dargi).

I would like to thank Sergei Starostin, Johanna Nichols, and Peter
Michalove for helping me make the identifications, and everybody else
who wrote in for their suggestions.

As always, I am overwhelmed by how immensely useful LINGUIST can be
when one dealing with problems like these, where one's own competence
is stretched to and beyond the limit, one's library does not have
the sources required, and where the almost instant assistance of
a few good people scattered over the globe is all that is required.

I should note that earlier studies of Strahlenberg (whose importance
is due to the fact that he offered the first classificaion of the
non-Indo-European languages of the Russian empire) have failed on
this and other scores precisely there were no resources like
LINGUIST and trying to get comparable cooperation by snail mail
was (presumably) difficult or impossible.

Alexis MR
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