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Mother Tongue Newsletter 22 (May 1994)

Mother Tongue Newsletter 22 (May 1994)

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Published by Allan Bomhard

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MOTHERTONGUE
NEWSLETTER OF
THJB
ASSOCIATIONFOR
THJE
STUDY
OFLANGUAGE
IN
PREHISTORY
Issue 22, May 1994
CONTENTS
Comments on Colarusso's Paper "Phyletic Links between Proto-IndoEuropean and Proto-Northwest Caucasian":
Allan
R.
Bomhard
11
Is Proto-Indo-European Related to Proto-Northwest Caucasian?
Merritt Ruhlen
13
Comment on Colarusso 1994:
John
D.
Bengtson
16
Indo-European and Uralic Tree Names:
Lyle Campbell
31
Report from the Field: The Tocharians:
Karlene Jones-Bley
31
On the Genetic Classification
of
Basque:
John
D.
Bengtson
36 -Letter from Jerry King to Hal Fleming36 A Note on Ofo
skalo
"Head":
Jerry King
37 -A Note on Catawba
Weyaline
"Chief's Town":
Jerry King
38 Altaic, Germano-European, and Nostratic: The Evidence
of
Phoneticsand Phonological Systems:
Toby
D.
Griffen
50 IE Laryngeals -Ever Listened to Them?:
W.
Wilfried Schuhmacher
51
In the Public Media:50 -Siberian Site Cedes Stone-Age Surprise
51
-Asian Hominids Make a Much Earlier Appearance52 -Fossils Put New Face on Lucy's Species
53
-Modem Humans Linked to Single Origin
53
-
Mammoth Trumpet
Reports the Debate about Amerind Dates54 Obituaries:54 Marija Gimbutas54 -Sherwin Feinhandler
55
-Susan Park56 Quick Notes and Hints
of
Things to Come:
Harold
C.
Fleming
58 Letters to the Editor:58 -Letter from Henry Harpending60 Letter from Ypsilanti60 Response to Letter from Ypsilanti:
Harold
C.
Fleming
60 All Method, No Content: Reply by Hal Fleming to Letter from Poser64 ASLIP Business
65
Editorial
65
Miscellanea
~--
~~~~~~-
~---------------
 
MOTHER TONGUE
Issue 22, May 1994
OFFICERS OF ASLIP
(Address appropriate correspondence to each.)President:Harold
C.
FlemingTelephone: (508) 282-060316 Butman A venueGloucester,
MA
01930U.S.A.Vice President:Allan
R.
Bombard73 Phillips StreetBoston,
MA
02114U.S.A.Telephone: ( 617) 227-4923Secretary: Anne W. BeamanP.O.
Box
583Brookline,
MA
02146U.S.A.Ofer Bar-Y
osef
Harvard University
Ron Christensen
Entropy Limited
Frederick Gamst
University
of
Massachusetts
Raimo Anttila
UCLA (USA)
Luca Luigi Cavalli-Sforza
Stanford University (USA)
Igor M. Diakonoff
St.
Petersburg (Russia)
Aaron Dolgopolsky
University
of
Haifa (Israel)
Ben Ohiomamhe Elugbe
University
of
badan (Nigeria)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
John Hutchison
Boston University
Mark Kaiser
Illinois State University
Mary Ellen Lepionka
Cambridge, MA
COUNCIL OF FELLOWS
Joseph H. Greenberg
Stanford University (USA)
Carleton T. Hodge
Indiana University (USA)
Dell Hymes
University
of
Virginia (USA)
Sydney Lamb
Rice University (USA)
Winfred P. Lehmann
University
of
Texas (USA)
Philip Lieberman
Brown University
Daniel McCall
Boston, MA
Roger Wescott
Southbury,
CT
Karl-Heinrich Menges
University
of
Vienna (Austria)
Colin Renfrew
Cambridge University (UK)
Vitaly Shevoroshkin
University
of
Michigan (USA)
Sergei Starostin
Academy
of
Sciences
of
Russia(Russia)
© 1994
by
the Association for the Study
of
Language in Prehistory
 
MOTHER TONGUE
COMMENTS ON COLARUSSO'SPAPER "PHYLETIC LINKS BETWEENPROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN ANDPROTO-NORTHWEST CAUCASIAN"*
INTRODUCTION
ALLAN
R.
BOMHARD
Boston,
MA
In
the previous issue
of
Mother Tongue,
JohnColarusso presented evidence for a genetic relationshipbetween Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Northwest Caucasian.He discussed the
phonology
of
Proto-Indo-European andproposed a revised ("fortified") phonemic inventory for ProtoIndo-European,
he
listed several grammatical formantscommon to both language families, and he presented a number
of
lexical parallels, including preverbs, numerals, particles, and"conventional cognates."He concluded that there was evidence, albeitpreliminary, for a genetic relationship between Proto-IndoEuropean and Proto-Northwest Caucasian, and he posited acommon proto-language, which he named "Proto-Pontic."
In
my
recently published co-authored
book
entitled
The Nostratic Macrofamily: A Study
in
Distant LinguisticRelationship
(Mouton de Gruyter [April 1994], 932 pp.), Ipresent a considerable amount
of
evidence for a geneticrelationship between Proto-Indo-European and certain otherlanguage families, to wit, Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian),Proto-Kartvelian ("South Caucasian"), Proto-Uralic-Yukaghir,Proto-Elamo-Dravidian, and Proto-Altaic (Mongolian, Turkic,Tungus, and probably Korean). Following Pedersen (and IllicSvityc and Dolgopolsky), I posit a common ancestor named"Proto-Nostratic." I also list possible cognates found
in
Sumerian and note that Nivkh (Gilyak), Chukchi-Kamchatkan,and Eskimo-Aleut are probably to
be
included as members
of
the Nostratic macrofamily as well.There is a growing feeling among many
of
thescholars studying Nostratic that Proto-Afroasiatic may be asister language
of
Proto-Nostratic rather than a descendantlanguage, while Proto-Indo-European is seen
by
Greenberg asbeing more closely related to Proto-Uralic-Yukaghir, ProtoAltaic, Nivkh, Chukchi-Kamchatkan, and Eskimo-Aleut, theseforming a separate subgroup called "Eurasiatic."However, Indo-European presents some specialproblems.
On
the one hand, its grammatical structure, at leastin its earlier periods, more closely resembles those
of
its sisterEurasiatic languages;
on
the other hand, its phonologicalsystem more closely resembles the phonological systems foundin Proto-Kartvelian and Proto-Afroasiatic, at least when usingthe revised Proto-Indo-European phonological systemproposed
by
Gamkrelidze-Ivanov and Hopper. Moreover,there are typological problems with every phonological systemproposed to date for
Proto-Indo-European-
one wonders, forexample,
why
there are no affricates. This leads me to suspectthat Proto-Indo-European may in fact be a blend
of
elementsfrom two
(or
more?) different languages,
1
as has already been
1
Issue 22, May 1994suggested
by
several other scholars.
But
a blend
of
what?
In
footnote
1
in
his paper, Colarusso notes that "[t]he amateurarcheologist Geoffrey Bibby suggested in 1961 that PIE was aCaucasian language that went north and blended with a FinnoUgrian tongue." This suggestion merits closer consideration.In this paper, I would like to discuss
how
Colarusso'stheories shed possible light
on
these and other issues, notingboth the strong points and limitations
of
his approach, and Iwill propose an alternative theory that I believe better fits thelinguistic evidence.
PHONOLOGY
In Chapter
2
of
my
book,
The
Nostratic Macro amily,
I discuss the phonological systems
of
the various Nostraticdaughter languages, establish sound correspondences, and posita phonological system for the Nostratic proto-language, asfollows:
p[h]
t[h]
c[h]
tY(h)
tl(h]
2
bd
3
kY(h)
gY
k[h]
g
kw[h]
gw
q[h] G
3
p'
t'c'
t'Y
!!'
k'Y
k'
k'w
q'
q'w
4s
SY
h
?
h
i-e
u-o
iy-ey
iw-ew
uy-oy
uw-ow
5
m
n
lJ
6
r
~y-ay
~w-aw
7 8
w
yColarusso ( 1994: 18) sets
up
the following phonological systemfor Proto-Pontic:2
p
c
c
~
k
q3
bd
3
3
1
g
4
t'
c'
c'
~·
k'
q'
5
s
s
X
6
m
n
z
z
g
y
'1
7
8
w
r
y

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