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Thread: How Robust is the P-I-E model ?

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    How Robust is the P-I-E model ?

    I do not know much about linguistics, so wanted to understand how to construct a PROTO-xlanguage model.

    Is it as easy as taking the most oldest attested languages from a group and choosing words which have a common denominator sound?

    Either ways I believe the P-I-E architects have done more than that, and the model should be robust.

    However this critique from N.Kazanas on PIE has cast a shadow on its validity in part.

    Would appreciate inputs from experts on this critique.

    Thanks,


    http://indiafacts.org/fallacies-proto-indo-european/.

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    Kazanas fails to understand quite basic things; he does not even know what centum and satem are, why laryngeals were proposed, or what a root is.

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    Do you have any specific inputs on the lines of his critique?

    Because , most of the criticism from the PIE and its package supporters has been of personal attacks, name calling and using reductio ad absurdum to debate the points, which truly does not reflect well on their scholarly status.

    And it does not help in anyway to understand if the proposal or the critique from the opposite party holds or not.

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    Well, there is not much to say. He offers some general skepticism about reconstruction and asserts some opinions without offering real arguments for them. Much of what he says is simply wrong. If you are interested in the subject, I suggest that you read up on it some, then come back to Kazanas and judge him for yourself.

    PS

    Or could you post a specific criticism/comment of his that you have a question about?
    Last edited by Megalophias; 04-09-2017 at 06:30 AM.

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    10. The biggest fallacy and central to any discussion regarding the Protolanguage in IE studies is exposed by the presence of roots or more correctly dhātus ‘lexical seed-forms’ in Sanskrit. When all the paraphernalia of PIE reconstructions are laid aside the investigator finds that, in plain fact, only Sanskrit and Avestan (to a much lesser degree) have roots! The other IE languages have verbs and nouns etc. but not roots, as such, from which verbs and nouns etc. are derived.
    How about this?

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    Frankly, I don't even know what he is trying to say here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by homosapien View Post
    I do not know much about linguistics, so wanted to understand how to construct a PROTO-xlanguage model.
    Is it as easy as taking the most oldest attested languages from a group and choosing words which have a common denominator sound?
    First of all linguists have to work out that certain languages form a group. That is not done simply by finding similar sounds. A word in language A could have a similar sound to a word in language B but mean something completely different. Plus grammar is as important as lexicon.

    The study of IE began with people noticing the correspondences between Sanskrit and the Classical languages of Europe. For example, the word for 'father' in Latin and Greek is pater and in Sanskrit is pitar. Likewise the word for 'mother' in Latin is mater, in ancient Greek is meter and in Sanskrit is matar.

    A proposal that Latin, Greek and Sanskrit had a common origin was sent to the French Academy by Jesuit missionary Gaston Cœurdoux (1691-1777) some years before the famous statement by William Jones to the same effect on 2 February 1786. Cœurdoux and Jones took the same approach, looking for similarities not simply between words (for words can be borrowed between languages), but also in grammar. A methodology was born. Linguistics had entered the realm of science. By 1813 linguists had formulated a model of a language family labelled Indo-European.

    Reconstructing the proto-language has been a long and complex job, and did not involve only the best recorded ancient languages of the Indo-European family, though the languages which were written down earliest are obviously a hugely valuable resource. In order to show that a word in language A is a cognate of a word in language B, one has to be aware not only of meaning, but of the regular sound changes between PIE and the daughter languages in question, which form part of the distinction between PIE and said languages.
    Last edited by Jean M; 04-09-2017 at 01:40 PM.

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    Hopefully, Agamemnon will notice this thread and comment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalophias View Post
    Frankly, I don't even know what he is trying to say here.
    Something similar to this from Muller:
    "Now, if we wanted to prove that Anglo-Saxon was a real language, and more ancient than English, a mere comparison of a few words such as lord, and hlaford, gospel, and godspel, would be sufficient. Hlaford has a meaning; lord has none; therefore we may safely say that without such a compound as hlaford, the word lord could never have arisen ... we must look to Sanskrit as the more primitive language, just as we looked from French to Italian, in order to discover the original form and meaning of feu."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    Reconstructing the proto-language has been a long and complex job, and did not involve only the best recorded ancient languages of the Indo-European family, though the languages which were written down earliest are obviously a hugely valuable resource. In order to show that a word in language A is a cognate of a word in language B, one has to be aware not only of meaning, but of the regular sound changes between PIE and the daughter languages in question, which form part of the distinction between PIE and said languages.
    I agree with the methodology, how ever one of the criticism from Kazanas, is that roots form verbs adverbs nouns in Sankrit/Avestan. However in other languages we dont have such roots. We have cognates of nouns verbs adverbs in between language A and language B but none for the roots which make those nouns/verbs/adverbs etc (is how i read it).

    Do you have any example of where this is not true?


    thanks.

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