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Thread: The Harbour of the Old North

  1. #331
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    VandKilde:

    The argument can be carried further into a discussion about the presentation of cultural and social identity through material means. Firstly, the boundary between ordinary Late Neolithic Culture and Beaker-enriched Late Neolithic Culture in Jutland coincides roughly with an older cultural boundary between Single Grave Culture and Funnelnecked Beaker Culture (Glob 1944, fig. 113) in addition to a similar boundary centuries later, c. 1600 BC, between the Valsømagle and the Sögel-Wohlde metalwork styles (Vandkilde 1996, fig. 273, B; 1999 b). All three cases relate to contexts of general social change. Secondly, it is especially the frequent occurrence of Beaker pottery in settlements that makes the early Late Neolithic boundary distinct (see fig. 9). This tallies with an interpretation of Beaker pottery as first and foremost signalling a large-scaled form of social identity, which we may call cultural identity, or perhaps ethnic identity.
    Unless this is bogus, this quote has such consequences that it must have had an impact on language development too... without any doubts!
    Last edited by Finn; Yesterday at 03:29 PM.

  2. #332
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    Finn often uses the phrase "language development". I just don't know what that can mean. Between Proto-Indo-European and our modern languages, for example, I see no development, rather the reverse: simplification of phonology, erosion of the inflectional system, etc. Even the Baltic languages, however appallingly complex, are simple compared to Proto-Indo-European as we reconstruct it. What comes the closest today to the Proto-Norse is the Icelandic. One need only compare Icelandic to any Scandinavian language to understand that this so-called "development" looks more like an implosion. Yet who would dare to claim that our modern societies, their administered world and their devouring technology, are simpler than prehistoric societies, or even those of antiquity? The truth is that there is no connection between the socio-cultural ruptures, new technologies, etc., on the one hand, and on the other the successions of changes in phonology, each benign and barely noticeable if we look at it in isolation, which constitute the dynamics of the jumps on the phylogenetic tree of a linguistic family. So, to put it bluntly, in general archaeology has nothing to say about languages, nothing at all. At the most, it can provide elements of confirmation (for example when Linguistics suggests, on the basis of its own methods and with its data, that there was at a given moment contact between two different languages; or when linguistics notices that the name of an object is reconstructable in a proto-language, archaeology can notice that this object was well known in a candidate society to have spoken that language, and was unknown in another). But aligning linguistic shifts with socio-cultural shifts, which Kristiansen does throughout his texts, is either insignificant stupidity or profound dishonesty. In any case, when it is a linguistic question that is at stake, Linguistics must have the role of initiator of the hypotheses as well as the charge of controlling the conclusions. Now Linguistics can, by definition, only work on linguistic data, and nothing else. But the reconstructed languages are indeed data. To refuse this is quite simply the same as to deny the existence of historical linguistics. It would not be a crime (if not perhaps a crime against intelligence) if those who do this forbade themselves to intervene in any way in debates about languages. Unfortunately, this is not what we are seeing. Therein lies the drama.
    En North alom, de North venom
    En North fum naiz, en North manom

    (Roman de Rou, Wace, 1160-1170)

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  4. #333
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    Quote Originally Posted by anglesqueville View Post
    Finn often uses the phrase "language development". I just don't know what that can mean. Between Proto-Indo-European and our modern languages, for example, I see no development, rather the reverse: simplification of phonology, erosion of the inflectional system, etc. Even the Baltic languages, however appallingly complex, are simple compared to Proto-Indo-European as we reconstruct it. What comes the closest today to the Proto-Norse is the Icelandic. One need only compare Icelandic to any Scandinavian language to understand that this so-called "development" looks more like an implosion. Yet who would dare to claim that our modern societies, their administered world and their devouring technology, are simpler than prehistoric societies, or even those of antiquity? The truth is that there is no connection between the socio-cultural ruptures, new technologies, etc., on the one hand, and on the other the successions of changes in phonology, each benign and barely noticeable if we look at it in isolation, which constitute the dynamics of the jumps on the phylogenetic tree of a linguistic family. So, to put it bluntly, in general archaeology has nothing to say about languages, nothing at all. At the most, it can provide elements of confirmation (for example when Linguistics suggests, on the basis of its own methods and with its data, that there was at a given moment contact between two different languages; or when linguistics notices that the name of an object is reconstructable in a proto-language, archaeology can notice that this object was well known in a candidate society to have spoken that language, and was unknown in another). But aligning linguistic shifts with socio-cultural shifts, which Kristiansen does throughout his texts, is either insignificant stupidity or profound dishonesty. In any case, when it is a linguistic question that is at stake, Linguistics must have the role of initiator of the hypotheses as well as the charge of controlling the conclusions. Now Linguistics can, by definition, only work on linguistic data, and nothing else. But the reconstructed languages are indeed data. To refuse this is quite simply the same as to deny the existence of historical linguistics. It would not be a crime (if not perhaps a crime against intelligence) if those who do this forbade themselves to intervene in any way in debates about languages. Unfortunately, this is not what we are seeing. Therein lies the drama.
    Language development equals language evolution.
    And I guess that migration and spread certainly has had influence on the language.

    Would you suggest that the BB spread in Scandinavia would have left no single trace in the language?

    And I guess you don't get my point, but that's ok, we are from "different paradigma's" the mathematician vs the historian Agree to disagree.
    Last edited by Finn; Yesterday at 04:09 PM.

  5. #334
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    But aligning linguistic shifts with socio-cultural shifts, which Kristiansen does throughout his texts, is either insignificant stupidity or profound dishonesty. In any case, when it is a linguistic question that is at stake, Linguistics must have the role of initiator of the hypotheses as well as the charge of controlling the conclusions. Now Linguistics can, by definition, only work on linguistic data, and nothing else. But the reconstructed languages are indeed data. To refuse this is quite simply the same as to deny the existence of historical linguistics. It would not be a crime (if not perhaps a crime against intelligence) if those who do this forbade themselves to intervene in any way in debates about languages. Unfortunately, this is not what we are seeing. Therein lies the drama.
    Pfff Angles I must say this: toujours dramatiques, I long for a more sober Nordic tone

    The crucial thing is that it's of course possible to make a reconstruction c.q. a model of a prehistoric language. But because of a lack of sources from pre-historic languages we are not able to check if this reconstruction is just or unjust.

    Nothing more nothing less.

    As said in history writing are sources crucial.
    Last edited by Finn; Yesterday at 05:49 PM.

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