Re: Basque, where did they come from?

Scott Ellis (
Thu, 24 Aug 1995 08:49:17 -0500

On 22 Aug 1995, Allan Dunn wrote:
> Scott Ellis ( wrote:
> (sorry, I snipped a bunch for brevity)
> : All of this sounds like Greenbergian linguistics, though I'm not sure
> : which particular exponent of this school you would want. Check out
> : recent work of Merritt Ruhlen: According to my amateur linguist roommate,
> : the Dene-Caucasian Linguistic Superfamily is quite a recent postulate.
> : He also says that according to the Greenbergians, Inuit is far more
> : closely related to Indo-European than Dene is to Basque, so we're talking
> : distant kin here.
> I will try to read this literature, but from the mainstream literature on
> paleolinguistics I've read, all of this is very, very, very speculative.
> I've also studied a sub-group of Inuit in detail, and find it very hard
> to believe that there is even a shred of evidence of even a remote
> relationship (other than Russian, Danish and English influences in recent
> history) between IE and Inuit languages. Though I promise to read

I offer no defense or attack of Greenberg or his followers, for the simple
reason that I don't really know enough to do so. I was responding to the
original poster's question, in which he asked how Basque could be related
to Na-Dene. Since the conversation seemed to be going around and around
without ever mentioning Greenberg, I thought it would be helpful to point
out that they seemed to be discussing theories associated with him and
his followers.

sae - Many people agree with me, but I don't agree with them. (Karl Krauss)