Re: Linguistic Anthropology

ray scupin (scupin@LINDENWOOD.EDU)
Fri, 8 Sep 1995 16:09:13 -0500

mentioned by Karl Schwerin is (I think) Ross, Philip E. "Hard Words,"
_Scientific American_ April, 1991:139-147.


Ray Scupin

On Fri, 8 Sep 1995, karl h schwerin wrote:

> On Tue, 5 Sep 1995, Allan Dunn wrote:
> > Could someone give me a good place to begin reading on the study
> > of anthropology as it relates to linguistic relationships between groups
> > and linguistic changes within a group? I've been reading a lot of
> > bizarre (or maybe not so bizarre- I don't know enough about it, I'm assuming)
> > stuff on the newsgroup about the relationship between diverse and very
> > distant language groups that until now I had thought was an open book.
> >
> > One person brought up the theory that Da-Ne was related to
> > Basque, while another put Basque, Japanese, and Turkish in the
> > Finno-Ugric Family. Has there been some break-through in language
> > categorization that I am not aware of? I thought these old theories had
> > been debunked years ago, along with the ones claiming that Native American
> > languages were dialects of Hebrew.
> > I would love to research this myself, but I don't speak any of
> > these languages and don't have the time to do the research myself.
> > Who has researched this, and how reliable are they?
> >
> > AD
> >
> The linguistic stock you are referring to is Na-Dene, not Da-Ne, which
> includes Tlingit, Athabascan, Navajo, Apache, and other languages. Some
> linguists believe they detect an ancient link with Sino-Tibetan (cf.
> Swadesh 1971:286-287). The theory of an ancient core stock of
> Basque-Dennean originating in central Asia and spreading out from there
> was also proposed by Swadesh. See Swadesh, Morris. 1971. The Origin and
> Diversification of Language. ed. by Joel Sherzer. Chicago, IL: Aldine/
> Atherton. His Chapter on "The Progress of Babel," pp. 213-226 elaborates
> these ideas somewhat. Unfortunately, Swadesh died before completing his
> studies on ancient language origins, development and spread, so this book
> is a compilation of what he had finished before his death.
> I also remember seeing an article several years ago in either Scientific
> American or American Scientist that brought up to date some of the more
> radical linguistic hypotheses about ancient linguistic families and
> stocks. I'll see whether I can find a specific citation for it.
> K.H. Schwerin