Download Archaeology and Language IV: Language Change and Cultural by Roger Blench, Matthew Spriggs PDF

By Roger Blench, Matthew Spriggs

This quantity is the ultimate a part of a four-part survey of cutting edge effects rising from the fusion of archaeology and old linguistics. Archaeology and Language IV examines numerous urgent matters relating to linguistic and cultural swap. It presents a hard number of case reviews which reveal how international styles of language distribution and alter could be interwoven to provide a wealthy old narrative, and gas a thorough rethinking of the traditional discourse of linguistics inside archaeology.

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Sample text

I can easily suppose that they might both be derived from one common Mother, which is, and perhaps has for many Ages been entirely lost. (Wotton 1730 [1713]:57) Wotton had related Icelandic (‘Teutonic’), the Romance languages and Greek, which are certainly as convincing a demonstration of Indo-European affinities as Jones’ demonstration of the links of classical languages with Sanskrit. Moreover, Wotton developed some estimates of the speed of language change and was concerned about the apparent contradiction with the widely accepted ‘Biblical’ age of the earth.

Usually this is based on the comparison of two or more languages, but the ‘internal reconstruction’ of a single language is also possible, using indications within a language, such as dialect variation or fossil morphology, to build up a picture of an earlier stage of that language. In the case of isolates such as Basque or Burashaski, this is the only procedure possible. Historical linguists are also increasingly concerned with the sociological aspects of the construction of a modern speech form: to establish the patterning of loanwords, the extent of former dialect variation and possible social distinctions in former stages of reconstructed languages.

Moreover, Wotton developed some estimates of the speed of language change and was concerned about the apparent contradiction with the widely accepted ‘Biblical’ age of the earth. Jones, in contrast, erroneously believed that Egyptian, Japanese and Chinese were part of IndoEuropean while Hindi was not, which suggests that his method had serious flaws. Outside Indo-European, Uralic classification had been virtually completed prior to Jones. As Ruhlen observes: ‘The basic structure of the Uralic family had thus been roughly worked out at least six years before William Jones’s celebrated address, which opened the era of I-E [Indo-European] studies’ (Ruhlen 1991:66).

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