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Brian Stubbs' Semitic/Egyptian > Uto-Aztecan paper

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LingualNoob

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Aug 8, 2015, 8:56:02 PM8/8/15
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Last year some of you helped me get my feet wet understanding comparative linguistics so that I could try to get a sense about whether or not a preliminary edition of a language proposal showed any obvious technical errors.

I'll say again just like I did last year that I don't pretend that I'm unbiased regarding the implications of the proposal, but that I really just want to understand if it shows promise.

While the book itself is still being prepared for publication, the author published a small introduction to it earlier this year. It can be found here:

http://www.bmaf.org/sites/bmaf.org/files/image/Egyptian-Semitic-in-Uto-Aztecan-by-Brian-Stubbs-Jerry-Grover.pdf

I have no doubt that there will be strong objections to the back-story required for the type of language contact that he's suggesting, but after you're done rolling your eyes and saying "not another one of these", I am hoping that some of you can ignore the back-story for a moment and take a look a the correspondences and cognates that he mentions and let me know if they show any obvious technical errors.

The book is tremendously more detailed than the paper, but I think there's enough in the paper to indicate a few of the basics that he's going to be proposing in the book.


Thanks!

DKleinecke

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Aug 9, 2015, 12:22:04 PM8/9/15
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The main problem Stubbs has is that he sounds like a crackpot. The
main immediate objection is that he does not compare Afro-Asiatic with
Uto-Aztecan. The problem of the differances in time and space of the
two families is almost as bad.

I know next to nothing about Uto-Aztecan but what little this article
shows about Stubb's proto-Uto-Aztecan would make me go immediately back
to PUA for a critical examination.

I think what we have here is another example, perhaps the biggest one
yet, of how many pseudo-cognates can be discovered between two unrelated
language groups.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 9, 2015, 4:54:17 PM8/9/15
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The person asking the question has contacted me privately. Stubbs has a
reason for his investigation. It's up to Mx. Noob to indicate that reason here.

LingualNoob

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Aug 9, 2015, 5:35:04 PM8/9/15
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On Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 3:54:17 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> The person asking the question has contacted me privately. Stubbs has a
> reason for his investigation. It's up to Mx. Noob to indicate that reason here.


Take a look at my introduction to this topic and the one from last year (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/sci.lang/lingualnoob/sci.lang/9uWrRHiLC04/olKfFFDqmP4J).

I have been completely up-front about the fact that both the author and I have biases. In fact, that's the whole reason I sought help from sci.lang in the first place. I've never pretended otherwise in our public or private conversations.

I've never pretended to think that you'd consider the Book of Mormon as a credible source for a back-story, but I have asked you for your technical expertise to help me understand if Stubbs' work is just another piece of pseudo-science from an LDS scholar.

My love of the Book of Mormon and belief in its historocity isn't a product of scientific evaluation, it comes from personal religious experience. I freely admit that my religious biases stand in the way of us seeing eye-to-eye on the back story suggested by Stubbs' research. If that is where this discussion ends with you then I thank you for the technical feedback you've given in our conversations. I honestly do appreciate it.

On the other hand, if you or others are willing to provide feedback about the technical aspects of his proposal then I am all ears.

LingualNoob

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Aug 9, 2015, 5:51:15 PM8/9/15
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> The main problem Stubbs has is that he sounds like a crackpot...

Hmm...that's not exactly the type technical feedback I was looking for, but Okay.

> The main immediate objection is that he does not compare Afro-Asiatic with
> Uto-Aztecan.

This is the type of technical feedback I am looking for. How vital do you consider this to be in relation to him being able to convincingly establish the language relationships that he is proposing?

>The problem of the differances in time and space of the
> two families is almost as bad.

Does anybody know what evidence exists regarding Uto-Aztecan that would indicate that the time-depth his proposal implies for Proto-Uto-Aztecan is significantly improbable? Does Stubbs' statement regarding the estimated glottalchronological time-depth make sense?:

"Some may object, citing glottochronology's presumed time-depth of 5,000 years for UA, but holding fast to glottochronological estimates is more a hobby of anthropologists, archaeologists, and non-specialists than of linguists. Most linguists know better and view glottochronological estimates like colds--they usually pass with little permanent damage."


> I know next to nothing about Uto-Aztecan but what little this article
> shows about Stubb's proto-Uto-Aztecan would make me go immediately back
> to PUA for a critical examination.

His book shows that a large number of his *UA cognates come from the work of other Uto-Aztecanists, especially Wick Miller if memory serves.

Arnaud Fournet

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Aug 10, 2015, 1:40:27 AM8/10/15
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yes, for example, how can Comanche tobe "lip" derive from supposedly UA *sapal as cited in the pdf??
What's the source for PUA?
A.



Arnaud Fournet

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Aug 10, 2015, 1:57:46 AM8/10/15
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Le dimanche 9 août 2015 23:51:15 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> > The main problem Stubbs has is that he sounds like a crackpot...
>
> Hmm...that's not exactly the type technical feedback I was looking for, but Okay.

this feedback is nevertheless more technical than you think.
People have given up deriving Arawak from Hebrew about 4 centuries ago.
This is known as "etymological furor".

Before reading 500 pages, a simple preliminary step would be to compare UA with Semitic on the basis of the Swadesh-100 wordlist.
Considering the genetic distance between UA and Semitic, I expect (vague) similarities to fall in the 5-10% range.
A.

Arnaud Fournet

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Aug 10, 2015, 2:15:04 AM8/10/15
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Le dimanche 9 août 2015 02:56:02 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :


> The book is tremendously more detailed than the paper, but I think there's enough in the paper to indicate a few of the basics that he's going to be proposing in the book.

For clarification, what exactly is he proposing?

1. that Semitic or Afrasian-looking words can be found in Uto-Aztecan?
2. that Semitic/Afrasian and Uto-Aztecan are close relatives?
3. that Semitic/Afrasian and Uto-Aztecan are distant relatives?

A.

Yusuf B Gursey

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Aug 10, 2015, 4:58:01 AM8/10/15
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In <f6736b26-1f4a-4fac...@googlegroups.com>, Arnaud
There seems to be the additional claim that certain specifically NW
Semitic words or forms of words appear in Uto-Aztecan, like Hebrew batt

> A.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 10, 2015, 7:15:05 AM8/10/15
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On Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 5:51:15 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
[no, he didn't]

> > The main problem Stubbs has is that he sounds like a crackpot...
>
> Hmm...that's not exactly the type technical feedback I was looking for, but Okay.
>
> > The main immediate objection is that he does not compare Afro-Asiatic with
> > Uto-Aztecan.
>
> This is the type of technical feedback I am looking for. How vital do you consider this to be in relation to him being able to convincingly establish the language relationships that he is proposing?

I don't know why you chose to reply to my posting as if it were a personal
message to you, but you do yourself and him a disservice by not explaining
the background of the query as you laid it out for me.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 10, 2015, 7:17:08 AM8/10/15
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Since Mx. Noob appears unwilling to reveal the secret, the answer is (1).

LingualNoob

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Aug 10, 2015, 10:17:29 AM8/10/15
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On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 6:15:05 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 5:51:15 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> [no, he didn't]
>
> > > The main problem Stubbs has is that he sounds like a crackpot...
> >
> > Hmm...that's not exactly the type technical feedback I was looking for, but Okay.
> >
> > > The main immediate objection is that he does not compare Afro-Asiatic with
> > > Uto-Aztecan.
> >
> > This is the type of technical feedback I am looking for. How vital do you consider this to be in relation to him being able to convincingly establish the language relationships that he is proposing?
>
> I don't know why you chose to reply to my posting as if it were a personal
> message to you...

Peter, I'm not clear about what you meant by "a personal message". The quoted text you replied to was from DKleinecke, so I must assume that you are wondering why I sent you a private email yesterday. I sent it because I realized that in our private conversation I might have misrepresented something important from the paper. I had previously told you that Stubbs thought that Uto-Aztecan was a creolization of languages including a lot of Semitic/Egyptian. Yesterday I realized that in the newer paper that we are discussing he might be indicating a genetic relationship between UA and Semitic/Egyptian. I sent you the private message so that you wouldn't make the following mistake:
Mr. Noob is not "unwilling to reveal the secret". He's wondering what the answer is himself. In previous papers Stubbs has proposed that Uto-Aztecan was a creolized language that included heavy Semitic/Egyptian influences. I'm not sure if the new paper is still following that line of thinking when it says:

"In fact, all three of the idioms mentioned (the kw-NWSemitic and p-NWSemitic and Egyptian) appear to have contributed to common UA words found in all branches...It appears that all three were present in what is called Proto-Uto- Aztecan"

So I'm not sure if the answer is (1), with the implication that Proto-Uto-Aztecan is a creolization like he has suggested in the past or if the statement in the new paper is indicating an answer of (2) or (3) depending on what your definition of close/distant is.

In regards to close/distant: In the paper he discusses better preservation of Egyptian in UA than in Coptic and better preservation of Semitic in UA than in Yiddish.

In regards to your statement "you do yourself and him a disservice by not explaining the background of the query as you laid it out for me.", I told you clearly that in the private emails I was "just trying to help paint the picture that he's probably seeing in his mind". I feel it would be a greater disservice to the author to publish my guesses about his thoughts in a public forum.

On the other hand, it's hardly a secret that he's LDS or that his proposal seems to support the back-story of the Book of Mormon and I've already indicated as much here. You seem inclined to want to discuss the details of the Book of Mormon's back-story despite my attempt to keep the discussion focused on the technical details of the proposal. If you want to continue to insinuate that by not engaging in that conversation that I'm not being straightforward then that's up to you. The truth is the same thing that I said in my introduction to this topic:

bofm...@gmail.com

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Aug 10, 2015, 11:57:25 AM8/10/15
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Perhaps it is better to ask my underlying question a different way. 11 years ago, someone asked sci.lang what they thought about a paper called "Voiding the Void" that Brian Stubbs had written for LDS audiences (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/sci.lang/stubbs/sci.lang/eIVVZP_0mQU/waTYHl0rnqgJ). Here is an excerpt from that sci.lang discussion:

On Monday, May 31, 2004 at 5:24:51 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> Rich Wales wrote:
> >
> > "Peter T. Daniels" wrote:
> >
> > > [Brian Stubbs] has not "found" any such roots, . . .
> >
> > Just curious here, but are you saying the above because you have
> > actually read Stubbs's material and concluded it was defective,
> > or because you consider =any= hypothesis of a Semitic/Uto-Aztecan
> > connection to be, by definition, ludicrous and unworthy of any
> > investigation?
>
> The latter.
>
> > In your opinion, what (if any) sort of evidence =would= be needed
> > to establish a pattern of influence upon Uto-Aztecan (or any other
> > indigenous American language family) by speakers of Hebrew (or any
> > other Semitic language or languages)?
>
> Regular correspondences.
>
> Not to mention some explanatory mechanism to account for the purported
> contact.
>
> The Book of Mormon doesn't constitute evidence or a mechanism.
> --
> Peter T. Daniels


I see two fundamental objections in that response:

1. No explanatory mechanism was proposed other than the Book of Mormon.
2. No regular correspondences were proposed.

I know we won't see eye-to-eye on (1), but what about (2)?

Would his paper be very convincing if there was an explanatory mechanism that didn't seem so objectionable?

The answers so far seem to be:

* It would be better if he had included a thorough comparison to Afro-Asiatic.

* His PUA needs to be thoroughly scrutinized.

* He need to account for Camanche "tobe" in order to explain UA *sapal.

* A Swadesh list should be compiled showing > 5%-10% similarities.

Thank you for these helpful answers. What else can I add to this list?

LingualNoob

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Aug 10, 2015, 12:00:25 PM8/10/15
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Oops...that reply was done on a different computer where I was logged in differently so it showed a different username. Sorry for the confusion.

DKleinecke

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Aug 10, 2015, 12:48:10 PM8/10/15
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I hadn't guessed that there was a LDS connection. That explains why no
historic connection between the locations of the two language groups was
adduced. Since I, like most linguists, cannot accept the Book of Mormon
as historic there is a major problem. It would be best to stay up front
about it.

That Stubbs sounds like a crack-pot is a major issue. Things like his
comments on Yiddish cast a pall over his entire work. If someone can
take such things seriously there is good reason to doubt all of his
work.

The creole explanation for UA is much more plausible (given Stubbs'
assumptions) than a genetic connection.

I am going to get blunt - I suspect Stubbs rejects Afro-Asiatic because
AA includes many black speakers. His use of Egyptian but not Berber is
very strange.

I stand by the last paragraph of my original post - which I copy and
paste here:

bofm...@gmail.com

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Aug 10, 2015, 1:34:07 PM8/10/15
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On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 11:48:10 AM UTC-5, DKleinecke wrote:
>
> I hadn't guessed that there was a LDS connection. That explains why no
> historic connection between the locations of the two language groups was
> adduced. Since I, like most linguists, cannot accept the Book of Mormon
> as historic there is a major problem. It would be best to stay up front
> about it.

My apologies then. I thought that mentioning up-front that I had biases and mentioning in the posts that you were a part of from last year that the biases were religious in nature was sufficient, but looking at it now I can see that it was vague enough to miss.

Please take my word for it that it was not my intent to hide that fact. I was just hoping to keep the conversation centered around technical issues. Discussions about the plausibility of the Book of Mormon in general are abundant and hardly limited to linguistic topics. I'm posting on sci.lang hoping to learn from people like yourself whether or not Stubbs' proposal is yet another example of LDS pseudo-scholarship or if it follows the methodologies that historical linguists would expect it to follow.

Despite this misunderstanding and/or disagreement about the relationship between the proposal and the Book of Mormon, several of the responses from yourself and others are shedding light on the topic in ways I hadn't considered yet and I thank you for that.

In regards to some of your other comments:

> That Stubbs sounds like a crack-pot is a major issue. Things like his
> comments on Yiddish cast a pall over his entire work. If someone can
> take such things seriously there is good reason to doubt all of his
> work.
>
> The creole explanation for UA is much more plausible (given Stubbs'
> assumptions) than a genetic connection.

I don't know enough myself to judge the Yiddish comparison. In regards to the creole explanation, he has previously described the connection he is proposing as being a creolization. Since he didn't use that term too explicitly in the most recent paper I don't know if that view has changed.

> I am going to get blunt - I suspect Stubbs rejects Afro-Asiatic because
> AA includes many black speakers. His use of Egyptian but not Berber is
> very strange.

I don't want to jump to the conclusion that you're calling him a racist so I would ask you to clarify this a little. He gives technical arguments relating the proposed cognates to Northwest Semitic and Egyptian. I we are looking for bias then we would be better off recognizing that Semitic/Egyptian tie in to specific references in the Book of Mormon. While AA correlations may provide some support for biases related to the Book of Mormon, the Semitic/Egyptian references provide much more detailed support (The Book of Mormon describes multiple old-world cultures migrating to the Americas. One of them is described as being Hebrew but also being bilingual with Egyptian and it states that the religious records that they brought with them were written in Egyptian...there I go, delving into the back-story). I'm not sure where the color of the speakers came into play here.

Like I said from the beginning, there are biases involved. These biases are relevant to the conversation, but they can also be so distracting that the conversation will likely turn out to be less about the technical details of Stubbs' work and more about the Book of Mormon. I can find conversations related to the historicity/non-historicity of the Book of Mormon anywhere. I'm hoping that sci.lang can provide something more specific.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 10, 2015, 3:27:04 PM8/10/15
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On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 10:17:29 AM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 6:15:05 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > On Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 5:51:15 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > [no, he didn't]

> > > > The main problem Stubbs has is that he sounds like a crackpot...
> > > Hmm...that's not exactly the type technical feedback I was looking for, but Okay.
> > > > The main immediate objection is that he does not compare Afro-Asiatic with
> > > > Uto-Aztecan.
> > > This is the type of technical feedback I am looking for. How vital do you consider this to be in relation to him being able to convincingly establish the language relationships that he is proposing?
> > I don't know why you chose to reply to my posting as if it were a personal
> > message to you...
>
> Peter, I'm not clear about what you meant by "a personal message". The quoted text you replied to was from DKleinecke, so I must assume that you are wondering why I sent you a private email yesterday. I sent it because I realized that in our private conversation I might have misrepresented something important from the paper. I had previously told you that Stubbs thought that Uto-Aztecan was a creolization of languages including a lot of Semitic/Egyptian. Yesterday I realized that in the newer paper that we are discussing he might be indicating a genetic relationship between UA and Semitic/Egyptian. I sent you the private message so that you wouldn't make the following mistake:
>
> On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 6:17:08 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 2:15:04 AM UTC-4, Arnaud Fournet wrote:
> > > Le dimanche 9 août 2015 02:56:02 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> >
> > > > The book is tremendously more detailed than the paper, but I think there's enough in the paper to indicate a few of the basics that he's going to be proposing in the book.
> > >
> > > For clarification, what exactly is he proposing?
> > >
> > > 1. that Semitic or Afrasian-looking words can be found in Uto-Aztecan?
> > > 2. that Semitic/Afrasian and Uto-Aztecan are close relatives?
> > > 3. that Semitic/Afrasian and Uto-Aztecan are distant relatives?
> >
> > Since Mx. Noob appears unwilling to reveal the secret, the answer is (1).
>
> Mr. Noob is not "unwilling to reveal the secret". He's wondering what the answer is himself. In previous papers Stubbs has proposed that Uto-Aztecan was a creolized language that included heavy Semitic/Egyptian influences. I'm not sure if the new paper is still following that line of thinking when it says:

The "secret" is that Stubbs and Noob are trying to find linguistic justification
for some utterly crazy notions found in the Book of Mormon, notions that were
invented by Joseph Smith on the basis of close to sero knowledge of North
American (pre)history, ethnology, or ethnography. (Or, of course, languages.)

Apparently the myth is that two bands of Hebrew-speakers at different times
crossed the Pacific and interacted with just one ethnic group in what is now
the western US (perhaps in the area Brigham Young coveted as "Deseret") or
Mexico. On the way, one of these bands spent 8 years in Egypt and became
bilingual.

> "In fact, all three of the idioms mentioned (the kw-NWSemitic and p-NWSemitic and Egyptian) appear to have contributed to common UA words found in all branches...It appears that all three were present in what is called Proto-Uto- Aztecan"
>
> So I'm not sure if the answer is (1), with the implication that Proto-Uto-Aztecan is a creolization like he has suggested in the past or if the statement in the new paper is indicating an answer of (2) or (3) depending on what your definition of close/distant is.

As I already told you in email, LOANWOARDS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CREOLIZATION.

> In regards to close/distant: In the paper he discusses better preservation of Egyptian in UA than in Coptic and better preservation of Semitic in UA than in Yiddish.
>
> In regards to your statement "you do yourself and him a disservice by not explaining the background of the query as you laid it out for me.", I told you clearly that in the private emails I was "just trying to help paint the picture that he's probably seeing in his mind". I feel it would be a greater disservice to the author to publish my guesses about his thoughts in a public forum.
>
> On the other hand, it's hardly a secret that he's LDS or that his proposal seems to support the back-story of the Book of Mormon

NO ONE but a Mormon would have the foggiest idea of that.

> and I've already indicated as much here. You seem inclined to want to discuss the details of the Book of Mormon's back-story despite my attempt to keep the discussion focused on the technical details of the proposal. If you want to continue to insinuate that by not engaging in that conversation that I'm not being straightforward then that's up to you. The truth is the same thing that I said in my introduction to this topic:
>
> On Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 7:56:02 PM UTC-5, LingualNoob wrote:
> >
> > I have no doubt that there will be strong objections to the back-story required for the type of language contact that he's suggesting, but after you're done rolling your eyes and saying "not another one of these", I am hoping that some of you can ignore the back-story for a moment and take a look a the correspondences and cognates that he mentions and let me know if they show any obvious technical errors.

You imagine that this paragraph somehow _identifies_ the "back-story"?

bofm...@gmail.com

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Aug 10, 2015, 4:22:37 PM8/10/15
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On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 2:27:04 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> The "secret" is that Stubbs and Noob are trying to find linguistic justification
> for some utterly crazy notions found in the Book of Mormon, notions that were
> invented by Joseph Smith on the basis of close to sero knowledge of North
> American (pre)history, ethnology, or ethnography. (Or, of course, languages.)
>
> Apparently the myth is that two bands of Hebrew-speakers at different times
> crossed the Pacific and interacted with just one ethnic group in what is now
> the western US (perhaps in the area Brigham Young coveted as "Deseret") or
> Mexico. On the way, one of these bands spent 8 years in Egypt and became
> bilingual.

^I think this exemplifies my point quite well^

It shows how fast the conversation moves away from the types of technical questions that sci.lang should be adept at answering and focuses it on individuals' perceptions of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, "Deseret", etc..

It also shows that Peter has already forgotten one thing that I was painstakingly clear about in our private conversation: That although I have my own theories regarding geographic correlations between the southwest and the Book of Mormon, Stubbs does not endorse them nor (to my knowledge) does he endorse other geographic Book of Mormon correlations proposed by other LDS scholars.

I told you that even within the LDS community my ideas were on the outskirts of geographic/ethnographic thinking and I explicitly told you that Stubbs did not endorse them. Here is exactly what I said before discussing Book of Mormon geography:

"I do want to say for the record though that Stubbs does not claim to prefer any Book of Mormon geography (including mine). He stays out of the geographical debate entirely."

In our private conversation you brought up many good questions related to religious aspects of Mormonism that you disagree with. I appreciated your comments and respect your views on those subjects and I enjoyed that exchange. In this public conversation I would prefer that both you and I at least attempt to set aside biases related to our differing views of Mormonism in general and utilize your expertise in linguistics to share with me whatever you are able/willing to share regarding the technical aspects of the proposal that we're discussing.

In regards to the following statement:

> As I already told you in email, LOANWOARDS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CREOLIZATION.

To be fair, your discussion of loanwords was very helpful, but you were not that explicit in saying that it had nothing to do with creolization. My "noobness" is probably what prevented me from formulating your private response into a statement as clear as the one you're giving now. My apologies for the confusion.

António Marques

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Aug 10, 2015, 6:59:24 PM8/10/15
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<bofm...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Like I said from the beginning, there are biases involved. These biases
> are relevant to the conversation, but they can also be so distracting
> that the conversation will likely turn out to be less about the technical
> details of Stubbs' work and more about the Book of Mormon. I can find
> conversations related to the historicity/non-historicity of the Book of
> Mormon anywhere. I'm hoping that sci.lang can provide something more specific.

The issue here is that it's not at all hard to find chance resemblances
between unrelated languages, all the more once the semantics is allowed to
be loose (which it sort of has to be because we know from doubtlessly
related languages that it is). As such, it's exceedingly important to know
what, precisely, is being proposed, to be able to validate anything: given
that the data is flexible, the net cant be cast wide, otherwise one can
make everything up as one goes along. In that regard, the questions about
AA and PUA are telling: whether going to the proto-languages or not will
entirely depend on what hypothesis one is trying to prove (and so we come
to what you call the backstory, sort of).

As to the hypothesis of there being an American family of languages derived
from a creole that got its lexicon from Hebrew and Egyptian, the
difficulties begin with Hebrew and Egyptian, the vocalism of which is far
from being certain. Then there's the issue of dates. But whether the work
is a sincere scientific effort (no matter its backstory) or just
pseudo-science, is something that only someone who looks into it minutely
and has a reasonable knowledge of UA and AA (and are there many?) can say
authoritatively. We may look cursorily into it and think it looks like
crackpottery based on some first sight metrics, but that's it. There's a
lot of folks here who know a lot about AA, but I don't think we have any
resident UA expert.
--
Sent from one of my newsreaders

LingualNoob

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Aug 10, 2015, 7:55:46 PM8/10/15
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On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 5:59:24 PM UTC-5, António Marques wrote:
>
> The issue here is that it's not at all hard to find chance resemblances
> between unrelated languages, all the more once the semantics is allowed to
> be loose (which it sort of has to be because we know from doubtlessly
> related languages that it is).

This is one of the subjects I was hoping to get some opinions on. There is obviously some semantic leeway in the paper, but there are a lot of examples that show very little leeway at all. Example:

Hebrew ya'amiin-o 'he believes him/it' > UA *yawamin-(o) 'believe (him/it)'

There are other examples that seem to me to show a questionable amount of leeway. Example:

Aramaic *yagar 'hill, heap of stones' > UA *yakaC / *yakaR (AMR) 'nose, point, ridge'

You say that semantic leeway has to be loose, but can you give me an idea of how his semantic leeway stacks up compared to other proposals that you've seen?


> As such, it's exceedingly important to know
> what, precisely, is being proposed, to be able to validate anything: given
> that the data is flexible, the net cant be cast wide, otherwise one can
> make everything up as one goes along. In that regard, the questions about
> AA and PUA are telling: whether going to the proto-languages or not will
> entirely depend on what hypothesis one is trying to prove (and so we come
> to what you call the backstory, sort of).

I really don't disagree with your point here, but it's such a slippery slope. People just don't usually seem to have much capacity to talk about anything else once we go down that path.

> As to the hypothesis of there being an American family of languages derived
> from a creole that got its lexicon from Hebrew and Egyptian, the
> difficulties begin with Hebrew and Egyptian, the vocalism of which is far
> from being certain.

I don't know much about these difficulties other than the fact that both you and Stubbs say its difficult. Whatever the difficulties are, does it preclude the possibility of doing a reliable comparison?

> Then there's the issue of dates. But whether the work
> is a sincere scientific effort (no matter its backstory) or just
> pseudo-science, is something that only someone who looks into it minutely
> and has a reasonable knowledge of UA and AA (and are there many?) can say
> authoritatively. We may look cursorily into it and think it looks like
> crackpottery based on some first sight metrics, but that's it. There's a
> lot of folks here who know a lot about AA, but I don't think we have any
> resident UA expert.

Would the technical issues discussed so far rise to the level of "crackpottery" if it weren't for the back-story?

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 10, 2015, 10:33:21 PM8/10/15
to
On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 7:55:46 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:

> Hebrew ya'amiin-o 'he believes him/it' > UA *yawamin-(o) 'believe (him/it)'

What are the individual *UA morphemes?

Hebrew:
ya- 3sg.subj.
'MN 'believe'
-a-ii- imperfect ("present")
-o 3sg.obj.

If the *UA word breaks down similarly, you might have an example.

> There are other examples that seem to me to show a questionable amount of leeway. Example:
>
> Aramaic *yagar 'hill, heap of stones' > UA *yakaC / *yakaR (AMR) 'nose, point, ridge'
>
> You say that semantic leeway has to be loose, but can you give me an idea of how his semantic leeway stacks up compared to other proposals that you've seen?

Carl Darling Buck's *Dictionary of Selected Synonyms ...* (1949)

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/D/bo3630267.html

will show you "semantic leeway." It is not an etymological dictionary of
Indo-European, and it predates Swadesh lists, so it's sort of a check on
them.

bofm...@gmail.com

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Aug 11, 2015, 8:58:27 AM8/11/15
to
On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 9:33:21 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 7:55:46 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
>
> > Hebrew ya'amiin-o 'he believes him/it' > UA *yawamin-(o) 'believe (him/it)'
>
> What are the individual *UA morphemes?
>
> Hebrew:
> ya- 3sg.subj.
> 'MN 'believe'
> -a-ii- imperfect ("present")
> -o 3sg.obj.
>
> If the *UA word breaks down similarly, you might have an example.

I appreciate you providing the Hebrew breakdown. I spent a couple of hours last night trying to find a source that shows the breakdown in *UA. It turns out that the internet doesn't know everything yet.

I'll head over to the university library this afternoon to see what Wick Miller's database has to say about it unless someone else has it available and can save me the trip.

>
> > There are other examples that seem to me to show a questionable amount of leeway. Example:
> >
> > Aramaic *yagar 'hill, heap of stones' > UA *yakaC / *yakaR (AMR) 'nose, point, ridge'
> >
> > You say that semantic leeway has to be loose, but can you give me an idea of how his semantic leeway stacks up compared to other proposals that you've seen?
>
> Carl Darling Buck's *Dictionary of Selected Synonyms ...* (1949)
>
> http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/D/bo3630267.html
>
> will show you "semantic leeway." It is not an etymological dictionary of
> Indo-European, and it predates Swadesh lists, so it's sort of a check on
> them.

Thank you for the reference.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 11, 2015, 3:05:06 PM8/11/15
to
On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 8:58:27 AM UTC-4, bofm...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 9:33:21 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > On Monday, August 10, 2015 at 7:55:46 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> >
> > > Hebrew ya'amiin-o 'he believes him/it' > UA *yawamin-(o) 'believe (him/it)'
> >
> > What are the individual *UA morphemes?
> >
> > Hebrew:
> > ya- 3sg.subj.

oops--3masc.sg.subj.

> > 'MN 'believe'
> > -a-ii- imperfect ("present")
> > -o 3sg.obj.

3masc.sg.obj.

> > If the *UA word breaks down similarly, you might have an example.
>
> I appreciate you providing the Hebrew breakdown. I spent a couple of hours last night trying to find a source that shows the breakdown in *UA. It turns out that the internet doesn't know everything yet.
>
> I'll head over to the university library this afternoon to see what Wick Miller's database has to say about it unless someone else has it available and can save me the trip.

A convenient, pretty up-to-date reference on Native American languages is
the linguistics volume of the Smithsonian Handbook:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handbook_of_North_American_Indians#Volume_17:_Languages

(who'da thunk it would have a wikiparticle! I didn't know bush43 had cut off
the funding so close to completion. Each of the areal volumes has at least
one chapter on the local languages as well, and over the years I collected
copies of all of them. The missing vols. 1 and 16 were to be "Introduction" [contents not specified] and "Technology and Visual Arts" [presumably lots of the color plates not used in the other volumes]; 18-19 were to be Biographical Dictionary, and 20 Index.)

When I bought my v.17 at the old Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian
in the old Customs House in NYC (before most of the collection went to its
new home in DC), I think it was $60 -- in those days government publications
were sold at cost -- but that may reflect the member's discount of whomever
I had happened to visit it with.

bofm...@gmail.com

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Aug 11, 2015, 5:12:05 PM8/11/15
to
On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 2:05:06 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > ...Hebrew:
> > > ya- 3sg.subj.
>
> oops--3masc.sg.subj.
>
> > > 'MN 'believe'
> > > -a-ii- imperfect ("present")
> > > -o 3sg.obj.
>
> 3masc.sg.obj.

Thank you for the clarifications. In regards to "ya-", in the paper I believe Stubbs is telling us that he sees it as fossilized. Here's the quote:

"Some characteristics of UA are different or not at all like Egyptian or Semitic, but reflect influences rather typical of Amerindian language families, which we would expect of a transplant from the outside into the Americas. One example is suppletion in singular vs. plural verb forms. That is, one verb is used for singular subjects and an entirely different word is used when the subject is plural, yet suppletion is nearly non-existent in Semitic or Egyptian. A score of such pairs in UA show such influences on UA. Semitic conjugation morphology (patterns of how verbs are conjugated) is not productive in UA, but hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed / perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu) and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-, etc) are found in UA." p2

I'm not seeing a problem fitting 'MN 'believe'. It seems pretty straightforward to me, but I could be missing something. Please let me know if I am.

I did manage to make it to the university during lunch today. Wick Miller's database #ya-27 lists two attested versions:

Gabrielino: yamáyno "believe it!"
Seranno: yawamin "to believe"

I also grabbed a few other Uto-Aztecan books from the same shelf. I glossed through one of them and found the word described as follows:

Yawii-n-ok=rey
believe-n?-nfu=1pII
'Te creo.'

The book uses the word as an example of how the 'ii' is a troublesome enclitic in Gabrielino. The "=rey" seen above is a reference to a particular version of the enclitic. I'll see if I can find some time tonight to read up on it some more.

Thank you for the handbook reference.

LingualNoob

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Aug 11, 2015, 8:02:19 PM8/11/15
to
On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 4:12:05 PM UTC-5, bofm...@gmail.com wrote:

> The book uses the word as an example of how the 'ii' is a troublesome enclitic in Gabrielino. The "=rey" seen above is a reference to a particular version of the enclitic. I'll see if I can find some time tonight to read up on it some more.

Strike that last part. I misread it earlier.

I can't find anything that describes the morphemes involved in UA *yawamin-(o) 'believe (him/it)'

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 11, 2015, 11:12:24 PM8/11/15
to
On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 5:12:05 PM UTC-4, bofm...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 2:05:06 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > > ...Hebrew:
> > > > ya- 3sg.subj.
> >
> > oops--3masc.sg.subj.
> >
> > > > 'MN 'believe'
> > > > -a-ii- imperfect ("present")
> > > > -o 3sg.obj.
> >
> > 3masc.sg.obj.
>
> Thank you for the clarifications. In regards to "ya-", in the paper I believe Stubbs is telling us that he sees it as fossilized. Here's the quote:
>
> "Some characteristics of UA are different or not at all like Egyptian or Semitic, but reflect influences rather typical of Amerindian language families, which we would expect of a transplant from the outside into the Americas. One example is suppletion in singular vs. plural verb forms. That is, one verb is used for singular subjects and an entirely different word is used when the subject is plural, yet suppletion is nearly non-existent in Semitic or Egyptian. A score of such pairs in UA show such influences on UA. Semitic conjugation morphology (patterns of how verbs are conjugated) is not productive in UA, but hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed / perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu) and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-, etc) are found in UA." p2
>
> I'm not seeing a problem fitting 'MN 'believe'. It seems pretty straightforward to me, but I could be missing something. Please let me know if I am.
>
> I did manage to make it to the university during lunch today. Wick Miller's database #ya-27 lists two attested versions:
>
> Gabrielino: yamáyno "believe it!"
> Seranno: yawamin "to believe"
>
> I also grabbed a few other Uto-Aztecan books from the same shelf. I glossed through one of them and found the word described as follows:
>
> Yawii-n-ok=rey
> believe-n?-nfu=1pII
> 'Te creo.'

I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.

Yusuf B Gursey

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Aug 12, 2015, 12:26:48 AM8/12/15
to
In <2e28def4-0d44-4060...@googlegroups.com>,
bofm...@gmail.com wrote on 8/12/2015:
> On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 2:05:06 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>>>> ...Hebrew:
>>>> ya- 3sg.subj.
>>
>> oops--3masc.sg.subj.
>>
>>>> 'MN 'believe'
>>>> -a-ii- imperfect ("present")
>>>> -o 3sg.obj.
>>
>> 3masc.sg.obj.
>
> Thank you for the clarifications. In regards to "ya-", in the paper I
> believe Stubbs is telling us that he sees it as fossilized. Here's the
> quote:
>
> "Some characteristics of UA are different or not at all like Egyptian or

Which is stating what is obvious from what one would expect.

> Semitic, but reflect influences rather typical of Amerindian language

Which is trying to save face.

LingualNoob

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Aug 12, 2015, 11:36:41 PM8/12/15
to
On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.

Does this mean:

1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?

OR

2. You see no linguistic evidence supporting the idea that Semitic conjugation is fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?

If your answer to the above is (2), would the possibility of fossilized Semitic conjugation be more persuasive:

2a. If a larger quantity examples were provided?

2b. If examples of better quality were provided? Can you describe what you would expect to see in a better quality example?

Yusuf B Gursey

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Aug 13, 2015, 12:21:50 AM8/13/15
to
In <3e3277ba-d0d1-41a3...@googlegroups.com>, LingualNoob
wrote on 8/13/2015:
> On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>> ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
>
> Does this mean:
>
> 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation
> could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?

This one. UA conjugation is morphologically distinct from Semitic
conjugation, which is no surprise.

LingualNoob

unread,
Aug 13, 2015, 12:58:27 AM8/13/15
to
On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:21:50 PM UTC-5, Yusuf B Gursey wrote:
> > 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation
> > could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
>
> This one. UA conjugation is morphologically distinct from Semitic
> conjugation, which is no surprise.
>

The thing that I'm trying to understand is not whether or not they are morphologically distinct. Stubbs said as much himself and you answered that he is "trying to save face". It's the next part of his statement that I'm referring to. He says that "the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-, etc) are found fossilized in many of his proposed cognate sets". Is there linguistic evidence against the idea that the ya- in UA *yawamin-(o)? could be the result of fossilization of Hebrew "ya- 3masc.sg.subj."?

Yusuf B Gursey

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Aug 13, 2015, 2:19:21 AM8/13/15
to
In <4951eb79-849a-45fe...@googlegroups.com>, LingualNoob
wrote on 8/13/2015:
> On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:21:50 PM UTC-5, Yusuf B Gursey wrote:
>>> 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation
>>> could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
>>
>> This one. UA conjugation is morphologically distinct from Semitic
>> conjugation, which is no surprise.
>>
>
> The thing that I'm trying to understand is not whether or not they are
> morphologically distinct. Stubbs said as much himself and you answered that
> he is "trying to save face". It's the next part of his statement that I'm

I was refering to the part of the statement that tried to diminish the
importance of morphological distinctiveness.

Peter T. Daniels

unread,
Aug 13, 2015, 7:28:15 AM8/13/15
to
On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:36:41 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> > ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
>
> Does this mean:
>
> 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?

You just said -- in the evidence you deleted above my conclusion there --
that the morphology of *UA is nothing like the morphology of Hebrew. What
is your Just-So Story to explain that of the tens of thousands of verb
forms in Hebrew, the _one_ that would have been borrowed intact eeans
'he believes him'? And the further coincidence that the first two syllables,
communicating one morpheme and parts of two others, just happen to resemble
a single intact morpheme?

> OR
>
> 2. You see no linguistic evidence supporting the idea that Semitic conjugation is fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?

That too.

> If your answer to the above is (2), would the possibility of fossilized Semitic conjugation be more persuasive:
>
> 2a. If a larger quantity examples were provided?
>
> 2b. If examples of better quality were provided? Can you describe what you would expect to see in a better quality example?

Do you have any examples from the borrowing of words anywhere in the world
that is anything like this unique example?

LingualNoob

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Aug 13, 2015, 1:07:15 PM8/13/15
to
On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:28:15 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:36:41 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
>
> > > ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
> >
> > Does this mean:
> >
> > 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
>
> You just said -- in the evidence you deleted above my conclusion there --

My apologies. I was just deleting to keep the post to a smaller size. I wasn't thinking that you or others would suddenly forget the previous post. I'll avoid doing that in the future.

> that the morphology of *UA is nothing like the morphology of Hebrew. What
> is your Just-So Story to explain that of the tens of thousands of verb
> forms in Hebrew, the _one_ that would have been borrowed intact eeans
> 'he believes him'?...

I never said that there was only _one_ intact Hebrew verb form. In the paper, Stubbs tells us that "hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed /perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu)and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-,etc) are found in UA".

He gives several examples on pages 11-12. Here's one:

Uto-Aztecan has four separate forms from the verb bky /bakaa ‘to cry, weep’:
(559) p-Semitic bky/ bakaa ‘he cried, wept’; Syriac bakaa / baka’ > UA *paka’ ‘cry’
(24) kw-Semitic bky/ bakaa ‘he cried, wept’; Hebrew baakaa > UA *kwïkï / *o’kï 'cry’
Because bilabials as first segment in a cluster disappear (-bk- > -k-) in Egyptian/Semitic > UA, the imperfective 3rd person masculine singular *ya-bkV ‘he/it weeps’ with imperfective prefix originally *ya- (later yi-) also matches UA *yakka
(560) Semitic *ya-bkay ‘he/it weeps, cries, masc sg.’ > UA *yaCkaC > *yakka / *yaka ‘cry’
(561) Semitic *ta-bkay ‘she/it weeps, cries, fem sg.’ > UA *takka > NP taka ‘cry’.
So Northern Paiute has both the masc 3rd sg of *ya-bka > yakka and the fem 3rd singular *ta-bka > UA *takka ‘cry’ (the middle consonant geminates/doubles in both as well). UA also has the perfective stem in Aramaic bakay / baka’ ‘cry’ > UA *paka’ of the p-NWSemitic and also *kwïkï/*o’kï of the kw-NWSemitic.

> ...And the further coincidence that the first two syllables,
> communicating one morpheme and parts of two others, just happen to resemble
> a single intact morpheme?

See comments about agglutinated morphemes in creole languages below.

>
> > OR
> >
> > 2. You see no linguistic evidence supporting the idea that Semitic conjugation is fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
>
> That too.
>
> > If your answer to the above is (2), would the possibility of fossilized Semitic conjugation be more persuasive:
> >
> > 2a. If a larger quantity examples were provided?
> >
> > 2b. If examples of better quality were provided? Can you describe what you would expect to see in a better quality example?
>
> Do you have any examples from the borrowing of words anywhere in the world
> that is anything like this unique example?

While Googling for an example like you are asking for I came across the book "An Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles" by John Holm. Since we are discussing a possible creolization of Semitic/Egyptian into UA, the examples and discussion in sections 4.5 and 6.4.2 of the book seem relevant.

It section 4.5 (p127) it says:

"...the extent to which [external lexical influences] are evidenced in creoles suggests that they are accelerated by restructuring...Pidgins and creoles are sometimes claimed to be languages without any inflectional morphology whatsoever...this seems to be true of most fully restructured varieties that are not decreolizing...European morpheme boundaries also disappeared in the creoles: in Creole English one can speak of one aunts or one tools, in which the English word and its plural inflection have become a single creole morpheme with either singular or plural meaning"

To substantiate this particular point the author refers to section (6.4.2) of the book to clarify his point about the disappearance of morpheme boundaries in creole languages. This other section says (p215):

"Unlike nouns in their European lexical source languages, creole nouns are not inflected to indicate number, e.g. CE 'aal di animal__' 'all the animals'. Although some creole words contain fossilized remnants of plural inflections from their lexical source languages (e.g. CE 'tuulz' 'tool' or CF 'zanj' 'angel' from F les anges), these no longer function as inflections..."

It seems appropriate to ask how common it is to find agglutinated morphemes in creole languages. Back to section 4.5 (p129) it says:

"...Baker (1984) surveyed CF lexicons for count nouns having an initial syllable wholly derived from a French article; he found 112 in Haitian, 337 in Rodrigues, 444 in Seychellois and 471 in Mauritian - but only 12 in Réunionnais, providing further evidence that the last was not as extensively restructured. Such morpheme boundary reanalyses are much less frequent in creoles of other lexical bases, but they do occur"

Baker's survey was only looking for count nouns, so it doesn't tell us specifically how likely it would be for ya- or other Semitic conjugations to show up in UA *yawamin-(o)?. On the other hand, it does show that it is common to find agglutinated morphemes in creole languages.

Perhaps the following example from the book fits your request for an example?:

"English creole verbs sometimes agglutinated the -ing ending (e.g. Bahamian to courtin, to loadin, to fishin) and could then take the mesolectal progressive marker -in, e.g. go fishinin." (p129)

The book provides a good discussion of the subject and gives several other examples as well. Here's the Google book preview: https://books.google.com/books?id=B7Nko5XBOegC&lpg=PA215&ots=0BChlrsIU5&dq=creole%20fossilized%20morpheme&pg=PA127#v=onepage&q&f=false

Arnaud Fournet

unread,
Aug 13, 2015, 2:28:55 PM8/13/15
to
Le jeudi 13 août 2015 19:07:15 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:28:15 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:36:41 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > > On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> >
> > > > ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
> > >
> > > Does this mean:
> > >
> > > 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
> >
> > You just said -- in the evidence you deleted above my conclusion there --
>
> My apologies. I was just deleting to keep the post to a smaller size. I wasn't thinking that you or others would suddenly forget the previous post. I'll avoid doing that in the future.
>
> > that the morphology of *UA is nothing like the morphology of Hebrew. What
> > is your Just-So Story to explain that of the tens of thousands of verb
> > forms in Hebrew, the _one_ that would have been borrowed intact eeans
> > 'he believes him'?...
>
> I never said that there was only _one_ intact Hebrew verb form. In the paper, Stubbs tells us that "hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed /perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu)and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-,etc) are found in UA".
>

As a general rule, most loanwords from a language to another are nouns.
Verbs are generally not borrowed, and verbal morphology even less. When verbs are borrowed, they are often no longer a verb in the target language.
so such a claim runs against known examples.
A.


> He gives several examples on pages 11-12. Here's one:
>
> Uto-Aztecan has four separate forms from the verb bky /bakaa ‘to cry, weep’:
> (559) p-Semitic bky/ bakaa ‘he cried, wept’; Syriac bakaa / baka’ > UA *paka’ ‘cry’
> (24) kw-Semitic bky/ bakaa ‘he cried, wept’; Hebrew baakaa > UA *kwïkï / *o’kï 'cry’
> Because bilabials as first segment in a cluster disappear (-bk- > -k-) in Egyptian/Semitic > UA, the imperfective 3rd person masculine singular *ya-bkV ‘he/it weeps’ with imperfective prefix originally *ya- (later yi-) also matches UA *yakka
> (560) Semitic *ya-bkay ‘he/it weeps, cries, masc sg.’ > UA *yaCkaC > *yakka / *yaka ‘cry’
> (561) Semitic *ta-bkay ‘she/it weeps, cries, fem sg.’ > UA *takka > NP taka ‘cry’.
> So Northern Paiute has both the masc 3rd sg of *ya-bka > yakka and the fem 3rd singular *ta-bka > UA *takka ‘cry’ (the middle consonant geminates/doubles in both as well). UA also has the perfective stem in Aramaic bakay / baka’ ‘cry’ > UA *paka’ of the p-NWSemitic and also *kwïkï/*o’kï of the kw-NWSemitic.

I'm afraid the rich prefixal morphology of Semitic verbs offers a large playground for completely fanciful comparisons.
A.

LingualNoob

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Aug 13, 2015, 3:08:20 PM8/13/15
to
On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 1:28:55 PM UTC-5, Arnaud Fournet wrote:
> Le jeudi 13 août 2015 19:07:15 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:28:15 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:36:41 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > > > On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > >
> > > > > ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
> > > >
> > > > Does this mean:
> > > >
> > > > 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
> > >
> > > You just said -- in the evidence you deleted above my conclusion there --
> >
> > My apologies. I was just deleting to keep the post to a smaller size. I wasn't thinking that you or others would suddenly forget the previous post. I'll avoid doing that in the future.
> >
> > > that the morphology of *UA is nothing like the morphology of Hebrew. What
> > > is your Just-So Story to explain that of the tens of thousands of verb
> > > forms in Hebrew, the _one_ that would have been borrowed intact eeans
> > > 'he believes him'?...
> >
> > I never said that there was only _one_ intact Hebrew verb form. In the paper, Stubbs tells us that "hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed /perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu)and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-,etc) are found in UA".
> >
>
> As a general rule, most loanwords from a language to another are nouns.
> Verbs are generally not borrowed, and verbal morphology even less. When verbs are borrowed, they are often no longer a verb in the target language.
> so such a claim runs against known examples.
> A.
>

In response to one of my earlier posts Peter made it clear that "loanwords have nothing to do with creolization".

>
> As I already told you in email, LOANWOARDS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CREOLIZATION.
>



>

Arnaud Fournet

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Aug 13, 2015, 3:35:04 PM8/13/15
to
Le jeudi 13 août 2015 21:08:20 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 1:28:55 PM UTC-5, Arnaud Fournet wrote:
> > Le jeudi 13 août 2015 19:07:15 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> > > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:28:15 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > > On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:36:41 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > > > > On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > > ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
> > > > >
> > > > > Does this mean:
> > > > >
> > > > > 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
> > > >
> > > > You just said -- in the evidence you deleted above my conclusion there --
> > >
> > > My apologies. I was just deleting to keep the post to a smaller size. I wasn't thinking that you or others would suddenly forget the previous post. I'll avoid doing that in the future.
> > >
> > > > that the morphology of *UA is nothing like the morphology of Hebrew. What
> > > > is your Just-So Story to explain that of the tens of thousands of verb
> > > > forms in Hebrew, the _one_ that would have been borrowed intact eeans
> > > > 'he believes him'?...
> > >
> > > I never said that there was only _one_ intact Hebrew verb form. In the paper, Stubbs tells us that "hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed /perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu)and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-,etc) are found in UA".
> > >
> >
> > As a general rule, most loanwords from a language to another are nouns.
> > Verbs are generally not borrowed, and verbal morphology even less. When verbs are borrowed, they are often no longer a verb in the target language.
> > so such a claim runs against known examples.
> > A.
> >
>
> In response to one of my earlier posts Peter made it clear that "loanwords have nothing to do with creolization".

yes, but your "theory" has nothing to do with creolization.
I'm afraid you use the word "creolization" as a kind of wild joker card, in order to "explain" everything you feel like.
Your claim is that semitic-speakers entered in contact with UA speakers at some point in the past. So the issue is about borrowings resulting from these hypothetical contacts.
A.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 13, 2015, 4:01:26 PM8/13/15
to
On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 3:35:04 PM UTC-4, Arnaud Fournet wrote:
> Le jeudi 13 août 2015 21:08:20 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 1:28:55 PM UTC-5, Arnaud Fournet wrote:
> > > Le jeudi 13 août 2015 19:07:15 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> > > > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:28:15 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > > > On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:36:41 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > > > > > On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> > > > > > > ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
> > > > > > Does this mean:
> > > > > > 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
> > > > > You just said -- in the evidence you deleted above my conclusion there --
> > > > My apologies. I was just deleting to keep the post to a smaller size. I wasn't thinking that you or others would suddenly forget the previous post. I'll avoid doing that in the future.
> > > > > that the morphology of *UA is nothing like the morphology of Hebrew. What
> > > > > is your Just-So Story to explain that of the tens of thousands of verb
> > > > > forms in Hebrew, the _one_ that would have been borrowed intact eeans
> > > > > 'he believes him'?...
> > > > I never said that there was only _one_ intact Hebrew verb form. In the paper, Stubbs tells us that "hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed /perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu)and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-,etc) are found in UA".
> > > As a general rule, most loanwords from a language to another are nouns.
> > > Verbs are generally not borrowed, and verbal morphology even less. When verbs are borrowed, they are often no longer a verb in the target language.
> > > so such a claim runs against known examples.
> > In response to one of my earlier posts Peter made it clear that "loanwords have nothing to do with creolization".
>
> yes, but your "theory" has nothing to do with creolization.
> I'm afraid you use the word "creolization" as a kind of wild joker card, in order to "explain" everything you feel like.
> Your claim is that semitic-speakers entered in contact with UA speakers at some point in the past. So the issue is about borrowings resulting from these hypothetical contacts.

Mx. Noob scavenged examples from Holm's book without looking at the definition
of "creole"! A creole is what results when people who have no language in
common and communicate with a pidgin make babies: the infants have only the
"incomplete" input to their language-acquisition system and from this imperfect
example their brains create a full language -- which is what we call a creole.

See Derek Bickerton's book (published under a new title every couple of years)
for the basics and for the implications for the essential nature of human language.

LingualNoob

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Aug 13, 2015, 6:49:59 PM8/13/15
to
The creolization theory isn't something I invented as an excuse for the lack of underlying morphemes in UA *yawamin-(o)? compared to Hebrew.

I said in one of the earlier posts that although Stubbs doesn't propose a theory about the type of language relationship in his "excerpts" paper, he has said on other occasions that he thinks that the language evidence that he is proposing shows UA to be a creolization involving Hebrew/Egyptian and another (presumably Native American) language.

I was also clear about this fact with Peter in our email conversation last week. Here's a copy/paste from my emeil:

"What Stubbs doesn't say specifically in that "excerpts" paper is whether or not he is proposing a genetic link or just heavy borrowing. In previous papers he had suggested that he thought the proposed language similarities came from creolization."

My own inexperience did confuse creolization with "heavy borrowing". Peter was right to correct me on the fact that "loanwords have nothing to do with creolization", but he is incorrect when he says that creolization is my idea or that it came as a result of finding Holm's book.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 13, 2015, 10:51:41 PM8/13/15
to
On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:49:59 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 2:35:04 PM UTC-5, Arnaud Fournet wrote:
> > Le jeudi 13 août 2015 21:08:20 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> > > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 1:28:55 PM UTC-5, Arnaud Fournet wrote:
> > > > Le jeudi 13 août 2015 19:07:15 UTC+2, LingualNoob a écrit :
> > > > > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:28:15 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > > > > On Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 11:36:41 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > > > > > > On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 10:12:24 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

> > > > > > > > ...I.e. there's no connection whatsoever between the two forms.
> > > > > > > Does this mean:
> > > > > > > 1. You see linguistic evidence against the idea that Semitic conjugation could be fossilized in UA *yawamin-(o)?
> > > > > > You just said -- in the evidence you deleted above my conclusion there --
> > > > > My apologies. I was just deleting to keep the post to a smaller size. I wasn't thinking that you or others would suddenly forget the previous post. I'll avoid doing that in the future.
> > > > > > that the morphology of *UA is nothing like the morphology of Hebrew. What
> > > > > > is your Just-So Story to explain that of the tens of thousands of verb
> > > > > > forms in Hebrew, the _one_ that would have been borrowed intact eeans
> > > > > > 'he believes him'?...
> > > > > I never said that there was only _one_ intact Hebrew verb form. In the paper, Stubbs tells us that "hundreds of fossilized forms of both the suffixed /perfective conjugation (singular yašiba; plural yašib-uu)and the prefixed / imperfective conjugation (yi-/ya-, ti-/ta-,etc) are found in UA".
> > > > As a general rule, most loanwords from a language to another are nouns.
> > > > Verbs are generally not borrowed, and verbal morphology even less. When verbs are borrowed, they are often no longer a verb in the target language.
> > > > so such a claim runs against known examples.
> > > In response to one of my earlier posts Peter made it clear that "loanwords have nothing to do with creolization".
> > yes, but your "theory" has nothing to do with creolization.
> > I'm afraid you use the word "creolization" as a kind of wild joker card, in order to "explain" everything you feel like.
> > Your claim is that semitic-speakers entered in contact with UA speakers at some point in the past. So the issue is about borrowings resulting from these hypothetical contacts.
>
> The creolization theory isn't something I invented as an excuse for the lack of underlying morphemes in UA *yawamin-(o)? compared to Hebrew.
>
> I said in one of the earlier posts that although Stubbs doesn't propose a theory about the type of language relationship in his "excerpts" paper, he has said on other occasions that he thinks that the language evidence that he is proposing shows UA to be a creolization involving Hebrew/Egyptian and another (presumably Native American) language.

There is nothing in the structure of UA to suggest a creolization origin.

As A.F. notes, it's not a miscellaneous grab-bag term for vague random resemblance.

> I was also clear about this fact with Peter in our email conversation last week. Here's a copy/paste from my emeil:
>
> "What Stubbs doesn't say specifically in that "excerpts" paper is whether or not he is proposing a genetic link or just heavy borrowing. In previous papers he had suggested that he thought the proposed language similarities came from creolization."
>
> My own inexperience did confuse creolization with "heavy borrowing". Peter was right to correct me on the fact that "loanwords have nothing to do with creolization", but he is incorrect when he says that creolization is my idea or that it came as a result of finding Holm's book.

You've appointed yourself Stubbs's spokesperson, so you're responsible for your statements.

Dr. HotSalt

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Aug 14, 2015, 2:27:17 AM8/14/15
to
On Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 5:56:02 PM UTC-7, LingualNoob wrote:

(snip)

> http://www.bmaf.org/sites/bmaf.org/files/image/Egyptian-Semitic-in-Uto-Aztecan-by-Brian-Stubbs-Jerry-Grover.pdf

(snip)

No direct linguistic content, but cultural correspondences are indicated here:

https://authorbobfreeman.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/mushrooms-and-religion-by-robert-graves/

The relevant bits are about halfway through in the paragraph beginning "I have eaten the Mexican hallucinogenic mushroom psilocybe Heimsii in Gordon Wasson's company, with the intention of visiting the Mexican paradise called Tlal6can to which it gives access. The god Tlal6c, who was toadheaded, corresponded exactly with Agni and Dionysus." though I recommend reading the whole thing to see why the toad-head remark is significant.

The focus is on the use of amanita muscaris in mystery cults in the Old World and in the New World- the author makes no claims about how such a tradition might have been transferred pre-Columbus (or pre-Ericsson) but merely notes the similarities. You will have to fill in the temporal coincidence, if any.


Dr. HotSalt

LingualNoob

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Aug 14, 2015, 2:47:14 AM8/14/15
to
Well, If we're at a point where you're rejecting the proposal based on your confidence that PUA didn't undergo creolization thousands of years ago then we're probably done here for now.

I do thank you for taking time to debate a few of the specifics from his paper.

Peter T. Daniels

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Aug 14, 2015, 8:40:50 AM8/14/15
to
On Friday, August 14, 2015 at 2:47:14 AM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 9:51:41 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:49:59 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:

> > > I said in one of the earlier posts that although Stubbs doesn't propose a theory about the type of language relationship in his "excerpts" paper, he has said on other occasions that he thinks that the language evidence that he is proposing shows UA to be a creolization involving Hebrew/Egyptian and another (presumably Native American) language.
> > There is nothing in the structure of UA to suggest a creolization origin.
> > As A.F. notes, it's not a miscellaneous grab-bag term for vague random resemblance.
>
> Well, If we're at a point where you're rejecting the proposal based on your confidence that PUA didn't undergo creolization thousands of years ago then we're probably done here for now.
>
> I do thank you for taking time to debate a few of the specifics from his paper.
>
> > You've appointed yourself Stubbs's spokesperson, so you're responsible for your statements.

Learn the characteristics of creole languages. Compare the characteristics of
reconstructed Proto-Uto-Aztecan.

The fact that *UA is not a creole has no bearing on whether magical trans-
Pacific crossings and word-borrowings can have taken place.

The type of posited borrowings, however, is contrary to any known sort of borrowings.

LingualNoob

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Aug 14, 2015, 12:41:48 PM8/14/15
to
On Friday, August 14, 2015 at 7:40:50 AM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> On Friday, August 14, 2015 at 2:47:14 AM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
> > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 9:51:41 PM UTC-5, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> > > On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 6:49:59 PM UTC-4, LingualNoob wrote:
>
> > > > I said in one of the earlier posts that although Stubbs doesn't propose a theory about the type of language relationship in his "excerpts" paper, he has said on other occasions that he thinks that the language evidence that he is proposing shows UA to be a creolization involving Hebrew/Egyptian and another (presumably Native American) language.
> > > There is nothing in the structure of UA to suggest a creolization origin.
> > > As A.F. notes, it's not a miscellaneous grab-bag term for vague random resemblance.
> >
> > Well, If we're at a point where you're rejecting the proposal based on your confidence that PUA didn't undergo creolization thousands of years ago then we're probably done here for now.
> >
> > I do thank you for taking time to debate a few of the specifics from his paper.
> >
> > > You've appointed yourself Stubbs's spokesperson, so you're responsible for your statements.
>
> Learn the characteristics of creole languages. Compare the characteristics of
> reconstructed Proto-Uto-Aztecan.
>

That sounds like a good idea and I don't mind homework assignments :)

Is there a particular book that you'd recommend?

As I've Googled to try to understand the characteristics of creolized languages I've tended to find results related to creolizations that appear to have taken place within the last ~400 +/- years. Those examples provide important data, but in addition to a book dealing with c