The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, May 22, 2017

Afro-Asiatic is losing ground

In 1998, Allan Bomhard wrote:

the Afroasiatic parent language must be placed as far back as 10,000 BCE, or perhaps even earlier, according to some scholars. is extremely ancient date notwithstanding, the major sound correspondences have been determined with great accuracy (cf. Diakonoff 1992; Ehret 1995), excellent progress is being made in reconstructing the common lexicon (cf. Ehret 1995, Orel & Stolbova 1995)

Here's something I just found out: Robert Ratcliffe in 2012 had gone back through Ehret and Orel & Stolbova. He notes that here we have a controlled experiment, if accidental: take two sets of (good) scholars, give them each equal access to the current Afro-Asiatic literature, and sequester them from each other. Will they come up with the same conclusions or at least compatible conclusions about the ancestry, nature, and origin of Proto Afro Asiatic?

The answer will disillusion you, if you think Proto Afro Asiatic is still a thing. Ratcliffe still tells us he still thinks it is, but he's signalling hard that ... well, let's just say that if it is proven not a thing, he's covered.

Personally I was done pretending it's a thing back in March. At least not until we have better understandings of proto Berber and proto Chadic.

posted by Zimri on 16:34 | link | 0 comments

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