Linguists like to argue!?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 2 20:03:31 UTC 2002

In a message dated 06/02/2002 1:42:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET writes:

> Most of James Landau's proposal is at least plausible, if not very well
>  grounded in evidence.

"Not very well grounded" is praising with faint damns.  I was suggesting
possibilities (i.e. thinking out loud) for topics on which I have no hard
evidence at all.

>However, the paragraph I retained below is straight
>  straw man, or maybe just straight man.

I'm a little surprised that of all the items in my "proposal" you would pick
that paragraph to rebut.  I was at that point building a logical (though
quite tenous) chain of arguments that IE was necessarily related to
Finno-Ugrian, Semitic, and/or Basque, and I had to dispose of the argument
that IE was invented (no, better to say "came into existence") AFTER the
glaciers had started retreating from Northern Europe.

But yes you are right, the paragraph in question does set up a straw man
argument.  Being an amateur, I have never encountered any theories as to what
early Europeans spoke during the latter parts of the Ice Ages, so I tried to
imagine the possible theories.

     James A. Landau (the "A" stands for "Amateur")

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