rate of change

manaster at umich.edu manaster at umich.edu
Thu Feb 4 16:14:26 UTC 1999

I don't know this, Rich, and would be very grateful
for a reference or specifics.  I have only come
across a handful of examples that were widely
off the mark, Icelandic, E Greenlandic, and
I thik the one Swadesh himself admitted was
Carib or some other lg in that area.  But I
could be wrong, of course.  Starostin incidentally
has some refinements to the American G/L methods
which is not well known here. I do not advocate it
but he does seek to deal with some of the
problems in an interesting way. I have
abrief account of some salient points in
a book review I did a couple of years back.
I think otherwise it is all in Russian,
but maybe that too is wrong (anybody?).


>[ Moderator's comment:
>  I was under the impression--given by a supporter of glottochronology, Dyen--
>  that G/L dates for the Romance languages, for example, are wildly off when
>  compared to the known history.  Given that no testable languages have ever
>  agreed with Swadesh's hypothesis, can we really treat this method as "almost
>  always right" with regard to those languages we cannot otherwise date?
>  --rma ]

[ Moderator's response:
  I'll have to check some old notebooks and references and get back to you.
  I know I've seen some figures for various Romance languages, but it's been
  too long ago to remember any details without refreshing my memory.
  --rma ]

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