<Language> Re: Caucasus and Kaska

Patrick C. Ryan proto-language at email.msn.com
Tue Jan 26 02:18:46 UTC 1999

Dear Claire and EvolLinguists:

-----Original Message-----
From: Claire Bowern <C.Bowern at student.anu.edu.au>
Date: Monday, January 25, 1999 8:01 PM

>>If linguistics really took "initial conditions" into realistic
>>consideration, we would have been spared the pouring of much ink!


>Fair enough, but since truly initial conditions are irrecoverable,
>"earliest known stage" will have to do! This is, incidentally, another good
>example of why languages are different from thermodynamic models.


But, Claire, to decide that "initial conditions are irrecoverable" is pure
dogma. It has not been proved.

Sadly, I notice in your final sentence yet another attempt to distance the
methodology of linguistics from non-linguistic sciences.

The "Big Bang" is not really recoverable except theoretically, but a lot of
very intelligent people are doing valuable work  on the hypothesis that it


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