Peter &/or Graham
petegray at btinternet.com
Tue Jan 26 20:59:37 UTC 1999
>*if* PIE-PSem. contacts are an inevitable conclusion
>from the linguistic data ...
Contact of some kind at some stage seems preferable to me than coincidence.
The parallels are too striking:
(a) basic semantic meaning carried by consonants, while vowels indicate the
function of the word.
(b) basic word (or root) structure of two consonants, with a later extension
of one (or two) further consonants.
(c) basic verb form is marked for aspect rather than tense, and is the
punctative (or simple, or equivalent) as opposed to the continuous.
(d) strong preference for either grammatical suffixes or prefixes, but not
both on the same word.
(e) development of a variety of various "stems" of verbs from the basic
root. (We shouldn't assume this is a function of language in general -
there are many languages which do not do anything like this)
(f) original dual as well as singular and plural; later (almost certainly
independently) losing ground to sing / plural
(g) striking similarity in the phonological systems of PIE and P-Sem (though
I'm sure that list could be extended. Word borrowings (septem etc) also
indicate contact at some time.
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