Lactose Intolerance/Renfrew

Rich Alderson alderson+mail at
Wed Apr 11 01:52:48 UTC 2001

On 5 Apr 2001, Steve Long wrote:

> Well if the Anatolian IE languages arose as an "isolate"....

[ snip ]

> ... then Pre-PIE and Anatolian were just instances of those isolates.  Every
> one of those "thousands, of distinct languages covering very small areas"
> would look "intrusive" compared to every other one.  Like Minoan, Pre-Pie
> would be indigenous.  But, unlike Minoan, Pre-PIE would yield a great many
> ancestors.

I'm sorry.  I can't make any of this parse.

The Anatolian languages (in the sense of IE languages spoken in Anatolia) are
by definition not an isolate, since they have known relatives (the rest of the
IE family).

I think by "pre-PIE" you mean "non-Anatolian IE in a view that has Anatolian
branching off first", but I'm not sure where you mean to make it indigenous,
and I certainly don't understand what you mean by "would yield a great many
ancestors".  "Descendants", perhaps?

> Those of us who think that Renfrew might basically be right would note that
> in Ringe's phylogentic analysis, the Anatolian languages appear to be the
> first branch off from *PIE.  This means that either the rest of *PIE (pre
> German, Greek, Indo-Iranian, Celtic,...) left the Anatolians (i.e., in
> Anatolia) OR the Anatolians left the rest of *PIE.  It's either one or the
> other, but I've yet to hear the reason it has to be one and not the other.

As was discussed at great length last year before the Greater Anatolia collo-
quium, the Ringe-Taylor-Warnow cladistic tree is fundamentally flawed in that
one of the characteristics used to generate it is equivalent to "Anatolian
branched off first".  So it is irrelevant to the question of when who left who.

								Rich Alderson

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