Lactose Intolerance/Ringe's Tree

X99Lynx at X99Lynx at
Sat Apr 14 05:15:22 UTC 2001

Rich Alderson also wrote:
<<As was discussed at great length last year before the Greater Anatolia
colloquium, 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.>>

I believe the problem with Ringe's tree is that it used reconstructed *PIE as
an anchor, which would violate strict cladistic theory, which doesn't allow
reconstructions to be used to define trait identifications.  And that's
because the data would totally depend on the reconstruction and the tree
simply would reflect the reconstruction.   The tree therefore can in no way
"prove" the correctness of the reconstruction, since it assumed the
correctness of the reconstruction from the start.

I seem to remember one of your objections was the use of a particular
Anatolian language, as the individual Anatolian languages reflect different
innovations (e.g., dorsal obstruents).  This goes to whether the proper
innovations and languages were used to construct the tree.  Correct me if I'm

However, if one let's all that go, Ringe's tree places Anatolian IE as the
first branch-off from *PIE as a matter of mathematical parsimony, which is a
matter of strict and logical "internal" consistency.  And I know of no more
rigorous attempt to scientifically quantify IE relatedness.

And of course IF "Anatolian IE" branched off first, it IS relevant where it
happened.  Along with who stayed and who moved away.

If all this happened in Anatolia, then possibly it was PIE-minus-Anatolian
that took to the road.  And Anatolian that stayed behind.

Steve Long

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