Lactose Intolerance/Renfrew

X99Lynx at X99Lynx at
Sat Apr 14 14:25:43 UTC 2001

I wrote:
> And adopting a language may allow a group to share an advantage - like
> farming, animal husbandry or metallurgy or other technical knowledge.  And
> when we see that advantage spread quickly, we might conclude that a new,
> common language - like IE - made it possible.

In a message dated 4/13/2001 5:37:03 AM, proto-language at writes:

<<I am picking up on your "new" idea.>>

Hardly new.  Not at all mine.
BTW Mallory describes the same process himself in ISIE, in the last chapter
around where he says the key to the spread of IE is bi-lingualism, but he
doesn't apply it much in his book.

<<To me, the likeliest scenario is that Caucasians, speaking a Caucasian
language with characteristics similar to Kabardian (reduced vowel inventory),
came into contact with speakers of a non-Semitic Afrasian language, adopted it
(mangled it, mostly); and that the northernmost group became Indo-Europeans,
while the southerners became Semites.>>

Just a comment that the notion is that the flow of ideas and know-how both
motivates and is made possible by a change in language.  So the whole thing
sort of pivots on what new ideas and things language has made possible.

So is the scenario above it kind of helps to ask why the Caucasians would do
this and what it appears they got out of it.  If you buy the idea that the
majority of modern Europeans are descended from a European paleolithic
population (not saying that you should), then what could have motivated that
early language shift?  Or did they bring it with them in paleolithic times,
meaning that Pre-IE got there soon after the ice-age ended.

Steve Long

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