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On the Origin of Languages: Studies in Linguistic Taxonomy (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. März 1997


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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 360 Seiten
  • Verlag: Stanford Univ Pr; Auflage: Reprint (31. März 1997)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0804728054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804728058
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 3 x 22,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.004.052 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Synopsis

This book presents a series of illuminating studies which conclusively demonstrates that the prevailing conception of historical linguistics is deeply flawed. Most linguists today believe that there is no good evidence that the Indo-European family of languages is related to any other language family, or even any other language. In like manner, the New World is deemed to contain hundreds of language families, among which there are no apparent links. Furthermore, it is claimed, there are no known connections between the languages of the Old World and those of the Americas. And finally, the strongest belief of all is that there is no trace of genetic affinity nor could there be among the world s language families. The author argues that all of these firmly entrenched and vigorously defended beliefs are false, that they are myths propagated by a small group of scholars who have failed to understand the true basis of genetic affinity.

Twentieth-century Indo-Europeanists (though not their nineteenth-century forebears) have confused the issue of genetic affinity, which derives from classification, with such traditional concerns of historical linguistics as reconstruction and sound correspondences. Once it is recognized that taxonomy, or classification, must precede these traditional concerns, the apparent conflict between the traditional view and that of Joseph Greenberg and his followers is seen to be illusory. And finally, a comparison of all the world s languages in this new perspective leaves little doubt that all extant human languages share a common origin.

Klappentext

This book presents a series of illuminating studies which conclusively demonstrates that the prevailing conception of historical linguistics is deeply flawed. Most linguists today believe that there is no good evidence that the Indo-European family of languages is related to any other language family, or even any other language. In like manner, the New World is deemed to contain hundreds of language families, among which there are no apparent links. Furthermore, it is claimed, there are no known connections between the languages of the Old World and those of the Americas. And finally, the strongest belief of all is that there is no trace of genetic affinity—nor could there be—among the world’s language families.
The author argues that all of these firmly entrenched—and vigorously defended—beliefs are false, that they are myths propagated by a small group of scholars who have failed to understand the true basis of genetic affinity. Twentieth-century Indo-Europeanists (though not their nineteenth-century forebears) have confused the issue of genetic affinity, which derives from classification, with such traditional concerns of historical linguistics as reconstruction and sound correspondences. Once it is recognized that taxonomy, or classification, must precede these traditional concerns, the apparent conflict between the traditional view and that of Joseph Greenberg and his followers is seen to be illusory. And finally, a comparison of all the world’s languages in this new perspective leaves little doubt that all extant human languages share a common origin.

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Pieter Uys am 26. Dezember 2008
Format: Taschenbuch
In these 13 studies, the author presents compelling evidence for one common origin for all the world's languages. The book is certain to accelerate research towards the ultimate reconstruction of the proto-language and to cast more light on mankind's unknown past, although much needs to be done.

In this regard the work of Alan Bomhard (Nostratic) and Joseph Greenberg (Eurasiatic)is also of great value. Because this work challenges the current orthodoxy it has elicited much venomous criticism from those linguists who claim that genetic relationship cannot be demonstrated after a certain lapse of time.

But this is disproved by the 27 global etymologies so thoroughly documented here in the form of a phonetic/semantic gloss followed by current examples from many different language families. It is statistically impossible for this to be the result of chance.

When looking at the Nostratic/Eurasiatic or Dene-Sino-Caucasic reconstructions, the correspondences become more and more obvious. In other words, the further back in time one reconstructs, the clearer the similarities become. Recent advances in biological taxonomy (Cavalli-Sforza) serve to confirm this author's classifications of macro-families, and by implication, monogenesis of all languages.

This is a well-written book demonstrating impeccable scholarship and is an exciting read. Readers interested in Ruhlen's work may also want to investigate the title Sprung from Some Common Source: Investigations Into the Prehistory of Languages, edited by Sydney M. Lamb.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Mary V am 16. November 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
To read this book is to be a witness to the middle of a brawl that started long ago and will long continue -- the battle beween the Lumpers and the Splitters. Of course, the Great Lumper is the brilliant Joseph Greenberg, and the author of this book, Merritt Ruhlen, is one of his key disciples.
The essays in the book are of varying levels of interest. Half the essays are detailed defenses of Greenberg's Amerind hypothesis. Here, Ruhlen is preaching only to the choir, for Greenberg's detractors, incredibly, take great pride in not having read his work.
Greenberg's methodology is inductive, attempting to discover global truths by comparing word lists from many languages at once. The conventional methodology is deductive, charting the phonetic differences between related languages and running them backwards to reconstruct a parent language.
Languages change so fast that the conventional methodology does not work beyond about a 6000-year horizon. Many linguists therefore refuse to consider earlier stages of language. Greenberg's methods offer a hope of penetrating this veil -- yet like most inductive methods, they are subjective and error-prone.
Future generations no doubt will figure this all out. Until then, those of us who are not active participants in the battle would be well advised to stand clear of the stuff that is being thrown.
Ruhlen is a good writer, with interesting ideas, and this book should be better than it is. Even so, it may be worth a read.
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 27. Juni 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Forschungsergebnisse werden in hervorragender Weise verständlich dargestellt. Die umstrittene Ursprache wird mit Leben erfüllt. Eine faszinierende These nimmt Gestalt an. Das sollte jeder, der sich für die Entstehung der Kultur des Menschen interessiert unbedingt lesen.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 Rezensionen
14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
LINGUISTICS AT ITS MOST EXCITING 28. Dezember 2000
Von Pieter Uys - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In these 13 studies, the author presents compelling evidence for one common origin for all the world's languages. The book is certain to accelerate research towards the ultimate reconstruction of the proto-language and to cast more light on mankind's unknown past, although much needs to be done.

But this is disproved by the global etymologies so thoroughly documented here in the form of a phonetic/semantic gloss followed by current examples from many different language families. It is statistically impossible for this to be the result of chance.

I found chapter 14: Global Etymologies (co-author John D. Bengtson) the most fascinating. Here 27 global etymologies are extensively and soundly documented in the form of a phonetic/semantic gloss followed by examples from many different languages families. For example [KANO = arm] is found in Khoisan, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Indo-European, Uralic, Dravidian, Caucasian, Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic, Amerind and many more. The evidence for monogenesis is overwhelming and I hope that this book accelerates research towards the reconstruction of the mother tongue, Proto-Human.

In this regard the work of Alan Bomhard (Nostratic) and Joseph Greenberg (Eurasiatic)is also of great value. Because this work challenges the current orthodoxy it has elicited much venomous criticism from those linguists who claim that genetic relationship cannot be demonstrated after a certain lapse of time.

When looking at the Nostratic/Eurasiatic or Dene-Sino-Caucasic reconstructions, the correspondences become more and more obvious. In other words, the further back in time one reconstructs, the clearer the similarities become. Recent advances in biological taxonomy (Cavalli-Sforza) serve to confirm this author's classifications of macro-families, and by implication, monogenesis of all languages.

This is a well-written book demonstrating impeccable scholarship and is an exciting read. Readers interested in Ruhlen's work may also want to investigate the title Sprung from Some Common Source: Investigations Into the Prehistory of Languages, edited by Sydney M. Lamb.
19 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Interesting, but mainly to specialists and Greenberg fans. 16. November 1998
Von Mary V - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
To read this book is to be a witness to the middle of a brawl that started long ago and will long continue -- the battle beween the Lumpers and the Splitters. Of course, the Great Lumper is the brilliant Joseph Greenberg, and the author of this book, Merritt Ruhlen, is one of his key disciples.
The essays in the book are of varying levels of interest. Half the essays are detailed defenses of Greenberg's Amerind hypothesis. Here, Ruhlen is preaching only to the choir, for Greenberg's detractors, incredibly, take great pride in not having read his work.
Greenberg's methodology is inductive, attempting to discover global truths by comparing word lists from many languages at once. The conventional methodology is deductive, charting the phonetic differences between related languages and running them backwards to reconstruct a parent language.
Languages change so fast that the conventional methodology does not work beyond about a 6000-year horizon. Many linguists therefore refuse to consider earlier stages of language. Greenberg's methods offer a hope of penetrating this veil -- yet like most inductive methods, they are subjective and error-prone.
Future generations no doubt will figure this all out. Until then, those of us who are not active participants in the battle would be well advised to stand clear of the stuff that is being thrown.
Ruhlen is a good writer, with interesting ideas, and this book should be better than it is. Even so, it may be worth a read.
15 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
GREAT BREAKTHROUGH IN LANGUAGE CLASSIFICATION 28. November 2000
Von ryan aldridge - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is so poisonously criticized by another reviewer that one questions the motives. When Joseph Greenberg published his research on African languages in the early 60s, in which he identified only four macro-families, it was treated with the same type of scorn as displayed here. Yet his classification is now generally accepted. As for Amerind, there are some very solid supra-liguistic arguments in favour of classifying the American languages into 3 macro-families: (1) Christy Turner's dental studies show 3 distinct shapes of teeth in the native peoples of the Americas, corresponding with Greenberg's classification. (2) Genetic studies of native Americans also indicate the same 3 groups (Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza). (3) Most archaeologists believe that humans entered the Amricas about 12 000 years ago. If this is so, the "splitter" linguists must explain how so many (up to 200 according to them) language families arose in such a short time. Science will speak for itself and does not need self-appointed champions to foolishly charge against anybody who dares to propose a new theory or express a different opinion. Ruhlen's scholarship is impeccable, he's a great writer and there is an extensive bibliography for every chapter. This well-written book presents compelling evidence for a common origin for all the world's language families. It will in time achieve a place of honour in the fields of historical linguistics, history and archaeology.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An important work 2. Januar 2012
Von Gord - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Clearly written and accessible to the layman. While the main point being the common origin of all languages may seem far-fetched given the depth of time involved - the methodology presented (multi-lateral comparitive taxonomy) is mathematically sound.

A good analogy can be found in modern wireless data communications where incomming digitial data must be extracted from what appears to be random noise (known as hypercube analysis). This multi-lateral method extracts data that is often masked by noise from patterns in the noise itself; given the ubiquity of wireless devices today, it would be difficult to deny that this works.

Someone has to kick the ant hill that is modern linguistics - Ruhlen does it well.
Judge For Yourself 28. April 2013
Von Theodore Keer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book gives the evidence and lets the reader decide for himself.

I disagree with certain minor aspects of Ruhlen and Greenberg's work, such as their odd assertion that the Ainu isolate is closer to Korean and Japanese than the latter two are to Altaic.

But the point is that while their critics universally avoid commenting on the evidence, such as the pronominal evidence for Altaic as a valid language family, this book provides support galore for continental and world-wide linguistic relationships. Just lick on "look inside" for the evidence.

Claims that the evidence is flawed are wholesale nonsense. I have bought and read the original research by Nicholas Poppe, Bjorn Collinder, Michael Fortescue, Roy Andrew Miller, Andre Vovin, and others. Nothing contradicts Ruhlen's and Greenberg's claims.

This book is both accessible to laymen and convincing to the experts who bother to read it.
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