Print

Print


----- Original Message -----
From: "Andreas Johansson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 4:17 PM
Subject: Origin of names (WAS: Re: Proto-Uralic?)


> Quoting Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]>:
>
> > Decsy also confuses the historical linguistics term "proto-language"
> > with the homonymous term in language origins studies, claims that
> > Proto-Uralic had no more than the 400-something words he
> > "reconstructed", and that the speakers of Proto-Uralic did not use
> > names (an anthropological impossibility; and that even though
> > he "reconstructs" a PU word for "name").
>
> Which reminds me; what are the orthodox ideas on when and why people
started
> to use names?
>
> About ten years ago, our teacher read a kid's book aloud in class, which
was
> set in the stone age, and IIRC pretty good if you weren't to concerned
with
> (pre-)historical plausibility*. The characters had names like "Mu" and
"Ba",
> which brings me to what I found odd - in a little introductory note, it
was
> explained that this was because scientists believe that the first human
names
> were short, simple ones. If this really is the opinion of researchers into
> human origin, I'd very much like to know what reasoning underlies is.
>
> It may be noted that the society described in the book appeared to be
> Neolithic - presumably names must've been in use for a very long time by
then?
>
> * I usually find myself unable to appreciate historical novels and movies,
> because I tend to react very badly at historical inaccuracies, and know
enough
> history to notice things like 1400s armour in a film supposed to be set in
the
> 1200s.

I'd expect names were originally descriptions of the person in question...

>                                                               Andreas
>
> PS For the record, I have no recollection of the book's title, nor of the
name
> of the author. I paid very little attention to the names of the authors of
the
> books I read in those days.
>