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On Nov 16, 2006, at 2:22 AM, Mark Jones wrote:

> *******
> Subject: Re: Diachronic conlanging; linguistics forums
>
> On Tue, 14 Nov 2006 18:24:33 -0600, Eric Christopherson  
> <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> Actually, I think it'd be really cool to "reverse engineer" a natlang
>> (or natural protolang) to create a conlang which could be its
>> parent.  Has anyone attempted that?
>
> Many times by many famous people.  For instance, what else do you
> think "Proto-Indo-European" is?
> ********
>
> Eldin is quite right that Proto-Indo-European (and any other Proto  
> Language, for that matter) is essentially a bit of reverse  
> engineering, via the techniques of comparative and internal  
> reconstruction, though with a Conlang you would have complete  
> control over the extent and quality of the data, so the challenges  
> would be similiar in kind, but not in degree. And you don't have  
> esteemed colleagues telling you you're wrong for perfectly good  
> (but differently weighted) reasons.

Yes, that is correct. I think that what I asked was (accidentally)  
only part of what I intended to ask. I was actually wondering if  
anyone had attempted to construct a protolang for two languages which  
are not known to be related, e.g. PIE and Proto-Semitic. I think  
that'd be really tough, but the result could be very cool.