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Quoting Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]>:

> 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.

Well, there has been attempts, crowned if not with success then with intriguing
hints, at reconstructing "Nostratic", the hypothetical ancestor of
Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic (which includes Semitic), and few other families.

                                                         Andreas