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The only part of your answer I have real problems with is: "most linguists
are aware that
only writing tells us anything about language."

In which case the comparative method is bunk?

I recently watched a program (Nova: The first Horse Warriors),
in which they linked PIE to a culture they call the Yaminaya.
I would call that linking tentative, we probably don't know enough about
them
to be sure if they are the tribe, or collection of tribes, that eventually
overran most of Europe.
However these people did come from the area that 'most' linguists agree was
the IE 'homeland'.
We can't know for sure wether that is absolutely true, but it is a
plausible theory.

Writing IS very helpful in nailing these things down, and giving us
literally hard evidence,
But there is a lot of soft evidence that PIE was spoken in a certain broad
geographical area.
There is archeological evidence of the people living in that broad area.
The trouble comes with linking the right people to the right language.
It is, in the absence of writing very difficult, but writing came about
fairly recently.
So we break things up into History, what happened after writing was
invented, and
Pre-History, which is much more ephemeral, even with hard archaeological
evidence.

Probably one of those things we will never be entirely sure of short of
time travel unfortunately.



On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 8:19 AM BPJ <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> It's because some people are overly optimistic about
>
> 1. Extrapolating conclusions about PIE culture from shared vocabulary which
> supposedly is inherited. This is possible in principle but rather limited.
> Also there is such a thing as migratory words (Wanderwörter in German).
>
> 2. Extrapolating from real or supposed common mythology and religion. This
> is possible in principle but a lot of mythology and religion was borrowed
> from other neighboring/substrate cultures and a lot was innovated by each
> IE culture. Sorting it out is highly speculative and often says more about
> the beliefs and prejudices of the modern real or supposed scholars. A lot
> of such stuff from the century around 1900 is strongly influenced by Nazism
> and its precursors.
>
> 3. Connecting PIE with this or that archaeological culture. Although this
> has been very popular among real or amateur archeologists in recent decades
> all real language scholars see it as pure speculation. The arrival of
> Indo-Aryan in India can be dated pretty well, but other than that when and
> where PIE or any of its descendants was spoken in prehistoric times is mere
> speculation. In the absence of (phonographic) writing archaeological
> remains can't tell you which language(s) their owners spoke.
>
> Unfortunately some people are all to ready to mistake their own or others'
> speculations for facts. This happens to some degree on the Finno-Ugric
> scene too. In both cases by archeologists who can't see their own
> linguistic incompetence or by total amateurs, very seldom by linguists who
> can't see their archaeological incompetence — most linguists are aware that
> only writing tells us anything about language.
>
> Den tis 21 maj 2019 15:23Leonardo Castro <[log in to unmask]> skrev:
>
> > Em qua, 15 de mai de 2019 às 17:35, Jyri Lehtinen <
> [log in to unmask]
> > >
> > escreveu:
> >
> > > Or you can do comparative work and look at how well cultural traits
> like
> > > shared mythological elements inherited from a distant common ancestor
> do
> > > over millennia. Think for example such distant relatives as Finnic and
> > > Samoyedic or Celtic and Indic. If you do your homework, you will find
> > > shared elements in their mythologies that are still recognisable after
> > all
> > > that time, but you'll also notice that these are heavily mixed with
> other
> > > material that draws from unrelated sources. In other words, the fact
> that
> > > you can find inherited cultural similarities over long distances
> doesn't
> > > mean that it would be a simple task to do.
> > >
> >
> > It's intringuing that I can easily find texts on the Internet about a
> > hypothetical Proto-Indo-European culture or society, but it's hard to
> find
> > even incipient attempts of culture reconstructions for other
> > proto-languages. It that because we really have much more information on
> IE
> > languages? or because most linguists are speakers of IE languages
> > themselves?
> >
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_society
> > https://www.jstor.org/stable/124298?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
> > https://sindhueuropayom.fandom.com/wiki/Proto-Indo-Europeans
> >
> >
> > Até mais!
> >
> > Leonardo
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > >    -Jyri
> > >
> > >
> > > ke 15. toukok. 2019 klo 20.29 Jörg Rhiemeier ([log in to unmask])
> > > kirjoitti:
> > >
> > > > Hallo conlangers!
> > > >
> > > > On 15/05/19 14:02, Jyri Lehtinen wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Think of it like this. Both language and culture are carried by
> real
> > > > living
> > > > > people, so there's going to be at least local correlation between
> the
> > > > both
> > > > > of them and population genetics. But it's equally true that we
> don't
> > > > learn
> > > > > either our language or our culture solely from our family and both
> of
> > > > these
> > > > > can in fact undergo quite drastic shifts. Moreover, since cultural
> > > > > practices tend to diffuse more readily than language, you can't
> make
> > a
> > > > > one-to-one connection between the shifts in language and culture.
> > Over
> > > > time
> > > > > you will then loose the connection between linguistic kinship and
> the
> > > > > shared cultural heritage.
> > > >
> > > > Yes - there are sufficient examples of peoples with similar cultures
> > but
> > > > dissimilar languages and vice versa. Consider your own people, the
> > Finns
> > > > - linguistically more closely affiliated with the Saami than the
> > Swedes,
> > > > but culturally more similar to the Swedes than the Saami.
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
> > > > http://www.joerg-rhiemeier.de/Conlang/index.html
> > > >
> > >
> >
>