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Raymond A. Brown wrote:

> Certainly I find it incredible that the inhabitants of pre-European America
> may be thought to have retained the 'original' sort of linguistic structure
> over many millennia as their forebears wandered across the old world and
> over the Bering Straits and gradually settled the new world.  I'd have
> thought there'd have been quite a lot of linguistic evolution going on
> there.  Certainly it's difficult to believe the polysynthetic structure of
> (some of) the native American languages was a retention of the structure of
> the 'Ursprach'.

I don't know what "retention of the structure of the 'Ursprach'" could possibly
mean in this context.  A key fact about the nature of purely polysynthetic
languages is such a language has a number of separate polysynthetic structures
(roughly analogous to the "routines" of a computer programming language, in the
sense that each such structure does what it does by itself).  Such a language
evolves by adding more such structures and junking old ones.

-- Tommie