July 16, 2017

Download Archaeology and Language IV: Language Change and Cultural by Roger Blench, Matthew Spriggs PDF

By Roger Blench, Matthew Spriggs

This quantity is the ultimate a part of a four-part survey of cutting edge effects rising from the fusion of archaeology and ancient linguistics. Archaeology and Language IV examines quite a few urgent matters concerning linguistic and cultural swap. It offers a hard number of case stories which show how international styles of language distribution and alter will be interwoven to provide a wealthy ancient narrative, and gasoline a thorough rethinking of the normal discourse of linguistics inside archaeology.

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Additional resources for Archaeology and Language IV: Language Change and Cultural Transformation

Sample text

The Polynesian languages may be compared to the Bantu languages of central and southern Africa in that they are relatively closely related to one another, and the simple CV (Consonant-Vowel) syllable structure of most of them makes transcription and cognacy judgements relatively easy. As with Bantu, many Polynesian languages are extremely well documented, beginning with a rich heritage of missionary dictionaries in the nineteenth centuty. 1 Marck presents a reanalysis of the position of Eastern Polynesian and its relation to Proto-Polynesian.

Despite these problems, a global picture of the disposition and relations of language phyla is slowly beginning to emerge. The established phyla assigned to the world’s languages now appear to be relatively stable (although the analysis of macrophyla is highly controversial; see next section). Data are beginning to be less of a problem than collating them. Few regions of the world are entirely without archaeology, although the density of excavated sites is highly variable. In consequence, crackpot theorizing and the promotion of nationalist ideologies are at a lower level, and the volume of papers and books exploring the links between language and archaeology is on the increase.

It is not possible to order the class of ‘accepted’ phyla by degree of acceptance. In recent years, numerous publications have advanced the case for macrophyla, that is, the uniting of several accepted phyla into one genetic group. The best known example is Nostratic, a macrophylum that brings together most of the phyla of the Eurasian landmass, whose membership varies according to different authors. The journal Mother Tongue has published the speculations of ‘long-rangers’ who wish to promote continentspanning comparisons.

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